Democrats should pick a new presidential candidate now

Democrats should pick a new presidential candidate now

Damon Linker writes:

The Democratic Party is heading into the 2024 election with a presumptive nominee who may well be incapable of defeating former President Donald Trump. The incumbent on whom the party is relying to run against Trump’s dangerous threat to the country and the world currently rates at an anemic and steady 39 percent approval. Worse, no less than three-quarters of Americans and half of Democrats worry that President Joe Biden lacks “the necessary mental and physical health to be president for a second term.” And those figures come from a survey released before Special Counsel Robert Hur’s damning comments last week about Biden being an “elderly man with a poor memory.”

Yet partisan Democrats, from the president on down, responded with anger and defensiveness to Hur’s report. This is so unfair! How dare he use his office for a partisan hit job! To which I’m inclined to respond: Stop whining! The reason Hur’s comments seemed damaging is that they confirmed what most of the country already believes: Biden is too old and frail for the job he holds right now. So the prospect of his serving another four years is a reasonable source of concern (especially because his vice president is as unpopular as he is).

How did we end up in this situation? The lion’s share of the blame belongs to Biden himself. His decision to run for reelection, after initially indicating in 2019 that he’d probably serve only one term, is understandable in human respects but indefensible in political ones. It’s very common for an aging person—especially a man—to deny the truth about his decline and the need to pull back from responsibilities. Such transitions typically involve a painful, arduous struggle for any family facing the situation.

A good part of it is stubborn pride. But decline itself can impair judgment. Close family members, equally disinclined to accept the reality of what’s happening, can also become complicit in the self-deception. (I’m looking at you, Jill Biden.)

Whatever the source of this problem, Biden is putting his self-regard ahead of the good of the country. [Continue reading…]

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