Missing the Point – Sorry, Joe, but it’s time to say “Good-Biden”

Hi, everybody.  Not a day goes by, not a decision is rendered by the Supreme Court when it doesn’t become increasingly important that we do everything possible to prevent the re-election of Donald Trump.  We’ve been playing it too close all along and now we’re fast running out of time to save the day.

Before last week’s Presidential debate, polls consistently indicated a virtual tie between Trump and Biden.  Unfortunately, given what’s at stake, being within the margin of error is too close for comfort.  Forever optimistic, voters opposing Trump’s re-election have been hopeful that the debates and Trump’s lunatic campaign rhetoric would eventually push our candidate, Joe Biden, over the top if only by a small margin in key states.

And then the first debate happened.  Like ice-cold water splashed on the tired face of our body politic, it’s become abundantly clear that President Biden is not the best Democratic candidate to ensure that Donald Trump is defeated.  Joe’s performance was so poor, it destroyed what was left of voter confidence in his qualification for a second term – even to the point of questioning who, precisely, has been running his administration in recent months.

We’ll see what post-debate polls and campaign contributions tell us later this week and next, but it doesn’t look good for President Biden and for many of the down-ballot races the Democrats need to keep the Senate and retake the House.

Single-handedly, President Biden has managed to refocus the entire election conversation from Donald Trump’s mind-numbing myriad of shortcomings to Joe’s physical ability to hold the office of President.

In 2016, before we fully understood who Donald Trump was or what he might do to our government and the Republican Party, the Democrats ran the wrong candidate against him.  Hillary Clinton.  We’ll chalk that mistake up to “forgivable ignorance.”  Eight years later, Democrats have no such excuse.  Joe Biden has become the Democrats’ worst problem to which there is only a single, obvious solution.  They need to run someone else.  The mantra of “anyone but Trump” has now become “any generic Democrat, as long as it isn’t Joe.”

On that point, I’d like to add one more, very important item to the short list of reasons why President Biden needs to step down and defer to the choice of an open convention next month.

The first reason is that Joe isn’t getting any younger.  Whether it is physically true or not, a significant majority of Democratic and independent voters have concluded that Joe Biden is no longer qualified to be President – and will be less and less so during a second term if he is re-elected.  His achievements to date are irrelevant.  America cannot afford to indulge Joe’s conceit that he is the only one who can save us out of courteous respect for his years of faithful service.

The second reason – to be confirmed in fresh polling – is that he can’t beat Donald Trump.  So, what’s the point of his running?  The Biden campaign argument to the effect that the debate was only a one-off mess isn’t making anyone feel better.  And if it happens again in his second debate against Trump, it’ll be after the Democratic convention and too late for a comeback.

Some people are saying, mostly for dramatic effect, that Joe lost the election to Trump in the first twenty minutes of the debate.  I don’t think that’s necessarily true, but I get the point they’re trying to make.  Over 51 million prospective voters saw and heard the President at his worst, feeble, forgetful, and confused.  It’s an impression that’s difficult, if not impossible to reverse.  No matter who the opposition is, it’s hard for even the most committed Democrats to get behind a candidate for President who has trouble finishing his sentences.

And now the third reason…  Joe’s continuing to run will trash the credibility of the Democratic Party.  In the era of Donald Trump, the principal difference between the parties has been the cult-like willingness of Republican officials and voters to explain, forgive or ignore everything wrong with Mr. Trump, no matter what his irrational, prejudicial, and otherwise crap-filled, non-sensical utterances.

Suddenly, the shoe is on the other foot.  For the Democrats to ignore the obvious problems with a continuing Biden candidacy is unforgivable hypocrisy the party and country cannot afford.  We may be able to survive the Republicans being delusionary for a few years.  But for the Democrats to choose to ignore the reality of their own situation, to fail to demonstrate bold leadership to keep The White House and Senate and take back the House is irresponsible and disrespectful to all they claim to stand for.

Mom and Dad can each, one at a time, go a little nuts every once in awhile, but it’s not good for the kids if both of their parents lose it at the same time.  For as long as the Republicans remain the party of Trump, it’s essential that the Democrats be the party of truth, reality, and integrity – the adult in the room that is our democracy.  Misleading the public is what Republicans do.  Democrats, and Joe Biden in particular, are better than that.

Is changing horses in mid-stream the reckless thing to do?  No, particularly when it’s obvious your ride can’t make it.  Having no choice in a crisis – and this is a political crisis if ever there was one – is the mother of taking bold actions you might never otherwise consider.  The reality is, there’s nothing reckless about doing the right thing when you’re all out of better options.

Staying in the race – should polls and other reliable information argue that you’re going to lose – isn’t a show of strength.  It’s a sign that you’re missing the point at your country’s expense.

Jill Biden keeps telling us that the Biden family isn’t going to let a 90-minute debate define her husband’s Presidency – and yet that’s exactly what Joe’s staying in the race is going to do in the increasingly likely and fretful event that Donald Trump is re-elected.

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