Republicans have been waiting years for their attacks on Joe Biden’s advancing age to land. It’s becoming a bit of an absurd pastime. The polls say voters are aware of Biden’s feeble condition, and yet, we read that they would choose Biden again over Trump and his “mean tweets.”
The GOP smart set insists that this reflects Trump’s lack of some ambrosial quality they call “electability” (as if Biden breathes it from every pore). But, if anything, there is a rising sense of dread that Trump should not be dismissed. Trump is almost certainly going to be his party’s nominee in any event.
If Trump has zero chance of winning as some insist, it is for reasons that would also bar any other Republican from victory in the general election: an unscrupulous, dishonest news media, a fatally broken electoral process, a weaponized legal system, and a deeply suggestible electorate.
The media are still not covering Biden’s corrupt business dealing despite a stream of incriminating evidence that grows by the day. Recall, Hunter Biden’s “laptop from Hell” was kept out of the news in 2020 through coordinated skulduggery the extent of which is still being uncovered.
If Biden received even an ounce of scrutiny Trump does, his approval ratings would drop five or 10 points overnight. But Republicans cannot depend on the tender mercies of their enemies.
Republicans would do well to focus more on Biden’s corruption than his weakness. Attacking the latter has only made a wicked hypocrite look like a victim.
It’s easy to see why this latter approach is tempting. Biden’s feebleness ought to be seen as a potent symbol of the decadence of his era. But the suggestibility of the public that was laid bare during the pandemic-induced hysteria has led many to adjust their expectations radically downward, and few have benefited more from this dynamic than Biden.
This often gets passed over, but the big shift to mail in voting in 2020 was a mostly psychological phenomenon. It could not have happened without the legal cover of an “emergency,” but it also required the cooperation of an electorate frazzled (and lazy) enough to surrender their custody over the political process.
Has that really changed? Take a look at our current Congress, where you will find Senator John Fetterman (D-Pa.) stalking around in a hoodie and gym shorts.
A world in which Biden and Fetterman are “electable” is a world where words have no meaning.
But is this not the world toward which we are tending? What is justice in the new America? What is truth?
Our entire political system and civilization are under siege. Trump’s dramatic invocations of a “final battle” are not without merit.
Another five years of this demoralizing spectacle will have a devastating effect on the nation’s soul, which appears to be spiraling into despair.
The malaise of the post-pandemic era would spell doom for an incumbent in other times, but the normal rules of political logic do not obtain any longer. Compared to a few short years ago, there is a powerful smell of apathy in the air. There is a sense that people hate the way things are, but have grown to accept them.
The appeals to greatness that fill Trump’s soaring rhetoric only work on people with an appreciation for beauty and excellence. The cramped moral vision of social justice and “equity” more and more defines the national character.
It’s very unlikely that Biden will be replaced, supposing fate does not intervene. Democrats brute forced his way into power once before, and they are absolutely prepared to do it again.
All the same there are reasons for cautious optimism. Biden now is an incumbent and he cannot avoid physically campaigning like he did in 2020, which will doubtless tax his body and mind.
But if Biden is somehow ejected, it won’t be because he’s fallen down too many times. The complacency we see and feel around us will have to be replaced with the kind of smoldering rage that Trump tapped into in 2016.