Biden’s Final Patriotic Act | Opinion

  • Don't Run for Re-election

President Joe Biden. Public domain.

There is no sugarcoating it. In last week’s debacle, er, debate, Joe looked like he was Biden’ time before the Grim Reaper arrived. His biggest weakness going into the showdown was his advanced age, yet he somehow managed to look older than 81. At times it appeared as if he were auditioning to play the late George Burns’ role in a sequel of Oh God! (And “Oh God!”, is what polite Democrats muttered after the first 30 seconds of the debate. Most used more colorful language.)

I rarely drink, but I turned off CNN and guzzled a bottle of wine after witnessing the catastrophic turn of events. I then woke up with a terrible hangover from reading the horrific headlines, not the booze. It will be nearly impossible for Biden to overcome this televised tragedy in merely 16 weeks, and it is now Trump’s race to lose.

Writing this column hurts. I deeply admire Joe Biden and believe history will view him as a top-tier president who somehow succeeded in uplifting the nation despite deeply partisan times. In 2020, Biden saved the country from Donald Trump’s incompetence and authoritarianism. It’s time he rescues America one final time by announcing he’s no longer running for re-election. The president can retire with dignity and a record of accomplishment — but move onto greener pastures he must do.

If reviewing tape of his performance won’t convince Biden to step down, an emergency intervention might be necessary. Perhaps, a joint White House visit by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Jeffrey Katzenberg could persuade Biden to take the honorable path for the good of the country.

If Biden continues to run, the Democrats will be playing five bullet Russian Roulette with democracy. It would be heartbreaking if a proud patriot like Biden went down in history as a modern-day Paul von Hindenburg, the 85-year-old German president whose advanced age helped pave the way for Adolph Hitler’s reign of terror.  

If Biden is too shortsighted or stubborn to step aside, I will still vote for him without reservation. Heck, I’d vote for Biden if he expired, and the Democrats stuffed him like a Marlin and hung him above a fireplace at the Democratic National Committee. Donald Trump scowled like a smug potentate throughout the debate and supported the Jan. 6 traitors who ransacked our capitol building to stop the legal transfer of power.

Biden has superior policies, sage wisdom, admirable empathy and a presidential temperament — all qualities which elude Trump, a mercurial ignoramus who saturated the debate stage with a firehose of falsehoods and dictator’s demeanor. Had Sleepy Joe shown up, instead of Coma Joe, it would have sufficed. Had State of the Union Joe appeared, he would have wiped the floor with Trump and his depressing “America Sucks Tour.”

There is no doubt that Biden has earned re-election based on the merits. He has put together a masterful coalition to push back against Russian aggression in Ukraine. Biden passed an infrastructure bill, lowered the costs of insulin, is working to decrease student debt, fight climate change and is bringing microchip processing back to the US. Our economy is the envy of the world and our military is the strongest it’s ever been.   

Re-election campaigns, however, are more about the future than the past — and Biden’s performance didn’t exactly scream “future.” Quite frankly, I was relieved Biden made it to the end of the debate, after he froze mid-sentence and looked as if he was enduring a micro stroke.

The most obvious path to victory is a ticket topped by popular governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and high-polling Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania as her running mate. This election will come down to a handful of swing states and if we secure Michigan and Pennsylvania, Trump’s path to victory becomes uncomfortably narrow.

Vice President Kamala Harris should also step aside to give the Democrats their best chance for success. There are those who say this would upset black voters who would feel that Harris was being disrespected. But African American voters are savvy, clear eyed and have the most to lose by handing America over to Trump and his merry band of white supremacists.

They understand that leading African Americans succeeded because of their skillset, not merely the color of their skin. Oprah was popular because she had ratings, Michael Jordan was worshipped for filling stadiums and Barack Obama was lionized for winning elections. Harris has poor ratings, doesn’t fill seats and is unlikely to win. What is the rationale for her to lead the party in an existential election?

African Americans also get that the Democratic Party was the vehicle for the first black president and the first black female vice president. However, this does not guarantee an African American must be featured on every ticket going forward. A Whitmer/Shapiro team would still break barriers by elevating the first woman as president and Jewish vice president — meaning further progress for our country.

Understandably, there is a fear that Biden stepping down would cause chaos at the Democratic convention in Chicago. This should not be minimized, but chaos is part of democracy. What is far worse than chaos is blind loyalty to an individual over America’s best interests. Such mindless, cultish behavior is what we correctly ascribe to slavish MAGA Republicans who kowtow to Trump.

Sadly, too many Democrats are playing the role of Baghdad Bob or one of those North Korean “news” anchors who tell us Kim Jong Un is a God who doesn’t defecate. These apparatchiks mean well, but they are like Vladimir Putin demanding that Russians refer to their war against Ukraine as a “special military operation.” They require us to unsee what we clearly saw at the debate — a noble warrior whose powers have waned, and faculties diminished. If we lie to ourselves, voters will deliver the harsh truth in November.

The loyalists derisively say that those who speak out are “bed wetting.” That’s an understatement. The truth is what we are experiencing is a bed saturating urine tsunami. Those of us who value democracy, honesty, decency, stability and human rights are beyond terrified. How do we sleep at night if an enfeebled Biden is all that stands in the way of America being disfigured and led by a deranged demagogue in a matter of months?

Biden can heroically go down in history as the man who saved America twice — or the man whose pride and hubris caused the collapse of civilization. We can only hope Biden’s wisdom prevails one final time.

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