Chris Graham: The case for Joe Biden to bow out of the 2024 race
President Biden should, today, tomorrow, whenever, but soon, announce that he will not seek re-election in 2024.
The writing is on the wall: Biden has no chance in 2024, and as much as it’s not his fault that this is the case, that’s immaterial.
For the good of the country, and its future, it’s time for him to step aside.
For starters, the economy, which presidents are judged on, first and foremost, is only going to take more steps back; it’s inevitable, given what we’ve had to deal with the past three years.
Not criticizing the bipartisan decisions to inject trillions of dollars of stimulus into the economy to try to prop things up during the pandemic, but the piper will have to be paid eventually, and that reckoning is already starting to come in the form of the record inflation we’re dealing with right now.
That the economic pain isn’t unique to the U.S. tells us that the recession to come isn’t the result of anything that Biden and Democrats are doing, but the way politics works, it doesn’t matter.
The party in power is rewarded when the economy is strong, and punished when it’s weak.
Heap that on to the resume of a politician who already didn’t exactly energize even the people who voted for him first time, and you can see the issue.
Biden is pretty much Jimmy Carter 2.0 – elected not so much on his own merits, but because the electorate had tired of the shenanigans of the other side.
Carter barely won in 1976 running against the guy who was vice president during the height of the Watergate investigation; Biden had a 7 million-vote popular-vote margin over Donald Trump, but a relative few thousand votes in a couple of states could have flipped the Electoral College.
Trump still has his committed hardcore base, plus enough Republicans and independents who can’t stand him but will vote for him nonetheless if all they have is a feckless alternative.
Biden’s is the definition of a feckless presidency, lacking initiative, character, any sense of direction, other than backwards on pretty much anything and everything that he was elected to do.
Hard as it is to believe, more Americans died from COVID in 2021 than did in 2020, and we just hit the 1 million deaths mark last week, so, still counting.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, is on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade, and Mitch McConnell is hinting that federal legislation codifying a nationwide abortion ban could be in the works once Republicans get control of Congress and the White House again.
Biden, for his part in this, can’t even get himself to commit to supporting the elimination of the Senate filibuster to try to get out ahead of the politics that are in the works to that end.
And we’ve had nothing from Biden or his administration to try to move the needle on healthcare, even as millions are still uninsured, and tens of millions more are underinsured, and at risk of having to face personal bankruptcy for something as simple as being in a car accident or something else that puts them in the hospital for a week or two.
Biden, barely effective, if effective at all, is already a lame duck, and we’re not even to his midterms yet, in the quicksand in the polls, with nothing in the offing that anybody can point to that might make you think things can turn around.
Democrats need to be able to build toward the midterms and then 2024 around a new candidate who can energize the base, who can give independents and nervous moderate conservative Republicans an alternative to having to risk burning the country down with giving Trump another go.
I’m not telling you here who that candidate might be, but I’m willing to go out on the limb of, almost literally any Democrat not named Joe Biden would be better for the party’s chances than Joe Biden.
I’m saying this now because, to me, the stakes are enormous.
A pre-emptive Biden strike as suggested here could breathe life into Democrats in the midterms, for one.
And for two, setting off a race among the would-be candidates could get us talking about the issues, as opposed to being stuck in the endless back-and-forth on personalities that a Biden-Trump rematch would engender.
Best-case scenario: we end up with a candidate who can not only win in 2024, but can be inaugurated in 2025 with a Congress she or he can work with to get things done, and a clear mandate from the country on what it wants to get done.
Worst-case is what we’re already staring down.
Story by Chris Graham