What If Biden Won’t Go Away?

Photograph Source: The White House – Public Domain

“Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”
– Lyndon Baines Johnson  March 31,1968 

When it comes to the ‘24 Presidential Election anyone expecting Joe Biden to do the decent thing and scram has obviously never watched old C-SPAN footage of that strutting, down-punching, war-lusting, gratuitous pain-inflicting blowhard in his prime.

Biden loyalists, knowing their leader is more prick than invalid, are focused elsewhere. Their solution for his unfavorability problem literally involves having him walk shorter distances to appear less frail. Though in fairness, what are their options? To herald his accomplishments?

It’s fascinating to consider what the policy intentions of the Biden Administration would have been, apart from soul restoration, had COVID-19 never existed. Would they have even tried to implement anything lasting? I doubt it.

The Democratic Party, in its magisterial ability to suck, deliberately designs programs with built-in expirations based on the curdled economic advice of corrupt charlatans whose relevance is decades past a Sell-By date. { see: Summers, Lawrence}

Childhood hunger. Infant mortality. Housing and economic insecurity. Oil drilling. A foreign policy constructed around the enabling of weapons flows and Gazan corpse mounds. There are only so many obvious issues Democrats may ask prospective voters to ignore.

Joe Biden giving every appearance of being likely to spend some near term moment in a flag draped catafalque pulled down Pennsylvania Avenue by a team of Clydesdales is not among them.

So what is the Democrats’ plan? If it were up to David Axelrod of course, the elderly Biden might suffer a debilitating fall… repeatedly… over the railing of the Truman Balcony.

But failing that, can party hacks truly intend to spend an entire year and untold billions attempting to convince voters that Joe has lost less of his mind than Donald?

Granted, Trump’s descent into madness is now almost Colonel Kurtzian in scope. One can easily picture him in a second term, bald and over 300 pounds, (Yes I know. That’s sort of what Trump is now.) trundling past the severed heads of prosecutors and bureaucrats stuck atop row upon row of South Lawn pikes as he muses on the meaning of vengeance to a mind blown Sean Hannity in full Dennis Hopper-fawning lickspittle mode. (Yes I know. That’s precisely what Hannity is now.)

Yet if the polls worsen and Biden refuses to transition from presumptive nominee to passenger on the River Styx might Democratic power brokers grow desperate enough to pursue the one sane political option left them? Namely, to somehow get Kamala Harris off the ticket?

Returning Harris to her richly deserved anonymity would certainly unleash a festival of petard hoisting for a party claiming a foundation of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The mire of charges which would immediately ensue should the nation’s first female, Black and Asian American Vice President be shown the exit would certainly include racism, misogyny, and thanks to the second gentleman, perhaps even antisemitism.

But here’s the problem: While a presidential race may be considered a tossup because both candidates are viewed as self-reverential, inarticulate, jerks with no discernible positions on anything which actually matters to voters, a ticket cannot be considered balanced for the same reason.

Yet for those old enough to remember when Joe Biden was thought to be FDR, history offers an ironic possibility. In 1944, Franklin Roosevelt’s running mate was decided in open convention. In the single greatest catastrophe to befall 20th century American progressivism, sitting Vice President Henry Wallace was dumped for Harry Truman.

That Harris is neither more nor less vapid than Pence or Biden or Gore or Quayle is beside the point. If Biden were to announce that he will accept the judgment of the people regarding the choice of Vice President it would transform a melancholy slog to the convention into a frenetic policy discussion on everything from weed legalization to treating Palestinians as human beings.

It would allow the Beshears and Newsoms and Pritzkers and Whitmers and Shapiros an entry lane without completely running Team Kamala off the road.

It could be sold as Biden doing the responsible political equivalent of that which so many senior citizens often fail to do… formally making out a will. And it would possess that one essential quality of any deliberate action undertaken by the Democratic Party – it would appear to address a problem.

Do I expect it to happen? Of course not.

Like countless enfeebled potentates before him Biden will insist on clinging to unconditional power. Fortunately, history still provides solutions.

According to ancient sources, when the trembling and syphilitic Emperor Tiberius emerged from his Imperial chambers mumbling for a pork cutlet, Quintus Macro, a prefect of the Praetorian Guard, seized a pillow and smothered the life from him.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Jerry Long is a writer, actor, podcaster and political satirist who, with his brother Joe, has worked with Adam McKay on numerous projects. He can also be reached at jlbeggar@gmail.com