I watched Joe Biden at the Munich Security Conference earlier this year. “We will be back, we will be back,” he declared. He meant the United States after the moral abdication of the Trump years. He also meant himself, the president-in-waiting who would wait no longer to reach the Oval Office.
That became obvious as he took a few questions. The Biden I’ve observed over the years is garrulous, expansive, engaging — a glad-handing, old-school Democratic politician in whom sentiment always overrode precision. Here, however, was another man. Biden read his answers from cards of typed notes. He tiptoed. He was running in an unforgiving age, and he was already scared. If he got it wrong, the thought police might airbrush him from history.
It’s mean out there in this America of the culture, gender and race wars. A phrase misspoken, a hand misplaced, and all hell breaks loose. Social media is instantaneous judge and executioner. Pariah is a life sentence. There is no margin for error; retrospective judgment makes no allowance for changed mores or expectations. Sensibility of an exquisitely indignant strain often trumps sense.
Sure enough, even before Biden makes a formal decision to run, along comes Lucy Flores, a former candidate for lieutenant governor of Nevada, to say Biden planted “a big slow kiss on the back of my head” at a campaign rally nearly five years ago. Other women have followed, saying Biden had touched them inappropriately — that what he viewed as expressions of encouragement, affection, solidarity were received as plain creepy, or worse. There will be more.
A friend told me that the stories had revived in her a vague memory of meeting Biden at some event where he shook her hand and, in doing so, gave her “a weird tickle.” She laughed.
Biden is a 76-year-old white male, with decades of public exposure, operating in the era of #MeToo. That this would happen to him was of course not inevitable, but nor was it improbable. Behavior was socially tolerated in the past that should not have been. As he said in a video that stopped short of an apology but was a mea culpa, “Social norms have begun to change.” This was a towering understatement. It’s a different world.
To watch the Creepy Uncle Joe clips compiled by people who wish him ill is a discomfiting experience. When it comes to an image, the prism it’s seen through is everything. Today’s prism is rigid and absolutist.
In his I-get-it video, Biden said he would be more “mindful and respectful of people’s personal space,” whose boundaries had been “reset.” He suggested his touchy world had given way to a selfie world — and he would adjust accordingly. The performance was mildly excruciating, like watching Gramps straining to be hip.
Meanwhile, the “I just start kissing them,” “Grab them by the pussy” Republican president, accused by more than a dozen women of harassment, groping and worse, and held accountable by no one, could not resist preening. Trump mocked Biden with a doctored video showing a cartoonish image of the former vice president nuzzling from behind his penitent self. Democrats tied in virtuous politically correct knots meet Republicans unbound in their vile and unrepentant grossness: Welcome to the 2020 campaign. It won’t be pretty.
Where Biden was tongue-tied in Munich, Trump vaunts his coarse spontaneity. As he told CPAC last month: “You know I’m totally off script now. And this is how I got elected, by being off script. And if we don’t go off script, our country is in big trouble, folks.”
Our country is in big trouble. Period. Never mind the script. Watching Trump I am reminded of the words of John Randolph on a political opponent: “He shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight.”
I like Biden. I don’t think anything that has emerged so far about his behavior is disqualifying. He’s made mistakes, as people do, not least his handling of the Anita Hill hearings. He is experienced, a conciliator in a time of division, a passionate believer in America as a force for good in the world and in the indivisibility of the rule of law and the American idea.
Still, unless he’s a glutton for punishment, Biden should not run. The times have changed more than he can grasp. The issues around women that have come up will not go away. He will suffer. He will be judged harshly for his faults rather than forgiven for his human fallibility. That is the nature of the zeitgeist.
It will be painful to watch. As a beneficiary of old-white-male privilege, Biden will be suspect. The energy in the Democratic Party is not in the center, but left of that, and I doubt Biden can redirect the current. The only issue for Democrats must be beating Trump. Whether a man older than the president, tainted by support for the Iraq War, can embody renewal is doubtful.
Napoleon is said to have remarked that if he had been killed in 1812 as he entered Moscow in triumph, he would have gone down in history as the greatest general ever. Timing is everything, not least in leaving the stage. Biden, honorable patriot, should side with restraint.
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: email@example.com.
Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.B:
九龙内慕免费资料“【嗯】？【这】【片】【天】【空】……【怎】【么】【变】【了】？”【孤】【命】【峡】【灵】【地】【中】，【须】【陀】【山】【四】【将】【抬】【起】【头】【看】【向】【天】【空】，【原】【本】【充】【斥】【着】【白】【色】【光】【芒】【的】【天】【空】，【在】【缓】【缓】【的】【变】【成】【深】【蓝】【色】，【甚】【至】【能】【看】【到】【一】【朵】【朵】【白】【云】【的】【痕】【迹】。 【而】【整】【个】【灵】【地】【中】【的】【纯】【阳】【之】【气】，【在】【快】【速】【的】【消】【散】。【这】【片】【灵】【地】【仿】【佛】【变】【成】【了】【一】【个】【气】【球】，【现】【在】【有】【人】【给】【这】【个】【气】【球】【扎】【了】【一】【个】【洞】。 “【嗡】。”【在】【天】【空】【上】，【出】【现】【了】【一】
【战】【争】【正】【式】【开】【始】，**【取】【得】【了】【绝】【对】【的】【控】【制】【权】。 【作】【为】【失】【败】【者】【的】**，【杰】【克】【他】【们】【被】【关】【押】【了】【起】【来】，【所】【幸】【雇】【佣】【兵】【中】【的】【一】【员】、【和】【科】【研】【团】【队】【关】【系】【紧】【密】，【并】【且】【心】【存】【正】【义】【的】【楚】【蒂】【将】【他】【们】【救】【了】【出】【来】。【不】【幸】【的】【是】，【格】【蕾】【丝】【博】【士】【在】【逃】【亡】【的】【过】【程】【中】【被】【追】【出】【来】【的】【杰】【罗】【德】【上】【校】【持】【枪】【击】【中】，【危】【在】【旦】【夕】。 【彻】【底】【被】【杰】【罗】【德】【上】【校】【所】【掌】【握】【了】【的】**【是】【不】【能】【再】【待】
【见】【过】【陈】【宫】，【外】【加】【和】【陈】【宫】【共】【事】【过】【的】【都】【知】【道】【陈】【宫】【是】【个】【什】【么】【鬼】【情】【况】，【虽】【说】【这】【个】【计】【划】【确】【实】【是】【对】【曹】【操】【有】【利】，【但】【从】【另】【一】【方】【面】【也】【绝】【对】【是】【故】【意】【搞】【曹】【操】【的】【典】【型】，【而】【曹】【操】【敢】【搞】【砸】【了】，【陈】【宫】【能】【当】【场】【和】【曹】【操】【打】【起】【来】。 “【公】【台】【当】【年】【也】【算】【是】【曹】【司】【空】【手】【下】【的】【头】【号】【谋】【臣】【吧】。”【刘】【晔】【望】【着】【房】【梁】【思】【考】【道】，“【说】【起】【来】【他】【们】【一】【开】【始】【不】【是】【配】【合】【的】【挺】【好】【的】【吗】？” “
【不】【顾】【费】【青】【书】【的】【反】【对】，【郑】【小】【檬】【一】【如】【往】【常】【的】【到】【医】【院】【上】【班】，【这】【是】【她】【调】【到】【妇】【产】【科】【的】【第】【一】【天】，【刚】【进】【医】【院】【大】【楼】，【就】【收】【到】【来】【自】【于】【同】【事】【们】【的】【好】【多】【祝】【贺】【声】。 【杨】【主】【任】【还】【亲】【自】【给】【她】【布】【置】【了】【办】【公】【室】，“【小】【檬】，【你】【现】【在】【还】【只】【是】【一】【个】【实】【习】【医】【生】，【本】【应】【该】【跟】【其】【他】【医】【生】【共】【用】【一】【个】【大】【办】【公】【室】【的】，【但】【考】【虑】【到】【你】【怀】【孕】，【这】【间】【办】【公】【室】【就】【先】【给】【你】【用】【着】，【反】【正】【等】【你】【通】【过】九龙内慕免费资料“【没】【想】【到】，【谢】【铭】【先】【生】【和】【贞】【德】【小】【姐】【居】【然】【一】【起】【经】【历】【了】【那】【么】【多】【的】【事】【情】。” 【手】【里】【捧】【着】【茶】【杯】，【在】【听】【完】【谢】【铭】【讲】【述】【的】【故】【事】【之】【后】，【蕾】【蒂】【西】【亚】【一】【脸】【复】【杂】【和】【纠】【结】：“【这】，【该】【怎】【么】【争】【啊】..” “？？？” 【谢】【铭】【喝】【茶】【的】【动】【作】【瞬】【间】【一】【僵】，【争】？【争】【什】【么】？【谁】【和】【谁】【争】？【这】【小】【姑】【娘】【的】【脑】【子】【里】，【装】【着】【些】【什】【么】【东】【西】【啊】？ 【算】【了】，【就】【当】【做】【没】【听】
“【那】【两】【成】【利】【润】【被】【唐】【家】【给】【吃】【了】【吧】？”【李】【二】【问】【道】。 【里】【正】【立】【马】【让】【他】【住】【嘴】：“【这】【种】【话】【以】【后】【出】【去】【后】【不】【要】【乱】【说】，【知】【道】【吗】？【那】【个】【唐】【地】【主】【不】【是】【我】【们】【能】【够】【得】【罪】【的】。” “【我】【知】【道】，【里】【正】【爷】，【我】【就】【是】【想】【弄】【个】【明】【白】。”【李】【二】【有】【些】【憋】【屈】。 【那】【个】【唐】【地】【主】【家】【已】【经】【够】【富】【有】【了】，【结】【果】【还】【要】【挣】【他】【们】【贫】【穷】【老】【百】【姓】【的】【钱】，【他】【们】【贫】【穷】【老】【百】【姓】【已】【经】【够】【穷】【了】【好】【吗】
【李】【轩】【关】【注】【内】【燃】【机】【的】【研】【究】【也】【不】【是】【一】【天】【两】【天】【的】，【甚】【至】【最】【开】【始】【的】【时】【候】【内】【燃】【机】【的】【相】【关】【研】【究】【开】【始】【他】【让】【皇】【家】【理】【工】【学】【院】【开】【始】【搞】【的】。 【只】【不】【过】【过】【去】【多】【年】【里】【因】【为】【技】【术】【问】【题】，【尤】【其】【是】【基】【础】【材】【料】【和】【加】【工】【能】【力】【的】【问】【题】，【内】【燃】【机】【的】【研】【究】【只】【能】【是】【流】【于】【表】【面】。 【各】【种】【理】【论】【其】【实】【都】【已】【经】【很】【成】【熟】【的】，【皇】【家】【理】【工】【学】【院】【里】【的】【科】【学】【家】【们】【早】【就】【弄】【出】【来】【了】【理】【论】【模】【型】，【不】