Joe Biden decided he didn’t have to choose a leftwing progressive. Here’s why

<span>Photograph: Bebeto Matthews/AP</span>
Photograph: Bebeto Matthews/AP

In one of the least surprising moments of what has so far been an uncommonly anticlimactic race, Joe Biden on Wednesday did what everyone was already expecting him to do: he chose California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate.

The pick comes on the heels of a slew of leaks and on- and off-the-record comments from Biden allies wishing to trash Harris and downplay her chances in the press. Florida Democratic donor John Morgan lamented to CNBC that Harris “would be running for president the day of the inauguration.” Former Senator Chris Dodd complained that Harris showed “no remorse” after attacking Biden based on his racial justice record. In retrospect, these comments in the media read less like realistic dispatches from within the VP vetting process than attempts to influence it from the outside, perhaps from Biden allies still angry at Harris over the primary. That

Read More

How a leading left-wing academic and activist wound up in the middle of a free speech debate

Loretta Ross. (Courtesy of speakoutnow.org)
Loretta Ross. (Courtesy of speakoutnow.org)

WASHINGTON — A once obscure internet debate over the limits of free speech and the rise of what critics call “cancel culture” has, somewhat improbably, become a significant 2020 campaign issue. 

President Trump tapped into conservative worries about cancel culture — the notion that everyone from intellectuals to everyday citizens can be “canceled” and see their lives upended if they become the target of an online “mob” — in a July 3 speech at Mount Rushmore. Cancel culture, the president insisted, is “the very definition of totalitarianism.” 

Whether the president has hit on a winning issue is unclear. According to a Yahoo News/YouGov poll released Wednesday, 58 percent of Americans said they were unsure about what cancel culture refers to, and once it was explained to them, only 28 percent called it a “very big problem.” But beyond the 2020 campaign, a very real argument

Read More