July 10, 2024

Uh-oh, Joe, you may be one major cognitive glitch or a series of minor slips away from either losing the election of being forced to withdraw, by Hal Brown, MSW


I recommend watching the Jon Stewart segment which is getting a lot ot media attention (here).

This is what Jacques Berlinerblau, MSNBC Columnist and Georgetown University professor, wrote about Jon Stewart's take (above link) on Biden running: Jon Stewart’s ‘told you so’ about Biden was the scolding we needed.

He concludes his article:

He (Stewart) dutifully reminded his audience that Democrats could work this all out at, let’s say, a convention. In a place like Chicago, perhaps? In like, six weeks maybe? While there, the Dems could reflect upon their options after, for example, visiting the restaurant featured in the FX series “The Bear.”  In the flurry, Stewart clarified “I am not saying Biden should drop out; [but] can’t we open up the conversation?”

That sounds reasonable to me.

So here we are. In retrospect, Stewart was likely correct to light up Biden a few months back. He did so not in the name of bothsidesism, but to warn his viewers of a serious vulnerability, a vulnerability Republicans and their comms people were already pouncing on. Comedy isn’t always “correct” or” factually true.” Actually, it rarely is, and we wouldn’t like it if it aspired to be so. But in this case it was and, though damning for some of us, Stewart is vindicated as having tried to warn America about a Biden weakness we were trying not to see.

Biden has lost the NY Times editorial board - twice in fact, having reiterated it's previous call for him to step down on Tuesday -You need a subscription to read the Times editorial so below are excerpts from a summary published by The Independent Jouralism Review:

“They should listen instead to the much larger group of voters who have been telling every pollster in America their concerns for a long time. Mr. Biden has to pay attention to the will of the broader electorate that will determine the outcome in November,” it insisted.

Additionally, the editorial board recalled that while he was defending his fitness for the job, Biden said he needed to sleep more and work less after 8 p.m., and added, “He has resisted the obvious conclusion that a man who needs to clock out at 8 should not attempt to perform simultaneously two of the world’s most difficult and all-consuming jobs — serving as president and running for president.”

The Times called on Democrats to “speak plainly to Mr. Biden. They need to tell him that his defiance threatens to hand victory to Mr. Trump. They need to tell him that he is embarrassing himself and endangering his legacy. He needs to hear, plain and clear, that he is no longer an effective spokesman for his own priorities.”

Finally, the editorial board wrote, “President Biden clearly understands the stakes. But he seems to have lost track of his own role in this national drama. As the situation has become more dire, he has come to regard himself as indispensable. He does not seem to understand that he is now the problem — and that the best hope for Democrats to retain the White House is for him to step aside.”

Now he's lost Jon Stewart for the same reasons. He's lost Bill Maher too. He's lost Michael Moore.  Moore was one of the few intellectual voices who predicted Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton.

Even Stephen King said he should bow out. Even Stephen King said he should bow out in the interest of the America he lovesGeorge Stephanopoulos was caught saying Biden can't serve "four more years" days after his interview. Today George Clooney said he should step down.

Clooney is adding his voice to a chorus of liberal celebrities calling for Biden to step down. Like it or not America, like other Western nations, is a celebrity culture where they wield considerable poltical influence. Reagan probably wouldn't have been elected governor of California if he wasnt a TV and movie star. Trump would never have become president had it not been for a TV show. Zelenskyy might not have become president of Ukraine had he not been on TV including the TV series "Servant of the People," in which Zelenskyy played a fictional Ukrainian president. 

This news just broke (reported in The NY Times) :

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the former House speaker and a longtime Biden ally, gave the strongest public signal yet that the president could reconsider his re-election bid, suggesting on Wednesday that “time is running short” for him to make a decision.

Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Ms. Pelosi, 84, said that she would back Mr. Biden “whatever he decides.” But she said she wanted to restart conversations about Mr. Biden’s political future after the NATO summit he is hosting this week in Washington, which on Thursday will include the president’s first news conference since his disastrous debate performance against former President Donald J. Trump.

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the former House speaker and a longtime Biden ally, gave the strongest public signal yet that the president could reconsider his re-election bid, suggesting on Wednesday that “time is running short” for him to make a decision.

He's going to be our candidate regardless of what the editorial board of The NY Times, a few Democrats in Congress, and some celebrities say. Why, he must ask himself, should be give weight to what the editors of The New York Times are urging him to do if he think he knows himself better than they know him? He may think it shows the public how strong he is by standing up against not only to Trump, but by defying the mighty New York Times.

Perhaps he could ask himself why Donald Trump wants him to run. There is a certain sense to one concluding that if your opponent really thinks there are more formidable candidates than you there might be some truth to this. In fact, this might be one of the only true things Trump has ever said.

This is part of what The New York Times wrote on July 7th in "Trump Stays Quiet (Relatively), Hoping Biden Stays in the Race:"

Mr. Trump, rarely one to shy away from sharing his opinion, has not been fully silent since last week’s debate, giving a handful of radio interviews and keeping up a steady stream of posts and videos on his social media platform, Truth Social. But Mr. Trump has largely sat back and allowed the Democratic Party to dominate the debate over Mr. Biden’s political future, in a signal of his preferred opponent.

The former president has spent months painting President Biden as incapable of leading, but he has let Democrats do the doubting when it comes to whether Mr. Biden should leave the race.

I think Biden will run. Well, that he probably will run, I keep going back and forth on this. I rather doubt he'd watch the Stewart segment or pay attention to what Bill Maher or Michael Moore says, but if he was more self-critical and self-aware he would. 

I may end up like all of his supporters and have to overlook his senior moments (in what I write unless there's a drastic decline) and stop pushing in my own small way for him to step down and hope his "senior moments" don't represent a clinical slide into dementia. All that has to happen is for him to win and then if he was unable to serve Kamala Harris would become president. I would hope he wouldn't deny his dysfunction (and he might) which would lead to the 25th Amendment being invoked.

I figure he's one major cognitive glitch away from having to step down or an accumulation of minor slips like his reading the speaking instructions off the teleprompter: he accidentally said "end of quote, repeat the line" as he finished a sentence. (see article). I don't know how serious a cognitive slip would have to be to derail his candidacy. 

In February Biden said in 2021 he confused French President Francois Mitterrand, who died in 1996, mistaking him for the current president Manual Macron. Of course this was prior to the disasterous debate.

Perhaps introducing a well known and incredibly popular person by the wrong name would be enough of a major slip to blow up his candidacy today. What would happen if Taylor Swift decided to endorse him? This would be headline news. Then what if she'd appeared in person with him at an event? What if he called her to the podium and then her called her Beyoncé? If you're a Swiftie this would be a major transgression, but to others it would show him to be in La-La Land.

If he froze for what would seem to viewers like an interminable seeming 10 or 15 seconds with a blank look on his face in the middle of sentence as he lost track of what he wanted to say that might be the major manifestion of a cognitive disconnect that would end his candidacy. How bad it was would be magnified if he then couldn't pick up on his original train of thought.

The LifeCall commercial from the 1980’s gave us the catchphrase “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” Biden could end up saying this.

You can read this and previous blogs on two websites and on Substack. One may look better than the other because of how the platforms present the page.

Read on the WordPress Stressline.org (you can subscrbe to this on the upper left)


Read on the Google Blogger platform HalBrown.org This version has a Disquis comment section which makes it easy to post links and images.

or… Hal’s Substack where you can sing up to get an email when I post a new blog.

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