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Dumping Joe Biden: The Amen Chorus Gets Louder

The left is saying “It’s time to go, Joe.”

“I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.” LBJ’s Address to the Nation – 1968

As the shock from President Joe Biden’s debate performance begins to sink in, his most stalwart supporters are hoping that he will echo Lyndon Baines Johnson’s address to the nation in 1968. Many prominent names on the progressive left are openly making the case for Mr. Biden to step aside. Here are a few excerpts:

The New York Times Editorial Board: “… the greatest public service Mr. Biden can now perform is to announce that he will not continue to run for re-election.

“Democrats who have deferred to Mr. Biden must now find the courage to speak plain truths to the party’s leader. The confidants and aides who have encouraged the president’s candidacy and who sheltered him from unscripted appearances in public should recognize the damage to Mr. Biden’s standing and the unlikelihood that he can repair it.”

Maureen Dowd: “He’s being selfish. He’s putting himself ahead of the country. He’s surrounded by opportunistic enablers. He has created a reality distortion field where we’re told not to believe what we’ve plainly seen. His hubris is infuriating. He says he’s doing this for us, but he’s really doing it for himself.

“I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about the other president.”

Michelle Goldberg: “I think Biden has to get out. As you know, I’ve been arguing since 2022 that he’s too old to run for re-election. But recently, when people have asked me about it, I’ve wondered, is it too late? While it would have been much better if Biden had stepped aside earlier and allowed a normal process for picking a successor, the debate demonstrated that the status quo is untenable. And I think that’s rapidly becoming the consensus not just among panicky pundits, but among senior Democrats.”

Washington Post Editorial Board: “Little good ever came from panicking. Mr. Biden cannot be coerced into doing something he doesn’t want to do. Nor should he be. What he can do is what many Americans are doing this weekend — wondering whether he is up to the job.”

David Ignatius: “Biden’s closest counselors — political adviser Mike Donilon, former chief of staff Ron Klain, the first lady — have an obligation to be honest with him now. If he has the strength and wisdom to step aside, the Democrats will have two months to choose another candidate. It will be a wide-open and noisy race, but that will be invigorating for the country. It’s never too late to do the right thing.”

Thomas L. Friedman: “I watched the Biden-Trump debate alone in a Lisbon hotel room, and it made me weep. I cannot remember a more heartbreaking moment in American presidential campaign politics in my lifetime, precisely because of what it revealed: Joe Biden, a good man and a good president, has no business running for re-election.

“I had been ready to give Biden the benefit of the doubt up to now, because during the times I engaged with him one on one, I found him up to the job. He clearly is not any longer. His family and his staff had to have known that. They have been holed up at Camp David preparing for this momentous debate for days now. If that is the best performance they could summon from him, he should preserve his dignity and leave the stage at the end of this term.”

Paul Krugman: “Given where we are, I must very reluctantly join the chorus asking Biden to voluntarily step aside, with emphasis on the ‘voluntary’ aspect. Maybe some Biden loyalists will consider this a betrayal, given how much I have supported his policies, but I fear that we need to recognize reality.”

Nicholas Kristoff: “… Mr. President, one way you can serve your country in 2024 is by announcing your retirement and calling on delegates to replace you, for that is the safest course for our nation.”

~

Should President Biden remove himself from the Democratic ticket, the road ahead is fraught with peril. Former Congressman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, expounded on this during an interview on FOX News:

 “You can’t just simply swap these people out and look, this ship sailed. A long time ago, Joe Biden should have stepped out. He should have been taking his victory lap and shame on the media. They should have been doing their job asking these questions, having the intellectual curiosity. And this is on Joe Biden. It’s around those people that are closest to the president.

“But this whole idea and this whole notion that maybe they should get a different candidate. That’s not the way the system works, folks. You can’t just go to your convention and say, well, it’s not going to be Joe Biden. We want it to be Gavin or Gretchen or somebody else. That’s not the way democracy works.

“They can’t switch out names on ballots. No, it depends on the states. Elections are not run by the party. They’re not run by the federal government. They’re administered by states. Each state has state law. Once you go through the primary, once you go through the caucus, you have to follow that law.”

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