Biden’s no placeholder and other commentary

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From the left: Biden’s No Placeholder

Even as “many on the left scoff at the notion that [Joe] Biden is preparing for a transformational presidency,” his metamorphosis since the ­Obama administration has inspired “a fresh sense of urgency and a jolt of ambition,” remarks The Atlantic’s Franklin Foer. Biden’s promises to ­“aggressively press forward” with immigration, police, health care and stimulus reforms and a $15 minimum wage reflect an “organic pivot in his thinking.” And a feeling “that he hasn’t been given his full due” will lead him to “debunk any lingering sense that he is a placeholder.” The promise of a Biden presidency “isn’t simply that he will ambitiously deploy government, but that he’ll sweat the politics of that expansion.”

Culture critics: Amazon’s Silencing Black Voices

The documentary “What Killed Michael Brown?” by African-American scholar Shelby Steele and his filmmaker son Eli Steele “doesn’t fit the dominant narrative of white police officers killing young black men because of systemic racism,” notes The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board. “As a result, says the younger Steele, Amazon rejected it for its streaming service.” Yet it’s “telling” that “an intelligent film that gives voice to a variety of people, almost all black, who would otherwise not be heard is somehow deemed unfit for ­polite company.” The Journal’s editors are “skeptical” of calls to “break up large tech giants” like Amazon since “that might do more economic harm than good” — but pressure for that is building on both the left and right. “By canceling important dissenting voices,” Amazon is “inviting political backlash.”

Libertarian: Some ‘Dark Money’ Conspiracy!

At Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) claimed conservative “dark money” is “propping up Barrett so she can upend same-sex marriage, abortion and the Affordable Care Act,” reports Billy Binion at Reason. Whitehouse argues, basically, that “conservative groups have made hefty donations to conservative causes, which have then been victoriously litigated in the courts, and the money is somehow to blame.” Yet none of those victories pertain to “same-sex marriage, abortion or the Affordable Care Act” — while cases that do involve those issues have resulted in recent decisions favorable to liberals. Plus, “Democrats receive more in ‘dark money’ contributions than Republicans these days.” And it was Hillary Clinton who promised “litmus tests for justices, openly campaigning on selecting nominees that would promise to strike down Citizens United v. FEC and uphold Roe v. Wade.”

Conservative: Dems’ Orwellian Word Game

When Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett “uttered the words ‘sexual preference’ rather than ‘sexual orientation’ ” at this week’s Senate confirmation hearing, observes John McCormack at National Review, Democrats and reporters suggested she was “some kind of bigot.” Yet Joe Biden used the term in May, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sen. Dianne Feinstein did so in 2017. Indeed, it’s been used frequently over the past decade, including by a gay-rights advocate in the magazine The Advocate as recently as last month — and no one complained. “The story went from hypocritical to Orwellian when Merriam-Webster’s dictionary apparently updated its definition of the word ‘preference’ in response”: “It’s now defined as ‘offensive’ when used to refer to sexual orientation” — yet that wasn’t the case just a few weeks ago.

Media watch: ‘Sexist’ Coverage of Women

The liberal media keeps running “afoul” of guidelines compiled by “liberal anti-sexism experts” on how to report on female candidates, Andrew Stiles at the Washington Free Beacon sarcastically kids. The rules — don’t comment on a woman’s “ambition,” “likability” or whether she’s “qualified” for the job — were almost immediately breached when the media reported approvingly on Sen. Kamala Harris’ footwear. And then broken again when they snarked at Amy Coney Barrett’s sartorial choices. “The justice picked a very nice outfit for her first confirmation hearing,” the Daily Beast’s ­Alaina Demopoulos wrote, sexistly, jokes Stiles. Expect more: “The behavior thus far of our nation’s foremost professional journalists — ignoring the expert guidelines and embracing sexism at the expense of the truth — has been regrettable.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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