Welcome to the post-presidency of Joe Biden.

He’s still in the big chair, of course. And he may win a second term in November. But he has handed over the Democratic Party to others. The policies favored by those we feared were the “future” of the party are the policies we can expect from here on out. The future is now.

By now everyone is aware that the president has announced his withholding of certain bombs and munitions from Israel as the IDF prepares its attempt to take Hamas’s last major redoubt in Rafah. “I made it clear that if they go into Rafah—they haven’t gone in Rafah yet—if they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities—that deal with that problem,” Biden told CNN’s Erin Burnett. Mainly the president is talking about 2,000-pound bombs that Israel uses to clear its way through to Hamas’s fortified underground tunnel network.

The president explained, in an unusually honest statement: “We’re not walking away from Israel’s security. We’re walking away from Israel’s ability to wage war in those areas,” Biden said.

That is, Biden is trying to make it impossible for Israel to win the war against Hamas.

The immediate moral, strategic, and practical consequences were covered well here by John Podhoretz yesterday. The longer-term ramifications center on the fact that Biden was supposed to be a bulwark against not just the progressive fringe but his party’s overall trend away from Israel and our Gulf allies. As part of that trend, the Democrats threatened to abandon the one realistic road map to Middle East peace and efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. The trend also weakens democracy at the expense of autocracy, since it favors the Iran-Russia-China axis and leaves Israel and Ukraine less well-prepared to fend off their genocidal enemies—who are also, by the way, America’s enemies.

It’s true that Biden is the last Democrat of his kind and therefore this moment always seemed close at hand. But every political battle that Biden won against his party had a measurable effect on the power balance between the radicals and the moderates. To abandon that fight is to surrender to the barbarians at the gate, ensuring the post-Biden transition is not only imminent and irreversible (in the near term, at least) but chaotic, authoritarian, and baldly anti-Semitic.

Even if you believe the battle to be all but lost you still go down fighting. The alternative is to live as a cog or a figurehead without honor. Exhaustion is not a crime. But surrender is a choice.

One of the few beliefs shared across the partisan divide is this: après Biden, le deluge. After Biden, the radicals prophesied and the moderates feared, comes the flood. It is both bitterly appropriate and bone-chilling that this moment would come at a time when the “flood” metaphor is the animating call-to-arms of America’s domestic extremists.

Al-Aqsa Flood was the name of the pogrom that started all this, when Hamas murdered and raped and tortured its way through more than a thousand innocents, including children and the elderly, and then took hundreds hostage.

It was this barbarism that lit a fire under progressive and Islamist demonstrators in the West. Left-wing protest culture had never been so inspired as it was when witnessing the most depraved human behavior possible. Cosplaying trust-fund radicals got high from seeing civilization at its low. The post-October 7 protest movement that sprang forth from hell named itself after the Hamas operation: “Flood [x] For Gaza” became the template for the months of protests, in major cities and across college campuses, in celebration of the Hamas attacks. The conscious decision to name themselves after a campaign of child murder and sexual torture was the first but by no means the last indication that what we were seeing was not an antiwar movement but the wildfire spread of homegrown extremism.

And this is who Biden has surrendered his policy to. The argument in Biden’s favor was always that as long as he was in office, at least, he could stem the tide. But now the difference between Biden being president and some other Democrat being president is negligible. We are, functionally, after Biden. And the flood is here.

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