Now that The New York Times has signaled its approval for Democrats to say out loud that they don’t want President Biden to run for reelection in 2024, the floodgates are open. Everywhere you turn, there is suddenly a Dem willing to declare that Very Old Joe is in way over his head.
The only surprise is that it took the naysayers so long to admit the obvious. But even now, they are only wrestling with part of the problem.
It’s not a serious question whether Biden can’t serve six more years. He can’t, and voters will tell him so if he dares to try.
But even assuming he can be convinced to voluntarily step aside for ’24, there are two additional hurdles party leaders should consider before they stumble into a situation far more complex than just his age and disastrous presidency.
The first is, after Biden, who? Dems have the weakest possible bench and there’s no viable candidate waiting in the wings. There is certainly little longing for a President Kamala Harris, nor is there a detectable groundswell for President Pete Buttigieg.
Three prominent senators who ran the last time — Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren — didn’t look like presidential material and there’s no reason to believe four more years of listening to Chuck Schumer drone on will have helped them.
Is there anybody who pangs for another round of Bernie Sanders, or another dance with the Entitled One, Hillary Clinton?
Aging also-rans are not going to make young blue hearts jump for joy.
So the who is a big problem, but not the only one. It’s also the what.
What does the Democrat Party stand for? Merely to ask the question is to remember the troubles caused by the policy incoherence of Biden’s team.
He called himself a moderate, but his actions and proposals have been a mashup of far-left fantasies that make Barack Obama look like a middle-of-the-roader.
Student loan forgiveness, court packing, racial favoritism, reparations, defund the police, transgender advocacy in schools — these are some of the radical ideas the administration and its allies pushed into the political bloodstream.
Their legislative agenda carried exorbitant price tags that are far in excess of anything in American history. Trillions here, trillions there, pretty soon the bank is busted.
Even then, the White House kept pushing for more. Imagine the inflation families and businesses would be facing now had Biden’s Build Back Better monstrosity, pegged in excess of $5 trillion, actually become law.
The party, and maybe the country, was saved from hell by the no votes of just two senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
The other 48 Senate Dems and the entire party in Nancy Pelosi’s Crazy House raised their hands for any and all trash the White House dished out.
That includes the Green New Deal. Had it passed, gasoline prices would likely be surging even higher than they are. Maybe when the retail price hit $20 a gallon, the White House would force gas stations to hand out little windmills to put on the back of your car.
Just for virtue signaling, of course.
Meanwhile, Biden’s going to visit Saudi Arabia next month to push OPEC to increase oil production — all while keeping his foot on the brakes of American production.
In what world does that make sense?
Other policy misfires include the chaotic, deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan, which started Biden’s sharp decline in the polls, a decline that still hasn’t stopped.
The president was reportedly dumbfounded when he recently realized his approval rating, at about 38%, was lower than Trump’s.
Naturally, he started blaming his staff.
Harry Truman he’s not.
Still, the rest of us have reason to be thankful for Biden’s staff. The numerous instances in which they’ve tried to clean up his mistakes include his call for regime change in Russia and a promise to defend Taiwan militarily against a Chinese takeover.
Both comments are extremely provocative, but neither is official American policy. Yet even after being corrected by his staff, Biden said his comments represent how he feels.
But how does the rest of the party feel? Where does it stand on regime change in Russia and war with China over Taiwan? If America is lucky, these tangles won’t lead to World War III during Biden’s tenure.
Contrary to what you hear, not everything that goes wrong in the world is Donald Trump’s fault, but in the case of the Dems’ dilemma, it really is Trump’s fault. He’s the one who screwed up their succession plans.
Starting in 2016, the party envisioned eight years of Hillary in the White House, followed by a handover to a new generation of candidates.
But Trump’s victory in 2016 wrecked the scheme and sent Clinton raging into the woods. And despite the party’s hatred for Trump, it had no leading contender for 2020 until Biden came back from being the “big guy” in Hunter Biden’s schemes for his third try at the Oval Office.
Against all odds, he won the nomination and — with the help of the pandemic, the media and Mark Zuckerberg’s $419 million spending on activists — the general election, too.
So now, near the midpoint of what would have been Clinton’s second term, the bench is empty, the Dems are facing a red wave and the president is being shunned by candidates in his own party and shoved toward the exit.
“If something cannot go on forever, it will stop,” the late Herb Stein said. He was talking about economics, but the idea captures how most of America now feels about Joe Biden’s presidency.
Voice 1: Trump needed
Reader Ruth Ort disagrees that Trump should move on from 2020, and makes a startling comparison. She writes: “I am a Jew and we never forget. Should we forget the Holocaust? Should we forget the destruction of the Temple? Should we forget being slaves in Egypt?
“Then all of our Holy Days would disappear. Passover would be shut down. Why do we remember and observe this year after year? We never forget what happened so that it won’t happen again.”
Voice 2: Not Now
Reader Ruben Morales has a different take, writing: “Trump should get out of politics, retire, go play golf, and allow the other well-qualified candidates to win the White House.
“We don’t need him to lower fuel prices and create American energy independence, to secure our borders and make America respected with a strong military. The well-qualified candidates know these things need to be done.
“Besides, people are tired of Trump because he turned the White House into a reality show. Remember, he stated he likes chaos!”
Block that metaphor.
Headline: Amber Heard opens up, doubles down in new interview