“Biden, At 79, Shows Signs Of Age And Aides Fret About His Image,” reads a headline on the front page of Sunday’s New York Times.
It’s a goofy article; one that reluctantly tries to tackle the president’s publicly deteriorating mental faculties while claiming he’s still more fit than either Presidents Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump (Republicans). At one point, the reporter even cites “experts” who “put Mr. Biden in a category of ‘super-agers’ who remain unusually fit as they advance in years.” But foolishness aside, there it sits: an article questioning Biden’s fitness for office on the front page of the Sunday Times.
And they weren’t done: “Democrats Sour on Biden, Citing Age and Economy,” the top headline read in Monday’s New York Times. “Poll Shows Most Want New ’24 Candidate as Pessimism Becomes Pervasive.”
The online version of that piece even includes a box titled, “The Biden Presidency,” which breaks down “where President Biden stands… with midterm elections looming.” The five categories are titled, “Struggling To Inspire,” “Low Approval Rating,” and “Questions About 2024,” as well as “Staff Changes,” about the “increasing number of West Wing departures,” and “Rallying Allies,” about the conflict in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, the Times threw a third punch, with columnist Michelle Goldberg’s headline, “Joe Biden Is Too Old To Be President Again.”
The Sunday-Monday front-page punches, followed up an Opinion page uppercut, send a clear signal that the Times regrets putting the president in office as much as many of his voters do. More than that, however: they no longer finds the president useful to their project.
The difference between the Times and the public who voted for Biden, is press and their allies in Democratic leadership are the real people who hoisted his presidency on our country. Together, they pushed him onto a disinterested Democratic base, papered over his mental decline, suppressed criticisms of his competence, and even actively censored credible accusations of his corruption.
Just look back two years: In February 2020, Biden had come in fourth place in Iowa. A week later, he’d come in fifth in New Hampshire. In public appearances, he alternated between sinister whispers about the future and yelling angrily into the crowd.
Still, his campaign was less radical than those of his colleagues, who had endorsed open borders and gun seizures. More, he was known to the American people and presented as a more standard American president than Trump did, so powerful figures coalesced behind him. And after South Caroline poobah Rep. James Clyburn endorsed his candidacy in that state, he began to win, counting in particular on the black vote.
With this switch, a press (and party) that had openly challenged his past positions and his competency began a steady drumbeat touting his morality and ability to do the job. Questioning his cognitive decline suddenly went from common in both corporate news analysis and political debates to forbidden. Some public figures who’d questioned his capacity even deleted their tweets.
While the former vice president ran a bunker campaign with barely any press access, corporate media breathlessly covered Trump’s Covid fight, comparing it to the Vietnam War. The District of Columbia even erected crosses for the dead, next to a digital counter keeping tabs of deaths attributed to the disease. (The display was removed after Trump lost the election.)
Biden’s South Carolina comeback wasn’t just unusual, it was artificial. The only other Democratic presidential candidate to have achieved this feat before was Bill Clinton, who skipped Iowa altogether (ceding it to the hometown candidate) but then so outperformed expectations in New Hampshire, he was nicknamed “The Comeback Kid.”
While America’s elite presidential historians rush to tell the public Biden was the second coming of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (and will “save the soul of America”), the reality is he’s not even Bill Clinton. Clinton was the kind of politician who could make a deal with a hostile Congress, survive a sexual affair with an intern less than half his age, and still reign as a kingmaker for decades after finishing his second term. In contrast, D.C. Democrats quietly worry Biden might not live through a second term.
So now they want to banish him and his distinctly unimpressive vice president, whom the voters (to their credit) left in last place during the Democratic primaries.
They’re right to want to banish Biden, of course. A New York Times poll released Monday showed his job approval at 32 percent. That’s lower than Jimmy Carter when he left office, lower than Trump just after the Jan. 6 riot — and less than half of Clinton’s approval when he left office in 1998. To Biden’s near sole credit, he’s still 8 points above where Richard Nixon was on his final week in office.
The current occupant of the White House, however, isn’t planning to leave office any time soon; he’s still more than two years out from his next election. That means his approval matters a great deal, and in politics, as National Review’s Jeff Blehar succinctly put it, at 33 percent approval “there are no survivors.”
So now, the corporate media and Democratic establishment that picked the Democrat candidate, worked to install him as America’s president, and virtually dictated his White House’s policies are trying to sulk away and avoid blame for the decline. Now they’ll point to his age and his cognitive decline on the front page of the Times. They’ll discuss it once again on Twitter. But it’s all just a game.
Of course, Biden is old and experiencing cognitive decay; he was two years ago when he was picked and everyone watching knew it. He’s been in the limelight for literally 50 years, so we could all see the difference.
The fact is that the American regime ignored and hid this because they hated Trump enough they were willing to do anything — anything — to defeat him. They did this, and the hard reality is this isn’t a Biden problem; it’s a regime problem.
So when his old friends in the party and the media try to eject his presidency, remember that they created it; empowered it.
Someday soon the president will leave the world stage, but they’ll remain, still willing to do anything they need to get their way. Joseph R. Biden might be in office, but they’re in charge — the regime that did this.
“I can’t help feeling very sorry for Joe Biden,” Goldberg wrote in her Wednesday Opinion column. It was her opening line, but could have been the end of “Of Mice And Men,” when George comforts his friend doomed, Lennie, before shooting him in the head.
George and Lennie had been a team. Best friends, even. But in the end, we all knew who was in charge.
Remember that. It will be important again.