The Nojoementum

Papa go to bed now it’s getting late. Nothing we can say can change anything now. Because there’s just different people coming down here now and they see things in different ways. And soon everything we’ve known will just be swept away.” — Bruce Springsteen, Independence Day

+ Without inner sanctum access to Joe Biden, regular conversations with big money donors, and a better knowledge of the latest key polling data, I’m still not sure I’m qualified to decide to whether or not Joe Biden should stay in the race. As Plato might say, I know that I know nothing—even though everyone else in America with access to a keyboard and WiFi is quite sure they know everything. But after a few decades sitting front of this laptop, ingesting and regurgitating news for an adoring throng of readers, I know what I know, and I am eminently qualified to assess news momentum. And as we head into Independence Day, nearly a week after the debate that rocked Punditland, the media momentum suggesting (cajoling? demanding?) a Biden exit is accelerating. Yes, media momentum can turn on a dime (or more like 3 cents, adjusting for the deflation of the news business), but right now it is what it is. So let’s consider some of the latest thinking on the matter and then shift our holiday weekend attention to the aspects of American culture that are still holding strong: achieving a catatonic couch state watching televised sports and Netflix, shogunning beers, sparking illegal fireworks, complaining about unnatural heatwaves, and grilling meat by-products.

+ Thomas Friedman in the NYT (Gift Article): The Question President Biden Needs to Ask Himself. Now. “How might Biden do what is best for the country and worst for Trump — a small man at a big time who is so unwilling to say goodbye that he will not even admit he lost the election in 2020 fair and square? Not by scrambling to shift a few panicky donors to his side to tough it out until November, insisting that he just had one bad debate night. And not by daring the party to remove him. He should elevate himself and the party above the whole fray.” (Sort of like when Yoda lifted the X-Wing out of the swamp in Star Wars.)

+ Anne Applebaum in The Atlantic (Gift Article) gives a good overview of what’s at stake internationally, and why she thinks the Dems should Roll the Dice. “The Democrats can hold a new round of primary debates, town halls, and public meetings from now until August 19, when the Democratic National Convention opens. Once a week, twice a week, three times a week—the television networks would compete to show them. Millions would watch. Politics would be interesting again. After a turbulent summer, whoever emerges victorious in a vote of delegates at the DNC can spend the autumn campaigning in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—and win the presidency. America and the democratic alliance would be saved.” (So basically, Yoda steps aside from an active role and becomes a senior advisor to Luke who defeats the Empire. OK, that plays.)

+ In a somewhat less likely and less messy process, Garance Franke-Ruta argues that Biden should Resign and Make Kamala Harris President. (Of course, this strategy means you have to believe Kamala gives you the best chance to beat Trump, or at least a better chance than Biden. And know the answer to that question I do not.)

+ Interestingly, the loudest voices on the chill, you idiots side of the argument are never-Trump Republicans (or former Republicans) like Stuart Stevens: The Absurdity of the Dump-Biden Uprising, and David Frum: Apocalypse Not. And for an insider look, here’s Dan Pfeiffer on what has many Dems so worried and why the panic (like the media momentum) is getting worse. All the opinions aside, the decision really comes down to one guy. And so far… Biden vows to keep running after his disastrous debate. ‘No one is pushing me out.’ Whatever the right answer is, we better find it and execute on it quickly. Trump can’t be allowed to win. Do… or do not. There is no try. May the democracy force be with us.

Copied to Clipboard