The 2024 election is clear: Joe Biden vs. fascism
Last minute calls for Biden not to run for re-election because of his age are reckless and self-serving.
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Announcing he is not going to run for re-election in 2024, Senator Mitt Romney called on President Biden not to run for re-election, urging him, along with Donald Trump, to "stand aside" for younger candidates.
On the same day, in the Washington Post, long-time columnist David Ignatius also called on Biden not to run—and added in Vice President Kamala Harris too. Though Ignatius acknowledged the Biden-Harris administration has had a "remarkable string of wins," he pointed to polls showing a majority of voters supposedly believe Biden’s too old (though those people don’t say they won’t vote for him).
"Because of [voters] concerns about Biden’s age, voters would sensibly focus on his presumptive running mate, Harris," Ignatius concludes, then pointing out that Harris is even less popular than Biden in favorability polls. So both of them, he says, should just step down.
Seriously? We’re supposed to just replace the entire ticket in the re-election of one of the most successful first-term presidencies? All at the last minute?
Elsewhere, other pundits (mostly white men) are saying Biden should run but should replace Harris on the ticket, with one advising he replace Harris with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. (Never mind that Whitmer, nor anyone else right now, would even dream of doing that, as Democratic leaders have been squarely committed to Biden and Harris being re-elected.)
All of this is useless fretting as well, as the train has left the station. The election is cast: it’s Joe Biden, who’s achieved an enormous amount and has an able and now experienced vice president, or fascism.
That’s it. Take Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, with all of their flaws, or the twice-impeached, four-times indicted authoritarian who has a plan for taking revenge on his enemies and instituting complete dictatorship should he win.
Do the critics realize how reckless their suggestions are? Do they have any sense of how electoral politics works and a knowledge of the constituencies in Democratic Party base? Or are they just naive?
Even Ignatius acknowledges there is no successor waiting in the wings but still thinks it’ a good idea and things will just work out.
Right now, there’s no clear alternative to Biden—no screamingly obvious replacement waiting in the wings. That might be the decider for Biden—that there’s seemingly nobody else. But maybe he will trust in democracy to discover new leadership.
Again, just bonkers. This is no time to leave things to chance—one of the most dangerous times in American history.
Remarkably, Biden has been a unifier in the Democratic Party, able to get the support of diverse factions, from the center to the left, as he has taken on the threat to democracy. There is no one like him, certainly not with the name recognition and trust of the party—and it’s too late anyway. The Democratic Party would fracture, and we’d be in the midst of a contentious primary race in just three months, with warring factions.
Unity would vanish in the face of the threat on the other side, where there is a lot of unity around a fascist. And having an 80-year-old white president dump the first Black female vice president is a recipe for disaster. It would be an insult to millions of Americans, particularly Black women, and enrage the base of the party.
And for what reason? In every one of these polls we’ve seen, the Democratic base is solidly behind Biden and Harris, unlike a year ago (before Trump was definitely running). As I’ve explained, the polls on age or the economy are useless, skewed because Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are bringing them down, always answering the question as a referendum on Biden.
Of course, it’s a no-brainer that we shouldn’t be listening to Romney, who not only paved the way for Trump in the GOP; he did too little, too late in standing up to Trumpism, and is now defeated, giving up.
And all of these other people suggesting Biden and/or Harris step aside, whether or not they call themselves liberals or Democrats, are self-serving, trying to get attention, and offering simplistic suggestions at a time when we should be rallying people and explaining it in black and white. It’s Biden vs. Trump. Democracy vs. fascism. Plain and simple.