To unite this plurality, though, Biden would have to actually appeal to them openly and directly, which would require taking ownership of his record: not defending everything, not avoiding all apologies, but arguing explicitly that some tough-on-crime policies were a necessary response to a destructive multi-decade crime wave, that some moderation on abortion should be acceptable in the Democratic Party and that the Ocasio-Cortezan turn on economic policy should be questioned or resisted. And, yes, defending his personal familiarity, hugs and nose-rubs and hair-kisses and all, and in the process questioning some aspects of #MeToo.

Absent that argument, in a primary where Biden is just an old white dude running away from his record, the party’s various moderate voters will almost certainly fracture and go to fresher candidates with cleaner pitches — to the Texan Jesus or the South Bend Meritocrat or the Mean Minnesotan or the Racial Optimist. (That would be Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker, respectively — none of whom are likely to challenge the Great Awokening directly, but all of whom offer something to Democratic voters wary of the left.)