He is Large, He Contains Multitudes

Just getting around to noticing:

I can imagine the AP headline writers agonizing … oh, for 2-3 milliseconds … about that headline: "Should it be 'Biden at 81: Confused and forgetful but sometimes sharp and focused'? No, no! Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you."

From the story:

President Joe Biden’s conduct behind closed doors, in the Oval Office, on Air Force One and in meetings around the world is described in the same dual way by those who regularly see him in action.

He is often sharp and focused. But he also has moments, particularly later in the evening, when his thoughts seem jumbled and he trails off mid-sentence or seems confused. Sometimes he doesn’t grasp the finer points of policy details. He occasionally forgets people’s names, stares blankly and moves slowly around the room.

Biden’s occasional struggles with focus may not be unusual for someone his age. But at 81 years old and seeking another four years in the White House, the moments when he’s off his game have taken on a fresh resonance following his disastrous debate performance against Republican Donald Trump. The president appeared pale, gave nonsensical answers, stared blankly and lost his train of thought.

Okay, probably not what you want to see in a sitting president. Missing from the AP story is prognosis: is he likely to get better or worse in the next four months? How about the next four years?

Bonus, a snippet from a recent campaign speech in North Carolina:

“I give you my word as a Biden. I would not be running again if I didn’t believe with all my heart and soul I can do this job,” he told supporters. “Because, quite frankly, the stakes are too high.”

I observed just a few days ago: "My word as a Biden" is a pretty reliable signal for any adjacent words being howling falsehoods. I guess I have to adjust that: I'm pretty sure he does believe that with all his "heart and soul".

Does he believe it with his brain, though? Or has that organ gone offline permanently?

From Jeff Maurer, imagining how the future will judge President Dotard: The Silly Old Man Who Fumbled the Presidency Back to Trump

Historians still debate why Biden didn’t step aside. Many think it was simply ego; he liked being president and didn’t want to give up power. Others think that when he started to receive criticism, he developed a pugnacious defiance that kept him from seeing reality. But most think that his decision was a product of the dementia itself. The signs that he could no longer win were overwhelming, and calls for him to step down were coming from every quarter. A younger Biden would have understood the situation, but 2024 Biden was delusional. The same misguided hubris that caused him to fail to realize that he would humiliate himself in a debate made him fail to realize that he would be beaten badly in the election. His attempt to prove that he was not diminished ultimately proved how badly diminished he was.

Whatever his reasons, the objective fact is that Biden stubbornly clung to the nomination even when it became clear that he was likely to lose to Trump and that most of his party wanted him replaced. His defeat cleared the way for one of the darkest presidencies in American history. Biden is remembered alongside leaders like Neville Chamberlain and Tsar Nicholas II, whose rank incompetence paved the way for something awful. To this day, the phrase “to Biden it” means to seize responsibility for something and then botch it badly. We don’t know what would have happened if Biden had decided not to run for a second term, but we can be sure that history would remember him very differently.

In the New York magazine's "Intelligencer" column, Olivia Nuzzi, we get a look at The Conspiracy of Silence to Protect Joe Biden.

In January, I began hearing similar stories from Democratic officials, activists, and donors. All people who supported the president and were working to help reelect him to a second term in office. Following encounters with the president, they had arrived at the same concern: Could he really do this for another four years? Could he even make it to Election Day?

Uniformly, these people were of a similar social strata. They lived and socialized in Washington, New York, and Los Angeles. They did not wish to come forward with their stories. They did not want to blow a whistle. They wished that they could whistle past what they knew and emerge in November victorious and relieved, having helped avoid another four years of Trump. What would happen after that? They couldn’t think that far ahead. Their worries were more immediate.

When they discussed what they knew, what they had seen, what they had heard, they literally whispered. They were scared and horrified. But they were also burdened. They needed to talk about it (though not on the record). They needed to know that they were not alone and not crazy. Things were bad, and they knew things were bad, and they knew others must also know things were bad, and yet they would need to pretend, outwardly, that things were fine. The president was fine. The election would be fine. They would be fine. To admit otherwise would mean jeopardizing the future of the country and, well, nobody wanted to be responsible personally or socially for that. Their disclosures often followed innocent questions: Have you seen the president lately? How does he seem? Often, they would answer with only silence, their eyes widening cartoonishly, their heads shaking back and forth. Or with disapproving sounds. “Phhhhwwwaahhh.” “Uggghhhhhhhhh.” “Bbbwwhhheeuuw.” Or with a simple, “Not good! Not good!” Or with an accusatory question of their own: “Have you seen him?!”

Now it can be told, I guess. Better now than later.

But Charles C. W. Cookie has a pertinent question for the MSM: You Gonna Investigate That?.

I think that the press helped to cover up Joe Biden’s condition, and that it did so as a matter of habit, out of a corrupt desire to help the Democratic Party. Some in the press strongly deny this. They insist that they didn’t know how bad it was. They say that they were as shocked as anyone by what they saw last Thursday night. They contend that they are not the perpetrators but the victims.

Okay, then. If that’s true, we ought to talk through its implications. If it’s true, then the press was duped — and duped by the federal government of the United States of America. If it’s true, then the executive branch has been engaged in a massive — and effective — conspiracy to keep Biden’s infirmity from the people who are supposed to report the news. If it’s true, then the White House fooled the media; it outwitted the media; it embarrassed the media. If it’s true, then the president and his political party colluded to suppress the ability of the sacred Fourth Estate to relay matters of public interest to the voters, and, in the process, it made a mockery of the First Amendment.

So . . . is the press gonna investigate that? It certainly sounds like a big story to me.

Obvious answer: no, probably not. Because they were in on it.

Also of note:

  • Hey, kids! What time is it? Margot Cleveland says It's Time To Invoke The 25th Amendment. (That's her original headline. It's been changed.)

    The Democrats’ public struggle session over what to do with the problem of Joe Biden must end. They know, we know, and, most terrifyingly, America’s enemies know that our commander-in-chief is mentally incompetent. As such, the answer is clear, and the Constitution provides it: Joe Biden must be removed from office and the vice president sworn in as president.

    The only (proper) question for Biden and his party is whether the removal will be voluntary, under Section 3 of the 25th Amendment, or forced, under Section 4. Will Biden transmit “his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” to Congress? Or will the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet inform Congress of President Biden’s incapacity and remove him from office?

    A day or two to decide is reasonable. A week stretches the bounds. But we are now at the point where the inaction by Vice President Kamala Harris and Biden’s Cabinet constitutes a violation of their oath of office. They solemnly swore they would “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution and that they would “faithfully discharge the duties of the office.” That oath mandates they provide Congress “their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office…”

    That would be nice, but these guys have spent the last 1,258 days largely ignoring their oaths of office. I don't expect them to start taking their Constitutional duties seriously now.