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No State of the Union response speech has ever been a truly great speech, but Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) delivered what’s probably the best entry in the genre that I’ve ever heard Tuesday night.

I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what I liked best about it until I read an anonymous Republican snarking about it.

Kennedy’s speech was about how Americans are all in it together and should reject the false choices and inherent elitism of Donald Trump’s divisive politics.

Because here’s the thing — what liberals do in America, at their best, is not identity politics at all. Identity politics is what Donald Trump does. Identity politics is delivering a speech that offers no solutions for any actual problems in people’s lives, interspersed with dog-whistles about MS-13 and standing for the national anthem.

In Joe Kennedy’s speech, Democrats rediscovered Barack Obama’s compelling vision

America is about equality, across all dimensions.


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