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You are not supposed to say so in polite company, but Joe Biden is no longer fit to be President of the United States. It would be a lot better for America, and for the rest of the free world, were he to step down early for reasons of ill-health, or at the very least not stand again for the presidency.

Such thinking is anathema to the US coastal elites, who are terrified that it could let a Right-wing Republican either Donald Trump or a more competent but equally radical rival into the White House. So, they pretend not to notice Biden’s gaffes, blunders and tragic signs of rapidly deteriorating capacity and ignore that he seems to be protecting his wayward son, Hunter, from the full force of the law.

To the Left-wing establishment, denying such deeply uncomfortable realities amounts to a noble lie in the Platonic tradition, a case of the ends justifying the means; to many others, it looks more like a case of misplaced cruelty, a callous decision to keep an 80-year old man in office when he would be far better off enjoying his retirement.

The incidents are accumulating daily. Biden announced he was “going to bed” before being cut off mid-sentence by an aide at a press conference. He walked out of a ceremony, leaving a war hero alone on stage. He appears to speak in riddles, or proffers strange quotations in answer to questions. He seems wedded to reading from notes, and unable to ad lib on any difficult issue.

Watching old videos from the 1970s and 1980s, it is almost impossible to recognise the brilliant Biden of yore in today’s shockingly diminished president. Ronald Reagan, whose health was permanently damaged after an assassination attempt and who went on to suffer from Alzheimer’s, was never in anything like such a bad state while in office.

Biden’s job is that of CEO of the most powerful country in the world, the leader of the free world, not the chairman emeritus: it is a complex and responsible managerial and executive role, and not just because his hands are hovering over the nuclear button. We all have an interest in the role being exercised by a competent president.

The sort of delegated decision-making we are now seeing “works” in the sense that decisions are evidently taken, presumably by conventionally competent technocrats, but many will be rightly sceptical that they are truly Biden’s choices. This is undermining the US system of government, and encouraging despots in China or Russia to dismiss Western claims of moral superiority.

In the meantime, Biden (or his close associates) are busily trashing America’s rule of law and allowing critics to depict the entirety of the West as deeply hypocritical. I’m no fan of Donald Trump he was good on tax, regulation and the Abraham accords, but was inflammatory and disorganised, failed repeatedly in many other policy areas and terminally disgraced himself by refusing to concede his obvious defeat.

He probably broke some laws, but the Biden administration looks to be abusing its power by weaponising the Justice Department to destroy him. The presidency should be determined through elections, not court cases. America is turning into the sort of banana republic in which all previous rulers are prosecuted for deeds during their time in office. Perhaps most toxic of all, the American election is thus based on a fundamental untruth: the claim that Biden will be president until 2028 if he is re-elected next year.

Given the apparent speed of his deterioration, there must be very little chance of him lasting more than a couple more years in the White House. By 2025 at the latest, even The New York Times a newspaper which devotes more time to attacking Brexit than to investigating the somewhat more important matter of the health of its president will surely be forced to admit that the game is up. He will eventually resign leaving Kamala Harris to become president for two or three years.

It would be much better to end this charade today. Biden should announce that he isn’t standing after all, and either Harris or somebody else would be selected as the Democratic candidate. This would also radically shift the Republican dynamic. Trump might beat Biden, and certainly Harris, but he may not be so well placed against Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, or another leading Democrat.

America’s politics is stuck in a disastrous replay of the 2020 election, with two greatly sub-optimal candidates fighting each other. Removing Biden might allow the Republicans to reconsider whether they really want somebody who might be in prison this time next year to be their candidate.

A more radical possibility would be for Biden to resign before his term is up and hand over to Harris. She would be an even worse president than Biden but at least she would be in full control of the administration. It would be preferable to have her in power for a year than for a lot longer in a second Biden-Harris term. If, as currently seems likely, Biden and his family resist any of this, the Democrats should rebel to force their hand and seek to reopen the Democratic primaries.

There is another, even more extreme scenario that was widely debated during the second half of the Trump presidency, and one which Democratic politicians should now actively consider. Under Section 4 of the US Constitution’s 25th Amendment, the vice president and a majority of cabinet can agree that “the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”. The president has the right to contest this, and the final decision would require a two-thirds majority vote in Congress.

One would assume that plenty of Democrats would support removing Biden were such a course of action supported by a majority of his cabinet. At the very least, it could help convince Biden not to stand again in 2024. The reality is that America is likely to flunk it. The Democrats will probably stick with Biden, and the current, half-hearted Republican attempts to impeach him will surely fail. Trump, another gerontocrat, remains on course to be the Republican candidate. The rest of the democratic world needs America to be a beacon among nations, and so we watch on in despair at the slow but inexorable decline of its political culture.

Courtesy: The Telegraph.

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