Even though it may prove crucial, conservative support for Biden alarms some people on the left. A broad coalition—and the political space between the former Black Panther Angela Davis and the prominent neoconservative Bill Kristol must count as one of the broadest coalitions in the modern history of the country—is necessarily hard to keep together, particularly if its leader is bent on dramatic structural changes that will cost a great deal of money. If Biden wins with a coalition bound together by opposition to Trump, and he wishes—as any politician would—to keep that coalition together, how will that coalition limit what he can deliver? If a Democratic senator is carried into office in 2020 on a wave of conservative as well as leftist and liberal votes, will that senator be game for the radical changes that some voters demand?
In one common understanding of America’s weird new political alignment, the relationship between the Never Trumpers and the Democrats is a marriage of convenience: Conservatives will snap back to the Republican Party when some semblance of sanity returns to it. This may be true for many voters, but the rupture between the Never Trump intellectuals and the party seems—at least in some cases—irreparable.
The fact is that the coalition forming behind Biden, however uncomfortable it may be, may have some staying power (if it doesn’t get disrupted by some major overseas crisis that splits those who favor active American military interventions abroad and those who oppose them). There are two major reasons to think this.