Sometimes you just have to give into the temptation and say it. From the beginning of 2023 until now, my fellow COMMENTARY podcasters and I have spent an inordinate amount of time on a daily basis discussing the topic that will now dominate all political discussion in America: Joe Biden’s unfitness for office due to his advanced age and his cognitive decline.

We told you so.

On February 8 of this year, I wrote these words: “We may well look back on February 8, 2024 as the specific moment in time Joe Biden’s bid for reelection was lost. The report of the special prosecutor issued this afternoon effectively said Biden was guilty of willfully mishandling classified documents—but that he could not be successfully prosecuted (and would not be until he was out of office anyway) because he is a nice senile old man and no jury would convict him.”

I was wrong. In fact, we will look back on June 27 as the specific night Joe Biden’s bid for reelection was likely lost, because the Hur story was a report and the presidential debate was an event. A huge event. The biggest national event since the Super Bowl. Watched by as many as 100 million people. Every one of them has eyes and ears, and the spin doctors can’t spin their way out of this one. The event itself will  produce clips that will be circulated throughout the country—clips that will inform everyone who didn’t watch just how weak and intellectually infirm Joe Biden is and will reinforce that view among those who did.

I’m no prophet. I’m no seer. And I’m certainly no Trumpian. I just looked at Biden and saw what I saw and I know that everyone else saw what I saw too. And I also saw this: Democrats and liberals did not stand up and work to deny Biden his reelection bid because they hate Donald Trump so much they could not believe he would survive the onslaught of the legal cases against him and his own indiscipline. They believed he would sabotage himself as he did in 2020, and that would be what mattered. They would be saved from their own weak candidate by the weakness of the opposing candidate.

The thing is, they never really had any substantive reason backed by data to think this. Trump has never given any indication of being a weaker candidate than Biden in the eyes of the electorate. This has been a one-point race for 18 months now. As I wrote in our October 2023 issue: “On January 1, 2023, Joe Biden led by six-tenths of a percentage point in the RealClearPolitics average, 44.8 to Donald Trump’s 44.2. On April 1, they were tied at 43. On June 1, Trump led, also by six-tenths of a single point, 44.6 to 44. On August 1, Biden zoomed into a crushing lead of nine-tenths of 1 percent, 44.9 to 44. But by September 7, Biden was up only four-tenths of a point, at 44.5 and Trump at 44.1. So all the melodrama—the mugshot for Trump, the way the sweetheart plea deal for Biden’s son blew up in a Delaware courtroom, the rape finding, the sight of Biden wandering out in the middle of a Medal of Honor ceremony over which he was presiding—has had no effect. If American politics is opera, it’s not Verdi. It’s Philip Glass—two notes played, over and over again, forever.”

But this week, even before the debate, something seemed to start breaking Trump’s way. Several polls have showed Trump pulling ahead, outside the margin of error if only just barely for the first time in any of his three races for the presidency. Perhaps the American people had some precognitive power that allowed them to see a week into the future, when they would turn on their televisions and see a Biden without even enough power to make his voice fully audible, making the three-years-younger Trump seem two decades his junior.

But really, it wasn’t that Democrats should have listened to me—though of course everyone should, at all times, my children especially. They should have listened to themselves. It’s been more than a year since polls showed two-thirds of self-described Democrats have said Biden was too old to be president, too old to run for reelection, and that they wanted someone else.

But they didn’t act. They just didn’t get it because their fixation on Trump led them on to a false hope. And now they are getting it. Oh, boy, are they getting it—and getting it, as H.L. Mencken once put it in another context, “good and hard.”


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