Biden’s Defiance and a Moment of Truth


This week is a pivotal moment of truth for America, particularly for Democrats. The easy, non-risky path for politicians was to hope that Joe Biden would get the hint and withdraw from the race. Instead, we get what David Axelrod describes as delusion, denial, and defiance. The latest turn of this screw is to watch Biden emulate Trump by attacking elites who want to do him in. Pitiful.

So is there some leverage or some carrots that could induce Biden to change his mind? Donors shifting dollars to the Congress and away from Biden’s reelection? A blitz primary among the front runners, with celebrity interviewers like Oprah to draw viewers? A coronation of Kamala Harris? Intervention by Nancy Pelosi, speaker emerita?

James Carville warns that a rigged nomination makes little political sense, as opposed to a quick dose of democracy such as Carville’s suggestion of quick town halls, with the convention delegates getting the final verdict. Carville writes: “Town halls will give Americans a fresh look at Ms. Harris and introduce them to our deep bench of smart, dynamic, tested leaders. In addition, Democratic delegates will get to further grill and stress-test these leaders in public and private meetings before a formal vote of all the delegates at the Democratic convention.” It would also be a weeks-long public-relations triumph for the party.

Carville is right that the Democratic Party, having lost trust of voters by pretending that Biden was hale and hearty, needs to be especially careful about restoring trust in the contest, avoiding a coronation. The party has also embarrassed major media, which neglected (except Axios) to dig into the obvious story of Biden’s health. Another reason that Biden is toast is that this same media will shift to a prosecutorial stance, further throwing Biden off balance.

Another stress test is coming for Democratic politicians, who will need to put the public interest foremost, as the independent-minded Rep. Adam Smith just did in asking Biden to resign, or as Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez did by saying Biden cannot win.

A moment of truth, indeed.

David Brewster
David Brewster
David Brewster, a founding member of Post Alley, has a long career in publishing, having founded Seattle Weekly, Sasquatch Books, and His civic ventures have been Town Hall Seattle and FolioSeattle.


  1. Did the NY Times and WaPo neglect or hide the story of Biden’s decline? They have White House reporters. You would think they heard something from WH staffers. It’s hard to believe those news organizations learned of Biden’s decline during the debate.

  2. Praise the lord for Adam Smith and Marie Perez. Sensible, more moderate and clear-headed.

    The fight that so many fear will rend the Democrat Party may be just the antidote we need.

    Will Rogers got it right when he observed that “I do not belong to any organized political party, I’m a Democrat.”

    The Bidens are stuck in classic case of denial.

    I submit the problem is that too many senior Democrats are too afraid to take up Joe and mount a challenge at the Convention. Ugly? Yes. So is open-heart surgery.

    But a Harris-Julian Castro ticket, perhaps a Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ticket is just enough to excite the Party and blitz the nation this fall and topple to Doald.

    Even if Joe were to win, there is little reason to believe he could last the term.

    It’s a mess!

    Sam Sperry

    ps: Pramila Jayapal got this one wrong too.

  3. An argument I’ve heard leveled against virtually every potential Biden replacement is: “Voters don’t know who this person is and there’s not enough time between now and the convention/election for them to learn who he/she is and what he/she stands for.”

    But that’s just political-op speak for: “We don’t have enough time to do develop a focus-group-created story that will tell voters who this candidate is and what he/she stands for. And that’s not counting the time it will take to train her/him how to perform that story.”

    Carville’s idea might be crazy, and it would be going up against a couple hundred years of ossified we’ve-always-done-it-this-way conventional wisdom, but it just might work. And for once, wouldn’t it be fun to beat these marketing hucksters to the punch? What we get may not be completely free of BS (Carville is still a marketing huckster, after all) but at least the process might still have a few scraps of authenticity clinging to it before the circus is over.

    PS: Jeepers, knock off picking on Pramila. Unlike my US Rep—that newly minted badass Adam Smith—she’s doing exactly what most members of her party are doing right now, which is steadfastly but unconvincingly mouthing support for an ineffective candidate because that’s the official party line, at least for the moment. She’s always getting heat for going against the mainstream of her party, and now she gets heat for going along with it? Give a girl a break.

    • Good comment, Kathleen.

      I think it is understandable that Democrats are wavering between supporting Joe Biden and clamoring for an alternative — any alternative — deemed “electable”. Btw it seems that the deadline for getting candidates’ names on ballots has past in several “swing”states, which may mean changing candidates would automatically give those states’ electoral votes to Trump.

      Also, what are we to make of the “Biden Team”, the advisers that tasked with prepping Biden bur apparently wore him down to incoherence, judging by his performance. Are they still calling the PR shots behind the scenes? I hope not.

    • What about Pelosi’s very clever remark that she is waiting for Biden to decide what he will do?

      Like Averell Harriman …. it is said that he was well-known to be semi-deaf and so when he didn’t like what he heard, he just pretended that he hadn’t heard it.

      Pelosi may very well carry some real weight with Biden since she resigned before she had to. A great object lesson indeed.

  4. Maybe shades of Jimmy Carter who came from nowhere in 1976 to prevail following Ford’s pardon on Nixon, and fresh blood. The Democrat convention could be a launch pad, but for as long as the hacks who failed to prepare Joe for the debate are in charge — I am resigned to two elderly candidates: GEEZER vs. TREASONOUS, ADULTEROUS, LYING, FELON.
    I’m for the GEEZER, and hope for the best in 2028.

  5. Look at the iconic photo again: the man gets up, raises a fist in defiance of death, and with blood on his face, mouths the words “Fight! Fight!”, and the crowd roars. Millions will see this, and remember the Biden photos and videos, and realize, “This is the candidate we want. This is the President we need.” You’ve felt the quake and the tide is receding. Where is the high ground? Where is the City upon a Hill?


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