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Clive Crook

Biden Is Dividing the Country He Promised to Unite

The president’s aggressive pitch for sensible voting reforms is all but guaranteed to sow division and disappointment.

Uniting the country?

Uniting the country?

Photographer: MANDEL NGAN/AFP

Over years of following American politics, I’d come to regard Joe Biden as harmless — a back-slapper without strong conviction, given to exaggeration and the occasional outright lie, but no worse than average for a career politician and no threat to the republic. Lately I’ve been wondering if I overestimated him.

His remarks on Tuesday settle the matter. His speech on election law was Trump-level demagoguery, the opposite of what the country needs and should expect of its president.