Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Today's News: Moving on from Biden?

As the days pass after Biden's disastrous debate, I'm reading more stories from people I respect, saying that Biden needs to withdraw from the presidential race. 
For a time after the debate, I dithered about this. But the problem as I see it now is this: Trump is a terrible person, and Biden is a great one. But Biden's awful debate performance demonstrated that he isn't able to rise to the occasion anymore, he has apparently lost the ability to lead, to be a president. Americans have never voted for a leader they consider weak, and the way things are going, Biden will not only lose himself, he will drag down the whole ticket with him: Then again.. Some recent commentary: 
Daniel Drezner - The Codger-in-Chief In the wake of last Thursday's debate, Biden's staffers and supporters are starting to paint a picture. As the curator of the Toddler-in-Chief thread, this picture is disturbing.
... on his worst, most incoherent day, Joe Biden is a better president than Donald Trump. It ain’t close. ...If Joe Biden is still on the ticket come November, the hard-working staff here at Drezner’s World will vote for the older guy over the convicted felon and never think twice about it.
The more stories we hear about Biden’s current cognitive state, however, the more concerned I am that his staffers are signaling that there is a problem with the president. The fact that “he has his good days” is not reassuring. If there is more press coverage in the next week that echoes the last 24 hours, it will be catastrophic for Biden. Once staffers with a rooting interest in your success start dishing dirt, it is hard to recover.
As these stories come trickling out, either Joe Biden needs to insert himself into the public eye and prove all these reports to be wrong — or he and his senior staff need to make a choice they obviously do not want to make.
Hopefully, the final difference between the Codger-in-Chief and the Toddler-in-Chief is that, whatever his flaws, the codger still acts in the national interest of the United States.
Matthew Yglesias Honor demands Joe Biden step aside Democrats need an effective nominee, this isn't it
...Biden should say that with the future of the country on the line, he owes it to America to let the Democratic Party put forward a nominee who is full-time on the job of making the case against Trump, while he stays full-time on the job of dealing with the wars in Ukraine and Israel. He should pardon his son, who is being perversely treated much more harshly than a typical criminal defendant to make a point. And he should retire next year with a proud legacy and spend time with his family.
... frontline members — the members whose careers he saved by being the nominee in 2020 — are going to have to spend all summer and fall answering questions about his fitness. They will probably end up needing to throw him under the bus, and if they’re smart, they’ll probably do it sooner rather than later.
Biden has a lot to be proud of in his presidency. He also has a right to feel a personal sense of both pride and resentment about having been kind of cast aside in 2016 in favor of Hillary Clinton, and having been passed over by most of the top operatives and donors in 2020. He would have been a much better choice in 2016, and in retrospect, he was the right choice in 2020. If I were Joe Biden, I would not want to listen to pundits saying, “Okay, but this time we really should go in a different direction than Biden.” And I especially would not want to listen to it from people who are deeply ideologically hostile to my style of politics.
That’s why I’m saying it, because I am not hostile to Biden’s style of politics, and I spent a long time dreading the prospect that he would stand down and re-open a 2020-style policy bidding war. But the fact is, running for president is a very difficult job, especially when you also doing the job of being the president. Biden is, at this point, not a good choice for the job.

The Bulwark's Tim Miller Dear Dems: The Gaslighting Isn’t Helping Matters The debate spin isn’t working. And Joe Biden is losing.
...But we are where we are. Donald Trump is leading the polling averages in every swing state. He is leading the national polls. Seventy-two percent of registered voters think Joe Biden does not have the mental and cognitive health to be president.
If nothing changes, we are on a collision course for a second Trump term.
So for those of us who were Never Trump from the jump—who passionately, desperately want to see him denied a second chance at power—it is critical that the Biden campaign and Democratic elected officials hear this message.
Don’t tell us to shut up and get in line. Don’t tell us not to believe our lying eyes.
Something must change. And it must change fast.
Other comments: The media pile-on is happening now: Kamala Harris has her own baggage, of course, as far as MAGA is concerned -- at No More Mister Nice Blog, Steve M. summarizes what MAGA says about Harris:
...Biden's problem is that he appeared to be on his way to a loss before the debate. He needed a big win, and he got the opposite. So I understand the panic.
But I hope we're all prepared for the awfulness of the Republican campaign if Biden steps aside and is replaced by the most popular alternate pick among Democrats, Kamala Harris....
But we'd have an even uglier general election campaign than the one we're having now, because Donald Trump would immediately crawl into the gutter and go mainstream with the nastiest things rank-and-file Republicans and GOP influencers have been saying about Harris since 2020. ...
... Amazon stopped selling "Joe and the Hoe Gotta Go" shirts in the summer of 2020, but you can still buy merchandise with that slogan there.
The slogan refers to Harris's brief relationship with former San Francisco mayor and California Assembly speaker Willie Brown in the mid-1990s. As a 2020 Reuters story notes, Brown was legally married at the time, but he'd been separated from his wife for many years. The relationship was no secret: the two made public appearances together. Brown was 31 years older than Harris....
...Trump will go there. He'll probably make his attacks slightly deniable, the way he calls the Black attorney general of New York State "Peekaboo" and pretends he's not really calling her "Jigaboo," But he'll go there, and so will his many people in his circle. Even "high-minded" allies like Speaker Mike Johnson will find a polite-sounding way to slut-shame Harris....
Of course, newspapers should be demanding that convicted felon Trump withdraw too. They haven't been, more shame to them. 
But ultimately, Trump's felonies don't take Biden off the hook:

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