The designated mourner

Pitiless summing up in an NYRB review article by Fintan O’Toole on Joe Biden’s quest to be the bearer of the Kennedy flame in US politics:

The Master Clock has moved too far forward. The Kennedys are too long dead. “Irish Catholic” no longer carries that old underdog voltage of resistance to oppression. The center of gravity of Irish-American politics now gathers around Trump: Mick Mulvaney, Kellyanne Conway, Brett Kavanaugh. A politics of white resentment has drowned out the plaintive wail of common sorrow. The valley of tears has been annexed as a bastion of privileged white, male suffering. Biden, who once promised to turn back time, is an increasingly poignant embodiment of its pitilessness.