SATURDAY: Are we locked in a type of tribal denial?


Only time will tell: In private, is President Biden "perfectly lucid, with a good grasp of events?" 

Beyond that, does the president exercise good judgment concerning major policy matters?

In this brief post, Paul Krugman answers those questions in the affirmative, based upon an hour-long conversation with President Biden last August. 

We know of no reason to doubt what Krugman says about his conversation with the president. That said, we've been asking a different question at this site. The question we've asked has been this:

Will Candidate Biden be able to campaign, with vigor and clarity, on his own behalf?

Rightly or wrongly, we see no sign that Candidate Biden will be able to do that. In our view, Thursday night's press event only drove that point further home.

This brings us to what President Roosevelt said he saw when he looked out at the nation. "Here is the challenge to our democracy," he said in January 1937, in his second inaugural address

Here is the challenge to our democracy.

In this nation I see tens of millions of its citizens—a substantial part of its whole population—who at this very moment are denied the greater part of what the very lowest standards of today call the necessities of life.


I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished...

Everywhere that president looked, he saw "one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished." In his view, that was the challenge to our democracy at that point in time.

That's what Franklin D. Roosevelt saw. Everywhere we look today, we see roughly that same percentage of the population trapped in something which looks to us, perhaps mistakenly, as a form of wishful thinking / denial.

Friend, did it look to you, on Thursday night, like President Biden will be able to drive a vigorous campaign? We can only remind you of this:

This very week, two days before that press event, a new NBC News survey emerged with these dispiriting results:

Biden’s age and fitness top the list of voters’ concerns, poll finds

Three-quarters of voters, including half of Democrats, say they have concerns about President Joe Biden’s mental and physical health, according to the latest national NBC News poll.

That compares with...less than half of voters who have concerns about [Trump's] mental and physical health.

More precisely, 76% of respondents voiced that concern with respect to Biden's mental and physical health, as opposed to 48% of respondents with respect to Trump. 

(Back in mid-January, similar numbers emerged from this survey by ABC News.)

That NBC News survey question is somewhat imprecise. That said, the Fox News Channel doesn't reach that many voters, and it certainly doesn't reach that many Democrats. 

Many respondents seemed to think they'd seen some point of concern in the case of President Biden. Dating to his first speech in Lanai last August. we count ourselves inside that camp. 

Other people can't seem to see any such thing. In the end, there's no way to say who is "right," but those survey numbers continue to speak loudly all by themselves.

Everywhere we look today, we think we might be looking at a type of group denial. Examples:

At this site, a favorite blogger links to a tweet by Josh Marshall and complains about the treatment of the Thursday night event in the online New York Times. The print edition of Friday's Times is said to have made more sense.

Fellow citizens, please! The event in question took place at 8 p.m. Thursday night. It's surprising that the event got reported in the next day's print editions at all, let alone above the fold on the New York Times front page, which is where it landed.

The second layout, from the online Times, is timestamped 9 o'clock Friday morning. By then, the topic had gone thoroughly viral. It's hardly surprising that the Times was now providing substantial coverage.

There's nothing to see with President Biden! The New York Times is being unfair! Is that perhaps the way it goes when a poorly functioning political tribe may begin to smell defeat in the air?

Our tribe continues to praise the Goldilocks Biden economy. Then, we wonder why the others aren't as thrilled with it as we are. 

That approach conveys pleasure, and seems to make sense, until you watch the PBS NewsHour and encounter a report like this one from Thursday night:

Half of American renters pay more than 30% of income on housing, study shows

Rental prices are unaffordable for a record number of Americans with half of all renters paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Stephanie Sy reached out to renters across the country to hear how these soaring prices are impacting their lives and discussed their issues with Whitney Airgood-Obrycki. 

In our view, the report is more sobering than that synopsis suggests—and it seems to suggest why a lot of good, decent people are possibly less than thrilled with the economy our blue tribe's tribunes praise.

For a news report in the Washington Post about that same Harvard study, you can just click this. The report appeared three weeks ago, then rapidly disappeared:

Rent has never been less affordable, especially for the middle class

Rent has never been less affordable—for tenants with high and low incomes alike—even while costs for new leases are finally cooling off.

Half of American renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs—a key benchmark for affordability—with the financial strain rising the fastest for middle-class tenants. That’s according to a new report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, which found that the number of such renters, considered to be “cost-burdened,” hit a record 22.4 million in 2022—up 2 million from just three years before. And of those households, 12.1 million had housing costs that ate up more than 50 percent of their income, an all-time high for those with “severe burdens.”

As we recently noted, we often read blue tribe reports about how great the economy is. But when we click the link to the source for the upbeat report, we see horrible news about housing costs—for rental housing and home purchase—which the upbeat tribune has simply failed to mention.

Could that be the way it goes as a very large political tribe starts to fear the worst?

Last night, Bill Maher suggested that the Democratic Party may need to find a way to replace Candidate Biden, perhaps at the party's convention. (We know that because they played the tape of what Bill said on this morning's Fox & Friends.)

If we knew of any viable replacement, we might even buy onto that pipedream-adjacent idea. That said, we know of no such possible candidate.

It may be that President Biden will turn things around and begin to campaign with vigor and clarity. For ourselves, it looks like the president may be caught in a type of decline.

We see no sign that he'll be able to campaign in the vigorous way which will be needed. Of course, our perception could turn out to be wrong.

Could Candidate Trump actually get elected again this year? Yes, of course, could! 

He could also crash and burn during one of his three million court cases. That said, Candidate Trump could get elected again—and if that happens, our own blue tribe will be facing a long, hard comeback road. 

In our view, our self-impressed tribe has often worked quite hard to earn its way out. Everywhere we look today, we see one-third of a deeply challenged, struggling nation which seems to be in something resembling group denial.

Joe Biden may fight back! That said, we're not sure that the Biden of even a few years ago is still with us today. His private functioning may be strong, as Krugman says, but he may struggle out on the stump.

On Monday, we expect to start exploring the armies our own blue tribe has in the field as the siege of the White House begins. In our view, our tribe's elites have frequently worked fairly hard to earn our way out.

That doesn't mean that we're bad people. It only means that we're people people.

As in Casablanca, so too here! Human beings that we are, we may be inclined to head down to Rick's Cafe, where we can gambol and play.


  1. If the right wing were not constantly hammering away on Biden's age, would the general public have any idea how old he is? And in that case, would they be dissatisfied with his performance as president? Probably not.

    In FDR's time, impressions of the president's "vigor" came via a radio address. Now we have TV and the internet but we also have medicine and health contributing to longevity so that people are living productive lives much longer than in the 1940s. Somerby takes Biden's age into account without considering the offsetting changes in health, and that is unfair to Biden and to our society.

    And here is the real problem. We need Biden now. We do not need to put someone else into the Presidential role simply because they are young. We need the person who has been shown most capable of solving our country's problems, which have been unusually challenging. The people who have experience previously dealing with Putin are older people like Biden. Biden has the right combination of skill and experience to be president now, and it is impossible to say that anyone else among the younger candidates has that.

    None of this matters to Somerby because he is busy trying to put Trump back into office. But to those of us who do not want another Trump presidency, Biden is our best chance to elect someone who can do a good job solving our country's problems, not be just a younger smiling face who would bumble through disasters (think George W. Bush).

    With Trump, people would get someone who is old, never did think straight, is too ignorant to do the job, and has the personality and corruption of a mob boss. And that is who Somerby would put into office ahead of the man who has already shown he can function well. Why? Because Biden looks too old on TV.

    1. Doesn't Biden seem old to you?

    2. Anonymouse 10:28am, run Biden.

      By all means, run him.

    3. Biden is the same age as many of the people I play duplicate and tournament bridge with. Those people are sharp and they routinely beat less experienced players much younger than themselves.

      It is health, not age, that affects cognitive fitness. Even people over 80 years old can be in good health, as Biden obviously is:

      "Many older adults are actually in very good health, for example—44 percent of adults in the 65-74 age range and 35 percent of adults 75 and older report their health status to be “very good” or “excellent” (Pleis and Lethbridge-Çejku, 2007)."

      It makes more sense to apply ideas of unhealthy aging to Trump, who is obviously struggling with health problems, than to Biden, who rides a bike and is mainly taking preventative medications (for cholesterol and blood pressure, just like 40 year olds do). Four years ago, Trump could not walk along with other world leaders at summits and had to ride a golf cart. Biden can walk. Biden can also think, in ways Trump never could, even when younger. Those who have worked with Trump comment that they have never met such an ignorant person. That has to do with many other traits besides age.

    4. "Donald J. Trump turned 40 years old today."
      -----The NY Times

    5. The media says: "The general consensus is that 50 is more like the new 30. On average, 69% of women age 45–60 reported feeling at least six years younger than their chronological age. Women in their fifties still feel sexy, vibrant, beautiful and desirable."

      That would make Biden 51, or at least younger than Trump, since Biden clearly FEELS much younger than his age, whereas Trump cannot walk around without a golf cart, needs to hold the railing of a ramp, is overweight and unhealthy looking and has adopted a sombre ponderous tone when speaking that mocks any suggestion of youth. Even his relatively young wife (Melania is 50) seems to have left him and he just isn't a fun guy any more.

    6. That doesn't answer the question. Again, doesn't Biden seem old to you?

    7. He looks fine for his age.

    8. If Biden wins, thus proving Somerby and his fanboys wrong, they will carry on as they always have without making any reassessments based on the new evidence.

      They don’t care about anything, they have no ideology, they are just obsessed with dominance; it’s a tragic circumstance that will either end, or end society.

  2. Aston “Family Man” Barrett has died.

  3. Looking at Biden, he seems way too old. But he still would be better than Trump.

  4. God has chosen President Trump, and God doesn’t make mistakes.

  5. It’s interesting here that Bob has some background as a stand up comic, like Bill Maher. Because the Republican Party is now defined by the likes of “Gutfeld!” They actually heckled the President at last year’s SOTU. They seemed to suddenly think they were assholes at a comedy club. Alas the President handled like a pro and turned it to his advantage. I wonder if Bob ever handled hecklers so well.
    Let’s note Bob has nothing to say about the scuzzy nature of the Republican report that had to clear him of criminal wrong doing on documents.
    The stock market is thru the roof, we are out of Afghanistan, and the jobs reports have been amazing. The recession Fox was dreaming of never came. Could it be what really scares Bob is that he Biden has a black female Veep who would be a normal President as opposed to Trump, whose every massive deficient he has minimized as much as he can?

    1. Black AND a woman.
      Bob's searching, desperately, for one more strike.

    2. 50 is too old for a VP to serve

      If we're going to impose arbitrary cutoffs that have nothing to do with a person's performance, why not that one?

    3. It’s interesting how effective Harris was at Senate hearings, yet is a relatively mediocre campaigner.

      Regardless, I’m happy to vote for Biden/Harris, although I look forward to more progressive and leftist candidates in the future.

    4. Sometimes being an introvert is a handicap compared to being a sociopathic narcissist.

  6. "But while the report disparaged Mr. Biden’s mental health, medical experts on Friday noted that its judgments were not based on science and that its methods bore no resemblance to those that doctors use to assess possible cognitive impairment.

    In its simplest form, the issue is one that doctors and family members have been dealing with for decades: How do you know when an episode of confusion or a memory lapse is part of a serious decline?

    The answer: “You don’t,” said David Loewenstein, director of the center for cognitive neuroscience and aging at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

    The diagnosis requires a battery of sophisticated and objective tests that probe several areas: different types of memory, language, executive function, problem solving, and spatial skills and attention.

    The tests, he said, determine if there is a medical condition, and if so, its nature and extent. Verbal stumbles are not proof, Dr. Loewenstein and other experts said"


    Somerby has insisted on diagnosing Trump with mental illness and he has repeatedly diagnosed Tucker Carlson based on childhood experiences. Somerby is UNQUALIFIED to diagnose either men based on public appearances because that is not how you diagnose mental illness or emotional disturbance.

    Somerby is now off on a tear diagnosing Biden with "too-old-itis" or some unspecified oldness, calling him unfit when he has shown no evidence whatsoever of being unable to do the job. Somerby is not qualified to diagnose cognitive impairment, any more than he is Trump or Carlson's problems (which are much more obvious).

    It is just as wrong for Somerby to call Trump crazy as it is for him to call Biden "too old" (his euphemism for dementia). Nor is Somerby being even-handed in THAT diagnosis. Trump has worse cognitive impairment evidenced in his speeches than Biden. Trump is in worse health, based on diet and exercise. Trump reveals none of his health status, and didn't when president, whereas Biden has released his full exam results (showing no major health issues). Trump could have heart problems, diabetes (which affects cognition and memory), cancer or some other undisclosed problem, without telling us. He doesn't seem to be aceing his speeches lately, but in fairness, he is under a lot of stress -- but so is Biden.

    But when did Somerby become a physician, much less a gerontologist, much less a licensed professional of any kind? NEVER. And that means he is talking out of his ass again while pretending he has a clue about what normal aging vs dementia looks like.

  7. I have to think to figure out my adult daughter's age. But I remember that I have a daughter. With dementia, a person forgets major, inescapable things, not just dates or names. For example, a man with early onset Alzheimer's forgot the existence of a division of the company he ran. A female professor with dementia, sat in the audience of her own class because she forgot she was the teacher. That is what dementia is like, not occasionally forgetting a name or date from the past. Watch the film "Away From Her" in which a wife gradually becomes worse with Alzheimer's. She starts by forgetting the word "wine" while holding a bottle in her hand, later needs to label drawers with their contents to find things in the kitchen, forgets how to navigate familiar places, and ultimately forgets she has a husband. This is not what is going on with Biden.

    Minor lapses happen routinely to both young and old people. You cannot diagnose dementia based on minor lapses (figuring out what year it was when something happened). If Biden were unaware than his son Beau had died, that would be cause for concern. But a doctor would need to diagnose why. For one thing, memory lapses can be psychological not necessarily physiological. People can and do "forget" things they do not wish to remember.

    Perhaps Biden will have to take that same test of cognition that Trump keeps bragging about, in order to address fools like Somerby.

    1. Joe Biden is pretty old. We should probably hand the country over to guys like Trump and Elon Musk.

    2. Trump + Musk = Illegal Immigrant.

      That isn't a political winner.
      I could see Republicans voting for them, because the law and illegal immigrants are two things they've shown they don't care a whit about. But there are plenty of voters on the Left, who do care, and maybe a majority of Independents, as well.

  8. The fact that age and dementia are the topics we’re discussing does not bode well.

    1. Feel free to bring the situations with jobs, the Stock Market, the steady hand in foreign policy, the competent Vice President, Jan 6th, and many other things anytime Pied. No one can force you to talk about what you don’t want to.

    2. It is Somerby and the right wing pushing this idea that Biden is too old.

    3. And Somerby won’t discuss anything else about Biden. He is echoing the media, PP.

    4. Biden only seems old, because the Republican Party is so immature.

  9. Democrats are good at following a narrative. For 4 years the narrative has been that Biden is hale and hardy and a strong leader. Dems staunchly supported the narrative, while studiously ignoring evidence against it.

    Now many Dems who spent 4 years are stuck with it. The liberal media helps them by downplaying evidence of Biden’s decline. A VP chosen for her race and sex rather than competence exacerbates the problem.

    Bob reads media on both sides, so he is better tuned to reality.

    1. Republicans are good at following a narrative. For years they pushed to make women second-class citizens.
      Now they've overturned Roe v. Wade, and are on the march to take away women's right to vote.
      Expect to hear that narrative from the Democratic Party, the voters, but not at all the Right-wing media (AKA the media).

    2. What evidence is there that Biden is not hale and hardy?

      What evidence is there that Kamala Harris was chosen for her race and sex and not her accomplishments. She was District Attorney of CA before becoming Senator. What experience has Trump had? None whatsoever.

    3. 12:57,
      Trump's experience is in stiffing his contractors, raping women, and in being a racist.
      He really is the perfect Republican politician.

    4. @12:57 some evidence of Biden decline
      — Hur’s report
      — frequent misstating name of foreign leader
      — paucity of press conferences
      — no Super Bowl appearance.
      — looking.tired at this week’s press conference

    5. Should painting his face with spray tan be a sign of vigor? Trump has been looking horrible lately. The rest of the things on your list are pretty feeble indicators of anything. Several are choices. The president decides how to spend his time. Trump spent it watching TV instead of doing the content of his job. He didn't appear at the Superbowl either. He went 300 days without any press conferences.

      If any of this condemns Biden to dementia, it does the same and worse to Trump.

    6. Donald J Chickenshit was too demented to stand before the voters in a single republican debate, DicK.

    7. Trump just went on crazy rant screaming about Nikki Haley's husband, demanding to know where he is.

    8. As we know, but people are perhaps not told by Fox News, her husband is a major in the military and deployed overseas. But we all know what Trump thinks of the military -- they are suckers he says.

      Perhaps Trump subconsciously doesn't want to be reelected again (too much actual work), so he is trying to get Nikki Haley elected in his place? If the Republicans still respected military service, this would do it, but too many Republicans seem to have picked up Trump's attitude toward servicemen and servicewomen.

    9. Matt Gaetz was caught trying to take a taser through TSA screening at DFW. They made him throw it away but didn't charge him.

    10. Conservatives are upset with Trump's remarks about Nikki Haley's deployed husband:

      "S.V. Dáte, White House correspondent at HuffPost, also chimed in Saturday:

      "Her husband is deployed overseas in the military. Periodically it’s good to remember that apart from all the unhinged lying and the self-dealing corruption and the disdain for democracy, Trump is at his core a terrible human being."

  10. Back when Comey inappropriately commented on Hillary’s email management practices, rather than following DOJ guidelines and simply issuing a statement of declination, Somerby was upset (or pretended to be) that the blue tribe and the media, particularly Maddow, either (supposedly) praised Comey, or declined to criticize him.

    Now, with Hur doing the same inappropriate things, not following DOJ guidelines, Somerby either can’t or won’t criticize Hur, because he agrees with hur’s assessment, or because it adds more fuel to the media fire about Biden’s age that Somerby keeps relentlessly pushing.

  11. Meanwhile:

    "The former president [Trump] slurred when saying the word "subsidies," said "dino-dollars" instead of "dollars," and even said he doesn't like being frontpage news every time he "said one word a little bit mispronunciation." He also said that three years ago things were great, despite that being when Joe Biden became president, and he claimed twice there were no terror attacks during his tenure as president. He also said that Biden hasn’t spoken in months despite him addressing the press last night."

    1. Maybe Trump really does drink. That would be the logical explanation for his problems. That, or drug use.

    2. What has been in those Diet Cokes served to him by a staff member at the push of a button?

      Trump didn't even like his older brother, the one who drank and thus supposedly Trump cannot drink because of it. I think that cover story is deflection from a drinking problem he has had all his life. It would explains some of his most outrageous behavior (going into teen beauty contest dressing rooms while the teen girls were getting dressed), calling in to Howard Stern and pretending to be his own press agent while talking about movie stars he's "banged" who claim they've never met him, dancing on the podium at his rallies after talking about extremely serious stuff, and so on. He behaves like a drunk most of the time.

    3. Trump’s slurring and glitching keeps getting worse, rapidly so; it’s not alcohol or drugs, it’s cognitive decline.

    4. It could be both. Sometimes when people sense there is something wrong with them cognitively they self-medicate using drugs or alcohol.

      There are reports that Melania does not stay in the same apartment as Trump when she visits Mar a Lago. Now we are hearing she doesn't even go back to FL much any more. And she is definitely not on the campaign trail with him (as he promised she would be). Whatever is wrong with Trump, she is not standing by him. That wouldn't be surprising in a transactional relationship lacking real affection.

  12. Here's what I can know right now:

    The age issue is not going away; every day will bring opportunities for it to get worse, never better; it attaches only to Biden, not Trump; his negatives will always center on attributes that are far worse, but other; events may distract from this, but won't change it; it will remain to the end a concern about Biden, and only Biden: it can go lower on the list of things about Biden, but it will always be there.

    When it comes time to vote, I will vote for him (he's done a great job overall, and he's not a Republican). Many will make the same choice; enough to win, I hope. But it's going to be closer than it should be.

    We are still in the "in a perfect world" stage of the campaign. Democrats better get busy with a campaign that repeats "jobs, jobs, jobs" until nothing else comes to mind in the voting line. Limited attention spans are, as ever, what we have to work with.

    But this is only what I can know right now. God knows what's in store.

    1. Biden is not getting worse every day, David. He has good days and bad days, just like everyone. The good days will be days when we focus on his performance not his health. The bad days will be ones where he misspeaks and the right hollers about dementia. But Biden spends most of his time doing the people's work and being fully competent. That's why this focus on an occasional gaffe (which he made even as a young man) is a Republican attempt to distract from the accomplishments of Biden's administration, how well the country is doing, progress in various areas.

      Biden's age is not a factor until it affects his performance and it hasn't done that yet. Speeches are irrelevant to his job performance and there are NO performance-related issues being discussed, just cosmetics.

      Remember when Hillary appeared to tear up and the press made a huge issue out of her being too soft to be president? This is more of that crap. For example, Biden never for an instant thought Mitterand was head of France not Macron. When he does, you will have an actual complaint.

      I am disappointed that Biden didn't return those classified documents when he stopped being VP. That occurred around the time when his son died and he was undoubtedly preoccupied. Anyone would be. So it fell through the cracks. That's why it is despicable for Hur to use that against Biden in a partisan attack by framing it as old age and not being distraught (which also causes memory issues).

      Biden is functioning fine now. When he isn't, then worry. Age is not the most important factor to consider.

    2. Whether it’s Trump or Biden I’m not worried if they lose some ability to function, because we have long had procedures in place to deal with such eventualities. It’s a non issue.

      I’m voting for Biden; as a leftist, I’m rarely in much agreement with Biden, but he’s clearly been our best president since FDR.

    3. @3:11PM - I must apologize for being unclear: I meant the "issue" (as an item of press discourse) could only get worse. I didn't mean to opine on the validity of concerns over Biden's age. But now I will!

      His age has clearly impaired his ability to campaign effectively, and possibly to deal in person with adversaries (whether foreign leaders or Republicans here). But, as you say, some days are better than others; and he has staff to help protect the end result where possible (not so much in campaigning).

    4. How is Biden not campaigning effectively? He has won the first two primaries. He gives cogent speeches.

      Read this before you decide to call Biden names (go all the way to the end, please):

    5. @10:10AM - At your urging, I reread the linked piece with pleasure (I get HCR's posts everyday). But it really has nothing to do with this thread. I said Biden's done a great job overall, and I'm voting for him. I certainly never called him names. So far, however, the campaign doesn't cut it.

      I recently heard Jim Clayburn (who's older than Biden) on NPR do for Biden in 15 seconds what Biden appears no longer able to do for himself (despite all the other things he continues to do effectively): deliver in clear, forceful, vigorous, simple words a memorable and compelling reason why one must not fail to show up and vote for him. It's an issue of performance, not substance; and Biden's performances only reinforce the perception many already have that he is growing feeble. That won't change. It can only be subordinated to a more top-of-mind reason to vote for him.

  13. “Our tribe continues to praise the Goldilocks Biden economy.”

    I beg to differ. It’s amazing to me how little credit Biden has received for accomplishing the amazing achievement of pulling us out of the pandemic recession and leading us to the Eden of strong growth, full employment, and low inflation. And sometimes it seems like I’m the only one who has noticed.

    1. The polls show Trump leading Biden by 20 points or so on the economy. That’s bonkers!

    2. They are both basically the same on the economy.

    3. That is a huge whopper of a lie -- @2:34. This is what trolls do. They try to confuse people who don't know any better.

    4. George — is the world irrational or is there something you might be missing?

      Here is what I think you might be missing
      — Americans are poorer today than right before Covid hit
      — food, fuel and rental housing are quite expensive. These items directly impact us every day
      — although prices are now rising slower than they had been, prices remain high. People remember what things used to cost 3 or 4 years ago.

    5. Above comment from me

    6. @2:53

    7. DiC - Actually, Americans are about 6-8% richer now than under Trump. Check out FRED real GDP per capital.

    8. David, have you tried signing on with both devices?

    9. Good point, George. That's a persuasive chart.

      OTOH average wage level hasn't caught up with the inflation of the last 4 years. On that basis, the average American is poorer.

      I do not know how to reconcile the difference in these two sets of figures.

    10. Since inflation is primarily driven by corporate profiteering (supply and demand economics has long been outdated and is no longer taught at universities), officials, including the president as well as those in the Fed, have little ability to have a significant and lasting impact on inflation.

    11. Dogface George: let's not take credit for rain after a drought.

    12. I forget, who was responsible for the drought?

    13. 5:32 - Biden faced not only a nasty recession, but a hostile House and an evenly-split Senate, with two Dem Senators bucking his initiatives. How he got Keynesian stimulus legislation passed is beyond me. It is major legislative achievements that led to the economic miracle we now see, in combination with the Fed’s monetary policies.

    14. And so they were just handing out money, pretty indiscriminately, across-the-board. I’ve never seen anything like it. Can you imagine getting Republicans to vote forsuch a giveaway?

      And it seems like everyone but me has forgotten all this, so Biden gets no credit for his unbelievable success.

    15. And here’s the ironic thing: A great economy attracts illegal immigrants, so - presto - fixing the economy leads to the increased salience of anti-immigrant politics.

    16. You want to cure illegal immigration? Put the country into a depression.

  14. Winston Churchill was 65 when he became prime minister and guided Great Britain through WWII. After the war, he led the opposition party and returned as prime minister in 1951 (age 76) as the British Empire was dissolving. He died in 1965 at age 90. In addition to leading the country through turbulent times, he wrote several historical books that won him a Nobel Prize in literature in 1953 (age 78).

    1. His second stint as PM was unimpressive.

    2. All Biden needs to do in his second term is keep Trump out of office. Anything beyond that is gravy.

    3. I think Biden can be re-elected based on @4:40's theory that being a non-Trump is sufficient. But, the Dems would be surer of winning with a candidate who possesses other virtues than just not being Trump. I think the Dems are smart enough to change candidate. I wish the Reps would do the same.

    4. Biden has those other virtues too. David doesn't see them because he is a Trump supporting conservative.

      I think the Republicans should change candidate but they don't have the spine. Trump has already caused Republican incumbents to decide not to run again. That is going to swing the House. Not only will there be a popular vote landslide but Trump will bury the downballot races.

      Biden is a fine leader. There will be time enough after he wins to shuffle positions if Biden's health declines to the point where it is necessary. Biden has assembled an effective team that will continue its work even if Biden has less energy or Harris needs to take over.

      Trump is surrounded by idiots and scary people like Nazi Stephen Miller, who will sick the deportation red-state Trumpian guard on anyone who disses him, like a little tyrant.

    5. 7:04 I worry though about Biden's mental acuity.

    6. Those who are worried about Biden's mental acuity should perhaps be worrying about their own, if they cannot tell the difference between a viable candidate like Biden and a crazy person like Trump.

    7. Those who assume Biden's a viable candidate should perhaps be worrying about his mental acuity instead of attacking the character or intelligence of those who raise concerns about it. (Concerns that a majority of Democrats have.)

      Biden's diminished mental acuity calls into question the assumption he is a "viable candidate".

    8. Biden is being rabidly attack by the right wing because he is supporting NATO and Ukraine. The right has sold out to Russia/Putin and will do anything to prevent the vigorous defense of democracy that Biden has launched in Europe, with our NATO allies.

      This has nothing to do with Biden's age. They would be using some other tactic, if it weren't this one. Oddly, Trump is older and more sickly than Biden but apparently the right thinks a bit of spray on tan and right wing voters won't notice Trump's poor health.

      The right doesn't want a healthy, effective president. They want a Putin puppet who will lower taxes on the rich again, while allowing right wing grifters to loot the country and otherwise do what they want, even to the point of dismantling our voting system and giving the right a permanent election advantage (aka dictatorship).

      A lot is at stake.

    9. So vote for Biden because the very foundations of our Democracy are at stake and if he's not elected Trump will become a dictator and allow Putin to invade Europe?

      Do I have the right?


    10. More than anything, I want a Putin puppet who will lower taxes on the rich again, while allowing right wing grifters to loot the country and otherwise do what they want, even to the point of dismantling our voting system and giving the right a permanent election advantage (aka dictatorship).

      I've wanted this since I was a kid, and soon my dream will come true!

  15. Michael Steele said that no one cares when Trump seems demented because Trump is funny. Biden apears more demented because he is serious.

    Trump just said that if Biden is elected, Pennsylvania as we know it won’t exist. It will cease to exist. Because Biden will change its name.

  16. "We see no sign that he'll be able to campaign in the vigorous way which will be needed. "

    Biden will have to change from what we saw Thursday night. The Biden speaking from the White House Thursday night will not be reelected president.

    1. Read this before you decide how to vote:

  17. Trump is going to be elected and it wouldn't have happened without the legal persecution which independents see for what it is and which strongly motivates Republicans who have no love for Trump.

  18. 86 comments so far, and none have hit upon the obvious point: If you’re not a YIMBY, it’s time to become one.