A combination of flattery and racial bullying convinces Biden he has a mandate

Mr. Biden might be in fine fettle for a man pushing 80 but that doesn’t mean he’s up to riding herd on the forces that followed him into the White House. Mr. Biden did not wrestle the nomination away from anybody (unlike Barack Obama or Mr. Trump). It landed on him. His career was that of an undistinguished but long placeholder. A habit of foolish grandiosity has repeatedly brought trouble, such as convincing himself of a glorious academic record that didn’t exist (he finished near the bottom of his law-school class after being disciplined for plagiarism).

And nothing about Mr. Biden today suggests he’s a president up to the heroic, arm-twisting, barnstorming public effort that it would take to get so radical a program past a resistant public and Congress—if he were, almost by definition he would not be the kind of presidential dog that unrepresentative activists would find so easy to wag.

This “modern” left obsesses about race and “identity” because it’s their only claim to being progressive; in every other way they are reactionary heirs to the bureaucratic and technocratic elite that the New Deal and World War II delivered into being and now is in need of replacing by something truly of our own times.

On present trend, Mr. Biden is on his way to being a failed and divisive president.