The NYT Absurdly Downplays Biden's Mental Decline: 'America Can Function Without a Healthy President'

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Yeah, I got nothin’. Wait— of course, I do. In a bizarre editorial, on Wednesday, a New York Times senior writer tried to not only make a case for the many strengths of mentally-declining Joe Biden; he also claimed that “America can function without a healthy president,” which immediately raises three questions:


First, whether or not the U.S. government can function if a sitting president becomes unfit to serve while he’s in office, why would American voters knowingly re-elect a president whose mental clarity continues to steadily decline?

Second, why should voters knowingly turn over executive powers to unelected officials — make that handlers — of a mentally incapable president and his administration?

Third, remember the left’s argument that former President Donald Trump was mentally unstable and should have been removed from office because the country was at risk? Me, too:

The time to discuss Trump’s mental health is long overdue. We are all passengers in a car with a drunk driver, and we are all at RISK.

Blatant hypocrisy, anyone?

Anyway, NYT writer David Leonhart’s editorial begins with a nod to the obvious — Joe Biden will be 82 years old on Inauguration Day, 2025 — then proceeds to argue why, in his view, neither Biden’s age nor his declining mental acuity matters (emphasis, mine).

The biggest reason that many Democratic officials are nervous about President Biden’s age is not his ability to do the job in a second term. Strange as it may sound, the American government can function without a healthy president.

The U.S. marched toward victory in World War II while Franklin Roosevelt was ailing in 1944 and 1945. Four decades later, the government managed its relationship with a teetering Soviet Union while Ronald Reagan’s mental capacities slipped.

In each case, White House aides, Cabinet secretaries and military leaders performed well despite the lack of a fully engaged leader.


As opposed to the FDR and Reagan administrations, in Biden’s case, we’re talking about super-woke Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, serial-lying HHS head Alejandro Mayorkas, smarmy Attorney General Merrick Garland, clueless Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and do-nothing Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Now, toss in the puppeteers who pull Biden’s strings, and you’ve got it.

So tell us, David, if it’s not Biden’s age and mental acuity that worries Democrats, what is it?

The issue that makes many Democrats even more anxious than Biden’s second-term capabilities is whether his age will prevent him from winning a second term. If enough voters are turned off by the idea of a president who would turn 86 in office, Republicans might win full control of the federal government in 2024 — and Donald Trump might return to the White House.

So there it is, according to Leonhardt. Democrats at large don’t give a damn about whether or not Biden has the mental capacity to cognitively carry out the duties of his presidency; they only worry about whether he can win. Leonhardt then devolves into just plain silliness:

At 80, Biden can be an unsteady public performer. He occasionally uses the wrong word or fails to summon a name. Some of these habits are not new, to be sure. Biden has a stutter, which can make it seem as if he can’t remember words when in fact he is struggling to enunciate them. He has also long been known for saying things that he probably shouldn’t.

“Biden living up to his gaffe-prone reputation,” read a Times headline in 2008, when he was only 65. That same year, Slate magazine wrote, “He misspeaks so often, it’s hardly news — and hardly damaging.”

But aging does seem to have exacerbated these issues. In the upcoming campaign, you can imagine that a verbal misstep could cause some swing voters to wonder whether Biden is up for a second term.

These concerns help explain why polls show that roughly three-quarters of Democratic voters approve of Biden’s performance but slightly less than half want him to run for a second term.

Of course, there would be a simple way for Biden to address the concerns: He could spend more time speaking in public now and demonstrate his vigor. Instead, he and his aides have chosen the opposite approach.



“Sure the old dude is a walking gaffe machine who regularly gets his ass kicked by the teleprompter, can’t remember where he is, and can’t even find his way off a stage, but hey— he’s been that way for years! Now, if his aides would just let him speak more in public, he’d demonstrate his vigor! to America, once and for all!”

If there’s even a Democrat who honestly believes that crock of crap, I’d love to chat with him or her.

Look, Biden’s aides and handlers have every reason to be terrified every time he speaks in public. And when they’re screaming at reporters to get the hell out of the room while Joe just sits there with a dopey grin on his face, Leonhardt’s suggestion that if aides would just back off and allow Biden to answer more questions, he’s come through like a champ is asinine.

Finally, Leonhardt noted that Elaine Karmarck, a political scientist and Democrat Party official recently said on The Run-Up, a NYT political podcast:

The man has done a good job. So everybody’s sort of saying, ‘Okay, yeah, he’s old. Big deal.’ There are advantages that come with age, as well as the downsides.

These two geniuses are as delusional as Joe Biden, himself.

The Bottom Line

The absolute hell of this whole thing is David Leonhardt and Elaine Karmarck could actually be proved right in 2024; for reasons other than those they claim. How so? The dumpster fire of the Republican Party — the 800-pound elephant, as it were — and the quickly deteriorating GOP primary clown car is likely to snatch defeat from the jaws of what would normally be a victory of historic proportions.


Maybe the Democrat movers and shakers know exactly that — even with Joe Biden as their nominee.

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