Would President Joe Biden Become 25th Amendment Material?

I speculate only because since January 2017 our popular culture and intelligentsia have suggested President Trump is crazy and should be removed under the 25th Amendment. Apparently, accusations about the mental health of presidents and would-be presidents are now legitimate political attack strategies under the new progressive rules.

After all, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe once bragged that he tried with former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to remove a supposedly unhinged Trump. Democratic members of Congress called in a Yale psychologist, Bandy X. Lee, to brief them that such Ivy League experts had diagnosed Trump in absentia as certainly unhinged. (She later attempted to walk back those claims.) The 25th Amendment, along with impeachment, the ossified Logan Act, and the Emoluments Clause, have now been mainlined by progressives as the sort of natural suspicions we cast on an elected president of the opposite party.

Yet, under these new progressive protocols, could a President Joe Biden be written off as delusional?

Addled Biden?
Biden once suggested that George Bush get on TV after the 2008 meltdown in the manner that President Roosevelt had addressed the nation after the 1929 market crash: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed.” Biden was referring to a time when neither FDR was president nor was television commercially available.

More recently in the primary debate, when asked what was the first thing that a newly inaugurated Biden might do as president (presumably after defeating incumbent Trump in the 2020 election), he answered, “The first thing I would do is make sure that we defeat Donald Trump . . . Period.” Biden in this case was in Obama’s “57-states,” Hawaii is in Asia, and “corpse-men” Lala land.

In a subsequent bizarre interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Biden noted the charge that Vladimir Putin had interfered in recent Western elections, by apparently forgot the Democratic gospel that maintains Putin’s meddling swayed the 2016 election to Trump. “You think that [Russian interference in a foreign election] would have happened on my watch or Barack’s watch?” Biden said. “You can’t answer that, but I promise you it wouldn’t have, and it didn’t.”

The list of Biden confusions could be amplified ad nauseam. In fact, there is an entire genre of “Biden gaffes” that circulates on the Internet and even elicited a confession from Biden himself: “I am a gaffe machine.” But Joe Biden, always the hero of his self-created mythologies, does not just confuse facts, times, and events at random, he has a long history of deliberately misrepresenting his own resume for careerist purposes. He has been caught plagiarizing both as a law student and as a presidential candidate—and to such a degree that he was once brought up on charges by his law school, and in shame aborted his 1988 presidential bid.

Bruiser Biden?
The epic hero Biden has repeatedly offered up fantasies in which he poses as a crusading avenger, either eager to beat up bullies or in fact as a veteran of such knight-in-shining-armor intercessions.

He has now on two occasions mentioned Trump as just the sort of tormenter that Biden in his youth used to take behind the gym, and would thus “beat the hell out of him.” Trump also apparently qualified as the kind of target that Biden in the past has “smacked . . . in the mouth.” And Biden once curled up his fists and warned Trump that if he walked behind him in a debate, well . . . Biden could not predict what might happen once Smokin’ Joe got his dander up.

Trump is just the latest target of tough-guy Biden. In 2014, the vice president reminded us that young Joe had once defended the honor of his sister by traipsing into a donut shop (often a familiar prop in Biden’s riffs), and slamming the head of a rude SOB into the counter. And young Joe also was ready to take on the mean dad as well. “I walked up behind him and smashed his head next to the counter . . . His father grabbed me, and I looked at his son and said, ‘If you ever touch my sister again, I’ll come back here again and I’ll kill your son.” Both dad and son apparently backed off from the formidable teen.

How strange that the vice president of the United States would brag about issuing a death threat in his youth, or as Barack Obama once asked: “How many times is Biden gonna say something stupid?” Answer, somewhere in the many thousands.

Biden does not just relate domestic braggadocio. He struts abroad as well. Remember his threats to the Ukrainian president and prime minister: “They were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, . . . we’re not going to give you $1 billion. They said, ‘You have no authority. You’re not the president.’ . . . I said, call him. I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the $1 billion. I said, you’re not getting the billion. . . . I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

In a sane world, Biden would seem to have just confessed to using his office to the advantage of his profit-mongering wayward son Hunter, a well-known influence peddler with past suspect business interests in Ukraine and a sometime target of the fired prosecutor.

Racist Biden?
Kamala Harris has assured us that, after attacking Biden as a racist for claiming past amity with Senate segregationists of the 1970s, and prior opposition to court-ordered busing, she does not believe he is a racist currently. Translated, that means she is bringing up flimsy new-old charges, while ignoring quite damning recent charges that might raise the question of why Biden was ever put on the Obama ticket in the first place.

Recall Biden’s assessment in 2007 of then-rival candidate Obama: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

During that campaign, Biden seemed to suggest immigrant Indians had taken over his home state of Delaware, to the point of infiltrating donut shops, “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”

As vice president, despite his full progressive indemnity insurance, Biden kept up the racial condescension. In a speech to a racially mixed audience that included a large group of African American professionals, Biden warned them that a Mitt Romney presidency might mean a return to slavery for such successful executives and administrators. Or as Biden put it in his faux-inner city patois, “They’re gonna put y’all back in chains.”

Harris, and Biden’s current other rivals, hunt in the distant past for evidence of Biden’s supposed racism—given that his recent sloppy racialist talk, often occurring near the magic date of 2008, might otherwise suggest that Barack Obama only had empowered the insensitive Biden by putting him on the ticket.

#MeToo Biden?
It is an Internet pastime to cobble together videos of senator, vice president and presidential candidate Joe Biden squeezing the shoulders of women and often preteen girls, or seemingly blowing air in their hair and ears—often eliciting an embarrassed look from their startled put-upon targets.

In embarrassed response, liberal Time in 2015 offered up an essay, “America Shouldn’t Tolerate ‘Biden Being Biden.’” A good updated title might be, “Biden Is Becoming an Embarrassment to #Metoo Progressives.”

Of course, the “Biden being Biden” rebukes were not meant to imply that Biden was in anyway a sicko, but rather that he was engaging in the sort of #MeToo era bad behavior that would have derailed any other would be candidate without Biden’s progressive indemnity insurance. Thus, articles in leftist blogs often offered in-house counseling, such as Gawker’s polite “Joe Biden, We Need to Talk About the Way You Touch Women.” Or perhaps it might have also counseled Joe not to swim nude in front of female Secret Service agents, as was reported by a former officer of the Biden detail.

Biden is only the most egregious example of the impending applicable double standard that progressives have crafted though their own unhinged effort to abort the Trump presidency. Knowingly or not, they have made the once normal—allow an incoming president to face the consequences of his policies in his first midterm election and ensuing reelection bid—into the taboo.

Apparently, Democrats never imagined that their own slate of candidates might, according to their own standards, have far greater liabilities than Trump himself. And as we are likely soon to see, and as Biden himself has darkly hinted, ol’ Joe’s sins may pale in comparison to those of his now acerbic rivals.

We are in new territory where nothing is sacred, nothing is a gaffe, nothing is just a slip of the tongue—given that any means necessary were long ago justified to achieve the end of ousting Trump. And those means are soon going to be applied to the very politicos who recalibrated and welcomed them—and Biden first, and most embarrassingly, of all.

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Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004, and is the 2023 Giles O'Malley Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson is also a farmer (growing almonds on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author of the just released New York Times best seller, The End of Everything: How Wars Descend into Annihilation, published by Basic Books on May 7, 2024, as well as the recent  The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump, and The Dying Citizen.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.