FOR BIDEN—ON THE WHOLE

Joe Biden is the Democratic leader
All the other candidates will now support.
Yet not long ago the dedicated reader
Must have reckoned he was totally outfought

In his record there was much that undermined him
Like his vote supporting war against Iraq
And his treatment of Anita Hill defined him
As insensitive and open to attack.

Then his age suggested surely he was past it
Together with a tendency for gaffes
Which could take his reputation and re-cast it
Into nothing but some condescending laughs.

Yet the tide was turned by votes in Carolina
And everything was stood upon its head.
Others who’d believed their chances finer
Discovered they’d been out-performed instead.

And happily for Democratic chances
There is more to Biden than past attributes.
His leadership could bring us real advances
Which nothing that I’ve said above refutes.

To begin with from mistakes he’s clearly learning;
On Iraq he now admits that he was wrong.
To critical new issues he’s been turning,
On the climate his commitment’s clear and strong.

It’s true that there are schemes he’s not proposing
As he thinks about the values of his past.
Police departments he will surely not be closing
To reform not revolution he holds fast.

For young radicals this is deeply disappointing
They believe it’s time for fundamental change.
But for many voters this would be disjointing,
Unappealing, much too radical and strange.

And here we reach the point I’ve been repeating
With anxiety and vigor on this site:
Trump must suffer such a ruinous defeating
That even he will know he has to end the fight.

A normal president we’ll have again with Biden,
Which doesn’t mean Nirvana will be here
But the prospect of normality will widen
Instead of living with the politics of fear.

Posted on Monday, August 31, 2020 (Archive on Sunday, May 28, 2023)



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