In the abolistionist movement, Lincoln had, what Douglass called the “power behind the throne.” Roosevelt and Johnson, albeit in different form, had their own power behind the throne – Labor and its allies in Roosevelt’s case and and the civil rights movement and its allies in Johnson’s.

Biden has no such “power behind his throne.” It’s fair to say that the far flung and diverse coalition that elected him has stirred up little dust since his election. Its mass presence hasn’t been felt in the corridors of Congress or state capitals.

The pandemic makes that difficult for sure. But isn’t turning the difficult into the doable what creative minds in this coaliton defending democacy and fighting for social progress are supposed to do?

With so much hanging in balance and with an election creeping up, let’s persuade, let’s nudge the major organizations making up this coalition – not least the Democratic Party and labor movement – to become the “power behind the throne” and throw themselves fully into this existenial struggle for democracy.