Mr. Ramirez is Somewhat Generous With the 2923 Expiration Date, But…

He's otherwise on target:

The Dispatch editors point out, probably futilely: It’s Democrats’ Turn to Make the Hard Decision.

Elected Democrats and their allies in the media have made a habit over the past decade of spotlighting their Republican counterparts’ cowardice, and they’ve been right to do so. Presented with ample opportunities over the years to stand up to the demagogue who hijacked their party and their movement, the vast majority of GOP lawmakers and right-wing pundits opted time and again for political expediency, self-preservation, and the path of least resistance. They’ve sacrificed their principles, abandoned the importance of decency and honor, and contributed to the spread of dangerous lies—because to do otherwise might cost them an election, their audience, or their proximity to power.

Democrats like Pelosi have had no problem diagnosing such gutlessness when it comes with an R next to its name. “This is about being afraid,” she said last summer about then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s efforts to retroactively expunge Donald Trump’s impeachments. “These people look pathetic.” Implicit in such criticism is the idea that her party would never stoop to such a level.

But now faced with a collective-action problem of their own, most leading Democrats’ moral clarity has vanished. Several prominent media figures have broken from the party line, but the ongoing effort by Biden’s allies to shut down legitimate questions about the president’s clearly deteriorating faculties—as well as his ability to carry out his current job responsibilities—is as shameless and irresponsible as just about anything Trump and his enablers have done over the past eight years. And if Biden refuses to step aside, it’d be an act of political selfishness surpassed in recent memory only by Trump’s efforts to remain in office after losing the 2020 election.

I, like many people, am having a difficult time following the wise example of Elvis Costello. Amusement is in short supply these days, grounds for disgust are plentiful.

But at least we can engage in R-rated talk about it, like Jeff Maurer: Biden Is Going Down and He’s Taking the Mainstream Left’s Credibility With Him.

Anyone who minimizes Biden’s state is torpedoing their credibility. That’s a little bit true for political figures — who at least have the excuse that it’s their job to brazenly lie — and extremely true for media figures, who are definitely not supposed to carry water for a campaign. The good news and the bad news is that the easiest time to admit the problem is right now. Because despite what Rob Flaherty would have you believe, Biden is not the nominee. He is the presumptive nominee — Democrats have until August to pick someone else. And that’s why every liberal pundit who ever donned glasses and a sweater vest wants Biden to quit: They’ve all concluded that swapping nominees is less risky than sticking with Biden. At the moment, being candid about the problem is the anti-Trump play.

But that won’t be true after the convention. If Biden becomes the nominee, then it will be true that acknowledging Biden’s cognitive problems plays into Trump’s hands. And that’s when you’ll see obfuscation from people who should know better. Media will downplay Biden’s problems, and Democrats will swear that they were in a meeting with Biden where he recited Plato’s Republic word-for-word (this has already happened a bit and I think that people have some explaining to do). Speaking as someone who counts as a media figure (as long as notoriety, wealth, or influence aren’t requirements for that title): I’m certain that I’ll feel that pressure. I loathe Trump, and I think that even a second Biden term that probably involves his death or an invocation of the 25th Amendment is still better than Trump (yes, it’s that bad!). So, I’ll feel pressure to go easy on Biden. And I like to think that I won’t immolate my credibility, but…who knows? I can’t 100 percent promise that I’ll never write a column called “LOL — Check Out These AWESOME Biden Staffers Doing the Cupid Shuffle as the Biden Revolution Marches On!!!”

If we get stuck with Biden, and the mainstream left spends the fall trying to convince people not to believe their eyes and ears, then the left will fall into a credibility hole that will take years if not generations to escape. It will be “actually the Covid rules don’t apply if you’re protesting for a righteous cause” times a hundred — it will be a humiliation that gets thrown in our faces over and over again until the sun burns out. It won’t even matter much if individual pundits, publications, and office holders tell the truth; people will just remember that “the Democrats” — broadly speaking — lied to people’s faces for months. And we’ll do this to protect a candidate who will almost certainly lose anyway. My firm belief since the debate is that Joe Biden will not win a second term — “period”, to borrow a figure of speech — and that Democrats should plan accordingly. Since it’s become clear that a Biden candidacy will pressure everyone on the left to throw our credibility into a blast furnace, I’m now worried about losing a lot more than the election.

Well, he's not actually R-rated there. Pretty mild for Jeff. (The "cupid shuffle" reference is to a "shut up and live with it" memo sent out from Biden's Deputy Campaign Manager Rob Flaherty.)

And Arnold Kling makes the case: The U.S. is in a Crisis.

How many Republicans in Congress really think that Mr. Trump is capable of handling the Presidency? I would bet that at least some of them would tell you in private that he makes them worried and uncomfortable.

If anything, the lying is worse on the Democratic side. They have insisted on trying to convince us to believe the opposite of what people could see with their own eyes during the debate.

Mr. Biden is unfit for office today. Yet no leading Democrat is calling on him to resign. And if he insists on staying on the ticket, it is likely that the Democrats will rally around him. And they will rally around his Vice President as well, even though in their hearts they cannot believe that she is the right choice for the country.

Stay tuned. If you can stand to stay tuned. Me, I'm watching streaming reruns of The Big Bang Theory, Futurama, Rules of Engagement, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, …

Also of note:

  • No, sorry, we're still talking about this. No, Americans Aren’t Voting for an ‘Administration’.

    My sense is that if something dramatic doesn’t happen this week, then nothing is going to happen. Indeed, even now one already senses that the moment has passed, that any sense of urgency there was has dissipated. Inertia is one of the most powerful forces in the universe, right up there with greed and stupidity. One suspects that if Biden were going to have a come-to-Jesus moment, he’d have had it by now. Biden doesn’t seem to be one of those guys who wants to slow down and spend more time with his family—and, given the family, it is difficult to blame him: He is a patriarch of putzes. One might be tempted to appeal to his patriotism, but Joe Biden is, first and foremost, a textbook example of the stunted sort of man who has never discovered anything he cares about more than himself. Of course, the irony of such a man losing his position to Donald Trump would be practically Shakespearean.

    Democrats are already wandering onto the path of least resistance: the “parliamentary” strategy.

    Democrats terrified by Biden’s obvious disability and dreading his likely—at this point, very likely—loss to Trump but too cowardly to do the right thing and put the (political) knife in his back have a comforting story to tell themselves: “We don’t have to convince Americans that Biden is up to the job. We have to convince them that a Biden administration would be up to the job, that the Democratic agenda is preferable to the Republican agenda, that—the country having failed to collapse since 2021—there is no reason to suspect that it would collapse under a second Biden term. We’d have such figures as Antony Blinken and Janet Yellen keeping steady hands on the tiller while Rudy Giuliani and Peter Navarro languish in bankruptcy or jail or whatever, kept at a respectable safe remove from the levers of power. It’s us or those mean Republicans.”

    KDW goes on to explain that we're not living in a parliamentary democracy.

  • But in the meantime… Katherine Mangu-Ward asks a burning question in her leadoff editorial in the current print Reason: Does Anyone Care About the National Debt?

    There's a weird little bus stop at the corner of 18th and K streets in Washington, D.C. On the inside, a ticker tallies the national debt in real time, the glowing numbers whizzing by too quickly for the naked eye. On the outside, there's a printed poster with a round number for the total debt: $34 trillion at press time.

    I've lived in D.C. long enough to remember when changing that poster was a special occasion. But lately I've been checking regularly on my commute, since the trillions are racking up more quickly than they used to. The ink is barely dry on the current poster, yet the folks at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the fiscal responsibility nonprofit that maintains the display at the bus stop, will be due to roll out $35 trillion quite soon.

    The bus stop is a semidesperate attempt to convince Washingtonians to care about—or at least give a passing thought to—the national debt as we go about our business. The debt has become an alarm bell ringing in the distance that people are pretending not to hear, especially in the city that caused the problem.

    If, instead of making your way to 18th and K, you'd like to see the numbers rack up in real time, there is the U.S. National Debt Clock : Real Time.

  • And finally A recent WSJ LTE. from Mr. Jeff Sourbeer from Belleair, Fla.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren believes that the nation would be better off if Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos were to cede 2% of their wealth annually to her control. She wants us to believe that, somehow, she’ll spend it more productively than they would.

    This makes as much sense as believing that the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive productivity would benefit from giving her 2% of Patrick Mahomes’s allotted snaps from center.

    Stay in your lane, Ms. Warren.

    Good advice that (sigh) will not be heeded.