With Biden’s political future dead, Dems need to reach grief’s final stage — acceptance

Joe Biden’s political future died last Thursday night, but he, his family and the entire Democratic Party are still struggling through the early stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression.

The sooner they get to acceptance, the better for them all — and for the nation.

STEP 1: DENIAL

Biden told a bunch of donors that he foolishly did a ton of foreign travel right before the debate, so he was practically falling asleep that night.

President Biden on stage during the first presidential debate in Atlanta on June 27, 2024. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File

Bull: He got back from Europe 11 days before that Thursday, took the weekend off then started debate prep, sleeping ’til 11 each day and taking an afternoon nap.

And he wasn’t sleepy in his faceoff with Trump — he was totally checked out.

Fifty million viewers saw it.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed that Biden’s poor debate performance was due to a “bad cold.” Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday was sticking to the “he had a bad cold” excuse. Can’t they even get their lies coordinated? (By Wednesday, she was citing the “cold” and the “jet lag.”)

In on-background shoring-up, his handlers tell tales supposedly showing he still has it: E.g., he was really tough with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu on a call after Iran launched hundreds of missiles at Israel.

Sorry: Israel is America’s friend and ally; it needs us.

Democrats love to villainize Bibi, but he has to take Joe’s bullying, just like poor Volodymyr Zelensky.

The real test is whether with our president can get tough with Iran (in 3½ years, he hasn’t, appeasing it instead) or Vladimir Putin (recall when Biden said Vlad would be OK if he only took a little piece of Ukraine?).

More to the point, what if he’s just as out-of-it as he was Thursday night when the call comes in that China just started its invasion of Taiwan?

The commander-in-chief can’t put six words together — or, worse, tells America’s armed forces that it’s time to “finally defeat Medicare.” What do they do?

Maybe Hunter Biden will interpret for his dad.

Yep: Hunter’s now sitting in on White House meetings because the core family is also taking refuge in . . .

STEP 2: ANGER

Jill, Hunter and maybe Joe himself are furious at the handful of longtime Biden aides they’re blaming for the debate disaster — the very people who’ve been shielding the president throughout his decline.

Of course it’s not Anita Dunn or Ron Klain’s fault that the prez went zombie.

Once Biden decided he wanted an early debate to make America wake up to the fact that it’s facing a Trump-Biden race, the die was cast.

Jill and Hunter Biden have blamed the president’s top aides for the catastrophic debate. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

They’d done great in dousing the mounting fires — even getting The New York Times and Washington Post to back up the ridiculous “cheap fakes” cover story for repeated on-video Biden freezes, fogs and meander-offs.

Misdirected fury is rife in the whole campaign: Witness the missive to Biden supporters denouncing as “bedwetters” everyone who’s panicked just because the president of the United States completely fell apart on national TV.

Attack your friends, that’s the answer!

(And: With Biden in this state, should they really be mentioning bedwetting?)

STEP 3: BARGAINING

Biden’s team is imagining they can get past this by having him deliver statements off TelePrompTers.

They trotted him out for four minutes of such remarks Monday night and a longer speech Tuesday afternoon.

Yet it’s well-established he can read a script.

And at one point he read an instruction (“say that again”) instead of following it.

Plus, he took no questions.

That won’t fly, nor will whatever taped (surely, during Joe’s 10-to-4 “functional” window) and edited interview he does with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos to air Friday.

That the president’s not doing live, unscripted, interactive discussions tells everyone that he can’t.

STEP 4: DEPRESSION

Parts of the party are getting here fast, since they’re seeing the latest polls — the ones that show Joe losing ground in every swing state, and new states coming into play: New Mexico, Minnesota, Virginia, New Hampshire.

If this goes on you can add New Jersey and Colorado.

It’s also depressing that the only replacement that can (maybe) legally inherit the $200 million banked by the Biden-Harris campaign is . . . Kamala Harris.

Yep, Democrats may be stuck with the word-salad queen — heck the whole country may be, if she can manage to beat Donald Trump (stranger things have happened) or if someone remembers to read the 25th Amendment.

It’s all pretty awful to contemplate, and not just for Democrats.

Vice President Kamala Harris attends a rally in Las Vegas on June 28, 2024. AP Photo/Ronda Churchill

But it’s reality and they — we all — need to deal with.

STEP 5: ACCEPTANCE?

Some Dems have reached that point, perhaps because their own fates depend on it: 25 House Democrats from swing districts are prepping a letter calling on Biden to exit the race.

They rightly fear that the brewing Trump landslide will bury them, too; at least with Harris (or Gavin Newsom or whoever) heading the ticket, they’ll have a chance.

But Biden still can’t arrive at this point. He’s “in it to win it,” he said in a campaign call. It’s delusional, and terrible for the nation.

Denial, anger, bargaining — none of it has, or will, work. 

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