Joe Biden’s hollow victory and other commentary

2020 watch: Biden’s Hollow Victory

“Bernie Sanders just lost his first primary of 2020” in South Carolina, Daniel McCarthy writes at Spectator USA. Yet Joe Biden’s victory in the Palmetto State won’t make him the clear front-runner, but only the “ ‘Stop Bernie!’ candidate.” The ex-veep, it seems, can only do well in states with large African-American populations — and thanks not to his “own skill and appeal as a politician,” but to his service with then-President Barack Obama. If Biden clinches the nomination on that basis — an unlikely prospect — it would be “tantamount to writing off the Democratic Party’s own youth activist wing” in favor of a candidate with no real vision. Even if Biden thumps President Trump in November, what “comes after that will be a reckoning for the zombie Clinton party” — hated by its own left base.

Foreign desk: “Incompetence and Evil” in Iran

Every day, Shiite Muslims flock to a shrine in Qom, Iran — which, The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood reports, is the country’s “center of infection” for coronavirus. According to one Qom politician, the city has “already lost 50 people” to the virus, which suggests that “another 2,000 people have the disease in Qom alone.” The government, though, “refuses to impose quarantines,” and one religious official “not only opposes a quarantine” but has “begged people to visit” Qom’s shrine — showing how the ­regime’s “incompetence and evil” have become “indistinguishable.” And there is a still more nightmarish possibility: “Urging visits to Qom” may be “the reaction of a government that has at last recognized its own limitations and has, at some level, embraced the virus.”

Iconoclast: Libs Stoking Coronavirus Panic

First, “President Trump’s response to coronavirus was decried as heavy-handed and authoritarian by observers who thought that restricting air travel to and from China and the imposition of a quarantine were over-the-top,” recalls The Week’s Matthew Walther. Now, rejecting “Trump’s calm, decisive action,” critics want him to “spend hours a day on television engaged in an omnidirectional attempt to induce panic in as many people as possible.” Though hardly anyone “appears to have contracted the disease on these shores,” fact-checkers are handing Trump “Pinocchios” for saying things are under control. “What would have been more accurate?” Walther wonders. “Him declaring that coronavirus is on the verge of destroying civilization as we know it and suggesting the average American family stock up on masks, food and gasoline and pray that the end, when it comes, be swift and painless?”

Urban wonk: Bloomy Was Right on Redlining

Mike Bloomberg “wilted” after a 2008 lecture surfaced and his Democratic rivals attacked him “as a defender of racist lending practices,” reports Howard Husock at City Journal. In the talk, he had blamed the financial crisis on Congress overreacting to “denial of mortgage loans to low-income, often black, neighborhoods” and banks then “issuing loans to less-than-creditworthy borrowers.” Bloomberg backtracked — “but he was right the first time.” The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac spiral led to “the biggest bailout of the financial collapse.” Plus, the “loan delinquencies and foreclosures” that “result disproportionately from subprime lending” are “greater risks” for those “government-directed lending” is meant to help. “A foreclosed house in a rich neighborhood will probably be quickly resold,” but “a vacant or abandoned house in a poor neighborhood threatens the net worth of neighbors,” and it is the “hardworking poor” who could find their “asset values plunge.” So stop apologizing, Mike!

Faith beat: Using Corona To Bash … Christians

Team Trump’s choice of Vice President Mike Pence as its coronavirus point-man was met with predictable attacks from the left — including, Chad Pecknold sighs at The Catholic Herald, a New Yorker cartoon “mocking Pence’s Christian faith.” The cartoon, which showed Pence calling for “repentance,” poured scorn on “Christians who believe in traditional things like sin and ­repentance.” Yet, Pecknold asks, “what if the crisis is the sort where atheistic virtue signaling rings hollow? What if it’s the sort of crisis in which prayer seems like the only thing you can do after all the handwashing?” The New Yorker can sneer, but for many of us, “turning to God rather than against your neighbor is eminently reasonable.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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