All posts for the month July, 2024


  • Biden is too old. He was too old last time.
  • Trump is too old. He was too old last time. (And will be as old as Biden is now before the end of a second term, which somehow never comes up in the age discussions.)
  • Trump is obviously in worse mental shape than Biden, and no one with the power to drive the conversation wants to talk about that.
  • If Biden’s weakness was apparent before the primaries, he should have not run. If its been rapid onset since the primaries, he shouldn’t be fighting to stay in. If it really was just a bad day they should be doing a lot more to show that.

So what do we do? Replace Biden? Stay the course?

Obviously, Biden’s pushing a very large rock up a very steep hill at this point. Can he do it? Can the people around him make it look like he’s doing it? Fuck if I know. And unless there’s some time travelers who can also see down alternate reality paths to check the results of different decisions, no one else knows either.

If Biden’s going to be replaced, how do you deal with the mechanics of it? The party is already having to do slight of hand because the Ohio legislature wasn’t being helpful. (To be fair, that’s not a surprise. Come on guys, check state filing deadlines when trying to schedule the convention. Yet another unforced error.) UPDATE: Apparently Ohio Republicans did stop playing petty games and moved the deadline. Still a stupid move on the party’s part.

If you’re able to do it, who do you pick? Harris is the obvious choice. If you pick someone else, you justifiably piss off a couple key constituencies in the party. The elephant in the room is that there are people who will vote against her because of her race and gender. Some of those people might be staying home because they can’t quite stomach one of Trump’s flaws, but they’ll be back in a second when a black woman is running. No way to tell how many of those people aren’t already voting for Trump, but obviously the margins are already razor thin. And ignoring that sort of response is why we have Trump around in the first place.

(Hillary Clinton was a fatally flawed candidate. When she was running for President she had spent roughly 25 years as the personification of and target for all of the right wing’s hate and conspiracy theories. It doesn’t matter that it was manufactured and exaggerated and played for effect. The baggage was immense and it outweighed everything else. Any other Democrat could have beaten Trump. Probably any other Republican would have beaten Clinton. Harris isn’t weighed down as badly, but we’re in a scenario where every bit of margin is going to count.)

And if you don’t go with Harris, who do you pick? Lets say you engineer a situation where Harris refuses the nomination “in solidarity” with Biden, in an attempt to blunt the backlash to her being passed over? The old guard of the party is just that, old. Even most of the middle ranks are the cautious sort that believe it’s a good idea to pretend politics is still reasonable people making compromises. Who do we have who can unite the party and meet the moment?

Yeah, I can’t think of anyone either.

Personally, I don’t have an opinion on what should happen. Not only do I recognize that I don’t have enough information about the scenario to have a meaningful opinion (though I think Josh Marshal at TPM has an interesting view), I would vote for a desiccated corpse over anyone who’s made a meaningful attempt at the Republican nomination for President since Ronald Reagan.

Ultimately, that’s the most frustrating part of this. Donald Trump is an utter narcissist. His sole motivations are his ego and his personal gain, in that order. I can’t even say he’s evil; evil people have principles, even if others find them offensive. Trump is completely amoral. Defeating him should be trivial. He should do it himself.

But the American Right Wing, which has largely shifted from an improbable coalition of Ayn Rand fanboys and fundamentalist churches into a Christian Nationalist organization, has found him to be a perfect vehicle. They latched on to his ego, they feed him adoring crowds that are all but ready to anoint him as the second coming, and they pour money into his bank accounts (and are probably shoveling it out the other side just as fast.) And so he becomes their useful idiot. I honestly believe him when he says he doesn’t know what Project 2025 is, and that he doesn’t agree with some of what he’s heard. I also believe he’ll put those people in power if he gets a second term, without a first thought, let alone a second one.

But instead of attacking Trump, the institutional Democratic Party is doing what it does best. Walking on to stage, getting everyone’s attention, and then shooting itself in the head while trying to shoot itself in the foot.