We’re Stuck With Biden

Democrats desperate for a different nominee are falling in line as the President refuses to go.

AP (“Chaos swirling since Biden’s debate flub is causing cracks in a White House known for discipline“):

Internal drama. Leaks. Second-guessing. The pressure and chaos swirling since Joe Biden’s disastrous debate performance is causing cracks in a White House that until now had been marked by discipline and loyalty.

For three-plus years, the Biden administration has been mostly a restrained and staid operation, defined more by an insistence on showcasing policy and an avoidance of palace intrigue. Aides generally kept any criticism of their boss or their jobs out of the public eye. Not lately, though.

[…]

Biden’s shaky June 27 debate performance has led to an unusually public blame game, leaks of private phone calls between the president and Democrats and questions about his son Hunter Biden’s presence at the White House. It has prompted current White House officials to anonymously vent their concerns about Biden’s ability to do the job and even led to the departure of a radio journalist after details emerged that the Biden campaign had fed her and another reporter interview questions.

Not to mention all the drama playing out on Capitol Hill, where a handful of House Democrats have publicly called for Biden to step aside and there is closed-door hand-wringing by others over whether to publicly come out against the president as party leaders try to bring members to heel.

SEMAFOR’s Benjy Starlin (“Biden’s last line of defense: Mutually assured destruction“):

President Biden hasn’t made much progress convincing Democrats he’s still equipped to take on Donald Trump since their debate. But he’s made headway on another front: Making clear he will take the entire party down with him if they don’t stop trying to replace him.

In a letter to Congress on Monday, just as members were arriving for the first time since the debate to potentially share their grievances, Biden warned: “The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end.”

In a phone interview on Morning Joe around the same time, he denounced the “elites” who he accused of trying to push him out — his most combative language yet.

“If any of these guys think I shouldn’t run, run against me — go ahead, announce for president,” he said. “Challenge me at the convention.”

The message coming from the White House is clear: Biden isn’t going anywhere, and if you come after him you’ll be the one who gets blamed for undermining the party’s general election chances.

[…]

So long as opponents of his nomination believe it’s impossible to force him to step aside, any escalation of their criticism risks damaging him even further in November. And the worse his standing gets, the more his party is likely to suffer up and down the ballot.

Democrats don’t sound entirely ready to believe him — for now. After all, the entire reason his critics think their more gentle appeals to him might work is that he’s the kind of politician who usually does care about the health of his party and his legacy within it. Many of the “elites” that he decried are the kinds of elected leaders, liberal commentators, and advocacy groups he’s cultivated relationships with across five decades. A number of Senate Democrats still sounded unwilling to concede that he’ll be the nominee as of Monday night.

But Biden’s big advantage here is that it really is almost impossible to force him to step aside; he already won the support of the overwhelming majority of convention delegates, who are required to support him. Some Democrats have politely alluded to Biden having a big decision to make, or suggested he talk with his family, in the hopes of giving him space to potentially leave on his own. But if that doesn’t work, the next move would be to organize members to demand he pass the torch — perhaps privately to start, but then loudly if he refuses.

NPR (“Democrats remain split over Biden’s future in the party“):

Despite mounting pressure over the weekend from Democrats calling on Biden to step aside from the campaign, the proverbial dam did not break when lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill.

Public calls for Biden to step aside slowed to a near standstill with just one member, Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-NJ, speaking out on Tuesday.

“I know that President Biden and his team have been true public servants and have put the country and the best interests of democracy first and foremost in their considerations,” Sherrill wrote in a statement. “And because I know President Biden cares deeply about the future of our country, I am asking that he declare that he won’t run for reelection and will help lead us through a process toward a new nominee.”

No other House or Senate Democrats joined the push for the president to withdraw as the 2024 presidential nominee, but lawmakers leaving a pair of closed door party meetings on both sides of the Capitol did not emerge on the same page. The private worries about what Biden remaining on the top of the ticket means for the prospects of Democrats to flip the House and keep control of the Senate persists.

[…]

House Democrats huddled in a private meeting Tuesday morning at the Democratic National Committee headquarters close to the Capitol for close to two hours. Lawmakers were not allowed to bring phones, and the recommendation to those leaving the session was not to discuss the conversation with the media, according to members leaving the meeting. Top leaders left through a back entrance, avoiding reporters.

Most members exiting the meeting barely spoke to the flood of reporters waiting outside, with some simply saying it’s good to have a “family conversation” and the discussion is “exactly what we should be doing as a party.”

Asked about any consensus in the room, Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver deadpanned: “the consensus was not to talk to you guys.”

California Rep. Lou Correa, who backs Biden, said the “vast, vast majority” of those who spoke up during the private session support Biden as the nominee.

“I was surprised how much support Biden had in that room, not that it matters, because the voters, they’ve already chosen their nominee,” he told reporters. He admitted there was “some concern, but I didn’t really see a lot of people saying he shouldn’t be the guy.”

WSJ (“Democrats’ Effort to Push Biden Off Ticket Hits Uncertainty“):

An effort by some Democrats to seek an alternative to President Biden as the party’s nominee faced new uncertainty Tuesday, with frustrated lawmakers struggling to find a path forward after the president said he was dead set against stepping aside.

The situation remained in flux, after House and Senate Democrats held conference meetings for the first time since Biden flopped at June’s presidential debate. His performance heightened concerns that the 81-year-old incumbent couldn’t beat former President Donald Trump and may not be fit enough for another four years even if he did win.

Lawmakers aired their frustrations with their predicament, but a concerted push to install a new nominee didn’t emerge, even as a seventh House Democrat publicly called for Biden to make way for a new candidate. Private meetings ended without consensus, leaving the stare-down without a clear resolution less than four months until Election Day.

[…]

Sen. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.) told colleagues he didn’t think Biden would prevail this fall. Later, speaking to CNN, he said he thinks Trump is on track to “maybe win it by a landslide, and take with him the Senate and the House.” He said the White House “has done nothing to really demonstrate that they have a plan to win.” But he declined to say Biden should step aside.

Inside House Democrats’ own closed-door meeting, the mood was somber, with some lawmakers shedding tears in an emotionally wrenching gathering. Phones and Apple Watches were confiscated to prevent instant leaks. Lawmakers who have called for Biden to step aside stood before the room and told colleagues that the party needs a different candidate. Most lawmakers stood by Biden, however, saying the debate was one bad night and pointing to his successes, according to two people familiar with the meeting. 

[…]

One person familiar with the meeting said the party seemed evenly split on Biden. “One-third of the caucus wants him gone, one-third want him to stay, and one-third are resigned he is the nominee but think he is going to lose.”

Axios (“Biden’s incredible shrinking path to victory“):

Two weeks into the post-debate meltdown, Democrats have found themselves in arguably the worst of all scenarios. Biden, with an approval rating hovering around 37%, is weaker and more politically vulnerable than ever. But he insists he’s not going anywhere.

The Democratic Party is fractured and demoralized. Its leaders have closed ranks around Biden, but the enthusiasm is gone. Many Democrats fear Biden could cost them enormously down-ballot.
Dissenters — even Democratic celebrities like the “Pod Save America” crew of former Obama aides — have been tarnished as “Trump enablers” for questioning whether Biden should continue.
From now until the election, Biden’s every fumble or stumble will risk reigniting a news cycle about his age. It’s a vulnerability that will never disappear — and can only get worse with time.

(I took the liberty of removing extraneous formatting.)

In “A Late Play by the Biden Campaign: Running Out the Clock,” NYT reporters Adam Nagourney and Jim Rutenberg state the obvious:

President Biden’s resistance to pressure to end his re-election bid appears to be a strategy aimed at running out the clock, a play to leave his party so little time to come up with another candidate that his opponents stand down.

Every day that Mr. Biden defies pressure to step aside, the prospects, and logistics, of replacing him become more untenable, and riskier. And the potential of weeks of Democratic infighting, as a united Republican Party nominates former President Donald J. Trump, may start to look worse than rallying behind Mr. Biden, no matter the concerns about the 81-year-old president’s health and ability to defeat Mr. Trump.

[…]

The calendar is on Mr. Biden’s side. In the coming days, attention will turn to Mr. Trump, who is expected to name a running mate before his party gathers next week in Milwaukee to nominate him for a second term. Mr. Biden will be somewhat out of the public spotlight, focusing on the behind-the-scenes campaign to keep nervous Democrats in line.

There are 35 days between July 18, when Mr. Trump is set to accept his party’s nomination in Milwaukee, and Aug. 22, when Mr. Biden is set to accept his party’s nomination in Chicago. But the Biden campaign, working with the Democratic National Committee, appears ready to compress the calendar even further.

The party is planning a virtual roll-call vote weeks before the convention is gaveled to order on Aug. 19, a move that appears meant to leave little to no doubt about who will be on top of the Democratic ticket this November.

None of this is binding; the party sets the rules, and the party can change the rules. And Mr. Biden, for all his talk this week of sticking in the race, could change his mind, particularly if another bout of discouraging polls, or another performance like the one he had in his debate with Mr. Trump, shakes the party’s confidence and encourages more Democratic defections.

Mr. Biden’s show of defiance — portraying himself as standing up against elites, even as polling suggests that most voters believe he is too old to run — may be an act of self-preservation or a sophisticated political maneuver on the part of the president and his political team. But in either event, it has limited the party’s options and flexibility should he step aside. (It is technically possible but politically unfeasible for the Democratic National Committee to vote to replace him if he does not voluntarily decide not to seek re-election.)

There is no handbook for what a party should do to replace a presumptive nominee after the primary season is finished: how to vet and test potential replacements without the benefit of candidates enduring the voter examination and candidate training that comes with a primary. The ideas being floated require the kind of consensus in the party that gets only more difficult with the attenuated calendar that is emerging.

Their colleague Annie Karnie (“On Capitol Hill, Democrats Panic About Biden but Do Nothing“):

Senator Christopher S. Murphy, an ambitious young Democrat from Connecticut, went on television on Sunday with a carefully worded warning to President Biden about the viability of his campaign.

“This week is going to be absolutely critical; I think the president needs to do more,” Mr. Murphy said, arguing that Mr. Biden needed to hold a town hall and participate in unscripted events because “the clock is ticking” for him to put to rest the doubts about his candidacy raised by a disastrous debate performance. Multiple times, Mr. Murphy emphasized his deadline, saying that he, as well as voters, must see more action “this week.”

Senator Michael Bennet, the Colorado Democrat who briefly ran for president himself, said Mr. Biden had to “reassure the American people that he can run a vigorous campaign to defeat Donald Trump.”

Senator Patty Murray of Washington, a senior member of the Democratic leadership team, put out a statement that passed for fighting words, saying that the president “must do more to demonstrate that he can campaign strong enough to beat Donald Trump.”

So far, Mr. Biden has done none of that.

And yet, Democrats on Capitol Hill are stifling their doubts and falling in line behind him anyway.

Having spent the last week and a half in various stages of private panic and public skepticism about Mr. Biden’s viability as a candidate and whispering among themselves about what the best way to push him aside might be — a strongly worded letter? a White House meeting? a high-level intervention? — top Democrats on Tuesday settled on a strategy many of them conceded could be disastrous: They would do nothing, at least for now.

“As I’ve said before, I’m with Joe,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, said multiple times at a news conference after a closed-door Senate lunch. The lunch gave Democrats their first opportunity after a weeklong recess to gather in person and discuss how aggressive or public they wanted to be in standing up to a defiant party leader who has unequivocally refused to step aside on his own.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, explicitly told colleagues on a private call on Sunday afternoon that Mr. Biden should withdraw from the race. But by Tuesday as he made his way into a House caucus meeting, he was backtracking, saying that any concerns he harbored were “beside the point” and that Mr. Biden was “going to be our nominee, and we all have to support him.”

Thirteen years ago, Matt Yglesias an observation that was simultaneously brilliant and obvious once stated: “The Most Important Rule Of Surviving A Political Sex Scandal Is: Don’t Resign!” While being a doddering old man is not a scandal, Biden is demonstrating the same principle. His party has no realistic way of forcing him out, at least not without incurring damage worse than keeping him on the ticket. So, if only the Lord Almighty can tell him to drop out, he’s going to be on the ticket come November absent divine intervention.

FILED UNDER: 2024 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Kathy says:

    Maybe Biden intends to use his constitutional immunity, and is planning a coup as a last line of defense.

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  2. Kylopod says:

    That old Matt Yglesias headline has long had broader application than mere sex scandals. I thought back to Ralph Northam’s blackface controversy, and how there were all these calls for him to step down and it seemed headed in that direction for several weeks, then he just weathered it and survived. (Of course, it helped that the lt. governor was facing rape accusations and the next in line if both resigned was a Republican. But I digress….)

    The principle doesn’t hold if the official faces impeachment and removal by his own legislature. That was a factor in the resignation of the two New York governors, Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo. But Virginia Dems weren’t going to impeach Northam for blackface, and today’s Congressional Dems aren’t going to impeach Biden for geriatricity.

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  3. Charley in Cleveland says:

    The honest assessment should have been made a year ago when it was obvious that Uncle Joe was not one of the rare breed that ages well and slowly. *Everyone* knows the job of POTUS is extremely high stress and ages the president (unless said president is an ignoramus who is focused on lining his own pockets and playing golf as much as possible), and *everyone* knew Biden was going to be 82 at the start of a second term. So Joe is too old and too stubborn, and Trump is an amoral grifter/criminal/sociopath/pathological liar. The DNC should have had a conversation with Biden in 2021 about who would replace him for 2024. Now the MSM is beside itself in joy over being able to run with DEMS IN DISARRAY, even though it’s akin to slamming the building inspector while ignoring the guy with the Molotov cocktail.

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  4. PT says:

    Seems to be the case. Biden’s got ninety nine problems but delegates ain’t one. I think that’s how the song goes.

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  5. DK says:

    @Charley in Cleveland:

    The DNC should have had a conversation with Biden in 2021 about who would replace him for 2024.

    Do people think the “the DNC” is a large disembodied head like The Wizard of Oz, before which mere mortals must bow and scrape? Since 2016, I have been amused at the notion that “the DNC” is allegedly some all-powerful institution imbued with magical powers. It’s literally just rank-and-file volunteers and staffers.

    “The DNC” has no power to force its will upon an incumbent Democratic president.

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  6. Hal_10000 says:

    Biden is going to end up like RBG: someone’s whose legacy is marred by a refusal to recognize that time comes for us all. He’s going to get Trump re-elected in a “yuge landslide” and the Republican will pay for — literally pay — for decades.

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  7. DK says:

    His party has no realistic way of forcing him out, at least not without incurring damage worse than keeping him on the ticket.

    Sweet, the fantasy football replacement theory magical thinking is dying down and reality is setting in.

    Democrats and anti-Trumpers should probably stop running against Joe Biden and focusing on inane horserace infotainment, and instead start running against gobbedlygook-spewing unfit felon Donald Trump — spreading the word about the planned authoritarian, extremist far right power grab that threans our freedoms and economic prosperity.

    Donald Trump’s name is all over the recently released Jeff Epstein case documents, but we haven’t heard a pepe from the Biden-hating media that has long ignored Trump’s sexual deviancy and pedophilia. Donald Trump should drop out of the race.

    @Hal_10000:

    He’s going to get Trump re-elected

    American voters are not potted plants, their votrs will determine who gets elected. As in 2016, there is a clear choice — one clearly better than the other. Demos that refuse to listen and choose an insane racist and rapist are not going to have the best legacy themselves.

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  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    @DK:
    You can’t win without an alternative. You can’t win on attack ads alone. And we are not MAGA, we are not a cult, we are not all going to fall in line and pretend everything is OK.

    Fuck Joe Biden. He ripped me off for $3,250. I’ll give like crazy to Democratic Senators, but as far as I’m concerned Joe Biden has set fire to his own legacy, the selfish, narcissistic, vain fool.

    The United States is dying not with a bang but with an old man’s raspy whisper.

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  9. Chip Daniels says:

    The only issue in this election is whether democracy and the rule of law survives or not. Even if drooling and incontinent, Biden would be a better choice for America than Trump.

    We as citizens need to hammer that message relentlessly to friends and family.

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  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    While Felon Trump may prevail if Biden were to step aside, the chance of stopping him is microscopic with Biden. The big plan to make the election about felon trump, is in the dumpster, the election is now about a stubborn, doddering old man.

    A republic, if you can keep it.

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  11. DK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Fuck Joe Biden.

    Most old white men love regurgitating rightwing propaganda. They were and are the problem.

    God bless Joe Biden for all he has done to protect blacks, gays, and other minorities from the inestimable stupidity of most (but thankfully not all) old white men.

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  12. Modulo Myself says:

    Sorry, it’s hard for this not to be funny. The Democrats did everything wrong, up to the point of not even having a real primary, which might have, you know, brought this issue up earlier. And by Democrats I’m including all of the big donors who worked so hard to donate money. Nice job there…And now, after Biden has just bottomed out due to one unfiltered tv performance, they’re going to sound like a person at a call center explaining that all of the prior fuck-ups are water under the bridge.

    Honestly, it’s just funny, and they should roll with it rather than having the same solicitous tone of someone who asks you to take a survey after the product you bought from their company blew up your house.

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  13. Chip Daniels says:

    From WaPo:
    Why are Democrats sticking with Biden? Ask the unions.

    “Put us in the group of doubling down unequivocally,” said Brent Booker, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, which represents some 400,000 U.S. workers in construction and other sectors. “He’s done more for our members than any president in my lifetime.”

    These are people whose lives are directly affected by who sits in the Oval Office and they seem to understand the stakes.

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  14. Jen says:

    The first best time for Democrats to realize that Biden’s age could be a factor in the 2024 election was BEFORE THE 2020 ELECTION.

    The second-best time would have been after the midterms, which would have given Kamala nearly two years to be in the role as President.

    There are no options right now that don’t carry enormous consequences. Anyone but Kamala starts over from scratch, which is a much bigger deal than people are realizing. Kamala is a risk too, because misogyny/racism are still things in America.

    We have one option right now: STFU and vote the ticket. That’s it.

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  15. JKB says:

    RtBD – Riding the Biden Decline

    The Bidens have to ride this out. There’s no Netflix deal for Joe like the Obama’s got. The Chinese and Ukrainian “deals” are also done once he’s out of office. The Biden family fortunes are looking dire as is often the case when the patriarch declines.

    As of a coup, already been one. It is obvious that Joe Biden isn’t making the decision being put out in his name. And we don’t elect an administration, we elect the person. And it is not Kamala who is the only person who constitutionally could be Acting President.

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  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    @DK:

    Most old white men love parroting MAGA propaganda. They were and are the problem.

    What bullshit. What tired blustering bullshit. The Grand Unifying Theory of Democrats: It’s all the fault of White Men. Christ. That’s our winning message, is it? That’s how Democracy is saved? It’s those darn White men, yet again.

    Women across all races are 51% of the electorate. They are not a minority, they are a majority. White men are, what, maybe 30% of the electorate? In 2020 we lost White women by seven points.

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  17. DK says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    These are people whose lives are directly affected by who sits in the Oval Office and they seem to understand the stakes.

    To wit:

    Black voters still back Biden after debate amid Trump’s “highly anti-Black” campaign (Salon):

    Black communities “understand the gravity of this election in different ways than the rest of America does”

    After Propelling Biden in 2020, Black Women Aren’t Eager to Abandon Him Now (NYT):

    Leaders of the Democratic Party’s most loyal voting bloc have expressed frustration with the calls for President Biden to step aside

    Why Black Americans see the debate about Biden’s age differently (thegrio):

    “This has to do with the future of our nation, the future of our people.”

    Some are politically smart and focused on what matters, and some are politically stupid and always distracted by foolishness (emails??? really?). Guaranteed The Stupids will keep being stupid and falling for the okey-doke while blaming everyone but each other for the inevitable outcomes of their stupidity.

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  18. DK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    It’s all the fault of White Men.

    I didn’t say “all.”

    That’s our winning message, is it?

    Hehe. You’re right. Instead, I should run around disseminating our winning message of “Fuck Joe Biden.”

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  19. Tony W says:

    @Michael Reynolds: The bottom line is which of the two viable candidates are you going to support (or passively allow to win)?

    That’s it. That’s the discussion.

    Feel free to vent about your dissatisfaction with the situation, but none of that fucking matters.

    Vote for Biden, understanding that you’re likely voting for VP Harris to step in at some point in the next four years, or vote for Trump knowing this will be your last vote for POTUS, and letting him off the hook for all of his criminal activities.

    Not a difficult choice for me.

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  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    @DK:
    You are aware, are you not, that Blacks are 13% of the population? Black women are half that? And they have less effect than that because they are not evenly spread throughout the country.

    Yep, 70% of the population is helpless in the face of the 30% that are White men. Good job, you’re making the case for White male superiority. Well done.

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  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Tony W:
    Of course I’ll vote for Biden. We’re deciding right now when to start going on TikTok and Twitter with videos appealing to our readers. And a big part of the calculation is how much we’re going to expose our kids to hate mail and death threats and doxxing.

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  22. Kathy says:

    There are really enough other things in the world to be depressed and anxious about, so I tend to skip over the current panic-fest. I’ll just say this:

    The big risk about Biden’s been known since he entered the race in 2019. Elderly people are likelier to decline than younger ones. there’s a great deal of uncertainty. Biden may stay as sharp if he lives to be 120, or he may be practically unable to function in weeks or months. It’s a big gamble.

    This was known, but people don’t like to think ahead. Biden’s been very effective as president, even after the House was lost to the Republiqans in 2022. It’s natural to just let him continue. However, the risk as noted above is too high. therefore, hindsight and all, Biden should have declined to run for reelection at some point in late 2022 or early 2023, and allowed the primary process to play out.

    He didn’t do this, and we can’t wind back the clock and change things. Also, offering criticism in hindsight is massively unfair. Hindsight is good only as foresight moving forward. I did voice these concerns earlier in his term, before the midterm elections.

    The thing is if I did see this, then surely the Democrats in the party establishment and in high offices should have been able to see it as well. Yet there was no push to get Biden not to run for a second term, nor any serious primary challengers, nor any airing of major misgivings, until they all panicked based on one bad showing, which we don’t even know if it’s the norm or not.

    Then there are all te issues Jen and Charontwo have raised, as to why you can’t just swap candidates now, with the possible exception of Harris. Therefore continuing to try to replace Biden this late in the game, is like begging for a COVID vaccine when you’re laid up in the ICU and dying from the trump disease. Worse, ti0s like begging for the vaccine while rejecting all other treatments. It’s going to get you killed.

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  23. DK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Good job, you’re making the case for White male superiority.

    Thankfully, there will always be guys like you and Trump around to render such a case totally implausible.

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  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    @DK:
    Great. Snark your way to victory. I’m having a hard time hearing you though, with your head buried in the sand.

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  25. DK says:

    @Kathy:

    Yet there was no push to get Biden not to run for a second term, nor any serious primary challengers

    Yes this. And also…

    Reality check: Biden would not have aceded to such a push. Biden would have won a hotly contested primary, damaging himself and the party in the process.

    And thanks to misogyny laced with racism, Kamala Harris would not be any stronger vs Trump were Biden to step down today.

    Fantasy football magical thinking is fun tho.

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  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    Oh, look, reality:

    Similarly, as Biden increased his level of support among White men in the 2020 election relative to Clinton’s in 2016, Trump gained among White women, which had the effect of further narrowing the gender gap among White voters. In 2016, Trump won White men by 30 points (62% to 32%). That gap narrowed to a 17-point margin for Trump in 2020 (57% to 40%). White women, a group sometimes categorized as swing voters and who broke nearly evenly in 2016 (47% for Trump to 45% for Clinton), favored him in 2020 (53% to 46%).

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  27. DK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Snark your way to victory.

    While you “Fuck Joe Biden” your way to victory?

    I’m having a hard time hearing you as well, your head being chopped off on the ground while you run around in circles like a panicked chicken in death throes.

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  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @DK:
    No, my path to victory is Biden steps aside and Kamala Harris steps in. Because, you know, being a White man I naturally prefer a Black woman to a White man.

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  29. SenyorDave says:

    There’s four months left until the election. What are the realistic changes that Biden’s age won’t be the major issue for the Democrats? I’d say zero, unless something worse comes up.
    What the age issue has done is amazing. It has actually overshadowed Trump’s awfulness. I didn’t think that was possible. And the issue is here to stay. It gives cover to some of the persuadables to Go ahead and vote for Trump because they can tell themselves that Biden is clearly unfit.
    The cherry on top is if he drags down the rest of the ticket. Imagine this country if the Republicans control all three branches. Be sure of one thing: as bad as Project 2025, whatever the actually try to implement will be much worse. The head of the Heritage Foundation said the quiet part out loud recently:
    Heritage Foundation Head Refers to ‘Second American Revolution
    Kevin Roberts, president of the group that has coordinated the Project 2025 policy plan, said it could be “bloodless if the left allows it to be.”
    Somebody mentioned Northram’s blackface. That was a terrible error in judgment, IN THE PAST. To use an analogy that probably never happened:
    “It was Churchill, after all, at a late-night party long past its rightful expiration date, who encountered a scold from his own party, who exclaimed in horror, ‘Winston, you are drunk. You are very drunk. You are very, very drunk.’ And Winston, without missing a beat, went back and said, ‘You. You are ugly. You are very ugly. You are very, very ugly. And what’s more — tomorrow, I shall be sober.’” Tomorrow Joe Biden will be old.
    Fuck Joe Biden, and fuck his closest advisors.

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  30. DK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    No, my path to victory is Biden steps aside and Kamala Harris steps in.

    And my path to victory is Trump announces he’s just kidding, is retiring to Moscow, and will be using his campaign donations to buy everyone a puppy and a unicorn.

    Okay, now back to the real world…

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  31. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Maybe if one of these ‘Johnny Unbeatable’ candidates had done–you know–THE WORK of building rapport and credibility with black and brown communities during the Trump years, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. A youthful/charismatic Johnny/Jane Unbeatable would be running for their 2nd term.

    But they didn’t–Biden did. And now, they expect the people they ignored to be moved by their irrational fears that he’s not up to the job. He’s not up to Job 4, Head of the Dem Party–clearly. He’s done the other 3 Jobs–the Jobs most impactful to the Country–quite well.

    Country over Party–my left shoe. These people are most concerned about Job 4.

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  32. Jen says:

    Fuck Joe Biden, and fuck his closest advisors.

    And all of the Democrats who couldn’t do basic math more than four years ago, when we were told unequivocally that Biden was the only uniting candidate who could possibly win against Trump.

    I think there’s a lot of blame to go around here, and some of it rests at the feet of the voters. They “didn’t like” Kamala as the top candidate. Pete was too new, too young, too gay, and too white male. Etc.

    Again, there are no other options, and getting mad and yelling at each other–as is happening upthread–might be cathartic, but it is ineffective. We work with what we’ve got, and we do it NOW.

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  33. Chip Daniels says:

    @Jen:
    Pretty much.
    We need to move on from his age and the debate and talk to all our friends and family about the stakes and why the Republicans cannot be allowed to take control of America.

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  34. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Hal_10000:It’s not Biden’s fault that other Dem candidates, like most other Dems not named Bill Clinton and Obama, think they don’t have to talk to People of Color in their spaces. When is the last time you saw a potential Dem candidate in a Southern black church, where the most loyal and reliable national Dem constituency exists?

    All of this amounts to people complaining that the Biden team is eating garden salad–when they themselves only bothered to plant lettuce. The reliable core Dem constituency EXPECTS to be courted and woo’d. Im not sympathetic to candidates that expect them to hand over the room keys without dinner first. It’s poor form.

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  35. Jen says:

    Republicans are coming apart at the seams over the issue of abortion.

    There is a path forward here, but it calls for a combo that Democrats are not exactly known for: discipline, unity, and focus.

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  36. Jen says:
  37. Bill Jempty says:

    @Jen:

    We work with what we’ve got, and we do it NOW.

    A sure fire losing candidate in November. That sounds like a great strategy. NOT!

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  38. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    I’m more worried about this part of the 2024 platform:

    4. Republicans Will Protect and Defend a Vote of the People, from within the States, on the Issue of Life We proudly stand for families and Life. We believe that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person can be denied Life or Liberty without Due Process, and that the States are, therefore, free to pass Laws protecting those Rights. After 51 years, because of us, that power has been given to the States and to a vote of the People. We will oppose Late Term Abortion, while supporting mothers and policies that advance Prenatal Care, access to Birth Control, and IVF (fertility treatments).

    They don’t say it outright, but what they mean is recognizing fetuses as persons, per the 14th amendment, and thus making abortion, as well as IVF and several means fo birth control, not only illegal, but also criminal, even when done to save the life of the mother, never mind her health.

    One can hope the text of the amendment is clear and unambiguous. It begins with “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

    This should mean a fetus cannot possibly qualify, as it’s neither born nor naturalized. But given the current court, they will find a blatant way to do so.

    So, sure, let’s talk some more about Biden’s age. That’s what’s really important.

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  39. Michael Reynolds says:

    The next shoe to drop will be the report on campaign contributions. Biden’s post-debate cash flow will drop, Trump’s will rise. Clooney just called for Biden to go. Hollywood money is over. So is tech money. Unions aren’t rich enough to compensate. Small donors will send their money to Senate candidates.

    We are not stuck with Biden, not yet. Schumer, Pelosi and Jeffries need to stop hinting and whispering and tell Joe directly it’s time to go. His cabinet needs to tell him to go. We still have a convention coming.

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  40. Michael Reynolds says:

    This, from late June, 2024:

    Almost every path to victory for President Biden relies on strong support from women. But his current standing among women is the weakest lead a Democrat has had since 2004, a key factor in how tight the race is.

    Mr. Biden’s lead among women has slid to about eight percentage points since the 2020 election, according to an average of more than 30 polls conducted over the last six months and compiled by The New York Times. That’s down from a lead among women of about 13 percentage points four years ago.

    But la di da, wimmins are gonna save us all and rally behind a candidate who couldn’t hit a softball the size of a blimp.

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  41. charontwo says:

    One factor that is not being mentioned (from what I have read) is the RNC presidential campaign is poorly staffed and disorganizod and with a lot of the kind of people (i.e., incompetents) that Trump prefers around him in high level positions.

    Biden, by contrast, has a large and wrll organized campaign, lots of ground game and GOTV etc.

    Maybe the polls not reflecting whatever effect that could have, if it is so.

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  42. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Jen: Initially yes–but if I were his advisor, I would have argued that he could have overcome this over the course of time with multiple visits–

    The black church is full of gay people and everyone knows who they are–it’s just that you can’t get the room key after only one drink.

    The problem is–these candidates only try to build a constituency during campaign year primary season. They should be giving several key speech’s a year in selected churches or conferences.

    Showing up reliably is 80% of the challenge. I don’t understand how candidates don’t see this.

    DJT taking his traveling circus though flyover country–IS SHOWING UP–and a significant portion of the reason why his rural support is so strong. He’s the only candidate willing to show up within 100 miles of these places.

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  43. Gustopher says:

    @SenyorDave:

    What the age issue has done is amazing. It has actually overshadowed Trump’s awfulness. I didn’t think that was possible. And the issue is here to stay. It gives cover to some of the persuadables to Go ahead and vote for Trump because they can tell themselves that Biden is clearly unfit.

    Maybe if Democrats stop screaming about it at every opportunity, it will stop overshadowing Trump’s awfulness.

    I don’t think the Biden campaign has handled it well, but the rest of the Democrats have handled it so much worse. They’ve basically done all the damage of a messy primary fight, without any mechanism that could conceivably lead to an alternative winning. Bravo.

    They’ve been led down this path by a media that decided it would be a fun summertime story, amplifying a bad night into all of this.

    The good news is that there are another 4 months to try to turn this around.

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  44. Kathy says:

    @DK:

    Counterfactuals can’t be falsified, there being no evidence.

    Who knows what weeks of privately and publicly pushing on Biden after the 2022 midterms might have accomplished? Or a determined and strong challenger, who’d not oppose Biden’s policies but only be concerned over his continued fitness for the job?

    No evidence either way. But if this had been done in time, then at least everyone now in a panic would have done all they could do. You may fail if you try, but you’ll certainly fail if you don’t try.

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  45. Gustopher says:

    @JKB:

    As of a coup, already been one. It is obvious that Joe Biden isn’t making the decision being put out in his name. And we don’t elect an administration, we elect the person. And it is not Kamala who is the only person who constitutionally could be Acting President.

    Who is it then? Is it “globalists”? The lizard people? Major? Or maybe even Willow?

    Harris is a smart, ambitious woman. She’s a little vicious. She has teeth and claws. Do you really think that she wouldn’t go after anyone else reaching for Biden’s puppet strings? Show the Black woman some respect in your deranged fantasies.

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  46. Andy says:

    Well, it looks like the famous Democratic circular firing squad is back, at least here in the comments.

    I’m not at the “fuck Joe Biden” stage (because I think he’s not lying and really believes he doesn’t have reduced abilities), but am otherwise with MR in the assessment that Biden will lose, so that’s the side I’m picking.

    I think there is still time and opportunity to convince Biden (and his family) to step aside, but it will take courage, which is always in short supply among politicians – yes, even ones with D next to their name.

    No one has a path or theory of victory for Biden beyond hopium and copium IMO.

    As for this:

    Thirteen years ago, Matt Yglesias an observation that was simultaneously brilliant and obvious once stated: “The Most Important Rule Of Surviving A Political Sex Scandal Is: Don’t Resign!”

    Yglesias is on the side that Biden must go, and he recently wrote an apologia for giving the administration the benefit of the doubt these last several months about his condition.

    But more importantly, what’s going on with Biden is nothing like a sex scandal, and the comparison is a bad one. With a sex scandal, you can apologize, promise not to do that again, claim it’s all in the past, and move on. You can’t do that with age-related cognitive decline, which, definitionally, will only get worse over time. It’s not a one-off mistake. The only way Biden can address that is by demonstrating that which he can’t demonstrate, which is why his campaign continues to limit unscripted appearances.

    I realize that most of the commentariat here will vote for Biden regardless of his condition or abilities or any Democrat, but it’s clear that this does not apply to millions of voters who aren’t hard-core partisans or hard-core #nevertrumpers – a decisive number of people in this election. How does one expect to convince those voters to vote for Biden? The same “Trump is bad” arguments that have been told and retold since 2016 aren’t going to cut it.

    Finally, as is often the case, Jon Stewart makes a funny and convincing series of arguments.

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  47. DK says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    That sounds like a great strategy. NOT!

    Impotent whining, tantruming, negativity, complaining, and “Fuck Joe Biden” is a much better strategy than attacking Trump and his party’s awful authoritarian plan for America, allegedly.

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  48. mcnp says:

    To have any chance of winning (almost negligible) Biden is going to have to prosecute a vigorous campaign day after day for 3 months. Take a minute and seriously think about how that will go. I will vote for him, and try to persuade others to do the same, and no I don’t know what the answer to the Democrats dilemma is, but I do know we are headed towards disaster. And, all the head burying on this site is not going to help.

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  49. Mikey says:

    @Gustopher:

    I don’t think the Biden campaign has handled it well, but the rest of the Democrats have handled it so much worse.

    No kidding. They have to be popping champagne corks every day at the RNC as they watch the Democrats do more damage to Biden’s candidacy in a week than Trump could ever have done.

    If Biden isn’t going to resign the Presidency so Harris can go into the election as the incumbent–which is the only actually viable option for all the reasons commenter Jen has detailed–then the thing to do now isn’t to keep panicking and trying to push him out. It’s to get behind him 1000% and do everything possible to get him over the line in November.

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  50. DK says:

    @Kathy:

    No evidence either way. But if this had been done in time, then at least everyone now in a panic would have done all they could do.

    Yeah sure. What if. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

    Barring death, Biden was always going to be the 2024 Democratic nominee, but even for magical thinkers who refuse who accept that, Biden is the Democratic nominee — and he’s not going anywhere. Thus, the sensible and mature thing for anti-Trumpers to do would be to focus on attacking Trump instead of Joe Biden. But magical thinking and immature tantruming while raving and screaming negativistically seems to be the preference of many here and elsewhere. They look unhinged.

    On the other hand…

    “I spoke with the president extensively this weekend. He has made abundantly clear that he is in this race. He has made abundantly clear that he is not leaving the race. He is the nominee. I am making sure that I support him and making sure that we win in November,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told reporters…

    A source familiar with Ocasio-Cortez’s thinking said she’s uninterested in intraparty fighting and is trying to optimize the odds of success. The source said she’s “looking at the Dems panicking and telling them privately: Tell me who the alternative is who can beat Donald Trump.”

    “She just doesn’t see that person,” the source added…

    Two other “squad” members said they’re sticking with Biden.

    Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., said her focus is on helping re-elect Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to stop Trump from winning and implementing the right-wing Project 2025 agenda.

    “President Biden is the nominee,” Pressley said.

    “…I just celebrated my daughter’s 16th birthday, and I’m terrified about the world that she stands to inherit, a world where 10-year-olds are raped and impregnated and forced to have a child — a nation of forced birth. Project 2025, that is not a wish list. That is a policy plan,” Pressley said. “I’m not focused on a 90-minute debate. I’m focused on the potential of 90 years of harm for everyone who calls this country home.”

    Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said in a statement that she, too, is “standing with President Biden and Vice President Harris.”

    “I remain committed to helping the president be successful in November and defeat Donald Trump to ensure this criminal will never hold office again,” Omar said.

    Quelle surprise. Our young progressives (finally!) joining with black voters in being the adults in the Democratic room while so many so-called moderates/centrists throw childish, psychotic fits. Curioser and curiouser it gets.

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  51. James Joyner says:

    @Andy:

    With a sex scandal, you can apologize, promise not to do that again, claim it’s all in the past, and move on. You can’t do that with age-related cognitive decline, which, definitionally, will only get worse over time.

    Oh, for sure. The analogy holds if we define “survive” as remaining the 2024 Democratic nominee for President. My fear is that he’ll do that and then lose badly in November, meaning he won’t “service” in the sense of getting re-elected President.

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  52. DK says:

    @mcnp:

    And, all the head burying on this site is not going to help.

    Ha. Raging, negativity, and “Fuck Joe Biden” tantrums will surely be much more helpful.

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  53. Slugger says:

    I was listening to the radio just now and heard Trump challenge Biden to a golf match. That’s how deep and thoughtful Trump is. Trump was Potus for four years. He is not an unknown quantity. We will get more of the same in spades if we reelect him. In some alternative world the candidates are intelligent, calm, thoughtful, and temperate. In this reality, it’s Biden vs Trump.
    Some years ago I propounded on this site that Superman comics are the key to understanding the world if you accept that we are the Bizarro world. More evidence that I was right.

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  54. charontwo says:

    @James Joyner:

    I can recall when the polls were showing Michael Dukakis with a 17 point lead.

    Funny, but I somehow do not recall much about the Dukakis administration.

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  55. Kylopod says:

    @charontwo: I’ve brought this up before, but I think the perception that election polling has gotten worse in recent years is based on some level of forgetting how well or poorly it did in the past. There’s also the fact that we didn’t have polling averages back in the ’80s. That 17-point lead for Dukakis came from Gallup, which for a long time was practically the only pollster anyone paid attention to.

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  56. Franklin says:

    @JKB:

    As of a coup, already been one.

    You meant attempted coup, but true. Thankfully it was fended off.

    It is obvious that Joe Biden isn’t making the decision being put out in his name.

    I didn’t realize your senses are somehow impaired, but I’m pretty sure that was Biden explaining and defending his decision.

    And we don’t elect an administration, we elect the person.

    If by “we” you mean Republicans, definitely true. But Democratic administrations are thankfully competent and empowered.

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  57. James Joyner says:

    @charontwo: I don’t think 1988 is very instructive. As Adam Nagourney wrote about that race four years ago:

    George H.W. Bush was in trouble. It was July 1988 and Michael Dukakis, the Democratic candidate for president, was on a roll after his party’s convention in Atlanta. A Gallup poll showed Mr. Bush trailing by 17 points.

    But he had a road map to victory.

    One month earlier, Mr. Bush’s top aides had gathered at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, deliberately out of sight and away from campaign headquarters, to review a thick binder of polling and focus group data. The campaign’s research showed that Mr. Dukakis’s record was not well known and that some of his liberal positions, in particular supporting prison furloughs and opposing the death penalty, could swamp him in a general election.

    Using the plan laid out in that room, the Bush campaign proceeded, as Lee Atwater, the campaign manager, put it, “to strip the bark off the little bastard,” beginning in force with Mr. Bush’s hammer of a speech at the Republican National Convention in August through Election Day.

    That strategy couldn’t work in 2020 and it damn sure can’t be used now: both candidates are just too well known. Additionally, Bush was running on the back of a Reagan economy that enjoyed 59% voter approval; Biden is running as the incumbent with an economy that faces strong disapproval.

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  58. Jen says:

    @Bill Jempty: You don’t get it.

    I’ve worked on campaigns. Replacing the candidate at this point means: no money, no infrastructure, and a sh!tload of legal problems. You think four months is enough time? I ran my @ss off doing 14-18 hour days for a 10 week state rep race. It’s NOT POSSIBLE TO RUN A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN (FROM SCRATCH) IN THIS AMOUNT OF TIME.

    The ONLY potentially available avenue is Kamala Harris. That too, carries risk, and not just voter risk. There’s also the risk that in the states where the deadline has passed to replace a name on the ballot–and there are a few–that there might be a legal case to be made that Biden cannot step aside in favor of his VP.

    I’m astonished at the amount of magical thinking going on.

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  59. mcnp says:

    @DK: Raging negativity or not, am I suppose to just get in line and ignore what I believe to be the truth. Should I just think to myself that if we all hope strong enough good old Joe will come through. I’ve closely and ardently followed politics for 45 years and was distressed when it became apparent Biden was going to run again, and that if you questioned that you were going to be dismissively battered. I’ve always liked Biden, but I’m not going to apologize for feeling that a stubborn old man is putting the one chance of perhaps saving this country into great and almost certain peril.

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  60. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Andy:
    Just to be clear, “Fuck Joe Biden,” is anger. I’ll still vote for him. I’ll vote for a deflated football over Trump. But Joe Biden made a stupid, selfish decision that sets a match to his legacy and may doom American democracy.

    I’m turning 70. I avoid driving at night now because I know my reaction time is slower and darkness exacerbates it. I had a very minor fender bender (in daylight) a couple weeks ago. His fault legally, my fault morally. I knew Vegas drivers always, always run red lights. Late in the yellow I hit my brakes. Mercedes brakes with about a two car length edge over the guy behind me who was, unsurprisingly, accelerating to make it thru the light. I knew all this, and I made a decision one second too late, with a car that’s two seconds too good.

    I’ve argued right here on more than one occasion that age qua age is not the right metric, that performance is. So, to me this is not about being 81 per se – Jagger is 80, FFS, and still prancing around the stage. But age is real, it’s a risk factor. Someone has to be mature enough, and brave enough, to take Grandpa’s keys away.

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  61. Andy says:

    @Jen:

    I’m astonished at the amount of magical thinking going on.

    Have ballot names been irrevocably set in any states yet? It seems to me, that is the hardest deadline for reasons you cite, and I don’t know the answer – I’ve been too busy to do the research myself and this is infrequently mentioned in reporting.

    Regardless, it’s all magical thinking at this point, including the belief that Biden can win absent some black swan event or a belief in his ability to do what he’s demonstrated he can’t do.

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  62. dazedandconfused says:

    @Jen:

    It was not always so. Ike decide to run in June and was nominated in July of 52. The modern model of how these things must go should not be considered as an impossible barrier, perhaps.

    To the “screw Joe Biden” stuff, I’m not going to blame Joe if the American public elects an obvious con man and coup attempter to a second turn in office. We must accept the uncomfortable truths about ourselves. The necessary first step.

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  63. DK says:

    @mcnp:

    am I suppose to just get in line and ignore what I believe to be the truth.

    You’re supposed to do whatever you want. If you think trashing and attacking Joe Biden furthers your cause and gets you closer to the world you want, do that. No one can stop you (just like no one can force Joe Biden out of the race).

    While y’all are attacking the Democratic nominee, I will continue to do what 90%+ of black voters always do: focus on opposing and attacking the real threat to America, which is Republican extremism and senile nutjob Donald Trump — while being careful not to damage the persons standing between me and that authoritarian disaster.

    Just like in 2016 when black voters’ pleas for our allies to stop bashing and bemoaning Hillary Clinton fell on deaf ears, we don’t expect y’all to listen in 2024. Y’all are always going to do what y’all want to do. I don’t expect anything else.

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  64. Jen says:

    Everyone who thinks turning a new campaign on a dime is feasible needs to take a beat and think about why we’re even here, in this position.

    The power of incumbency is such that if Biden had decided *not* to run, and announced it back in, say, October 2023, Democrats would have been screaming about not having enough time to develop a real primary campaign. If Biden wasn’t planning on running, he would have had to announce somewhere around March/April 2023. Does anyone here think he could have accomplished anything legislatively?

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  65. just nutha says:

    @Mikey: Somehow, I’m not sure your scenario won’t translate out to “retiring to force that nKKKLAAANNGGG on my country.” In fact, I’m fairly confident it does translate out that way. I’d go ahead and say that Biden stepping down as early as January 2023 was argued against for that very reason (and in these very pages), but my memory isn’t as good as it’s been in the past.

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  66. Beth says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    The only issue in this election is whether democracy and the rule of law survives or not. Even if drooling and incontinent, Biden would be a better choice for America than Trump.

    I’ve changed tactics. I lead with “just vote for the corpse” and then work on explaining a couple of the relevant horrors that will occurs if Trump wins. There’s not really another way.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    What bullshit. What tired blustering bullshit. The Grand Unifying Theory of Democrats: It’s all the fault of White Men.

    I really wish you could experience what it is like to have the power and privilege of being a white man and then giving that up. It is profound and it is radicalizing. I know you think you get it, but you don’t. I say this a white woman who still has a lot of privilege. You have infinitely more and it’s not because of your money.

    @Jim Brown 32:
    @Jen:

    Buttigieg would never be able to pull that off. He’s too fake in a way that other people who aren’t white men get instinctively. Buttigieg is a faggot who thinks he’s not a faggot and he wears it like a billboard. He doesn’t know who he is, his history, his culture. He’s a white washed gay for gay men who think that they are better than us.

    My experience of transition has been one of almost universal support and encouragement from black women. I think there is a way for a white queer to build support, real durable support, from the black community, but it starts with black women and it means an exceptional amount of work.

    Also, in response to no one in particular, as far as I’m concerned the “DNC” as amorphous as that is, is actually a large collection of black women centered in Georgia and South Carolina. I’d like polling and information on what they are saying. That’s who i’d be listening to.

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  67. Andy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I can understand your anger.

    My perspective, having dealt with both age and dementia-related cognitive decline, is that the people who have it typically cannot perceive their deficits. In their own minds, they perceive themselves as perhaps a bit slower, but otherwise fine. It’s for that reason I think Biden is probably sincere when he says he can still campaign and beat Trump. But yes, arrogance and hubris are also factors and Biden has a big chip on his shoulder.

    Again, based on my experience, I think the key to getting him to reconsider runs through Jill and Hunter, and it seems that both of them are among the strongest supporters of his staying in the race. Other than that, it would require a majority of power players in the Democratic party to force the issue, which is extremely difficult thanks to our weak parties and the incentives of many of them don’t align with that goal.

    The frustrating part for me is that this situation was predictable and a known and not unlikely risk, one that was suppressed instead of planned for – a consequence, again, of a weak party and partisan/tribal incentives.

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  68. Andy says:

    @Jen:

    I don’t find the argument that there isn’t enough time very convincing until the point ballots can’t be changed.

    So what if Biden dies tomorrow, or goes into a coma? I feel pretty confident a new candidate would be found one way or another in that situation. The main problem isn’t time, it’s political will.

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  69. Jen says:

    @Andy: I had it in my mind that I saw references to two states that had passed a June 30 deadline, but I’m reviewing the ballot access laws by state and a quick search for June 30 doesn’t turn up anything for political parties, just independent candidates, so…maybe not.

    ETA: The two exceptions are death or incapacitation of the candidate. Under those circumstances, the name CAN change. But the question is, if Biden simply steps aside, is it acceptable for his name to be replaced.

    ETA#2: There are apparently some submission deadlines that are close to passing/have passed, such as Georgia, July 9 deadline to file the nomination petition to have names placed on the General Election Ballot: https://ballotpedia.org/State_laws_and_party_rules_on_replacing_a_presidential_nominee,_2024

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  70. Beth says:

    @Jen:

    I’m in full agreement with you and thankful for your insights into all of this, it’s been helpful for me. I wanna riff on one piece though:

    The power of incumbency is such that if Biden had decided *not* to run, and announced it back in, say, October 2023, Democrats would have been screaming about not having enough time to develop a real primary campaign.

    To me, the two biggest crimes of Democratic gerontocracy has been, 1. their absolute failure to fuckoff into the sunset, and 2. a full on total and absolute failure to bring up a next generation of leaders. I suspect Pelosi realized this, a little late, but better late than never. The rest of them seem to have simply said, “I’m the best fuck you” and continued trucking. We should have a deep bench of people ready to go. Instead we have a bunch of old people afraid of the shadow of Regan who are scared to exercise power and just as scared to not have any.

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  71. just nutha says:

    @mcnp: It depends on your goal. If you strive to stay true to yourself and your beliefs no matter what, then hold to what you believe is true. If your goal is to have Trump not win in November, STFU and get in line is your only move.

    As always, past performance of Jimmy Stewart movies is no guarantee of future results. Trump may win anyway. Splitting the party pretty much guarantees that result though. Democrats are not the majority they were 90 years ago.

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  72. Jen says:

    @Beth:

    To me, the two biggest crimes of Democratic gerontocracy has been, 1. their absolute failure to fuckoff into the sunset, and 2. a full on total and absolute failure to bring up a next generation of leaders.

    I absolutely agree. And I blame, in large part, our campaign finance system, which heavily incentivizes incumbency. Take for example a seat with a doddering old Senator who has been there for years, and everyone pushes said Senator to remain in place so that the funds can be funneled to the competitive seat that is open in XYZ state. Chasing dollars to build war chests is behind an awful lot of this nonsense.

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  73. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Beth:

    I really wish you could experience what it is like to have the power and privilege of being a white man and then giving that up. It is profound and it is radicalizing. I know you think you get it, but you don’t. I say this a white woman who still has a lot of privilege. You have infinitely more and it’s not because of your money.

    This has nothing to do with whether or not we have a democracy six months from now. Nothing matters but saving the country. It’s not about me, it’s not about you, it’s not about White, Black, Brown or Asian. It’s not about rich and poor, educated and uneducated, gay, straight or trans. Nothing matters but winning.

    With Biden we are going to lose. We’re going to put a vengeful, SCOTUS-empowered psychopath in the White House.

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  74. Michael Reynolds says:

    @just nutha:
    The party will not be split if Joe hands the torch to Harris. Instantly the party will rally and be energized and start throwing money at her. The party is split because half the party thinks we can hand-wave away what the whole fucking country can see for themselves. We’re pretending not to notice that the emperor has no clothes.

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  75. just nutha says:

    @Beth: It’s not just Democrats. Late Silents and leading edge Boomers are reluctant to get the f*** off the stage regardless of political bias. It may be that the Democratic Gerontocracy’s reluctance has greater impact, but that part can’t be fixed. 🙁

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  76. dazedandconfused says:

    @Beth:

    I would cut both parties some slack on the POTUS noms. We have allowed the process to become a circus, in fact a total s&#t-show really, encompassing not just the candidate but the families of the candidates as well. Very nearly all of the best and brightest will have nothing to do with it.

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  77. just nutha says:

    @Michael Reynolds: [headdesk] [facepalm]
    I got nuthin’. Go in peace and serve the LORD … whatevs, dude.

    @Slugger: I see your point, clear as day. (Really started believing that in the 90s though, so long history for me.)

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  78. Fog says:

    There is nobody in the world that wants Joe Biden out of the race more than Comrade Putin.

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  79. Matt says:

    @Michael Reynolds: That is a guaranteed path to defeat. A black woman is not going to win the presidential election in this country. Just being a woman alone starts her behind all the men in potential votes.

    THe low information women I work around are already starting to say the same shit about Kamala that they said about Hillary. Biden is palatable but for some reason a woman is not to a lot of people in this country.

    You know what a great way to guarantee a loss?

    Fuck Joe Biden

    Spouting that kind of bullshit. Winning is about motivating the base and we have “lefties” actively working against said motivation. If you really want to win you should be shouting fuck Donald Trump and 2025.

    @Jen: Thank you for pointing out the blatantly obvious problems with the “fuck joe biden” crowd. You can’t start a presidential election over from scratch at this point. There is no choice and those pretending there’s a choice are damaging the democratic party’s chances of success. So good job rich elite liberals screaming about stopping donations you figured out how to fuck things up even more.

    My hope is Biden’s team has plans to utilize their current airwave advantage. They bought out the majority of time slots prior to the election leaving Trump with very little.

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  80. Liberal Capitalist says:

    So, what I haven’t heard floated yet: A dual presidency campaign.

    Biden stated that he was a one term transitional president (before Trump decided to run again)… so why not have Biden admit that it is time to pass the baton.

    He can run, be elected, and transition the presidency to Harris after one year. Harris can even announce her VP choice, should she wish.

    Biden stays in the race, a qualified person is in the wings, a smooth transition of leadership occurs.

    While I do not know of any precedent for this, I do not believe that anything would prevent it.

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  81. mcnp says:

    @DK: If the person standing between you and everything you rightly fear is a frail old man unable to take the fight to a lunatic enemy then you have a problem. Black voters just like anyone else can occasionally be wrong.

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  82. DK says:

    @mcnp:

    then you have a problem. Black voters just like anyone else can occasionally be wrong.

    If black voters believe that it is not a good solution to the problem to let Trump and Project 2025 skate along in the background while flailing, tantruming, whining, complaining, and screaming “Fuck Joe Biden,” then they are probably right politically, again.

    It takes no special insight to identify a problem. Buf if folks think trashing and attacking Joe Biden will fix the problem, they have that right. Nobody can stop them.

    And FWIW, it’s not Biden who’s not taking the fight to Trump right now.

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  83. Beth says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    If it was just that, it’d be fine, or at least manageable. The problem is that it’s across the board. Hell, Ginsburg is just as responsible for Dobbs as Alito is. While I think a good chunk of the anti-Dem messaging on the left is Russian troll farm bs, the reality is, the old clingers aren’t responsive to young or even middle aged people right now.

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  84. Jen says:

    @Andy: To answer your question, there are at least two states that could be a problem as far as being on the ballot if Biden were to step aside in favor of Harris:

    – West Virginia. In WV, Democrats held their state convention on June 14-15, and electors were selected and must be certified by the Secretary of State within 15 days (June 30).
    – Georgia. As noted above in my earlier comment, the deadline to submit the nomination petition to get names on the ballot was yesterday, July 9.

    Each state has filing requirements and deadlines, and yes, if a candidate dies or becomes incapacitated there are exceptions. However, stepping aside in favor of your VP is not “dying or becoming incapacitated.” As I’ve repeatedly noted here, there is an opening for legal challenges on this point. Biden passes away–>Kamala is president, that qualifies. Biden is incapacitated–>Kamala is president, that qualifies. Biden bows to pressure to step aside as the candidate–>that might NOT qualify Kamala to step in as the candidate. We don’t really know…depending on the state law(s) in question, it will likely have to be litigated. Which is a fairly risky gambit.

    PS–Even if the candidate dies, there are situations wherein it’s too late to change the ballot. This is how/why John Ashcroft lost his Senate race to Mel Carnahan, despite the fact that Carnahan had died in a plane crash a few weeks before the election.

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  85. Andy says:

    @Jen:

    Thanks for that. So Georgia and WV may already be gone.

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  86. charontwo says:

    @Andy:

    So Biden has dementia by you? So the White House is simply lying when it says Biden has no neurological issues? That seems likely to you?

    Ballots printed or not, changing candidates will get legal challenges especially in Republican controlled states, and their are plenty of courts with partisan judges to help.

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  87. Andy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The party will not be split if Joe hands the torch to Harris. Instantly the party will rally and be energized and start throwing money at her. The party is split because half the party thinks we can hand-wave away what the whole fucking country can see for themselves. We’re pretending not to notice that the emperor has no clothes.

    Bingo!

    It’s like we have two groups of people on the Titanic. One insists that everyone unify on saving the ship and head below decks to start bailing and pumping out water to try to save the ship. The other sees the only option as heading for the lifeboats and getting to another ship. I think you and I are on team lifeboat – a risky option – but better than sinking into the deep.

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  88. SenyorDave says:

    Since 2015 Democrats have been saying, correctly IMO, that Trump is unfit to be president. He is ignorant of domestic and world affairs, corrupt, and in all ways morally bankrupt. It seem pretty hypocritical to act like questioning Biden’s fitness for the presidency is out of line, or even offensive.

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  89. Jen says:

    @Andy: That’s how I’m reading it. From an Electoral College perspective, WV is unlikely to make a difference for the Democratic ticket. Georgia, however…

    And, of course, the caveat is that we’re in sort of uncharted territory here.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  90. Gustopher says:

    @Beth:

    Buttigieg would never be able to pull that off. He’s too fake in a way that other people who aren’t white men get instinctively. Buttigieg is a faggot who thinks he’s not a faggot and he wears it like a billboard. He doesn’t know who he is, his history, his culture. He’s a white washed gay for gay men who think that they are better than us.

    That’s a little unfair.

    Buttigieg is authentic, but that Authentic Buttigieg values performative normalcy, except for when eating chicken wings like a rodent*. He looks like the most closeted openly gay man in America, but that’s because norm-core is more than just a fashion for him it’s a fundamental part of who he is.

    You say he doesn’t know our history, but he lived our history when he served under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

    I do suspect that his favorite sandwich is sliced hardboiled eggs on Wonder Bread, with a generous amount of Miracle Whip. But I support the norm-core gays just as I support the bears or the drag queens or the trans folk.

    ——
    *: oh, I just looked it up and it was a cinnamon roll that he was eating like a rodent with a chicken wing. There are a lot of great photos of him eating.

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  91. DK says:

    @Andy: Or like the Lusitania being fired on. One group is saying we need to call in sister ships to rescue survivors then turn full attention to fighting back against the German enemy — while much of the other group is focused mainly on pointing fingers, fantasizing of near-impossible too-late salvage operations, and screaming “Fuck the Captain” for steering us into hostile waters.

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  92. Andy says:

    @charontwo:

    I don’t know what Biden has. But in Biden’s behavior, I see the same sorts of things I saw in my parents, my sister, and now, increasingly, my older brother.

    No, I don’t trust what the WH says, considering their deceptions thus far and their insistence on only providing a “trust us bro” level of evidence while doing most everything they can to limit unscripted appearances and events where his debate behavior might be repeated.

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  93. Bill Jempty says:

    @Andy:

    I think you and I are on team lifeboat

    You forgot me Andy. I’ve posting for months about Biden’s mental problems. Till the debate I was about the only one to do so.

    – a risky option – but better than sinking into the deep.

    Sinking into the deep or as MR said above put a vengeful psychopath in office.

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  94. Jen says:

    @Gustopher:

    I do suspect that his favorite sandwich is sliced hardboiled eggs on Wonder Bread, with a generous amount of Miracle Whip.

    Well, he had some pretty tasty looking food at Maketto in DC on Somebody Feed Phil

    I’m a big fan of Buttigieg’s, and hope he’s on the ticket in some capacity sometime in the future.

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  95. Andy says:

    @DK:

    Well, the Lusitania ended up sinking.

    While I respect the view of those who insist that everyone needs to stick with Biden, I think that view is mistaken and leads to defeat. That compels me to argue against that position.

    Those who would want me to switch to be an ally on team “stick with Biden” and stop arguing for his replacement need to come up with a better argument than insults about people with a low level of skin melanin. Jen is the only one here who has come close to that by focusing on the practical aspects of ballot access and the practical ability to actually make a switch, which is a separate problem from the collective political will to do so.

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  96. Matt says:

    Worst case scenario BIden can just make some official acts that disappear certain supreme court justices and a presidential candidate…

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  97. DK says:

    @Andy: For me personally, it’s not about making any one person here switch their beliefs. Individually, none of us here are that important + folks will do whatever they want.

    It’s also not about sticking with Joe Biden personally. It’s not about any individual candidate, it’s about supporting Trump’s main opponent.

    If Trump’s main opponent suddenly becomes someone other than Joe Biden, wonderful. But the reality right now is that main opponent is Joe Biden, and that reality won’t change based what any individual here argues about his replacement.

    If others think attacking Joe Biden will help whatever cause it is they’re pushing, they’re going to do so. But if that cause is the defeat of MAGA extremism, I’m guessing they might need a better argument than “Fuck Joe Biden” and/or magical Biden-replacement theories.

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  98. Kevin says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: As far as I can tell, Biden never said he was only planning on running for one term. He did call himself a “transitional candidate,” but he could have meant many things by that. I can find articles saying he was sending signals, things like that, but no place where he explicitly committed to a single term.

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  99. Moosebreath says:

    @DK:

    I am largely in the same place as you, supporting the Democratic nominee, whoever it ends up being. Right now it is Biden, and if that changes, I will support the new choice.

    I will add that it seems like the Democratic party structure (however weak our hosts think it is) is seeking to push Biden out behind the scenes. For example, Pelosi has not taken Biden at his word that he will be running, but instead is pushing him to make a decision soon on whether to run.

    I think that is the right call. However, unless and until Biden steps aside, the “eff Biden” folks are just helping the Republicans, not actually accomplishing anything useful.

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  100. DK says:

    @Moosebreath:

    supporting the Democratic nominee…Right now it is Biden, and if that changes, I will support the new choice.

    This. Seems insanely simple to me.

    unless and until Biden steps aside, the “eff Biden” folks are just helping the Republicans, not actually accomplishing anything useful.

    QFE. And, again, seems painfully simple.

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  101. Andy says:

    @DK:

    It’s a bad situation no matter how you slice it. For example:

    But if that cause is the defeat of MAGA extremism, I’m guessing they might need a better argument than “Fuck Joe Biden” and/or magical Biden-replacement theories.

    The other side of that coin is magical Biden-winning theories and equivalent name-calling. Like it or not, many people believe that Biden is doomed to lose and is not fit for the office, and to believe otherwise is magical thinking. They (including me) believe that the only hope to “defeat MAGA extremism” (Trump) is to change candidates before it’s too late.

    At this point, I don’t know what would convince people with your view that Biden can’t win and the only option for the goal you want is to change candidates. For me to be convinced to drop my position to replace him, I’d need him to demonstrate that the debate and his other examples of confusion and not speaking/thinking clearly were really aberrations and that he is much more cogent than he currently appears and acts.

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  102. Jen says:

    All of it is speculative at this point. My guess is that there are a lot of election law experts being asked some very, very detailed questions right now.

    My guess is that the reason for all of the conflicting signs is confusion about what, if anything, even can be done…and how much chaos might be created in the wake. There might even be significant and substantial behind the scenes discussions taking place so that any change is rolled out in an organized fashion, rather than a free-for-all.

    Can Biden win? Can Harris win? Which is the bigger risk–the incumbent who is clearly getting older, or the Black/female VP who no one really knows? (My guess is that party leadership REALLY doesn’t like this question.)

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  103. @Jen:

    there is an opening for legal challenges on this point

    This point is not getting enough attention. I could very easily see the GOP/GOP-allied groups taking the Harris campaign to court to create any number of problems, some valid, some not.

    But here’s the question: we have all seen how the courts can take forever to render important judgments. Are those dice worth rolling?

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  104. @Moosebreath:

    (however weak our hosts think it is)

    I would note that what we are seeing pretty well comports with what I described in terms of both Biden and the party.

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  105. Michael Reynolds says:

    It’s not over. Pelosi is signaling it’s up to Biden’s Thursday presser. And Jim Clyburn, to my ears at least, is hedging just a tiny bit. He saved Biden’s candidacy. His voice will carry weight. Almost as much weight as watching Biden’s campaign contributions drop like a rock. Although I suppose the magical Weekend at Bernie’s candidate doesn’t need money, because miracles.

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  106. DK says:

    @Andy:

    I don’t know what would convince people with your view that Biden can’t win. For me to be convinced to drop my position to replace him

    My personal beliefs about whether or not Biden can win is irrelevant. And whether or not you are personally convinced Biden should be replaced is also irrelevant.

    If I became convinced today it’s impossible for Biden to win, so what? Biden is still the Democratic nominee. If you became convinced tomorrow Biden shouldn’t be replaced, so what? Biden is still the Democratic nominee.

    What’s relevant is that defeating Trump requires supporting the Democratic nominee.

    @Jen:

    All of it is speculative at this point.

    Yes, to everything you wrote. And there is one thing that is not speculative: the Democratic nominee is Joe Biden.

    His opponent is an dangerous disaster whose last presidency created despair and choas. Sadly, Trump’s getting a free pass — like for his unhinged, senile word salad Florida rally speech this week — because many Democratic voters are instead focused on attacking the Democratic nominee.

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  107. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jen:

    Can Biden win? Can Harris win? Which is the bigger risk–the incumbent who is clearly getting older, or the Black/female VP who no one really knows? (My guess is that party leadership REALLY doesn’t like this question.)

    And that’s why cocktail time is 3 PM today.

    I should never have had kids. I could be in Lisbon enjoying my cynical detachment, watching the world burn and the decline of Western civilization. Absent kids I’d have significantly less concern for the future, as I don’t expect to enjoy more than a decade of it. Ever notice that with the past dead and the present an illusion, all stress is in the future?

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  108. al Ameda says:

    Nancy Pelosi, in the most carefully crafted diplomatic words, said the Biden should reconsider …

    Time for prominent Congressional Democrats to step up and tell him it’s over.

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  109. matt says:

    @al Ameda: Okay so who would replace Biden? How would you deal with losing all the campaign money, advertisement slots, reservations and even ballot positions that will be lost as a result of changing the candidate? That shit has to be arranged many MANY months in advance and you’re advocating all of that be canceled and started over. How are you going to deal with the GOP throwing lawsuits galore at the replacement to ensure the replacement is hamstrung as much as possible? Any replacement is going to be completely fucked when it comes to everything campaign related..

    Meanwhile the GOP has completely consolidated it’s base behind the guy who has been obviously mentally deficient for years now.

    So while the Democrats clutch all their pearls while crying for a magical non existent candidate to save them the GOP is fully committed to destroying democracy and freedoms in this country..

    It’s just mind blowing to watch this going on. Trump can’t get through a campaign event without stumbling over basic words but that’s fine. It’s fine that Trump spews unbelievable bullshit at every event. Shit like the post birth abortions or Trump’s desire to round up latinos into concentration camps. It’s fine that Trump only wants to be dictator for one day. That’s all fine because Biden acted like an old man one evening..

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  110. Andy says:

    @DK:

    Ok, if it’s all irrelevant, we can agree to disagree. The opinions of individuals on a blog don’t matter much, sure.

    But I have written to my senators and governor (all Democrats) to let them know that I think they ought to try to convince Biden to step down, and one (Bennet) is already doing that.

    What’s relevant is that defeating Trump requires supporting the Democratic nominee.

    Disagree. What’s relevant is supporting and advocating for what will work and succeed – meaning actually win the election. Blind loyalty to the Democratic nominee (whoever it is) by people who are already anti-Trump doesn’t do much of anything.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Why not take your kids with you? I know lots of Americans who don’t have nearly your level of wealth (my brother, for one, German resident for 3 decades), who are expats living in Europe and other places and raising their kids there.

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  111. Mikey says:

    @Andy:

    The other sees the only option as heading for the lifeboats and getting to another ship.

    What if there are no lifeboats?

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  112. Mikey says:

    Biden’s poor debate performance had almost no impact on voter preference, new report says

    President Joe Biden’s performance during the first presidential debate has been widely panned, with critics and even those within his own party calling for him to step aside. But the question remained: Would Biden’s shaky performance against former President Donald Trump result in a noticeable dip in the polls for the president?

    According to a new report from the Northeastern University-led data project CHIP50, the answer is no.

    Led by David Lazer, university distinguished professor of political science and computer science at Northeastern, the report indicates that the debate had little if any impact on people’s voting preference. Lazer hopes the report helps illustrate the dangers of making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to the media interpreting data.

    “Even the New York Times, which is usually better about this, talked about a very tiny shift that was totally insignificant statistically like it was evidence that it was a shift toward Trump after the debate,” Lazer says. “My hope is that reporters look at this and say, ‘Maybe we need to be careful in overinterpreting noise as actual signal.’”

    […]

    What the report finds is that Biden held on to 94% of the people who said they would support him before the debate. For Trump, 86% of people who said they would support him before the debate said they would do so after the debate.

    […]

    “Trump was convicted of a set of felonies,” Lazer says. “The impact it had on surveys was zero. Biden had a debate where most people said it proved he was too old. Survey respondents said, ‘Yeah, I saw that. He’s too old. I’m still voting for him.’ The numbers just aren’t moving.”

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  113. Bobert says:

    @Jen:

    President Joe Biden might not appear on the November 2024 presidential ballot in Ohio. Ohio law requires that presidential candidates be certified – that is, the state must be notified that presidential candidates have been officially nominated – 90 days before the general election in order to get on the ballot. That is the earliest deadline of any state.

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  114. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I live in a state that supported Biden 56% to 40%. Still, I have heard more than once during this campaign season the following statement from people who wouldn’t cross the street to wizz on a Republican who was on fire.*

    Harris? Fuck, I’d vote for Trump before I’d vote for her.

    Call me cynical. Call me piss, for that matter (it was my unofficial nickname for all of my school years K-12 and was still popular some places I taught at later). I’m not particularly as sanguine about the chances for a Democrat not named Biden as others here are. But to second DK, all y’all do what you think you have to do. (It IS what you’re gonna do anyway, after all.)

    *But they might cross the street to roast a marshmallow on the flaming body.

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  115. rachel says:

    Meh, so it’s going to be Biden. Fine. Even if he’s gone ga-ga (which I doubt) he’s still a better POTUS than that demented criminal Trump ever was.

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  116. wr says:

    @Andy: “But I have written to my senators and governor (all Democrats) to let them know that I think they ought to try to convince Biden to step down, and one (Bennet) is already doing that.”

    I applaud you for that, sir. We spend a lot of time bitching here about what needs to happen, and despite the heat it is all meaningless. I am not sure I agree with you on the right way to go at this point — and I mean that, I really don’t know — but it is excellent that you are following your thoughts with action.

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  117. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Andy:

    Why not take your kids with you?

    They’re both in love. Which is great. Inconvenient, but great.

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  118. Franklin says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Hmm, I’m a little surprised to hear that , that you’ve heard such strong anti-Harris comments. I wonder what it’s based in. To me it seems like there was just some meh feelings about her when she was running, and otherwise just a lack of visibility since 2020.

    Most of my associates around here are voting against Trump, regardless of the Democratic candidate or their mental state.

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  119. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Franklin: I was surprised too. But, there we are.

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  120. al Ameda says:

    @matt:

    @al Ameda: Okay so who would replace Biden? How would you deal with losing all the campaign money, advertisement slots, reservations and even ballot positions that will be lost as a result of changing the candidate?

    I never said any of this would be easy.
    All it took was this one debate performance for Biden to make ‘Age and Fitness’ front and center.
    And it’s definitely not going to go away. Problem is, people cannot un-see that performance, and no amount of ‘but Trump is … a dissembling 78 year old idiot ‘ will change that. Trump’s unrelenting idiocy, lying, and malevolence now largely accepted as ‘just who he is.’

    Are people ready to keep on rearranging the deck chairs while the ship sails toward a November iceberg? In his interview with Stephanopoulos Joe said he would be able to accept a loss to Trump knowing that he’d given it his all. I’m not there.

    I believe that a Harris (Whitmer or Shapiro) Ticket could work. I think if we stay the course funding and turnout enthusiasm will be low, very low.

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  121. DK says:

    @al Ameda:

    All it took was this one debate performance for Biden to make ‘Age and Fitness’ front and center.

    Because far too many Democrats are a bunch of pathetic, weak pansies.

    Fetterman gets it, but he’s a minority of the majority.

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  122. al Ameda says:

    @Kathy:

    Maybe Biden intends to use his constitutional immunity, and is planning a coup as a last line of defense.

    Thanks to recent Supreme Court decisions, he now has more weapons (ummm, make that, ‘tools’) at his disposal – Seal Team Six, and he can bribe voting officials in the states. It’s all legal now.

    Seriously, we’re moving toward a point of no return on Biden.

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  123. Matt says:

    @al Ameda:

    All it took was this one debate performance for Biden to make ‘Age and Fitness’ front and center.

    Age and fitness has been front and center for Biden since 2020. The media predictably went for it again from the start of this election. The “Biden is old and tired” articles were being pumped out by the dozens well before we got here. The so called liberal media has been pushing this talking point every chance they get. The New York times has been leading the charge against Biden for a while now. Sulzberger has been leading every charge he can against Biden including heavily pushing the age and fitness crap. Just because Sulzberger is a bit butthurt at Biden’s team. CNN’s relatively new owner has been pushing it rightward and that includes attacking Biden over the dumbest shit possible. Replace Biden and these schmucks will just target the replacement and the new concern will be whatever sticks from the mud.

    If “age and fitness” really mattered Trump wouldn’t even be in the race at this point.

    Harris isn’t even out-polling Biden and she hasn’t had any real attacks lobbed at her. I find it almost hilarious that you think the USA is willing to elect a black woman. Hillary polls somewhat ahead of Biden but we all know what that 6 point lead she had the day before the election got us…

    Then there’s the inevitable lawsuits that will prevent Harris from taking advantage of the ground work laid down by the Biden campaign. You’re asking for the democratic party to just give up at this point with Harris. Right now the Biden campaign has several important advantages over Trump including absolutely owning the air waves just prior to election day. All that is gone from the GOTV ground work laid to the advertisements once you change the candidate.

    This behaviour is why Democrats get mocked as weak and feckless. Instead of circling wagons and defending their candidate teh dems are like OH NOES THE SKY IS FALLING AND BURNIGN SOMEONE SAVE US. Meanwhile the GOP with their obviously worse candidate circles the wagons and defends their candidate. So what do we see in the media? A bunch of stuff about democrats claiming their own candidate is horrible and needs to replaced mere months before the election. From a low info viewpoint the GOP seems the strong confident put together party. Meanwhile the Democratic party looks like a bunch of incompetent fools with a terrible candidate that even partisans cannot support. Who do you think the low information voter is going to vote for? The candidate that has the full support of their party or the candidate that’s so bad his own party is demanding he step down??

    This whole thing has been a major gift to the GOP and might be enough to save it from a loss in November in spite of abortion and project 2025.

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  124. al Ameda says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We are not stuck with Biden, not yet. Schumer, Pelosi and Jeffries need to stop hinting and whispering and tell Joe directly it’s time to go. His cabinet needs to tell him to go. We still have a convention coming.

    Exactly.

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