In the category of, I don’t know how this happens or when. But it surely must.

Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden


Fig. 1. Joe Biden and Pope Francis, unknown photographer, April 29, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

If [Mark R.] Warner’s group [of senators wanting a meeting with Joe Biden] were to materialize, it would be a major shift in how Democrats are approaching whether Biden can stay in the contest against [Donald] Trump [following a disastrous debate].

In August 1974, three Republican congressional leaders went to the White House to inform President Richard M. Nixon that he no longer had enough support to survive impeachment over the Watergate scandal. Nixon resigned two days later.[1]

I am quoting the introduction to today’s “Meanwhile in America” [sic[2]] newsletter in full:

The question is becoming how long Joe Biden can hang on.

One week after his presidential debate debacle, the president’s position deteriorates every day. The misfiring response by the White House and the campaign has only exacerbated the concerns of Democrats who now see their presumptive nominee as an almost certain loser to ex-president Donald Trump in November.

To begin with, Biden’s campaign was scathing in its mockery of his critics, calling them “bedwetters.” It’s still not satisfying Democrats who are demanding that Biden throw himself into exhaustive campaigning, open-ended press conferences and unscripted meetings with the public to prove he’s fit for the job. But either the president won’t go beyond controlled campaign and official events that usually involve a teleprompter — or he can’t.

More damagingly, every effort that the president’s team makes to ease the crisis only makes it worse. Biden’s camp has now cycled through a succession of what it says are “explanations” and not excuses. First, his team said Biden had a cold. Then he was supposedly overloaded in debate prep by his team. Now the White House arguing that Biden’s frequent incoherence in the debate was down to jet lag that was lingering over a week after he returned to the US. On Wednesday, the White House had said that although he had a cold, Biden didn’t see a doctor after the debate. On Thursday, officials squandered what little trust that remained in its communications shop by reversing themselves and said he did indeed briefly consult a physician.

Also on Thursday, in potentially the most damaging revelation so far, it emerged that Biden told Democratic governors on Wednesday night that the problem was that he didn’t get enough shut-eye. He said that part of his plan was to stop scheduling events after 8 p.m., three sources briefed on his comments told CNN.

None of this is helping Biden; rather, it is exacerbating the now existential threat to his presidency. Voters have been telling pollsters for months that they think he’s too old to serve a second term, but he decided to run anyway, reasoning he was the only candidate who could spare the nation from Trump.

Increasingly risible explanations for the president’s debate catastrophe hardly conjure a picture of a president in robust health who can continue to fully execute the duties of the presidency until he is 86.[3]

A few cycles ago, a hot question was about the three a.m. phone call. In a hypothetical, the Russians (or, formerly, the Soviets) have launched a nuclear missile. We have not established its course. It might be headed for the U.S. It might not. How will the U.S. respond?

“Three a.m. phone call” questions are: Who do you want responding to that call? How do you want them to respond? Do you trust them to respond in the way that you would want?

Now we have a president who says he needs to be in bed at eight.[4]

The trouble here goes way, way, way beyond a single old man in what happens to be the most powerful office in the world, though with the possibility of early-stage dementia, that is quite frightening enough. This is also about the Democrats and their absolute determination to functionally ignore the needs and desires of the people. In this case, they’re even ignoring the “donor class.”[5] They know better than everyone else. Everyone else is to be resolutely ignored.

Republicans at least respond to some people. They might be despicable people, but they get a response.

The Democrats’ arrogance is the arrogance that precipitates downfalls. And between Donald Trump, white Christian nationalism, a competitive authoritarian regime project, and other aspects of the Gilead project, there is nothing even remotely approaching an alternative. Which may well mean the downfall of the country.

But hey, we chose the “lesser evil.”

Eugene Daniels, Rachael Bade, and Ryan Lizza, “Team Biden tries to quell Dem panic,” Politico, June 30, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2024/06/30/team-biden-tries-to-quell-dem-panic-00165945

Tyler Pager, “Biden aides plotted debate strategy for months. Then it all collapsed,” Washington Post, June 30, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/30/how-biden-debate-prep-led-to-damaging-event/

Maeve Reston, “Black men helped power Biden’s 2020 Georgia win. Some are wavering,” Washington Post, June 30, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/06/30/black-voters-georgia-election-biden-trump/

Alex Thompson, “Top aides shielded Biden from staff, but couldn’t hide the debate,” Axios, June 30, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/06/30/top-aides-shielded-biden-white-house-debate

John Heilemann, “Bidenworld’s Darkest Hour,” Puck, July 1, 2024, https://puck.news/should-biden-stay-or-should-he-go/

Matthew Choi, “Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett calls on Biden to withdraw from presidential race,” Texas Tribune, July 2, 2024, https://www.texastribune.org/2024/07/02/lloyd-doggett-joe-biden-withdraw-election/

Liz Goodwin et al., “Manchin threatened to break with Biden before senior Democrats intervened,” Washington Post, July 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/02/joe-manchin-biden-debate-democrats-drop-out/

Peter Hamby, “Biden Plunges in Swing States in Leaked Post-Debate Poll,” Puck, July 2, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-plunges-in-swing-states-in-leaked-post-debate-poll/

Jared Mitovich, “Democrats begin attacking Biden’s performance and campaign,” Politico, July 2, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/02/democrats-biden-debate-fallout-00166208

Eli Stokols et al., “‘We’ve all enabled the situation’: Dems turn on Biden’s inner sanctum post debate,” Politico, July 2, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/02/biden-campaign-debate-inner-circle-00166160

Prem Thakker, “Every Democrat Other Than Joe Biden Is Unburdened by What Has Been,” Intercept, July 2, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/07/02/biden-polls-democrats-alternative-candidates/

M. J. Lee, “Biden has privately acknowledged next stretch of days are critical for whether he can save his reelection bid,” Cable News Network, July 3, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/03/politics/joe-biden-2024-campaign-troubles

Ally Mutnick et al., “‘Everybody’s in panic mode’ as House Democrats scramble after debate,” Politico, July 3, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/03/house-democrats-biden-debate-00166533

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Matt Viser, “Biden faces growing political crisis over response to debate performance,” Washington Post, July 3, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/03/biden-crisis-debate-democrats/

Stephen Collinson and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “The dark cloud hanging over Biden’s Independence Day Party,” Cable News Network, July 4, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/newsletters/meanwhile-in-america

Yasmeen Abutaleb et al., “Biden’s aging is seen as accelerating, lapses described as more common,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/biden-aging-recent-months/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Liz Goodwin, “Sen. Mark Warner works to gather Senate Democrats to ask Biden to exit race,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/mark-warner-joe-biden-exit-race-democratic-senators/

Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress


(dis)United Kingdom

Prime minister


Fig. 2. President Reagan on the South Lawn during the arrival ceremony of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom. U.S. Government photograph, November 16, 1988, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Jack Blanchard and Andrew McDonald, “UK general election: Labour obliterate Tories with historic election win — exit poll,” Politico, July 4, 2024, https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-election-results-exit-poll-labour-win-tories-lose-keir-starmer-rishi-sunak/

William Booth and Karla Adam, “Landslide win for U.K.’s Labour ends 14 years of Conservative rule,” Washington Post, July 4, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/04/labour-wins-uk-election-results-2024/


Roman Catholic Church


Fig. 3. Catholic temple, El Señor de Tila, Balancan, Tabasco, Mexico. Photograph by Carlos Valenzuela, August 29, 2020, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has been excommunicated and is no longer a Roman Catholic. But he is still an archbishop.[6] Tell me how that makes sense.

The summary judgment by the Vatican can only be undone by a high ruling of the pope for the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith acting in his name. The excommunication means that [Carlo Maria] Viganò cannot officially accept Catholic sacraments including Communion, ordain priests or officiate Mass.

He does not immediately lose his clerical title, though such a step could follow if he is deemed to be unrepentant, experts say.[7]

Anthony Faiola and Stefano Pitrelli, “Vatican excommunicates Archbishop Viganò for refusing to recognize Pope Francis,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/05/vigano-excommunicated-schism-pope-francis/


  1. [1]Leigh Ann Caldwell and Liz Goodwin, “Sen. Mark Warner works to gather Senate Democrats to ask Biden to exit race,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/mark-warner-joe-biden-exit-race-democratic-senators/
  2. [2]The correct spelling is “Amerikkka.”
  3. [3]Stephen Collinson and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “The dark cloud hanging over Biden’s Independence Day Party,” Cable News Network, July 4, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/newsletters/meanwhile-in-america
  4. [4]Stephen Collinson and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “The dark cloud hanging over Biden’s Independence Day Party,” Cable News Network, July 4, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/newsletters/meanwhile-in-america
  5. [5]Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress
  6. [6]Anthony Faiola and Stefano Pitrelli, “Vatican excommunicates Archbishop Viganò for refusing to recognize Pope Francis,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/05/vigano-excommunicated-schism-pope-francis/
  7. [7]Anthony Faiola and Stefano Pitrelli, “Vatican excommunicates Archbishop Viganò for refusing to recognize Pope Francis,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/05/vigano-excommunicated-schism-pope-francis/

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