The calm before the storm has set in prior to Tuesday’s all-important mid-term elections. The final polls have been released and early voting has ceased. Each side has staked out its positions on what will happen, and we won’t learn anything else of value until well into the night on election day.
This is usually a time for coalescing until the final whistle, not throwing barbs. And yet, Joe Biden is getting thrown under the bus ahead of schedule.
I’ve long made fun of CNN’s Daniel Dale for his tepid fact-checks of Biden. Before this, they were few and far between and always loaded with qualifiers to try to explain away the president’s falsehoods. This is something completely different, though, being a total takedown in a mold we haven’t seen before. If you read the piece, it has no less than nine different, extensive corrections of Biden’s recent lies, covering gas prices to social security.
Dale’s sudden turn isn’t the only one taking place in the press either. Over the last week, we’ve seen both The New York Times and The Washington Post publish articles essentially saying that Biden can’t be the 2024 nominee, something I’ve been suggesting for a long time. That all this is happening prior to election day is genuinely surprising.
After years of ignoring the problem, pretending it was just a false right-wing attack, the angst on the left towards Biden is now palpable. They want him gone sooner rather than later, and in the midst of that, a new contender has emerged.
Yesterday’s rally with Barack Obama and Josh Shapiro, the odds-on favorite to win the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, lit up social media. Democrats swooned over his supposed charisma and ability to present radical ideas in a moderate tone. It was the kind of reaction that Obama himself received many years ago after his famous DNC speech, and it wasn’t just idle chatter.
Democrats are deeply unhappy when their current bench. Very few want Kamala Harris to do anything but go away quietly. She’s incredibly unpopular and unlikable, and she’s got the stink of the Biden administration’s failures all over her. Meanwhile, Pete Buttigieg is overrated at best, having no ability to consolidate the minority factions of the Democrat base. The search for another option is real, and Shapiro is going to start getting a lot more press.
Still, as I’ve written before, the Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. Getting rid of Biden is actually the easier part of the equation, though, he and his overly-ambitious wife are not going to go voluntarily. Yet, enough pressure could produce a competitive primary that causes Biden to take his ball home instead of facing humiliation.
The big challenge is what happens after that. How can Democrats possibly not make Harris the nominee? Is their base really going to tolerate throwing the first black vice president off a cliff in favor of some five-foot-tall white dude from Pennsylvania? I just don’t see it, and if certain factions try to make that happen, it’s going to get really nasty. Never mind that Gavin Newsom is obviously going to run as well. We may see the most vicious, combative Democrat primary in history going into the 2024 election, and I’m here for it.