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Democrats and Joe Biden

Biden on Debate stage - walking
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By: Gerard Baker – wsj.com – July 1, 2024

Mr. Biden succeeded because he made toeing the party line his life’s work. Like all politicians whose egos dwarf their talents, he ascended the greasy pole by slavishly following his party wherever it led. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Democrats were a party of post-Vietnam peacenik activists, seeking accommodation with the Soviet Union abroad and appeasement of economic decline at home. And Joe was one of them. When that was discredited by three straight election defeats, the Democrats became the New Democrats, and there was Joe again, backing welfare reform, being tough on crime, and getting machowith America’s post-Cold War enemies. After 9/11 the party fell in for a while behind George W. Bush, and of course Mr Biden was right there too, leading from the middle, backing the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq—until it started to go wrong, when, as his party quickly deserted, so did our man of constant borrow.

Finally—or at least we thought it was final, given his already advanced age—in the ultimate act of partisan servility, he became Barack Obama’s vice president, the summit achievement for the incapable but loyal, the apex position for the consummate yes man. His only roles were to offer his signature eloquence on the boss’s achievements (“This is a big f— deal”) or provide advice that could safely be ignored (“Don’t kill Osama bin Laden”).

But then, just as he was ready to drift into a comfortable and well-deserved obscurity, his party needed a front man—a familiar and innocuous face to take down an unpopular president. They sought a loyal and reliable figurehead, a flag of convenience under which they could sail the progressive vessel into the deepest reaches of American life—on a mission to advance statism, climate extremism and self-lacerating wokery. There was no more loyal and convenient vehicle than Joe.

But now, 42 months (and 81 years) in, it is going horribly wrong. Much of his party has no use for him anymore. They are trying desperately to jettison him and, in a remarkably cynical act of bait-and-switch, swap him out for someone more useful to their cause.

Part of me thinks they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. I find myself in the odd position of wanting to root for poor mumbling Joe in those intense—and presumably somewhat one-sided—conversations that must be going on this week at Camp David and in the White House.

It’s tempting to say to the Democratic machine frantically mobilizing against him: You don’t get to do this. You don’t get to deceive, dissemble and gaslight us for years about how this man was both brilliantly competent at the job and a healing force for national unity, and now tell us, when your deception is uncovered, that it’s bedtime for Bonzo, thanks for your service, and let’s move on.

It should be we the voters who get to deliver the verdict on the last four years, not a bunch of has-beens, time-servers and fat donors. We should have the opportunity to say what we think about a party and a president who, even as they lectured us for four years about the importance of honesty and the sanctity of democracy, were engaged in an extended act of deceit that itself represents pure contempt for the democratic process.

That is what is so galling about the spectacle we have witnessed since the Democrats’ sham exercise collapsed of its own shame in an Atlanta television studio Thursday.

Until the world saw the truth that they had been insisting was “misinformation,” they evidently thought they could get away with promoting the fiction of Mr. Biden’s competence. In perpetuating that fiction they were also revealing their contempt for the voters and for democracy itself.

How democratic is it to ask us to vote for a man they know is unable to finish a sentence, let alone another four years? What exactly will we be electing in November if we vote for Mr. Biden? A year or two of an administration in which unelected advisers, party hacks, scheming family members and random hangers-on make critical daily decisions about war, peace, the composition of the judiciary and the boundaries of state authority—followed by President Kamala Harris, who has the ineptitude without the excuse of senescence?

The contempt all this reveals for the democratic process is almost on par with that represented in trying to overturn an election. So much for the moral high ground Democrats have claimed to occupy. The events of the past week have exposed the depth of the Democrats’ deception and disregard for democracy. In inadvertently revealing its hypocrisy, Mr. Biden has improbably done his party one final service, one they don’t want but the country urgently needs.

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Source: The Democrats Deserve Biden, Even if the Country Doesn’t – WSJ