Will Democrats Replace Biden After Debate Performance?

Even his own party can’t deny the incumbent’s dismal performance, and talk of picking a new 2024 candidate abounds

Few Democrats can say with a straight face that the US commander in chief is totally capable of steering the nation during one of its most dangerous and pivotal moments in history. But why did it take them so long to figure that out?

Despite having an entire week to prepare for his showdown against Donald Trump, and to have been drugged to the eyeballs on performance-enhancing medication, elderly Joe Biden stumbled immediately out of the debate gates and never got back on his horse. The spectacle was so painful to watch that the main talking point among pundits following the event was: ‘Who will replace Biden?’

The greatest cringe moment came early in the night when the US leader, left to his own devices without wife and handlers nearby, suffered a brain freeze that lasted an interminable 15 seconds, which translates into an eternity on television. When questioned over his response to the Covid pandemic, all Biden could manage to mumble was that “we finally beat Medicare,” to which Trump shot back, “Well he’s right, he did beat Medicare, he beat it to death and he’s destroying Medicare.”

Fortunately, there was no shortage of comic relief to ease the pain of watching this train wreck, which took many by surprise considering Biden’s intelligible performance during the State of the Union Address in March. The most laughable part of the worst presidential debate of all time came when the two ageing politicians argued over who was the best golfer.

“I just won two club championships,” Trump, who much of his presidency on the golf course, bragged. “To do that you have to be quite smart and you have to be able to hit the ball a long way… [Biden] challenged me to a golf match; he can’t hit the ball 50 yards.”

To which Biden responded: “I told you before, I’m happy to play golf if you carry your own bag. Think you can do it?”

So now America finds itself in the unenviable position where it must choose between a great golfer who paid hush money to cover up his dalliance with a porn star, and an 81-year-old career politician who can barely string together two coherent sentences. Yet, as unforgivable as Trump’s behavior may be – fact checkers accused him of “lying” no less than 30 times throughout the 90-minute debate – these accusations are far less damning, for a would-be ‘leader of the free world’, than the crime of being cognitively challenged, as is clearly the case with Biden.

The question now is: should the Democratic Party shelve their crotchety incumbent, opting for another candidate to fill his shoes, or should they continue to support Joe Biden in the belief that the electorates’ extreme dislike of the Orange Man guarantees them victory come November? Incidentally, should the latter scenario play out and Biden really does win, the Republicans will be so sure that the election was stolen that the tumult witnessed at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, will resemble a picnic by comparison.

Thus far, Biden has shown no willingness to step aside and make way for a fresh candidate. And perhaps the people who surround him are totally fine with such an arrangement. After all, it gives them ultimate power to dictate policy as they see fit. It’s nearly impossible to imagine befuddled Biden having the slightest bit of control over the Oval Office, aside from signing off on legislation that lands on his desk.

Meanwhile, every state has already held its presidential primary. Democratic procedure mandates that the delegates Biden won are committed to support him at the party’s upcoming national convention on August 19 – unless he announces that he’s leaving the race. Yet, given Biden’s stubborn character, it is doubtful he will be inclined to surrender the task of leading 330 million souls. It is even more doubtful when it is remembered that a Trump administration will do everything in its power to send Joe and his son, Hunter, to prison for a long time over their own alleged crimes.

Any move to try and replace Joe Biden at this late stage would be unprecedented in modern times and could drive a wedge between the ranks of the Democratic Party. This would greatly help Trump to become only the second president to win a non-consecutive second term in office.