The role so-called political villains like Trump and Clinton play

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The coronavirus pandemic led to many predictable shortages, including in toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but 2021 has produced a paucity no one saw coming: Lately, political parties are lacking good villains.

McKay Coppins raised the issue in The Atlantic, writing about the challenges facing conservative imprints in book publishing with President Joe Biden in the White House. Biden is too genial, too grandfatherly, to be seen as a villain in the vein of Bill and Hillary Clinton, publishing executives said. Former President Donald Trump tried to brand Biden as “Sleepy Joe,” which sometimes got a laugh, but isn’t a strategy for selling books.

“To gain literary traction on the right, a villain has to generate fear and outrage, not simply ridicule,” Coppins wrote. He quoted conservative talk show host Ben Shapiro as saying that Biden “has a deeply nonthreatening persona” and that “You kind of feel bad attacking him, honestly, because…

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