Democratic Convention 2020

Democratic Convention Recap: Biden and Harris Vow To Make Government Even Bigger

We suffered through it so you didn't have to.

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The Democratic Party just hosted its first-ever virtual national convention, where it nominated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for president and vice president. The goal of the four-day event was to unify the party's moderates and progressives by focusing on President Donald Trump's moral and political failings. 

But despite all the talk of change, it was clear that after four years of rising walls, spiraling debt, and rule by executive order, the Democrats are resolved to stay the course and continue expanding the size and scope of the federal government.

Biden blasted the Trump administration for its disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic and pledged to institute a national mask mandate; the rest of his plan was short on specifics. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose decision to return elderly people infected with COVID-19 to nursing homes led to thousands of deaths, was summoned to provide the party's vision for responsible leadership.

The Democrats sought to exploit the coronavirus to justify bigger government—what they call "bold" federal action. They pledged strong gun control measures to respond to an "epidemic of gun violence," even though the gun homicide rate today is half what it was in the early '90s.

They promised that a Biden-Harris administration would address systemic racial bias and reform a criminal justice system that, ironically, Biden played a lead role in creating. But the speeches were short on specifics about what a Democratic White House would actually do to reverse the impact of laws like the 1994 crime bill, which Biden defended all the way up until the beginning of his presidential campaign last year. 

The party did offer numerous proposals for new government mandates and increased spending on social programs to fight racial and wealth inequality. It also tied social justice issues to Biden's $2 trillion plan to address climate change, which he's selling as a form of economic stimulus—even as the federal debt just climbed above 100 percent of gross domestic product.

Similar to Trump, Biden promises to move jobs back to the U.S. And though former President Bill Clinton attacked Trump's tariffs on China, Biden hasn't committed to repealing those tariffs if elected.

A major theme was Trump's incompetence, divisiveness, and general inability to rise to the challenges he has confronted. Convention organizers sought to convince voters that Joe Biden would bring back decency and the pre-Trump normal. 

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the Democrats' most visible critic of our endless wars, wasn't invited, but former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who alongside Biden helped make the case for the Iraq War, delivered a speech. He argued that a Biden administration would bring back the glory days of America projecting its power around the globe.

Hillary Clinton called Trump's concerns about vote-by-mail fraud a conspiracy theory, and then repeated one of her own, claiming that it wasn't her fault she lost the election: Russia stole it away. 

Even if you're disaffected with 2-party politics-as-normal, even if you find the major candidates unacceptable election after election, the 2020 Democratic National Convention was designed to convince you that you can create change at the polls this time for real, and that voting is not just your right but your responsibility—just as long as you vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Written and edited by Justin Monticello. Graphics by Isaac Reese and Meredith Bragg. Research by Regan Taylor. Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Music: Lance Conrad and Russo.

Photos: Democratic National Convention via CNP/SplashNews/Newscom; Democratic National Convention via CNP/SplashNews/Newscom; Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call/Newscom; CNP/AdMedia/Newscom; CNP/AdMedia; Anna Moneymaker—Pool via CNP/MEGA/Newscom; Anna Moneymaker—Pool via CNP/MEGA/Newscom; David Cliff/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Lev Radin/ZUMA Press/Newscom; John Lamparski/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Everett Collection/Newscom; Rod Lamkey—CNP/Sipa USA/Newscom; Ron Sachs/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom; Richard Ellis/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Jeff Malet Photography/Newscom; Ron Sachs/picture alliance/Consolidated News Photos/Newscom; SMG/ZUMA Press/Newscom; MIKE THEILER/UPI/Newscom; CARLOS BARRIA/Reuters/Newscom; BRIAN SNYDER/UPI/Newscom; Anna Moneymaker—Pool via CNP/MEGA/Newscom; David Crane/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Dennis Brack/DanitaDelimont.com "Danita Delimont Photography"/Newscom; Democratic National Convention V/ZUMA Press/Newscom; CNP/AdMedia/SIPA; Democratic National Convention via CNP/picture alliance/Consolidated News Photos/Newscom; GARY I ROTHSTEIN/UPI/Newscom; Allison Ross/TNS/Newscom; Tia Dufour/White House/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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  1. So basically Kamala is a welfare queen.

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  2. Rolling out fucking neocons to endorse Biden…FFS are the Democrats’ memories that short?

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    2. My son is getting into Warhammer 40k, and I read that as necrons endorse Biden. Not really surprised.

    3. No ‘real’ democrat would get on the tube.
      And I notice one of those ‘ex-military’ has been ex-Republican for many elections now.

  3. Good Lord. Watching five minutes of short clips of harpy politicians was almost unbearable. How do people enjoy watching those things live, beginning to end?

    1. When I was a kid AuH2O came through town. We kids were fascinated that a big name politician would stop by our podunk town. I remember absolutely nothing about it, if we even saw him, tried to see him, nothing.

      The idea of staring at a screen and watching any politician, period, for any length of time, is just bonkers. How anyone could watch a convention, I do not comprehend, even if they do it for a living. It’s hard to think of anything more disgusting. I’d rather watch Eddy’s 10 hour video of paint drying; at least I could let my imagination run free without all the distractions.

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  4. So Joe Biden showed he could read a prepared practiced speech from a teleprompter while being coach through an earpiece. He spewed out no substance only platitudes while looking confused and deranged, and I’m suppose to cream my jeans and vote for Joe and the Hoe.

    1. And it was almost certainly taped, not live…

      1. But not filled with the lies like the Con Man does.

        1. He did it without moving his mouth?

        2. He plagiarized a Canadian pol’s speech.

  5. they really look sinister in those black masks

    1. Black masks matter! /probably unoriginal, don’t care

  6. Hillary Clinton called Trump’s concerns about vote-by-mail fraud a conspiracy theory, and then repeated one of her own, claiming that it wasn’t her fault she lost the election: Russia stole it away.

    Maybe someday Reason will see fit to talk about Judicial Watch’s chip-chip-chipping away at Hillary.

  7. Biden’s $2 trillion plan

    Is that all? The Dotard has spent more than $3.5 trillion more than 2019 already this year and they are talking $1-2 trillion in additional handouts.

    1. And how much do theiberals actually want to spend?

    2. So since you insist on blaming Trump for signing a bill that passed both houses of Congress and was veto-proof, does that mean you’re finally ready to acknowledge the trillion dollar deficits Obama ran for three years?

      1. It may not have been popular but he could have lodged a symbolic veto. He would have been denigrated for that also. Probably more so. But he does have to accept some blame.

        1. Oh I don’t mind giving him (Trump) some blame. I just hate shriek and think he’s a hypocritical democrat shill.

          1. And an idiot, and a loser, and a liar . . .

            1. It’s just unfortunate he’s not more suicidal. Or at least sloppy enough to leave behind enough evidence of his child rapes in his windowless panel van so he can be convicted and sent to his just rewards in the state penitentiary.

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    3. “The Dotard has spent”

      The DNC run congress had nothing to do with it, huh?

    4. “…The Dotard has spent more than $3.5 trillion more than 2019 already this year and they are talking $1-2 trillion in additional handouts…”

      That’s spelled P-E-L-O-S-I, turd:
      “Pelosi Keeps Pushing For $3 Trillion Second Stimulus Despite GOP Cost Worries”
      […]
      “Democratic Party leaders in Congress are still pushing for a $3.4 trillion stimulus package, even as the GOP side continues to staunchly reject this price tag as too high…”
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/advisor/2020/08/04/pelosi-keeps-pushing-for-3-trillion-second-stimulus-despite-gop-cost-worries/#6b6c74fd615b

  8. So here is a perfect opening for a third party like the Libertarian Party.

    The Republican Party has no theory of governance beyond “tax cuts and judges”.

    The Democratic Party has a gigantic theory of governance that involves a million bureaucratic agencies micromanaging everyone’s lives.

    How about a theory of governance along the lines of, “we will deliver government that is small(er), but more importantly, actually does what it is supposed to do, with excellence, and isn’t a bloated bureaucratic mess, or a broken dysfunctional dumpster fire”. Basically a platform of “good governance”. It isn’t Libertopia but it is a step in the right direction.

    1. No chance-both major parties put ideology first. Governing effectively is a far distant second.

    2. My biggest complaint with the LP is that it needs to form a coalition, and that starts by winning lower races, and holding onto them. Jorgenson would be ineffective (even though I’ll most likely vote for her) because without help from the legislative branch, she couldn’t accomplish much. Maybe enough small government Republicans would help get some stuff through. Maybe.

      1. The LP has never been very good at long term strategy. They didn’t do a real good job of reaching out to disaffected Republicans (in fact some openly rejected them) in 2016. And they don’t seem really intent on building any lower level victories that could help make the party successful.
        It’s a myth that the Republicans came to power in 1861. They had won a number of lower house races and state taxes in the latter half of the 1850s. They also pretty much took over the old whig party apparatus and absorbed some of the abolitionist and free state parties.

        1. I was active in the TEA party and much of their beliefs were compatible with libertarianism (not all but purity is its own worst enemy). I didn’t see any effort being made (except by the Pauls, who remained Republicans) to try and attract the movement to the libertarian argument.

      2. I agree that LP needs to focus on lower races, particularly on House seats. I would only take a small group to be effective if they tried. That does not mean at this stage they could move legislation, but they could demand roll call votes. In support for legislation they could get small fixes to make government better.

      3. The biggest hurdle to this is appropriate lower government does and should look different from national politics. It’s one of the reasons Rs don’t do well in urban areas – outside Democrats painting them as the monster under the bed.

        Bottom line is libertarians have this locked in idea of what people SHOULD want and promise to run rough shod over what they DO want – like zoning laws.

        What should be a small government position that you move power down to the local level is not one most libertarians are on par with. Their big position is to cripple government – which more or less, I’m in agreement with at the federal level. But not at the local.

    3. Right, but let’s raise taxes first. Cuz if they just take more money from people you don’t like, maybe then they can finally get smaller!

    4. Yes, what it’s supposed to do. Like maintain security on our sovereign borders.

  9. I would quibble with the idea that there was any form of decency in politics before Trump. Maybe Garfield, maybe Washington (who ran unopposed), but nothing else comes to mind. Yes, they may have been more (slightly) polite and less blunt but no it’s always been a shithole full of demonizing your opponent.

    1. If by decency you mean non-partisanship, I would agree. Although it seems to have gotten a lot worse in the past 20 years. If you mean presidents, they too have gotten worse and the ones I hear were decent people (Ford and Carter) are not considered very effective. What does that tell you?

      1. It has gotten worse, though I would say it started going downhill in the 1980s, possibly the 1970s. I’ve heard the charges against the Democrats and the Republicans by their opponents all my remembered life (born in 1976). Can’t speak for Ford and Carter, I was alive but hardly cognitive of anything much but myself and my family.

      2. Its gotten worse because the press increasingly amplified the arguments and insults of only one side. When that ‘shouting’ starts and you are on the other side of it you either try to shout louder to be heard or you let them shout you down. until trump i would say the repubs allowed themselves (mostly) to be shouted down. I think that is one reason they lost the culture war which only served to give greater amplification to the msg of the one side that shall remain nameless. and so you have an unvirtuous cycle that leads to Trump… the only person willing to TRY to shout over the voices shouting him down.

        1. It’s a bit worse now than the80-90’s. The low point for me was the 64 LBJ campaign.

  10. So Trump is an authoritarian even though he left lockdowns to the states but Biden isn’t even though he wants to impose a federal mask mandate? Sounds about right.

  11. You know, this time of the year in 2016, we started seeing Gary Johnson videos at least on YouTube.

    I want to vote for Jo, but I haven’t seen anything from her yet. If she doesn’t run a campaign, I guess the more libertarian of the two major party candidates is Trump.

  12. Funny, The only thing I heard were variations of “ORANGE MAN BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  13. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter. A catastrophe statistically more dangerous than the Communist Chinese Virus will eliminate the need to vote.
    https://thehill.com/homenews/news/513246-nasa-asteriod-headed-toward-earth-before-election

    1. Scientists labeled the asteroid 2018VP1, and data reveals it is 0.002 km or about 6.5 feet

      Based on internal DNC internal polls, this could be catastrophic and may require an anticipatory change in the way presidential election results are determined.

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  16. I have seen nothing to suggest that Americans want a smaller government and until that happen both parties will be making proposals for bigger government.

    1. Hard to argue with that. it just comes down to what things you want to spend on vs what person’s ox you want to gore.

      Oh, … and hate with every fiber of your being the person who wants the things you don’t want. That’s important because they gave up their humanity by wanting to achieve solutions to the same problems by methods you don’t approve of.

  17. “Democratic Convention Recap: Biden and Harris Vow To Make Government Even Bigger”

    Good. Finally, someone advocating for a return to sanity.

    If you want to live the Nordic Race, aka Northern European, lifestyle, you need to “Tax and Spend” like a Nordic.

    Non-Security state spending is at modern historic lows. And Social Security and Medicare are not government spending, they are earned benefits that still pay for themselves (and could solvent forever if the sane and honest finally manage to get rid of the cap on contributions that have been gifted to the Conservative Donor/parasite class.)

    https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/program-spending-outside-social-security-and-medicare-historically-low-as-a
    Program Spending Outside Social Security and Medicare Historically Low as a Percent of GDP and Projected to Fall Further . . .

    1. “…If you want to live the Nordic Race, aka Northern European, lifestyle, you need to “Tax and Spend” like a Nordic…”

      Fuck off, slaver.

    2. The Nordic way? Like not letting any illegals in, and severely restricting immigration to only those,of affluence?

  18. “…and then repeated one of her own, claiming that it wasn’t her fault she lost the election: Russia stole it away…”

    She just can’t accept that she lost because she is truly a horrible person by any measure.

    1. Most cunts don’t cop to being cunty.

  19. If some people say they care about policing and criminal justice reform but would make not wearing a mask a federal crime, do they really care about those issues?

    What are you going to do when local cops refuse to enforce it? Send secret police to write 500 dollar tickets to a black man out of a jobbecause he walked at an empty park sans mask?

    A president (for all intents and purposes) can’t override all state autonomy to shut down the national economy or mandate masks. The legal experts have already weighed in on this. You can’t even mandate testing and compulsory tracking on phones in this country is illegal.

    “I’ll shut down everything if scientists would say so” is one of the most insane things I’ve ever heard. You might as well credit China for following scientific principles when they trapped people inside their homes and dragged the infected to quarantine zones. A 10 year immigration ban would scienfitically kosher, since it would help mitigate future spread to a certain degree.

    Why won’t the media take a presidential candidate to task for basically suggesting that he’ll destroy the nation for the chance to save it? Oh right, he’s a democrat.

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