Long in the Tooth

On a personal level, a disturbing part of Biden’s calculus, and this stalemate, is recalling how my mother became increasingly stubborn and delusional as she progressed into her dementia through her eighties.  She would often make outlandish proclamations, boasts of grandeur, and throw tantrums, which I came to understand were common effects of her condition.

Joe Biden’s stance, digging in and rebuffing the skeptics has that intransigence, but also brings other unsettling questions. His claim to be ‘the only one who can…’(manage NATO, grow the Economy…) is not only Trump-like, but dismissive of the talent now relegated to the bullpen in his own party.

I’ve been wondering about possible alternative motives he might have. Is he perhaps canny about the fact that Harris was chosen for optics and demographic appeal, and not really up to the task of president? Could that be his insight, his stubborn bravado a gambit, because he’s unwilling to hurt her feelings? Would publicly praising her skills undercut and threaten his own standing?

Might he have gotten stuck in his armor, “Scrappy Joe, the fighter from Scranton”. Like a typecast actor, has he lost sight of his own changing nature because the role took over?  These speculations are moot. I can only say POTUS belligerently saying STFU in response to any inquiry is not strengthening the SOTU, or improving Joe’s odds.

Does he firmly grasp, it truly isn’t all about him now? Say it ain’t so Joe, say it ain’t so.


Comments | 15

  • I think they are pausing (ie "stay the course") to run some numbers, then we'll hear something new

    There was also that bit about “we had primaries and the voters spoke!” Yeah, right.

    It seems like Democrats have a choice between sticking with Biden who is currently on a path to lose but maybe could rally (?) (no, he won’t), or gambling that someone else could possibly win (Harris plus whom?).

    It’s now a bit of a poker game. If it were up to me, I’d let Trump think that Biden was running as long as possible. Hold my cards close. Make him choose a VP and maybe even waste all his energy at the convention bashing Biden. Then pull the rug out from the GOP and offer up a new slate with new arguments of that the VP choice and convention blather looks useless.

    Democratic voters will get behind ANYONE the Democrats put out there. (Reminder that I am the only announced candidate for King – and if the full weight of the Democratic party got behind me, I could win.)

    If they look to Europe and welcome in Progressives or Greens, it could be an easy win. Of course, that’s really doubtful. My guess is if they go with Harris, they’ll decide to find a conservative white man to be VP. : )

    I’m against Trump but not for Biden. Want my vote, Democrats? Do something.


    I’m noticing a split between people who say 1) “you have to support Biden,” and those saying 2)”we have to beat Trump” I tend to think #2 should outweigh #1 in the Democratic calculations, but they don’t listen to me.

    • Duck..and Cover

      Mountains of commentary everywhere as we sit on pins and needles, fate of the world in the balance, or so it seems…I don’t have any special insight, but it’s nice to have an outlet to vent or spitball.

      My fear, and hunch, is that we’ll see another version of ’thin blue line’, as Dems close ranks..and do the ’safe’ thing, as is their wont. In this case safe is dangerous, because the electoral college, not the popular vote, is the determinant..And here is where Biden’s vulnerability is most perilous.

      I do note the fact that Dr Cannard- Parkinson’s specialist- sees nothing alarming in his eight visits to the WH. Of course his name has two Ns, so any homophonic coincidence is irrelevant- nothing to see here..move on…dot org

      • Money

        The big donors, I have to believe, will make the ultimate decisions. If the money keeps flowing, it is as it is.

  • Welcome #47- Herr Drumpf

    With all this shilly-shally 4 months before the election about who should run for the D side, it’s quite obvious that the Orange AntiChrist will win. Good job again, Ds.

    Democracy was nice. Bye-bye now, rights and freedoms.

    • Four months is a long time

      If Biden steps aside, which I would expect to happen after Trump picks a running mate and before the Democrats’ convention, the Democrats do have a big, wide-open chance to choose a new slate that could win big.

      Will they be that creative? Doubtful, but really the only reason to dump Biden would be to guarantee a win!

      The roots of the current problem go way back. Democrats at the top have regularly dismissed voters choices. Biden wasn’t even running when he was chosen to block Sanders (who is currently quite alert and able to debate).

      • My Prediction

        Biden will not step down. And there’s so much division now, it’s a lost cause. The Christo-fascist voters will unite to outnumber the regular people. I’m already preparing for the worst.

        • Coyote Logic

          Chuck Jones used to use this quote to describe the Coyote:

          “Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim. – George Santayana”

          • Project 2025

            Seems like “they” have a lot of aims. I’m listening to a reading of this monstrous plan and it’s a surreal dystopian Republican wet dream. Anyone else paying attention to this?

  • Well, well

    A week or two later and we’ve had both an assassination attempt on one candidate and the other dropped out.

    Kinda surprised at my predictions about Dems… should have bet it all! : )

    • What goes up…

      Assuming logic is still a factor, if you follow the logic of your prediction, here’s the VP pick
      https://digbysblog.net/2024/07/22/roy-cooper-for-vp/. Mark Kelly also looks good in this regard.
      But if we can say anything about the moment, balls are in the air, where they fall nobody knows

    • Not Hopeless After All!

      I’m so relieved, and while I’m not a cockeyed optimist, I’m encouraged. This morning I’m seeing murbles about Beto O’Rourke as her 2nd…

      • GOP barely in the news

        The D’s effectively knocked the wind out of the R’s sails. (GOP convention? Bullet near ear? Barely in the news at all anymore.)

        I think Harris “winning over” people went a bit quick. She won everyone over in under 24 hrs with no competition and no promises! Understandably, they want to get back to hauling in money, so they hurried. I think they should have taken a few more days. (still anointing, but with more free air time in the news!)

        I think the D’s are part way there with all of this. They changed things substantially, and you can see the GOP scrambling to come up with some sort of new plan. Everything was based on running against Biden. Now we see the GOP candidate whining about the fact that the Dems took his criticism of Biden being old seriously and got rid of him.

        I’m hoping the D’s switch up the approach next – stop saying that the GOP is evil and will be terrible. Instead, present a handful of really solid policies that you promise will be good. Higher wages, tough on immigration, cheaper healthcare.

        As for VP’s – it won’t be someone who will outshine her. Those stars might be part of a cabinet or administration, but doubtful on the campaign ticket. Expect someone you’ve barely heard of. : ) (The Roy Cooper mention above fits that bill…)

        And, we still have a long way to go before the election. Any number of other weird things can and probably will happen.

        One of the more interesting campaign seasons that I can recall… : )

      • Four Timeless Words

        Not really inclined to cash the functional democracy check just yet…(Jan 6 redux, supreme court cabal) but things looking up electorally for Dems for sure.

        A phrase keeps rattling in my head regarding Trump and MAGA. “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi”

  • Some more thoughts on poker

    It would appear that the D’s have a few more obvious, big cards that could be played as needed:

    1. Biden could step down (GOP is calling for it!) and Harris could become an incumbent President.

    2. The VP choice reveal

    3. Their convention

    4. Escalating to a hot war with Russia (old school approach to gamble Americans won’t switch leaders in wartime.)

    5. Something now-legal that the President is enabled by the Supreme Court to do.

    6. A new platform of issues revealed.

    On the GOP side, it seems they may have made the mistake of peaking too early.A few weeks ago it was theirs to lose. Now things have switched. Still, they have some cards to play:

    1. Courtrooms and lawsuits. Current GOP loves courtrooms and suing.

    2. Tying up Harris in Congress. GOP could interfere with her campaigning by trying to schedule lots of votes that require tie-breakers.

    3. They could also force her to make some hard-to-explain public votes, perhaps. (You know, a bill with a buried paragraph about baby killing or something.)

    4. A weak spot. They could find a weak spot to exploit. So far, making fun of her laugh isn’t working. And it would be risky to use any racist or sexist tropes this time around, since people of color and women are needed by the GOP to win.

    Plus, there are the unknown unknowns for both sides… : ) More political violence? More health issues for candidates? A rare series of 12 major hurricanes destroying the east coast?

    Reviewing everything above, the D’s seem to have the slight edge at this moment. But that could change by the time I finish typing this. : )

  • brainwashing is the issue

    One of our maintenance guys is going around telling people “the end is near” so you better get Jesus. Also, Trump is going to go to war with the aliens that live 12 miles underground with Putin as his ally. He said he doesn’t care if he loses his job, that everyone should get silver and gold because the banks will take all your money, that some conspiracy theory movie explains it all, and I’m going to Hell for not believing all this crapola.

    I’m worried for his sanity, and his daughter.

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