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More Than Ever, Trump’s Most Effective Campaign Ally Is Joe Biden

by Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen
Staying the course to disaster
When Joe Biden’s ABC News interview aired on Friday night, it made clear that he should not be running for re-election. Rather than reduce the concerns sparked by his abysmal debate performance eight days earlier, the interview underscored that the president is in denial about his current political standing and unable to offer reassurance that his mental capacities are unimpaired.

Notably, Biden kept dodging and refusing to reply in the affirmative when journalist George Stephanopoulos asked whether he has had “a full neurological and cognitive evaluation” and if he would “be willing to have the independent medical evaluation.”

While insisting that his behavior during the debate was “no indication of any serious condition,” Biden evaded key questions while resorting to snippets of stump speeches emphasizing purported foreign-policy “successes.” The interview transcript makes for ominous reading. If Joe Biden is the candidate standing between America and a second Trump presidency, the nation is in extremely dire straits.

Four years after the Democratic Party and grassroots activists propelled Biden into the presidency, he is now adamant that he’ll stay the course as the 2024 nominee -- in effect, greatly boosting the Republican Party’s prospects for winning control of the White House and Congress.

It was widely reported that Joe Biden told more than 20 Democratic governors on Wednesday that he needs more sleep and that events should not be scheduled for him after 8 pm . Democrats have reason to question whether Biden is capable of mounting a vigorous presidential campaign; swing voters may wonder if he can run the White House.

It's all too tempting to lapse into spectator mode as developments in the current Biden psychodrama unfold. But progressives and others who understand the imperative of preventing a second Trump term should be determined to help shape history rather than just watching it in real time.

In recent days, it has become clear that only direct intervention by Democrats in Congress, propelled by grassroots pressure, can avert a Biden 2024 train wreck. It’s time to pull the emergency cord. And that means constituents should deluge every congressional Democrat with demands that they insist on Biden’s withdrawal from the presidential race.

This telling exchange occurred near the end of the interview:

STEPHANOPOULOS: “If you are told reliably from your allies, from your friends and supporters in the Democratic Party in the House and the Senate that they're concerned you're gonna lose the House and the Senate if you stay in, what will you do?”

BIDEN: “I'm not gonna answer that question. It's not gonna happen.”

Proving Biden wrong on that point will be essential.

Nothing in Biden’s interview will in the slightest mitigate the urgency of the Step Aside Joe campaign (which we help lead). On the contrary, Biden’s frequent dalliance with magical thinking rather than realism makes him the most powerful de facto ally that Donald Trump has in his quest to regain the White House.

For progressives, the task should be clear: Join with other political forces to insist that Biden voluntarily become a one-term president.

_____________________________

Norman Solomon is national director of RootsAction.org and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of many books including War Made Easy. His latest book, War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine , was published in summer 2023 by The New Press.

Jeff Cohen is co-founder of RootsAction.org, a retired journalism professor at Ithaca College, and author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. In 1986, he founded the media watch group FAIR.
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