Missing the Point – It’s not just Biden’s age we should be worried about

First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Here’s my problem.  Under no circumstances am I ever voting for Donald Trump who is clearly and clinically a disturbed individual incapable of the intellectual and emotional requirements for national and world leadership.  He has already destroyed the Republican Party of John McCain and so many other honorable and civilized post-World War II conservatives.  The Democrats need to have a significant, if not overwhelming majority in both the House and the Senate.  No Republican, for the foreseeable future, can be elected President.

I can’t vote for Nikki Haley.

I can’t even vote for Larry Hogan who is now running to replace retiring Senator Ben Cardin – even though I have nothing but the greatest respect for his politics and integrity.  Why not?  Because, under no circumstances, can I do anything that might help give Republicans a majority in the Senate.

Sorry about that Larry.  Please don’t take it personally.  If the Democratic nominee for Senate – Angela Alsobrooks or David Trone – makes the point about protecting the Democratic majority in the Senate a major campaign issue, you’re going to lose.  Not even your huge statewide popularity will save you from the dangerously hot mess your party has become.  You should run as an independent who will caucus with the Democrats.

I respect Joe Biden, but he’s too old and isn’t getting any younger.  His traditional, decades-old concept of bipartisan collaboration across the aisles of the House and Senate is ridiculously outdated.  At this stage in his political career, Joe needs to be advising our government, not running it.  When I voted for him in 2020, he gave me the impression that he would be an interim President, helping us transition between the negative legacy of President Trump and someone normal who would be elected four years later.  Clearly, I wrongly interpreted his campaign rhetoric as meaning that he would only run for a single term.

Okay.  I’m over it.  So, Joe’s too old.  As one pundit I was listening to the other day put it, “It’s not easy asking Grandpa to give up his keys to the car.”  Particularly when those keys are to the White House and Air Force One.  Fine.  He’s old and may or may not be physically or mentally able to serve another four years.  Personally, I wish him well.  In fact, I wish myself well when I get to be 81, but deterioration is an unfortunate aspect of aging.  We’re humans.  It’s the price most of us pay for staying on the upside of the grass.

The good news, in my studied opinion, is that his Vice President, Kamala Harris, is an exceptionally intelligent and capable potential replacement.  The Republicans don’t think so – nor do many Democrats – but their criticism of her is based on self-serving political interests, prejudice, and ignorance.  Here, on the other hand, is a bona fide scary thought…  Current Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is right behind Vice President Harris in the line of succession.  If ever there was a reason for the President and Vice President never to travel and do stuff together, this is it.

So, I’ve been driving along, singing a song, trying to think more about my writing and family and less about the daily news.  And then President Biden holds his press conference after the release of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on Joe’s unauthorized possession of classified documents.  That’s when I saw a side of Joe Biden I wish I hadn’t.

Here’s the link to the CNN video of President Biden’s press conference, the one he had after the Special Counsel’s report came out.  Play it when you have time.  Note, in particular, the segment that runs from approximately 5:50 (minutes: seconds) into the video through 6:05.  What you’ll hear is an exchange between CNN’s M.J. Lee and President Biden.  Here’s the text of what was said…

CNN’s M.J. Lee…  “Mr. President, you told me in December that you believe there are many other Democrats who could defeat Donald Trump.  So why does it have to be you now?  What is your answer…?”

President Biden, not giving M.J. Lee time to finish her last sentence…  “Because I’m the most qualified person in the country to be President of the United States and finish the job I started.”

I don’t know about you, but I have serious problems with the unforgivable arrogance of President Biden’s response.  For one thing, it’s ludicrous and egotistical to a fault to affirm that he’s the “most qualified person in the country” to do anything.  Come on, Joe.  Get over yourself.  It’s also painfully reminiscent of a similar statement made by Donald Trump during his 2016 speech accepting his party’s nomination.  This is when Donald asserted “Only I can fix it.”  The “it” he was talking about was America.

If only these words, from both Donald Trump and, similarly, Joe Biden, were nothing but casual campaign messaging.  Unfortunately, I’m afraid both candidates meant what they said.  The point I’m making isn’t trivial.  Far from it.  It’s the sign of intellectual vanity and unwarranted ego that are not what we need at the top of our government regardless of party affiliation.

By the way, if Joe really was the only one with the ability to save us, it would be self-evident.  But it’s not.  Who are you trying to convince, Joe?  The voters or yourself?

More to the point in Joe’s case, I don’t want him to “finish the job I started.”  He’s been a good President, but not a great one.  He doesn’t understand the economy and is by no means responsible for our persistent growth and prosperity.  And he’s a classically trained social programs Democrat, with outdated ideas and a reckless disregard for our national debt.  I’m not sure which is worse, his thinking that he’s the most qualified person to save the country or believing that his approach to governing is somehow perfect.

Mind, you.  I’m still going to vote for Joe unless practical politics and/or other circumstances offer us a viable non-Republican option.  How would that ever happen and who would that alternative be?  According to Gallup, President Biden’s approval rating in the polls is currently 41%.  If that rating were to drop into the low 30s in the next couple of months, for any number of reasons, it could be the end of his campaign for re-election whether he likes it or not.  An open convention is a real option if polls show him losing The White House by a significant margin.

Wishful thinking on my part has an open convention offering California Governor Gavin Newsom the nomination.  It’s technically possible, but not likely.

By the way, in my judgment, there are only two people on the planet who might be able to get Joe to step down voluntarily…  Barack Obama and Joe’s wife, Jill Biden, but only if the polls are writing on the wall that cannot be denied.