If at first you don’t lose, try, try again

Ageism

Ashley Parker and Meryl Kornfield, “Watching Biden, many see the heartbreaking indignities of aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/07/biden-aging-debate-performance/

Kavita Patel, “I’m a doctor. Biden’s debate performance led me to a very different takeaway,” MSNBC, July 7, 2024, https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/biden-debate-nominee-ageism-aging-rcna160319


Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden


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

It’s all over for Joe Biden but the shouting.

Our desire to live longer is difficult to reconcile with society’s treatment of people who manage to do it. Polling data indicates that a majority of voters have reservations about the ability of older candidates to effectively manage the responsibilities of the presidency. For instance, a Pew Research Center survey found that only 3% of Americans believe the best age for a president is in their 70s or older, with the majority preferring candidates in their 50s. The concerns are not unfounded, as cognitive decline can affect decision-making, memory and the ability to handle stress — all critical aspects of presidential responsibility. But it is also true that age brings experience and wisdom, undoubtedly valuable assets in a president.[1]

The speech [in North Carolina] showcased the promised candidate, but also reinforced the inconsistency. Donors, strategists, elected leaders and even some of his own advisers privately said they no longer knew what they thought they knew about [Joe] Biden. Polls show that he is losing to Donald Trump, a man who almost never led polling averages until this cycle. The president needed a referendum on his predecessor. But suddenly the race was about Biden. Could he really do the job?

Rather than take those concerns head-on, Biden followed the speech and rally by retreating from public view — a series of private fundraisers awkwardly using his teleprompter, a retreat with his family to take pictures with photographer Annie Leibovitz, short scripted addresses at the White House — just 32 minutes of combined public comments over five days, none of it off the cuff.[2]

But on the big question that now threatens [Joe Biden’s] campaign — whether he still has the stamina and mental acuity to serve for four more years in the world’s toughest job — the 81-year-old president offered little reassurance [in an interview with George Stephanopoulos] beyond a proud recitation of his impressive first-term accomplishments. . . .

Just as distressing was Biden’s stubborn denial of his public standing and position in a race that he has characterized as an existential battle for the survival of American democracy.

Three separate polls conducted by CNN, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal after the debate all showed Biden trailing Trump by six points nationwide. Previous polls have shown Biden trailing in nearly all the battleground states he narrowly won in 2020. And now a handful of other states he won — Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Virginia — appear to be in play.

At this rate, Biden is likely headed for a landslide defeat to a lawless and unpopular former president.[3]

The campaign, meanwhile, has not been able to answer the central question of their detractors. What is the empirical case for Biden winning when 7 in 10 voters don’t think he is up for the job and Trump is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars to make him look worse than he is? How do you stage a referendum on Trump when another Democrat calls for Biden to drop out every day?[4]

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

David A. Graham, “What is the Biden campaign’s theory of victory now?” Atlantic, July 5, 2024, https://apple.news/AyCMikft8TDuFf_elUgfQSA

Eric Levitz, “In an ABC interview, Biden charts a course for Dems’ worst-case scenario,” Vox, July 5, 2024, https://www.vox.com/politics/359160/biden-abc-news-interview-drop-out

David Smith, “Biden says only ‘the Lord almighty’ could make him drop out in pivotal TV interview,” Guardian, July 5, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/05/biden-george-stephanopoulos-debate-interview

David Axelrod, “Biden’s defiant delusion,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/opinions/biden-failed-to-quell-panic-abc-interview-axelrod/index.html

Lauren Koenig, Samantha Waldenberg, and Betsy Klein, “Radio host who interviewed Biden says aides provided questions in advance,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/politics/biden-radio-interview-questions/index.html

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Josh Dawsey, “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/06/biden-debate-white-house-campaign/

Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/

Ashley Parker and Meryl Kornfield, “Watching Biden, many see the heartbreaking indignities of aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/07/biden-aging-debate-performance/

Kavita Patel, “I’m a doctor. Biden’s debate performance led me to a very different takeaway,” MSNBC, July 7, 2024, https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/biden-debate-nominee-ageism-aging-rcna160319


Imperialism

United States


Fig. 2. “American Progress,” painting by John Gast, 1872, digital version 2006, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

The world is preparing for the return of Donald Trump.

Paul McLeary et al., “Secret Meetings, Private Threats and a Massive Arms Race: How the World is Preparing for Trump,” Politico, July 7, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/07/nato-prepare-trump-2024-00165522

Russia

Ukraine


Fig. 3. Cartoon by Ella Baron, June 2, 2024, via the Guardian, fair use.

Paul McLeary et al., “Secret Meetings, Private Threats and a Massive Arms Race: How the World is Preparing for Trump,” Politico, July 7, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/07/nato-prepare-trump-2024-00165522


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump


Fig. 4. Donald Trump, depicted in an orange jumpsuit, reportedly by the Drudge, date unknown, via Mediaite,[5] fair use. Apparently, no mugshot was taken when he was actually arrested over hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.[6]

Paul McLeary et al., “Secret Meetings, Private Threats and a Massive Arms Race: How the World is Preparing for Trump,” Politico, July 7, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/07/nato-prepare-trump-2024-00165522


  1. [1]Kavita Patel, “I’m a doctor. Biden’s debate performance led me to a very different takeaway,” MSNBC, July 7, 2024, https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/biden-debate-nominee-ageism-aging-rcna160319
  2. [2]Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Josh Dawsey, “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/06/biden-debate-white-house-campaign/
  3. [3]David Axelrod, “Biden’s defiant delusion,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/opinions/biden-failed-to-quell-panic-abc-interview-axelrod/index.html
  4. [4]Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Josh Dawsey, “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/06/biden-debate-white-house-campaign/
  5. [5]Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/
  6. [6]Sarah D. Wire and Alexandra E. Petri, “Trump charged with 34 felony counts in alleged hush money cover-up case,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-04-04/donald-trump-alleged-hush-money-investigation-indictment-arraignment

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