The Walls Are Closing In on Joe Biden

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In a key bit of synchronicity, two events took place in close succession that show that the Biden plan to run for 2024 is on the ropes. The first was that the White House counsel’s office sent letters to major press outlets pressuring effectively directing them to treat the impeachment inquiry as a lie. Mind you, this media meddling comes after the Biden Administration lost its fight against a preliminary injunction, both at the trail court and appeals court level, against its campaign to influence social media platforms not to publish what it deemed to be “misinformation”. If you read Matt Taibbi’s Twitter files revelations, that campaign was light touch compared to this letter.

But the fact that it was Democratic Party fixture CNN that was first to public about the Biden Administration narrative control campaign was a sign that a weakened and desperate Administration had overplayed its hand. We’ll return to the letter later in the post because there are other ways in which it was extremely irregular.

But the big bombshell is the David Ignatius oped in the Washington Post telling Biden not to run again and even going so far as to tell Harris to step aside too. Tellingly, the article was not paywalled:

The significance is not that Ignatiius sticks the shiv in as nicely as possible, spending paragraphs signaling his regret at having to recommend against Biden 2024 despite Ignatius’ view that Biden “has been a successful and effective president.” It’s due to Igantius’ status as whisperer in chief for the surveillance-intelligence industrial complex. Remember, for instance, that Anthony Blinken gave an interview to Ignatius in January in which Blinken effectively committed the US to an open-ended war in Ukraine.

This Fox segment (yes, I know Fox) which ran there as Jesse Watters: Biden has done his job according to the Democrats, does a good job of describing the CIA’s relationship to the US press and Ignatius in particular:

And if you think Waters is peddling fevered right wing swamp ideas, think again:

The fact that Ignatius then delivered the same message on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, as to the most loyal of Democratic Party loyalists, means there’s no mistaking that the it’s now open season on Joe Biden.

I do see a fair number of tweets pushing back against Ignatius…not getting much in the way of retweets. Single digits to at most triple digits. Underwhelming.

As we indicated at the top, the Biden Administration sent a letter to major press organizations that had a cornered look about it. The fact that CNN decided to turn its receipt of the letter into a reported story was a signal that the press is not about to be pushed around this way, even though the text of the article feigns an intent to comply. From White House sends letter to news execs urging outlets to ‘ramp up’ scrutiny of GOP’s Biden impeachment inquiry ‘based on lies’:

The White House sent a letter to top US news executives on Wednesday, urging them to intensify their scrutiny of House Republicans after Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, despite having found no evidence of a crime.

“It’s time for the media to ramp up its scrutiny of House Republicans for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies,” Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office, wrote in the letter, which was first obtained by CNN.

The letter, which said an impeachment inquiry with no supporting evidence should “set off alarm bells for news organizations,” was sent to executives helming the nation’s largest news organizations, including CNN, The New York Times, Fox News, the Associated Press, CBS News, and others, a White House official familiar with the matter said….

One can take issue with the “no evidence of a crime” which apparently hinges on the supposed lack of a connection between Hunter Biden enrichment and Biden pere use of influence. Among other things, we have the IRS whistleblowers plus fired Ukraine prosector who had Burisma in his corruption investigation crosshairs, Viktor Shokin, who in recent interviews fingered Biden. The White House is trying to depict this as a dead letter, but the absence of (past) evidence is not evidence of absence. Remember that one of the reasons for elevating the visibility of the Congressional investigation by turning it into an impeachment inquiry is that the Administration has refused to comply with many information requests.

Nevertheless, CNN puts the first of the next two paragraphs in its own voice:

While news organizations have published innumerable fact checks on the matter, they have also often failed to robustly call out the mis- and disinformation peddled by Republicans in their coverage, frustrating officials in the Biden White House who believe that the news media should be doing more to dispel lies that saturate the public discourse.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaks during a media availability to announce support for an impeachment

In its letter Wednesday, the White House asked news organizations to be more clear-eyed in their coverage of the impeachment inquiry, and not to fall prey to the traps of false equivalency in reporting.

After many uncritically repeating Biden Administration howlers, from declaring that the vaccines would prevent you from getting and transmitting Covid to the continuing pretense that Ukraine can prevail against Russia, one can hardly depict the mainstream media as having been hard on the White House, or even unfair by omission.

One might also surmise that this letter went out to major press organs because the preliminary injunction over the Administration muscling social media outlets over alleged “misinformation” means it can’t try to influence their fact checking right now.

Jonathan Turley called out the White House letter, and in particular, the role of the adviser to the White House counsel,1 who sent the letter, in Marching Orders: White House Letter Tells Media To “Ramp Up Their Scrutiny” In Response to Impeachment Inquiry:

I have previously written how the level of advocacy and bias has created a danger of a de facto state media in the United States. It is possible to have such a system by consent rather than coercion. Given that long concern, a letter drafted by the Biden White House Legal Counsel’s Office was striking in a call for major media to “ramp up their scrutiny” of House Republicans “for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies.”…

First, as I have previously noted, the White House is now actively involved in pushing narratives and denying factual allegations linked to the Biden corruption scandal. That could create Nixonian-type allegations of the abuse of office in the use of federal employees to counter impeachment efforts.

Second, the letter was drafted by Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office. So White House lawyers are now enlisting the media in a counter media campaign against impeachment?…

Third, the letter calls for the media to actively support the White House account.

Turley quotes the White House letter as demonizing the opposition press as purveyors of falsehoods,2 and points out the obvious:

The letter has an uncomfortable feeling of marching orders to the media. This is a media that followed the lead of Biden associates in spreading the false story that the Hunter laptop was Russian disinformation.

This is the media that refused to acknowledge the authenticity of the laptop until only recently — long after the presidential election.

Turley also stresses at the close (with details earlier in his piece):

The letter is an alarming erosion of separation of the White House Counsel’s office from the Biden defense team. It also confirms an active and aggressive role of White House officials in swatting down allegations against the President. While the staff obviously is not expected to be neutral on impeachment, there is a careful line that past White House counsels have walked between fulfilling their duties to the office as opposed to the officeholder.

The high-handed tone of the White House letter to the press shows the Biden Administration is dug in. Expect even more belligerence.


1 One does wonder why the letter did not come from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, even if prepared by the Counsel’s office. Was the intent that having it come from a lawyer was to signal even more seriousness?

2 I had missed a recent Turley column, in which he described long form how Washington Post columnist Philip Bump first flipped out and then walked out on a podcast when challenged over “his proven false claims on subjects ranging from Lafayette Park to Russian collusion.”

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    1. Feral Finster

      I believe that, romanticist fantasies and Les Miz aside, revolutions do not happen when the 99% overthrow the 1%, because the 1% control the levers of power and will do whatever it takes to keep that control. They didn’t get to where they are by playing nice.

      Revolutions happen when the 1% are divided amongst themselves and 1% factions start casting about for allies.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        In Les Miz, the revolution failed, remember? The students and Eponine got shot and died at the barricades. But it’s made to feel like a win because Jarvert kills himself.

        1. Jessica

          Interesting that out of the many revolutions in France from 1789 until 1870, Broadway picked out the one that was crushed (1832 IIRC).

  1. Bugs

    I’m thinking this is going to be the best presidential election in my lifetime. 2020 was only a prelude to the chaos we’re going to be seeing over the next year or so, if we’re not nuked first.

    1. RookieEMT

      Hear! Hear!

      It’s a bit hopeful but if the Democrats refuse reform and push out another horrible candidate, this might be the beginning of the end for them. Might take five years, probably longer. Just permanent alienation of millions of potential voters. A whig death spiral.

      1. Old Ghost

        LOL. I wonder if the Republicans can find an even worse candidate than Trump to run in 2024 against what the Dems run ?

        Reforms are needed in the USA. But has a ruling Elite ever decided to put itself out of power ?

        1. some guy

          By ” worse”, do you mean ” less electable “?

          Or do you mean ” would do even more destruction in office than a President Trump Unbound” would do?

    2. griffen

      Most Important Election Ever and Ever! It is literally a vote of whether to put the next Stalin / Hitler / Mussolini into office. Democracy! Our Democracy! \ sarc

      Now that we establish which side to root for, please do get out and vote. If you liked your dog food under a Biden / Harris administration, then vote Team Blue no matter the Who! It is early yet, so a shot of coffee as opposed to whiskey must suffice this morning.

      1. Randall Flagg

        Wait! I thought 2016 was the most important electron ever!
        Or was it 2012? 2008?I get so confused.
        Sarcasm off…

      2. undercurrent

        Most important election ever- hardly. The fact that climate destruction is inside our room, and not at the door, and that NO political party in these United States has the willingness, or the guts, to borrow from Bernie Sanders, to take on the carbon producing giants and serve the best interests of the American public, and the world, by the way, means that short of massive strikes, and demonstrations meant to bring about the needed fundamental restructuring of society, all things will continue as they are. We will be screwed. Since the politicians are useless, and destructive, an election that merely exchanges one set of miscreants with another is abysmally tragic. That is the American way. The important changes needed to sever this tragic course remain stillborn in the American political system.

        1. Jme

          To borrow from Bernie Sanders!? Politicians are useless and destructive?!? To borrow from Mark Twain, you repeat yourself, over and over sir. Regardless of what Bernie personally believes, if he had a chance of being more than useless he would not exist. Welcome to the thunderdome.

    3. DJG, Reality Czar

      Bugs: I’m assuming that you are still in France. I’m thinking that I want to watch the “best presidential election of my lifetime” from the stability of the Chocolate City and its Undisclosed Region. This is a moment to be away from the States. I’ll mark my absentee ballot and send it in. I don’t envy people in the US of A right now, much as I also think that these political problems are self-caused.

      1. Bugs

        Hi DJG, yes I am but I’ll be over in the Shining City on the Hill™ for a few weeks in October to see friends. I won’t be there unless it’s for business (or emergencies) over the next year thereafter though. I shall remain safely ensconced in my quiet Norman hamlet.

    4. Tom Stone

      The Biden Administration is doubling down at home and abroad in ways that concern anyone with a survival instinct.
      The criminality has been brazen and the swift deterioration of Joe’s physical and mental condition is glaringly obvious.
      Since delving into influence peddling is likely to embarass the wrong people I expect a backroom deal that includes a pardon of Hunter by Ms Harris and a quiet departure for health reason
      It’s going to be an interesting year, and I am really looking forward to seeing HRC’s face when Kamala is Sworn in.
      And of course Ukraine will be abandoned with a fall guy or gal to hold the bag, the Notsies here and there will be upset at being “Stabbed in the back” and will likely give the next “Leader of the Free World” an excuse for a domestic terrorism bill which will include asset forfeiture provisions.
      In other words, one heck of a show.

      1. Feral Finster

        Biden doesn’t have much choice but to double down on Ukraine. The criminality is so obvious that Ray Charles could see it, and he’s dead. (Thought experiment: Pretend that Young Hunter were one of Trump’s spawn and imagine how the press would be going nuts connecting the dots and otherwise sniffing around digging like a pack of rabid beagles on crack.)

        And if you think that the Zelenskii regime doesn’t have lots of very interesting information on Biden and most likely other politicos to boot, then they really are truly incompetent to the point of imbecility.

        1. .Tom

          Of course Biden has a choice. Unless you believe his mental decline means he’s just not involved in such decisions, he’s the one who chooses what comes next. He is responsible.

          1. Feral Finster

            I mean, Biden could also commit political suicide rather than give the regime in Kiev what they want, but most of us wouldn’t consider that much of a choice.

        2. Jessica

          “And if you think that the Zelenskii regime doesn’t have lots of very interesting information on Biden and most likely other politicos to boot, then they really are truly incompetent to the point of imbecility.”
          Or the Zel’s are truly competent. At propaganda. Though with the entire Western media in their court, it is like a race in which they ski downhill while the other side has to ski uphill.

      2. Jme

        Criminality has been brazen and his deterioration swift?! These were apparent to any observing and thinking person years and years ago, like decades. Now that the red team, blue team power Nexus has determined to relocate for optimal cash flow, the hoi poloi are getting their Soma, two minutes of hate, or whatever other term you might consider for their marching orders. Don’t cry for Biden America, he’ll land softly with a golden parachute. To pretend that his family has been anything other than a crime family for it’s entire public existence is beneath contempt. To pretend this is new info is to expose yourself as an NPC in the red-blue bread and circus. One heckuva show indeed.

    5. Rubicon

      All of this will be resolved by The Big Donor Class. After all, it’s their money and political power that determines who wins “the presidency.”

      They’ll shove aside Biden and impose a new, fresh candidate that Dems will find satisfactory. The US media will acquiesce and get all ginned up over the New Face.

      It’s that simple.

      1. findlandstation

        Don’t think it’s that simple. For the obvious simple reason, Kamala Harris. She’s not going to go quietly into the good night. And if she’s anointed by the DC then the Dems have a whole other set of challenges.
        She’s simply not electable – doesn’t matter who she runs against. Of course in truth she’s really no worse – and possibly slightly better – than Biden (with or without his infirmities). But she’s lacks the single most important attribute Biden has – the hand of Obama on his shoulders. Without this affiliation Joe would not even be a footnote or a blip on the radar screen. The larger problem for the democrats is that they can’t just shove Harris aside. Too much of their narrative project is grounded in Race and Gender. Not only would pushing her aside smack right up against the head of their two prong Identity fixation monster
        it will never sell to a majority of its black voting block. Now by far the single most important demographic cohort on Team Democrat!

        1. Jessica

          Replacing Harris with some other Black woman would work.
          “Where have you gone Michelle Obama, DNC turns its lonely eyes to you….”

  2. John R Moffett

    When The Blob wants you gone, you’re gone. But unfortunately for The Blob, there are no likable Democrats. They are all unpopular and most or all of them would probably lose to The Don. It’s not that Trump is likable, it is just that the Red Team wants him back, badly. But in my book, Biden is so bad, so completely awful as a President, that I really hope this spells the end of his career. I don’t care who is President next, The Blob is in charge anyway, I just don’t want to have to watch the world burn as Joe Biden fiddles anymore.

    1. Ignacio

      The Blob may be thinking that a “fresh” face, fresh regarding presidential nomination, let’s say Newsom might do better trying to overcome the probable, evident, and undeniable failure in Ukraine and then ready to set the stage towards China and/or the ROW if necessary. Besides, the Mummy would probably decay more precipitously after such failure and/or the impeachment process with possible doubling combined effects.

      Is there any historic precedence to the White House letter to MSM execs?

        1. Ignacio

          Your thoughts are informative to me. Bugs sentiment above is also telling. These might turn to be one of the most eye-opening elections, particularly if Trump cannot run because judges, and set the bar on US democracy in one of its lowest levels. It could be a point of no return.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Or – stay with me here – Michelle! That way you would have a Madame President her being female, she would be black, and best of all for the deep state, you would have Barry coming back in as First Hubby to give her “guidance” whether she wanted it or not.

          1. steed

            Hi Rev

            Can’t remember exactly ( but I think it might have been a Jacob Dreizin post ) that said Michelle wouldn’t do it, reason being she is too lazy. He uses her First Lady track record over two terms to back up his point.

            1. Wukchumni

              {commercial break}


              I let it fly in the breeze
              And get caught in the trees
              Give a home for the fleas in my hair
              A home for the fleas
              A hive for the buzzin’ bees
              A nest for birds
              There ain’t no words for the beauty and the splendor
              The wonder of my pompadour

              Hair (hair, hair, hair, hair, hair)
              Grow it, show it
              Long as I can grow it
              My hair

              * ‘I’m Governor Goodhair and I approve this message’

            2. The Rev Kev

              From things that I have been reading, it seems that Barry and Michelle have what used to be called a marriage of convenience. Apparently they don’t even eat together. So I wonder if it was not so much that she was lazy but Barry shoved her off to the side lines when he was President to her gardens. Having a couple working together in the White House can be a powerful combination as seen with Eleanor Roosevelt but I think that more often the wife is there as window dressing.

              1. ambrit

                Eleanor Roosevelt managed to accomplish so much despite being the First Lady.
                That was a marriage “Made in America” as it were. FDR philandered, while rumours of Sapphic Attachments swirled around Eleanor. They were a classic political couple, and they “got things done.” America benefitted as a result. My best guess about how that happened is that FDR was born wealthy and understood his class better than most. He appreciated where his class, the Original Oligarchs, were going wrong and tried to save them from themselves. The result was the New Deal.
                Today, most of that New Deal has been rolled back by the forces of Reaction. Take note, both of today’s legacy parties are Reactionary. That way lies disaster.
                As for Barry being the “power behind the throne” for a Michelle/Michael Obama Presidency, well, how many sea side mansions does Barry want?
                I would not be a bit surprised to see Barry and his catamites eventually ensconsed in an American “Isle of Capri” hideaway.
                The best we can find to memorialize the American Empire if David Ignatius? Where is a Robert Graves when we need one?

                1. Feral Finster

                  FDR understood that it was necessary to toss the masses a few crumbs.

                  Today’s oligarch class faces no threat comparable to that FDR faced in 1932.

                  1. ambrit

                    A quibble if I may.
                    Today’s Oligarchs are facing a New Great Depression. When “The American Dream”(TM) is finally and visibly destroyed, the newly downtrodden masses will look around for someone who promises a “return to the Golden Age of America.”
                    Then the fun will begin.

                    1. Feral Finster

                      Wasn’t Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again!”?

                      And wasn’t the Team D retort that “America already is great!”

                    2. Eric F

                      From my window onto the bus station outside the public library, the newly downtrodden masses are so overcome with addiction and mental illness that they are a threat only to themselves.

                2. Jessica

                  It has been claimed that FDR was greatly humanized by the experience of being crippled by polio. It makes sense.

            3. NotTimothyGeithner

              Michelle was a first lady in the mold of Barbara Bush or Melania. Laura Bush really did work on behalf of libraries and literacy. If she didn’t kill a man. ..but except for better press, it’s absurd to compare Michelle to even a Laura Bush.

              1. nippersdad

                Speaking of which, it looks like Martha’s Vineyard is in the crosshairs of Hurricane Lee. Terrible! Just terrible.

                I wonder if they will do any better than did those people in Maui? Will Biden be able to come up with more than seven hundred dollars for his friends? Stay tuned.

                1. Piotr Berman

                  Latest prediction is that Lee goes bee-line to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Maine can get it too. Martha Vineyard may have high waves, though.

      1. Laughingsong

        Okay, folks, I want to throw a golden apple in the ring here, please be aware that this thought just occurred to me in reading the comments. Also, poor judgment last night in having a few ciders (yeah, on a school night! Oh the downsides of an Irish husband!), might be making me less cogent than usual. So disclaimers aside…..

        The only democrat I see out there with the charisma and the name is Kennedy jr. yes, I know the warts. And the dem hierarchy hates him. However, the writing does seem to be on the wall for the horse they’ve been backing, and of course staying in power sometimes means holding your nose, like the repubs with Trump.

        Recently I’ve been reading that the CIA seems to be souring on Ukraine, so Kennedy’s position there wouldn’t be an issue (if it’s true). And he does seem to at least have the proper angst against China. The Blob prioritizes foreign policy. Yes, Kennedy’s platform says he wants to end the overseas empire but so did Obama’s, and Trump was adjacent to that too. They’d make sure that didn’t happen.

        The party itself would try to discipline him on domestic policy that didn’t match the present agenda. Many of his policies in this regard have a “Build Back Better” feel to them, so it’s not hugely different from Biden campaign promises.

        Read the guy’s platform and then comment on whether you think the Blob could push the Dems to make a deal with him?

        Okay, thoughts? Be gentle, remember alcohol was involved!

        1. Paul Art

          The CIA is owned by the Oligarchs. The spooks are just do good at hiding information that they forgot where they hid this truth sometime in 1959. So now they all think they are working for Uncle Sam.

    2. Feral Finster

      “When The Blob wants you gone, you’re gone. But unfortunately for The Blob, there are no likable Democrats. They are all unpopular and most or all of them would probably lose to The Don.”

      The Blob is confident that the Team R nominee will not be Trump.

    3. Mildred Montana

      >John R Moffet: “… it is just that the Red Team wants him back, badly.”

      Truth be told, the majority of Repubs 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 want him back; they want his 40% of voters—preferably without Trump attached. He is perceived as an outsider by them (and also by The Blob) and if they could jettison him without losing those votes, they’d do it. But they can’t. His loyal dug-in supporters are Trumpers before they’re Republicans and will accept no substitute. The party knows this, which is why other candidates for the nomination are so reluctant to criticize him.

      1. Paul Art

        That 40% crowd is mostly the out of work and cheated Blue Collar folk. Trump won most of their support with his Trade policy. He has Peter Navarro to thank for that. The company I work for laid off 30% of the workforce last week. They had a great 2nd quarter to boot. Most of the jobs went to Bangalore. I would vote for Trump if he promised to boot the H1B visa companies out and increase taxes on companies that employ more people outside USA than here at home. Unfortunately he won’t.

    4. John k

      Yes, intelligence has cleared its throat. Imo two reasons, it thinks the real fight should be China, meaning we’re clearly spinning wheels in Ukraine, plus it’s afraid Biden would lose to trump.
      But Hillary and her people blinken/nuland dont want to pivot. I assume Obama is about to tell Biden his time’s up, and tell the party to get with the program. Seems he has more pull with the party than hill does, especially now, and anyway the party faithful will easily be shifted from Biden to, say, Newsom.
      Also seems corps and cia all content with Newsom, kind of a white Obama. Oddly, though, he just said he’s not running. Nobody told him? Or just pretending? ‘Reluctantly accept a draft…’. But will Biden go quietly? How about kamala?
      Needs more popcorn…

  3. thoughtful person

    I think JB Priztker is a possibility, as Lambert hinted around the water cooler a day or two ago. Though he’s not an Ivy league grad. Hey if Penn and then U of Delaware grads can become President why not a Blue Devil?

    Things will soon be moving fast if that’s too happen however.

    1. griffen

      That’s one notch against him, in terms of a rival to Tar Heel alumni and fans. There is perhaps nothing more evil or sinister, than than the Blue Devil you know ( sarc ). Seriously though that’s a super rich family, the Pritzkers.

      I do wish contributor JL-S was still around these parts, she had commentary at times on Tar Heel relations and family in the Tar Heel state.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        We’ve already had a Pritzker petri dish concoction as President, or at least Valerie Jarrett and the Pritzkers put the final touches – an apparent Black pedigree and wife, etc. – on what the CIA concocted, so why not? … especially since Uncle Joe ain’t gonna make it.

    2. Louis Fyne

      JB is too fat. (just being honest, voters are shallow…even in plus-sized America)

      Trump is husky, but his height hides the bulk. JB probably weighs the same but doesn’t have the height to hide it.

      And Pritzker has the DeSantis problem: he is personable enough to cobble a coalition in his state when normies aren’t voting in gubenatorial elections, the national level is different

        1. Paul Art

          Methinks that the working class – the ones who support Trump are not well informed and are easily misled when they are not fat and happy but take their jobs away and then you have a real problem. They are the Cannon Fodder in wars and one has to be quite a mug to go fight in a war which got started by Bankers asking for their money back in Versailles for instance. So while we may ridicule them, they are the ones who will be the vanguard of the crowd that heads to Barry’s oceanfront home with the pitchforks and I would gladly hold their hats and coats for them.

          1. Paul Art

            It’s just sad that the geniuses in the Democrat party have totally forgotten how to speak to the working class as much as they mastered the art if the iron hand in the velvet glove they deploy so well against hapless naifs like Bernie.

      1. Wukchumni

        There’s a great commercial tie-in for Pritzker as he goes on the Pritkin diet as the campaign moves along, loses 38 pounds and feels great in early November, ready to assume the Presidency on January 20th, and then all hell sets in before inauguration day when those late night visits to the many near pints of ice cream later, not to mention giant bags of small portions of candy, oh me oh my and we have Taft, hardly.

      2. nippersdad

        Oh lordie!

        I’m just picturing a salivating Democratic party operative, well versed in the dark arts of idpol and having a compliant press, seeing something like that. It would be reminiscent of what they did with Bidens supposed stutter.

        “It is his glands! Why do you hate the disabled?” Anyone bringing that up would get flensed.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Err…we’ve had a Duke alum as president. Pritzker is my guess if he runs. Newsome is a dull version of Kerry without the story. Team Blue courtiers may favor Newsome as pliable, but he’s too much of a nothing to go anywhere.

      1. Carolinian

        Yes, Tricky Dick for those of us with long memories.

        And re the letter the great error here was letting it become public. The MSM have been happy to cover for Biden as long as they weren’t being exposed to the world as doing so. After all they still claim to be objective truth tellers opposed to “darkness” that makes democracy die.

        So now any off the wall coverup by the media will be seen for what it is. Or not, since they are quite brazen. But the letter was a typical Biden move or Biden minion move exemplifying his poor judgment when comes to, oh, everything.

        And new Turley on this this morning.

  4. Sardonia

    Any conclusions that spring from observing how CNN and others have suddenly stopped automatically toeing the lines for Biden, can only come from speculation – but the speculation that this new crack in the dam will rupture into a fissure that sweeps Biden (and Harris) away, is one with which I agree.

    So since we’re speculating, my money is on Newsom as The Chosen One. He’s been being groomed for this for the last 20 years. He’s been playing within the lines established by the DNC so far (saying he will not run, but backs Biden 100% – it will be up to others to put the shiv in Biden, then Newsom will have no blood on his hands).

    He’s a handsome man – and the US is a most unserious country, so his nice hair is worth 5-6 points, easy.

    Not speaking to policy, but just handicapping a horse race, he seems to be the most thoroughbred candidate the Dems can field. A quick glance at the other options reveals a stable of nags.

    It’s been said that the Repubs would hang San Francisco around his neck as an albatross – and yes they would. But Newsom is now making strong moves to try to nullify that. The latest is his statement that he backs the reversal of the judge’s order that prevents San Francisco from moving homeless encampments off the sidewalks – to the point that if it happens to not get overturned on its current appeal, he wants it to go to the Supreme Court, fast. I can envision him, plus the current semi-moderate SF mayor and supervisors, doing what most of SF’s citizens want – a crackdown, as in, a serious crackdown. As in….asap, so there is a sudden “cleaning up” (to the eye) that would turn the albatross into a selling point in a general Presidential election: “I am a moderate who does not tolerate lawlessness.”

    My gambling days are over (after a run of being a semi-professional No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em player), but I might check out the electronic markets and place a bet there – I think the odds are better than those markets are probably showing right now.

    1. MichaelSF

      He’s a handsome man – and the US is a most unserious country, so his nice hair is worth 5-6 points, easy.

      Molly Ivins used to call Rick Perry “Gov. Good Hair”.

      I’m not sure I can agree with saying Mayor Breed is a “semi-moderate”, but maybe she can be called that due to the Overton window moving so far to the right.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Back in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s the Village Voice ran a satirical a cartoon by Mark Alan Stamaty called “Washingtoon,” which prominently featured the “JFK Lookalike Caucus”… great hair, all…

      2. IM Doc

        And I believe her moniker for Jonathan Edwards – VP Candidate and US Senator – was “The Breck Girl” – or was that Kay Bailey Hutchison. I forget.

        I really do miss Molly Ivins. One can only imagine the essays she would be putting out right now.

      1. Neutrino

        Oily hair is a turn-off for many people as it conjures up unfavorable images.
        Oily speaking voice, with the occasional squeak, don’t help.
        Oily, shifty eyes compound the problem.

        In the face of so many California problems, the slick Governor can’t hide. He has had a rubber-stamp Assembly and compliant press. Exiting Californians don’t have much good to say about what he and so many others have done to their state. Apparently he is part of the old-time San Francisco machine with Pelosi and others who feel that the state is theirs to run no matter what those residents believe.

        1. John k

          Nobody said dems have a strong bench. Imo It’s either him or Pritzger. Who has best chance against the Orange devil? Incompetent dems badgering of trump pleases most of the faithful but not so many indies. The indictments are demonstrably pumping trump up.
          Dems could easily counter trump by providing real material benefits, but donors won’t allow that. So all they can do is offer a new but similar corporatist.

    2. nippersdad

      Yay, a betting pool! I can just feel my Grandfathers’ very bad gambling genes quivering with excitement.

      Might I also add Dean Phillips, D(MN)* as a dark horse. Despite his unfortunate resemblance to a proboscis monkey** I think he will be an attractive addition to the pool. He was the guy who took point on Ihlan Omars crucifiction during her “all about the Benjamins” phase, he is a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus and is a New Democrat to the core, as shown in his performance when he helped to carve up the BBB. He is rich, he is obscure, he is from the Midwest, he is expendable and he has been the spokescretin for support of Biden in the MSM for months now.

      He is the perfect person to stick in the shiv.


    3. jeff

      Newsom’s track record is littered with failures that are more visible now than they were a few years ago. Images of tent cities will follow him around no matter where he goes. He’s electable by a percentage of the mindless Dems who vote blue no matter who, but the rest see him as a another empty suit. Which is exactly what he is.

    4. Paul Art

      No chance. A GOPer from Cal is considered a warrior and can hide his corporate masters but a Democrat from Cal is dead on arrival in every swing state.

  5. Lex

    We’re really leaning into the whole banana republic thing these days.

    I do wonder if the impeachment inquiry has more than just Biden’s inner circle scared. If that’s the case, the play might be throw Joe overboard in hopes that it satisfies the GOP. It might. I also wonder if portions of the Blob are ready to get out of the Ukraine quagmire. That won’t be possible as long as Biden is president, but other portions of the Blob don’t want out at all. So the move could initiate intra-Blob conflict.

    The 2024 elections are going to be a hoot if one candidate is on trial for various felonies and the other is being both impeached and facing a party rebellion.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I have to think the cognitive decline is at least as big an issue. I know armchair diagnosis is a bad idea but my mother with early stage dementia in the year or so before she died was way way way more together than Biden is. She never had moments where she lost inhibition (save being freer with anger, she never started putting her inner dialogue on external,as he appears to have done in his recent South Vietnam press conference and some earlier instances) was confused, or had a blank affect. And even at this remove, his rate of deterioration seems to be increasing. He’s even had at least one instance of difficulty with a teleprompter. My guess is that by March 2024, he won’t be able to make appearances beyond standing and waving and shaking hands.

      1. Vicky Cookies

        Re: Biden’s age and mental state: in relaying frustrations with MSM coverage on this topic, among older friends, I have noticed a tendency to defend Biden/McConnell/Feinstein. Some feel their age cohort is unfairly attacked. Some younger friends can’t believe the visible deterioration is being allowed to continue without (at least) more passionate comment. Voter participation increases with age; it will be interesting to see how this divide is bridged.

        1. Lex

          Of course none of them would be attacked for their age if they had the good graces to step away from some of the most complex, stressful and important positions in the country. The old saw about one term as president aging a person 20 years is terrifying when applied to an 80 year old.

        2. Mildred Montana

          I for one (of many I think) don’t attack B-M-F merely for their overly-ripe ages. That would be petty. No, I question their fitness for their respective offices and for good reason: the evidence of serious physical/mental decline is there for all to see.

          I also question their characters—why they continue to hang on. Only the mentally unstable subject themselves repeatedly to masochistic self-humiliation and ridicule. One need only watch a few old Jerry Springer shows to see examples of this kind of behavior.

          1. Joe Well

            The obvious counter to age discrimination complaints: there are a lot of prominent politicians around Biden’s age, like Pelosi and Sanders, who aren’t in evident cognitive decline, and there aren’t op-eds questioning their fitness.

            1. Louis Fyne

              (theoretically) A sign of a good leader is that one realizes that they are merely a steward of their organization or cause.

              Since we are all not immortal, one should mentor the next generation.

              Bernie is not doing that. His movement (whatever that is left of it) will die when he leaves office or dies.

        3. Lois

          My mom is the exact same age as Biden and she is 1) much higher functioning than he is; 2) aware of her cognitive slow down; and 3) in total agreement that someone her age shouldn’t be president. This is just one person but I don’t think the defensiveness across the elderly is universal.

          1. Vicky Cookies

            I agree that the observation I made doesn’t generalize; it was merely a discussion point. I could’ve been clearer about the fact that age is not the same as incompetence. Recently, I’ve been working with some activists who have been drawing attention to our (u.s.) nations nuclear posture, as well as to the authority given to the executive branch to engage in nuclear war. Regardless of age, if someone were unable to remain awake during the day in public, when they have access to a nuclear ‘football’, we are all endangered by the phenomenon itself, as well as by the media running cover for this insanity. Let us hope a review of our country ‘s nuclear posture is undertaken, with clear eyes and a pragmatic view, and without ‘ageism’, or any partisan interpretation of same.

      2. Lex

        That’s a good point. I wonder to what degree it cuts both ways? He’s likely to be far less amenable to rational argument – not one of his traditional strong suits – about how he needs to step down while at the same time at least some people feel it’s more pressing to force him out.

      3. petal

        Hi Yves, after I went to his town hall here in August 2019, you guys pulled my post about it. I was in the second row and just a few feet from him for 45 minutes, and walked out horrified, shocked, and honestly scared because I had noticed multiple symptoms. Had taken care of an aunt with dementia years before, and my bf at the time’s father was battling Alzheimers. For the last four years I have tried to tell people around me but they refused to believe it and some blamed it on his stutter or GOP lies/bias. The more I see of him as time goes on, the more it seems to be playing out.

        1. bwilli123

          Might the blob’s panic have been recently crystallised because Biden’s trajectory of decline has grown dramatically & obviously steeper?
          If the fear is that he might not see out a year in any media-passable form of compos mentis what might do they do in the interim?
          Allow Kamela a few months (until the election) in the Presidential Office as a sort of going away present?
          What else is there?

          1. petal

            Nah, reckon they’ll leave him in there until the end, he’ll just “decide” to not run again. Because of this administration ending, Harris will then be shifted out after her VP term is over and into the Senate seat. She’ll get the prize for playing along and being a good sport. Why not be a senator from CA and mail it in for who knows how many years? That’s a pretty cushy way to go.

        2. ambrit

          I do fear that the “Secret Cabinet” will dust off the Demented Ronnie Reagan playbook. Pump “Creepy Joe” full of ‘Go Juice’ for public photo ops, and quietly screen him totally off from the press otherwise.
          If the GOP can run an Alzheimer’s sufferer for perhaps six years as President, [His Infernal Highness Ronnie Reagan,] the Donkey show can do something similar.
          I’m wondering why the “Secret Cabinet” is turning on “Creepy Joe” at this time. The age related and cognitive deficit issues can be dealt with. Are there some truly d—ing corruption revelations waiting in the wings? What will a seriously run Impeachment Inquiry turn up? This ‘turning away’ on the part of the “Secret Cabinet” suggests that some thing or things of real substance lie waiting to disenchant the public. For bonus points, if these ‘revelations’ implicate the “Secret Cabinet,” we could be seeing a political example of “rats abandoning a sinking ship.” (And I do mean ‘rats.’)

          1. petal

            ambrit, my thought is that The Blob is thinking that Joe has served his purpose, and are concerned that Joe & familia’s corruption issues have gotten too messy and he (and they) need to be escorted out before they harsh The Blob’s flow. Things will be neatly tied up and swept under the rug. The cleaners will be put to work, and just like magic it will disappear.
            My bet is based on that Blind from a few weeks ago-that said Harris will be shifted out and into the Senate seat, and Newsom will be The Chosen One.

            1. ambrit

              Could be exactly that. The potential problem with Noisome is that he might remind a big subset of Democrat Party voters of the execrable Obama.
              “Dat Noisome guy is too slick by half! I get dis itchy feeling between my shoulder blades!”

              1. petal

                I don’t think that (Obama reminder) will be an issue for them. Vote blue no matter who. They will be too afraid of the big bad Satan GOP candidate they’ll fall into line.

                I messed up my earlier comment above. So tired tonight. Had it all thought out whilst cooking dinner, sat down, and brain messed it up. Reckon the decision’s been made, and these op-eds and rumblings from this particular subset of folks is the signal to the Bidens from The Blob that their time is up, they’ve become a liability, and it’s time to pack it up and go quietly. All Joe had to do was show up and wave and not make too much of a mess of things, and not get in the way. Well, he’s made a mess of things and his family has gotten in the way. They got too messy. What was it Obama said about Joe? Never underestimate his ability to screw things up?

      4. Tom Stone

        During the decade and change I held a Notary commission I notarized documents for a number of people who were near their end of life.
        Part of the training I recieved dealt with making sure the elderly were at least reasonably present and competent by talking to them for a few minutes, about recent events such as what they had for breakfast…
        Joseph Biden is and has been obviously incompetent for some time, and to a degree that no responsible Notary would agree to Notarize any document he signed.

      5. notabanker

        The G20 press conference was a disaster. That was in front of the whole world. I think it not such a coincidence that just days after the WSJ and WaPo both issue oped’s calling for him not to run.

        There is no way Joe can debate a republican for the presidential election today. How much worse will he be by June? Forget Trump, their C team of candidates would crush him in a debate. I was talking about this with a very blue TDS relative who is close to Joe’s age and I had to end the conversation because it was apparent to me that it was just too painful to admit that Joe was not a very good choice, and the topic isn’t worth creating family problems.

      6. Willow

        Easter 2024 will be same time things come to a head with likely complete collapse of Ukrainian forces/sovereignty (and Europe in post-winter disarray). A critical decision crossroads for US to either cut looses or irretrievably escalate (boots on the ground). Who’s going to be running the show?

  6. The Rev Kev

    This is going to get messy. I would guess that Biden would dig his heels in and refuse to go. Kamala may want to stay but they would only ever let her do so as VP again and may feel better giving her the old heave-ho. Isn’t it strange all this. I mean that when Biden was elected, all these people were running around saying that the adults were back in charge again. How has that been working? I suppose that if they can dump old Joe, then they could pin both the Afghanistan and the Ukraine disasters on him – while promising that the next time it will be different! Maybe the Blob should just cut to the chase. Have one of their own as President. One that is a well-know pubic figure that people see on TV all the time. One with gravitas and a seriousness to him and is not too old. This being the case, I nominate David Ignatius for President in 2024.

    1. Cassandra

      Maybe the Blob should just cut to the chase. Have one of their own as President.

      Well, that should have been Mayo Pete, but he has been conspicuously absent among the various transportation disasters of his tenure as Secretary. I had the impression four years ago that he was quite ambitious, but then **crickets**.

      He looked pretty rough after his bout with Covid; I wonder if that may explain some of his absence.

    2. dave -- just dave

      At the Post website, the “most liked” comment on Ignatius’s column is

      And David Ignatius should retire. See how that works Dave?

      Ignatius is 73 now and would be 78 at the end of the presidential term beginning in January 2025. I am reminded of the epidemiologist’s 4-category adult age grouping:

      1/young adult
      2/still young
      3/not so young
      4/you look wonderful

      1. Louis Fyne

        David Ignatius should retire too (from the Wash Post op-ed column). Same with pretty much the entire NYT op-ed page.

        In my opinion, an op-ed slot at a newspaper of record is too important to leave to one person for more than 4 to 10 years.

        (Heck, throw in the Sulzburger family’s perpetual editorial control of the NYT too.)

        If David is really as accomplished as is supposedly is, he will do fine without using the op-ed column as a soap box. If he flounders, well I guess all he had was his Washington Post business card.

    3. DaveOTN

      If the Ukraine situation turns belly up before next November, Trump will have a field day with it, no matter how many Pentagon employees with their abacuses show up to say we spent $100 billion to destroy $4 trillion dollars worth or Russian military hardware. They’ll need to find a Democrat with vague enough comments about it that he can hem and haw and say everyone made the best decision at the time, let’s move on.

      It worked for Shapiro here in PA. The Republicans in 2022 were ready to crucify the outgoing Governor Wolf for his Covid restrictions, but they had the crazy Doug Mastriano up front ranting about stolen elections in a way that made Trump look moderate. Shapiro came in from the relatively neutral Attorney General seat and did a lot of “there was some overreach, everyone was doing their best with the data available at the time” handwaving, and that was enough to appease the voters.

      The Dems would actually be better off if Ukraine collapsed now and it got out of the news cycle. If we have another year of Biden talking about how important it is to support them, and Trump saying it’s a waste of young lives on both sides, and then the Ukrainian army, brave as it may be, just runs out of fresh bodies early next fall…Biden will have Afghanistan and Ukraine on his record and nothing will save him.

  7. Pat

    We also had a report earlier in the week about the robust defenses that the White House and Congressional Democrats were mounting against an impeachment. At that time the implication was that they fully expected to discourage there being an official impeachment investigation.

    The press and the PMC Dems don’t like to admit it, but both Donald Trump impeachments were badly done. It wasn’t just that there was little chance of their ousting Trump, it was that the prosecution didn’t do their job and lay out a robust case that left little room for doubt. They were what most of the legal actions against Trump have been partisan wet squibs fueled more by passionate hatred of Trump and his being President and righteous indignation than by evidence.

    It is possible the same thing will be on display for Biden, but the response may be more troubling for the almost 50% of the population who aren’t tribally loyal to a party. Trump may be obnoxious, but personally and angrily denying the action and playing victim is downright straight forward versus outwardly dignified but quietly desperate arm twisting from the Biden White House. (And yes I do expect more ham handed attempts to control the narrative. PR has been this groups weapon of choice for their entire existence.) Even if the GOP House doesn’t do a better job than the Dems, there is no way Biden comes out of this in better shape than he went in, even if he also won’t be convicted. Heck 2024 could find Trump and Biden fighting over who is the biggest victim.

    Yves is laying out a good case that there is a battle going on where one side is now very loudly saying Biden has to go. My view is that both sides of that discussion recognize that Biden is a hot mess, but one side realizes that though they were able to hide his being one in 2020, there is no chance of hiding it in 2023-24. Biden can’t campaign from a basement, and the press is no longer fully compliant, looking stupid and partisan if it is going to blow up in their faces isn’t a great selling point. The other doesn’t see an alternative to Biden and is fighting to stay alive.

    If it is true that it exists, I really wonder where the shadow White House Obama is supposedly running falls in all this. Pritzker’s positioning as a possible “future” candidate might be a clue. But that is just CT run wild.

    1. Rip Van Winkle

      Pritzker was on the other side of the infamous Illinois Governor Blagojevich phone call about the Obama Senate seat. For some reason U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald never thought as to why the likes of Blago would think Pritzker would be a receptive party to “I’ve got this thing and it’s (family blog) -ing golden.” idea/proposition.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      For Obama to have a shadow White House, he needs a non entity like O’Rourke. If Pritzker is the nominee or President, Obama will be less relevant than he was early in Biden’s term when Biden was the best president since Nixon.

      Obama doesn’t want anyone to outdo him. He’ll back a total loser.

      1. Pat

        I have my doubts about a shadow WH, but do believe Barry wants top power broker status. That said he won’t obviously put his thumb on the scales until things shake out more, similar to 2020.

        1. Louis Fyne

          Susan Rice ticks all the resume boxes, is in the Obama camp, and can be elevated by Obama.

          The only unknowns: does she want to sacrifice a normal life to run, and does she have the charisma to run.

          Or perhaps the question is: is she power hungry enough to want it.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      My conservative friends say the Judiciary is going about the Biden impeachment systematically and slow walking a bit in the hopes Biden goes on his own before Nov (about the latest possible date for an orderly switch to a new party champion).

      1. Pat

        Everything I have seen indicates that this is better thought out and has more substance then we saw from the Democrats.
        And that makes sense as objectively Biden leaving on his own would be a win win. It achieves the main objective, but doesn’t endanger the overall system that thrives on corruption. Nobody has their rice bowls shattered in the process.

      2. Willow

        Can Biden go through nomination process and then at the end advise Biden delegates to nominate someone else at the National Convention because he wants to step aside? Doing things this way so as not to open up the field ensuring TINA gets the nomination?

    4. nippersdad

      Trumps two impeachments were on things that were purely partisan issues, though. “In hindsight” (for Dems who want to keep their jobs), they weren’t merely badly done, they were clearly fallacious.

      One was for Trump wanting to look into the Bidens corruption in Ukraine and the other was for not arming Nazis fast enough. The first has pretty much been proven in the court of public opinion for all but the most partisan Democrats and the other is going to be revisited when Russia wins the war. Both will weigh against Biden in his impeachment proceedings, should they ever arrive, and if the Democratic party wants any chance to win another federal election there will have to be some defections in deference to public opinion. But I don’t think it will get that far.

      They need to get that guy back under the rug as fast as possible, and the way the press is starting to go after him looks like a coordinated effort by the blob to do so one way or the other. A convenient fall down the stairs of Air Force One is increasingly looking likely.

          1. JBird4049

            American politics has gone lethal in the past. Lead poisoning and “heart attacks” with the occasional plane or car “accident” for the inconvenient.

            If I had to bet, I would say that something will go wrong with his meds. Considering that they supposed never did find the owner of the nose candy found in the White House a few months back, an unfortunate fall in the shower is also likely.

            However, if they cannot do this, or if it looks like they stuck with VP Kamala Harris (oh lord, just how did it come this?) and nobody wants her, meaning Donald Trump health will become poor. Maybe they will pull a Kennedy on him with a modern patsy like Lee Harvey Oswald or Sirhan Sirhan. If I am going this far, let me say that I can see JFK, jr and Cornel West both having health problems as they do not seem to be supporters of the current regime. This is because I do not see any likely Democratic candidate to replace either Biden or Harris unless it is Gavin Newsom. The political bench is just that shallow, but Governor Hairwave is an ambitious, plastic, neoliberal, identitarian poseur. My governor plays well with the twenty percent of the population that is the Professional Managerial Class and class adjacent, but not much else, I think. But he will get into the car and they have strong motives to clear the way for him.

            There are hundreds of millions of Americans qualifying for the presidency as you only need to be over thirty-five years old and a natural born American citizen. So, I could be wrong as our elites should be able to find someone competent that they would not have to kill, but I think we are so screwed. Really.

            It is rather discombobulating to seriously predict a probable accident or death of a sitting or likely president. But I have read far too much American history to believe otherwise especially as the Empire with its tool-bag is coming home.

            If anyone doubts the seriousness of all this or on how violent American politics can get, going just from memory, I suggest reading about Abraham Lincoln and the concurrent assassination attempts on his cabinet, as well as on James A. Garfield, William McKinley, T. R. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X, Fred Hampton, George Wallace, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan. I have not touched on the union movement deaths, members of reform movements, or groups like Black Panthers. Yes, some of this was from disgruntled individuals, but some were by the intelligence agencies and the police. Violence is an American thing and has been for centuries across the entire country. The only reason we have not seen it in the past thirty years is because there has not been the need with the successful activists such as some in Occupy Wall Street are threatened with, or have been sent into, the prison industrial complex. Of course, there are those six suspicious deaths of Ferguson activists…

              1. JBird4049

                One could make the case for this, but FDR was going into his fourth term during a worldwide depression and war; he had been visibly declining for several years. Dying from a stroke is entirely reasonable for him.

  8. DJG, Reality Czar

    Yves Smith: From your keyboard to the ears of Hermes. Hermes can do double-duty, because of his many responsibilities. Hermes can show up, give the bad news — plus, as Psychopompos, lead the soul of Biden (if Biden has a soul) to the Underworld.

    Practically, though, I’m thinking that these events are just Democratic dyspepsia. Who’s going to deliver the news to Our War President? Daffy Nancy Pelosi? Steny Hoyer if he still even exists? The recent protestations of Tammy Duckworth, phantom senator from Illinois, made me recall what a pack of nonentities the congressional Democratic Party is. (The Republicans at least admit that they like to steal the other kids’ lunches!)

    The “intelligence community” may like to throw its weight around, but is the populace ready for Big Jim Comey to deliver the soft coup d’état (again)? I tend to doubt it. Recall that with Watergate, it took months for the U.S. populace to be prepared for Nixon’s resignation.

    So it’s melodrama all the time in Hallmark Movie on the Potomac with Nuclear Warheads. Think of the Ukraine Project! F*ck the EU!

    As I mention above, I am happy to be in the Undisclosed Region, stocking up on gianduiotti.

  9. Pat

    Personally I think Newsome is dead in the water. It isn’t just San Francisco or the lockdown and French Laundry. He is too Californian. He wants it but so did Andy Cuomo and Chris Christie. Being from New York and New Jersey is the same problem. A large percentage of this country believes that much of what is wrong in this country can be directly laid at the feet of California and New York.

    Just for one thing, California is ready to ban certain food additives, it is being referred to as the Skittles law. How do you think that really plays in the states necessary to win the Electoral College?

    I don’t think his hair will save him.

    1. Wukchumni

      I wouldn’t be so quick to squash his chances, as yes we are that shallow of a nation and not only is Newsom handsome (never understood that term, who ever looks at hands?) but he also isn’t the walking dead as per the Major Major Major Majordomos in the Donkey Show, hell, why not go with Feinstein for President instead, if forced to turn tail and run?

      1. Pat

        They could nominate him. It isn’t as if a whole lotta states that should have known better didn’t rubber stamp Biden in 2020 to give him the nomination. Newsome could be forced onto the rust belt for the convention. But in the general, with most possible candidates he is probably going to lose
        I do have to admit that Newsome vs. DiSantis or Ramaswamy or god forbid Haley would be a whole new election horror movie scenario. Younger Sociopaths who can finish the job.

      2. Pat

        Many women do look at hands. There are those who check out shoes too. Wacky.
        But if you look at the etymology, handsome was originally about stuff being well formed and useful. It probably evolved from being an assessment of physical wellbeing to today’s attractive.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I read a long time ago that the first thing that used car salesmen checked was a guy’s shoes and watch as it usually told them if the guy had money or not.

    2. Louis Fyne

      newsom is the Democratic nominee a lifelong DC-Manhattan insider thinks that the country wants.

      Even a ChatGPT-like “AI” would pick a better person…..if one existed.

      RFK Jr. is closer to the pulse of what the bottom 80% of the Democratic party wants.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The first line is it, but in addition, guys like Newsome don’t run against Republicans. They are social climbers, not fighters. He doesn’t have the drive to fight for votes. Newsome showed no interest in 2024 until recently based on his record and that’s despite knowing Harris personally.

        There is no nostalgia for California governors except among the GOP. Nixon and Reagan were formidable because they proved it by winning non safe seats. Newsome is a fundraiser. He’s nothing like Obama who cheese off people as he climbed and was polling as head of his GOP rival before the latter’s collapse.

        1. JBird4049

          California is a one party state except for Orange county and the northern and eastern rim’s rural counties. Most Californians live in the Blue cities and counties, which means who wins a Democratic primary will win at the state level.

          Gavin just had to schmooze the upper crust of the state’s political, economic, and social classes. They are all much the same and interlinked.

  10. timotheus

    Speculation: Could getting him to wander off the candidate stage be enough to stop all the dangerous investigations and even include Hunter getting his plea deal back in some form? I can’t imagine that the organized family bribery apparently at work–who knows for how long–is going to be seriously exposed and ruin everyone else’s fun..

  11. chris

    I can’t help but think that we’ll see Joe’s corpse dragged through a campaign because it is so much easier for these people to do nothing than it is for them to do something. They also have form where they wait out the clock until nothing else can be done. They can easily keep inventing crimes that Trump has committed to keep him from an easy campaign. I think there’s a good chance this election season is raucous but ultimately leads to a predictable event. Biden re-elected by an imperial decree of sorts.

    If that does occur, if that level of control is expressed over our population, woo boy. The following years will be chaos.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The failure of the others to gain traction in 2020 or Harris to even be the presumptive front runner is a sign of disconnect between Team Blue voters and elites. The courtiers want non-entities, but anyone with drive will be cloaked in power over the courtiers if they win the nomination immediately. Biden is lazy and kept on losers like Neera Tanden, but what will say a Pritzker or a Whitmer do? The courtiers fear a forceful personality more than Trump. One will bring new people.

      1. chris

        NTG, only people with a sense of morals and the ability to think believe Neera is a loser. She has succeeded because she gives people in power exactly what they want. So much so that when denied positions they invent new roles for her to fill in an administration.

        I agree whole heartedly about the disconnect between voters and the Team Blue elites. Biden is just the latest example. Obama really created this situation. He had a mandate for radical change to improve the lives of people in the US. He choose to do something quite different. The Black people I’ve discussed this with, many themselves PMC, argue passionately that as the first Black president he did as much as he could as best as he could. If that’s true, then it’s a damning endorsement of the Democrat party.

        The people want radical change. That’s one of the reasons why I love the title of Tom Frank’s latest “The People, No” because it works on so many levels. I read it as, “The People Know” in my head. But to the powerful, it is absolutely, “The People, NO!”

        I think a lot of what we’re dealing with in the US right now could be mitigated by everyone having more money and the cost of living decreasing. 50 years of wage suppression hasn’t been good for the US. But our elites are so comically bad that no one can imagine giving everyone who gets a W-2 a raise in line with what they should receive. The statements from the UAW really are what this is all about. The union is saying we sacrificed in 2008, we paid as citizens to bail you out too, we worked through a pandemic and supply chain shortages, we took cuts upon cuts upon cuts in our contracts… and then you executives gave yourselves a 46% raise?!?!?! That is grossly unfair. That’s also the story across multiple industries too. I think the biggest reason the talking heads have been so obsessed with social justice for the last 20 years is because economic justice is something they can’t accept.

        But without economic justice, none of the issues we’re dealing with go away. Like, what does it matter if we have rent stabilization measures in most cities if the rent+utilities is frozen at 50% or more of what most people earn? We need a lower cost of living. We need more money. The people in charge will necessarily have to accept less in that situation. Which is why I can’t see it occurring. Why will Biden cling on? Because his promise that nothing will fundamentally change is the only thing all Democrat donors want to hear.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, Neera is a loser. She is a tool, whose only skill is viciousness towards people she can safely kick. She’s not trusted or liked. She does not have independent power so she actually is not feared, although she carries herself as if she were. She is the sort who will be discarded and will not be able to strike back at the people who did her in.

          1. chris

            I agree with you Yves. But since she’s been the head of some pretty important things and makes a lot of money, it’s hard for me to unequivocally accept that she’s a loser. Of course, the fact that she has won anything in successive administrations and that people keep trying to find places for her makes me think I’m a loser. And so is the US. We’re all worse off because people like her populate our government at various levels.

    2. nippersdad

      Why does that remind me of the Carville quote about dragging a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park and not knowing what you will find?

      I’m pretty sure we already did that when Biden first ran. Now the political problem is all of those that they found hanging onto it.

  12. Cristobal

    Putin is undoubtedly behind this dastardly effort to besmirch President Biden. I wonder how the plot will be revealed.

      1. LifelongLib

        In fairness to Mr. Magoo, his problem wasn’t that he was senile, it was that he couldn’t see well so he got all these silly ideas about what was happening around him.

  13. Beachwalker

    The very best long range plan for the Dems is to lose the White House and maybe even the congress and let Trump et al take the blame for the losing in Ukraine, the essentially hopeless fiscal situation and whatever the next black-swan-driven financial crisis that will present itself. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are a much more attractive (or, more accurately, less hideous) crew in opposition than in power. Sure a lot of Washington careerists will be rotated out of power and maybe some of the Democrat pet neocons would have to decamp to the think tanks and universities, while being replaced by Republican counterparts, but moving deck chairs on the Titanic is one of the few tasks we can still expect our politicians to carry out.

  14. .human

    Trump/Gabbard 2024!

    And I’m in the Emma Goldman camp!!!

    Peanut butter and crackers for me. Popcorn gets stuck in my teeth.

  15. PdB

    > And I’m in the Emma Goldman camp

    LOL, I’ve been in the EG camp since 2018 when I left DC having worked there for 10 months. DT, no, TG si.

  16. steven t johnson

    The claim that the CIA is against Biden is the claim the CIA wants to split the Democratic Party, i.e., is for Trump. This website so far as I know has never condescended to note that all the media, both the right win and the left, are against Biden—that’s why they tried to build a band wagon for a Republican trifecta last year!—ever since Afghanistan. There’s no other way that Biden’s dementia is relentlessly drummed up while Trump’s dementia isn’t. The post’s presumption that the media takes its orders from the CIA rather than its owners and the people who buy advertising is a mere imposition. That is, this kind of thing expresses the support of rich people for Trump. They, more than the working class, even the white working class, are the real force that has turned to Trump. But, although the title may be Naked Capitalism, that doesn’t mean full frontal. So, the announcement the Deep State is backing Trump won’t inspire cognitive dissonance among the Trumpers. It should but that presumes cognition by Trumpers, a dubious proposition indeed.

    Not a close reader of this website and didn’t read it at all until this year….but every indication I can see is that Yves Smith & Co are Trumpers. They seem to me to be discreetly shamefaced about their spiritual practices and maybe even claim to be mere accelerationists, as in, Trump will bring the Democrat tyranny down and bring about a reindustrialization (but without unions) etc. etc. ad lib ad nauseam. And of course citing Jonathan Turley as honest, much less insightful, is a strong symptom of moral and mental degeneration.

    1. pjay

      You are obviously “not a close reader of this website.” I’ll let others dissect your comment, which requires too much work for me. But I do want to respond to one of your points. The “CIA” – or the “FBI” or the “Pentagon” or the “Deep State,” etc. – are not homogeneous entities. They are sprawling institutions in which there are competing factions and networks of *individuals* who use their resources (including media assets) and secrecy to push their own agendas. Trump clearly had supporters in the FBI while Comey, Strzok, et al. were trying to sabotage him. There are clearly individuals in the intelligence community opposed to Biden’s insane foreign policy who are leaking to the press and feeding information to Seymour Hersh. There are clearly people in military doing the same while the top brass continues to spout butts**t. But there is an Establishment that dominates, and for a number of reasons they are very clearly afraid of Trump. I doubt that any regular NC readers are in any way “Trumpers,” let alone Yves and other contributors. We just don’t believe he is the biggest danger in this absurd theater.

      1. steven t johnson

        There is an Establishment that dominates *and* there are…well, something, something that isn’t. Can’t have it both ways, not honestly. Even worse, the notion that the “Establishment” is afraid of Trump is nonsense. Or a lie offered as a shame-faced support for Trump. Trump got billions of dollars of free publicity for a reason and it wasn’t because the “Establishment” was clearly afraid of Trump. They were afraid of Sanders and that’s why he didn’t get any, no matter how much pushing the excitement of a dark horse unexpectedly winning would have plumped up ratings. Biden was never the sharpest knife in the drawer and always a creature of his staff. But we’ve had senile presidents before (Reagan, or did you like him too?) Whereas Trump is nuts. If he wasn’t rich, he’d constantly be in trouble. So, like Elon Musk, people who worship wealth and power will ignore the obvious derangement.

        Trying to be charitable, perhaps there’s some sort of weird idea that Trump is not just an MMT infrastructure reindustrializer but antiwar. This is usually excused by the lame claim Trump didn’t start any new wars. Aside from ignoring the resumption of economic warfare against Iran *which could have turned into a shooting war if Iran hadn’t been cautious*? Seriously, only an idiot thinks some other country’s refusal to treat a military attack as the cause for war doesn’t count as antiwar. Aside from the obvious fact an antiwar candidate would actually have ended a war, economic war is war. And Trump started on with China. (And no, leaving a withdrawal from Afghanistan as a tar baby for Biden only counts if you’re determined to give Trump a Nobel Peace Prize.)

    2. anahuna

      I suggest that becoming a close reader of this website would cure you of the notion that Yves’ and Lambert are in any way ‘shamefaced.”

      To the background of hilarious laughter, with some of the commentariat rolling on the floor while others rise to their feet in indignation and Yves prepares to hurl one of her thunderbolts.

    3. chris

      What a fascinating comment. Not sure how you could read this site and think that Yves and others are Trumpers.

      As for Trump being deranged, I wonder how many ultra wealthy individuals you’ve met or had to deal with? From my experience, he is neither deranged nor demented nor senile. He’s simply a more feral example of the class.

      And I think you’ve got this all very wrong. The deep state was able to hamstring the Trump administration. They don’t care if Trump is in office as long as the important things continue as they would like them to continue. For all of Trump’s alleged Russia ties project Ukraine was merrily steaming along in the background during his tenure. For all of his claims to drain the swamp we still get the scandals of bioweapon labs all over the world and contracts during covid that produced less useful results than simply burning money and give aways to the Saudis. Absent completely replacing the apparatus of federal government Trump’s second Admin won’t do much more than the first. Which was in many ways a continuous line from Clinton and Bush and Obama.

      Yves and others can defend themselves but do you really believe the best way to be informed is to not be aware of other opinions? You think Turley is bad? And you believe that by merely sharing those views Yves and others signal agreement with them?

      I’ll pray for you Steven.

    4. tegnost

      The post’s presumption that the media takes its orders from the CIA rather than its owners and the people who buy advertising is a mere imposition. That is, this kind of thing expresses the support of rich people for Trump

      Sorry, but I’m revolving in and out of parental care in la jolla ca where there is a notable lack of bmw’s…the drive the kids to school cars are all maserati, lamborghini, bentley, porsche, alfa romeo and audi suv’s. It’s weird, oh there’s a bmw, must be from out of town…, and mercedes and ferrari coupes On my last visit I looked at the public record of votes in the 2 precincts near the beach, where the rich people are, and it was 10,000 for biden and 4,000 for trump, and when i look around here I see no trump voters who are willing to admit it as that would be social suicide. The dems are the party of rich people, and have delivered substantially since ’08 bailing out the literally worst people in the world. All I hear is trump is going to be a dictator if elected fear for democracy and all that. The irony is that team blue are full on liberal totalitarians, we must globalize, smart phone surveillance is a must along with cbdc’s because those stupid trump voters don’t know that whatever benefits they accrue will trickle down and save the e-conomy. One would think that, as a person all over the west coast who talks to lots of people, that when i got here I would notice a vast difference in intelligence between the rich people and the not rich in other regions, but no. Whatever bs the nyt, news hour and msnbc think is the gospel truth and that is about as not smart as a person can get. When I suggest dems do something for regular people rather than going on and on about trump I get a blank stare and a concerned squabble at the coffee shop of grannies wondering if I am a trumpy?!? How disconcerting for them, and they hear I’m against the ukraine thing and up the wall of worry they go. It’s really a lot like the AI thing, they’ve rigged the game and are worried someone else might do the same to them if they lose control.
      No black people by the way, but plenty of extremely wealthy spanish speakers, along with their ubiquitous uber menschen doing the work that “no one else will do” (/s )
      There is no left in the USA. Two right wing parties is all we get.

    5. Yves Smith Post author

      You seem unable to grasp that not being all in for Biden does not mean one is a fan of Trump.

      Your false charge about our views is a reader assisted suicide note, which I am only too happy to honor.

  17. pjay

    Here’s my take.

    If Trump runs, he wins… period. The Democrats have no one who could beat him. If the Establishment keeps him off the ballot all hell is going to break loose, but I think that’s the only way the Dims could possibly win.

    Newsome is the best candidate the Democrats have, but he definitely has the “California” problem in much of the country (this problem is very much a thing in much of the country).

    I don’t think I’ve seen this scenario presented; maybe it’s not possible. But perhaps the Establishment could get Feinstein to step down, Newsome to appoint Harris as Senator, and run Newsome as Biden’s VP. Then they could try to drag Joe across the finish line and get him out soon after for “health” reasons. It would be very complicated politically, but that’s the only way Newsome gets the gold ring in my view.

    I’d say this is going to be fun to watch – if I wasn’t worried about the “all hell” part. DJG might have the right idea.

    1. nippersdad

      I agree that that is prolly about the only way they could get Newsom in, but one has to think about the downstream effects, too. There is just about no way that Biden could win an election, and Newsom is the dry powder we have been hearing about since the Bush Administration; he is not expendable.

      I think they are going to go for a second tier candidate to do that, someone they can both control and who will still have a future outside of the obvious political sphere. They will have to bring back a Klobuchar, or find a new one, and await future events. But anyone running this time will be toast, and they all know it.

    2. Jeff

      Politically that could work if Newsom wasn’t so easily hated. He has a punchable face, his wife banged Harvey Weinstein, he banged his best friend’s wife and ditched his wife for his concubine. He was mayor of SF with promises and horse manure, parlayed his failure as mayor into becoming the most useless politician as California’s Lt. Governor and then went on to out-fundraise every other Dem to win the governorship – a job he’s failed at no matter your metrics.

      No other politician is so associated with homelessness as he is.

  18. Katniss Everdeen

    Yup. brandon’s done and has been for awhile. The only question is the timing of his lame duck status achievement. Gotta be soon since primary season is almost upon us. The question of his replacement as a candidate is trickier.

    The uniparty / PMC doesn’t care whether the next prez is a dem or repub, as long as it’s not Trump. biden has been such a disaster that I think it’s been decided that the winner will be the repub. The dem candidate will be a “throw away.” I think it will be harris, and I think her chosen “opponent” will be nikki haley.

    Dumping harris as the heir apparent is an insurmountable problem, and there’s really no “good” way to erase her from the equation (permanently) except decisive rejection by “the people,” so that the newsoms, pritzkers, and, yes, whitmers can take over with a clean slate.

    harris and haley are markedly comparable “idpol-wise” and effectively neutralize that issue. That they’re both women is just icing on the cake. The “historic” nature of the first evah woman-on-woman american presidential race would produce infinite opportunities to concentrate on that “remarkable” aspect, to the exclusion of the trivialities and distinctions of boring old “policy,” and give the “voters” a reason to feel good about their lousy political choices again.

    Throw in Cornell West to put a “principled” dent in the “vote blue no matter who” contingent, and you have a theoretical recipe for managing a pretty dire political mess. Something for everybody to “like,” or at least STFU about not liking.

    hillary cliinton would probably commit suicide at the “injustice” of it all, so there’s that for the rest of us.

    1. chris

      I agree. The Ignatius op-ed makes me think there’s been discussions behind all this to decide what will happen to preserve the status quo when an R takes office. They’re setting this up so that they’ve won before stepping on the battlefield. I think these people believe a change in name will convince all the citizens that they’ve gotten enough of what they want. I think the elites will be wrong about that but who knows? So far all that’s happened has been us rats feasting on ourselves rather than affecting the high and mighty. Maybe if the UAW and other strikes go off we’ll see something different?

      I wonder what a “Revenge” presidency would look like? IMO, a second Trump term isn’t going to do much unless he is able to implement a massive staffing change through something like Schedule F. In my corner of the world, that is a threat that most of my friends and neighbors find existential. Some would probably pick up arms over it.

      1. Screwball

        First, the obligatory “I’m not a Trump fan.” Let’s suppose for a minute, that Trump in fact becomes the “revenge” president and fires half of the DC blob. What’s not to like about that? I would call it a good start. Might be fun to watch too.

        OK, back to reality. My PMC friends, who are convinced Biden is clean as fresh snow, are at least talking about the possibility of someone else. That’s a new dose of reality for a bunch that have been in denial and wrong about most everything for the last 7 years.

        The bad news is, they think a slam dunk winner to replace Biden is the human version of AI, otherwise known as Mayor Pete. IMO, what people see in this BS spewing chameleon is one of life’s biggest mysteries.

          1. jeff

            Along with a more visible track record of failure. It was clear that his Indiana job was too big for him. Making him transportation secretary is just another in the Biden failure ledger.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          First, the obligatory “I’m not a Trump fan.” Let’s suppose for a minute, that Trump in fact becomes the “revenge” president and fires half of the DC blob. What’s not to like about that? I would call it a good start. Might be fun to watch too.

          Well, I AM a “Trump fan” for the exact reason you state. If Trump’s the only guy who will blow the blob out of the water, then so be it. Nothing changes until that happens, hence the desperation to eliminate him in any way possible.

          I think that’s called “consensus building.”

          1. pjay

            I’ve asked this before but I have yet to get a satisfactory answer. So I’ll try once more.

            I would enjoy seeing lib/Dem heads explode as much as the next guy, and I have warned friends and family that I’m about disgusted enough to vote for Trump as my big FU to it all, for the same reason. But that said, *if* Trump were to get elected, what then? Pseudo-populist rhetoric aside, does he really even *know* how to “drain the swamp”? What policies would he *actually* favor? The last time he was President he staffed his administration with some of the most despicable people on earth. Why do we think it would be different this time? And, once again, WHO is Trump going to call on as his advisors, or to fill key positions in his administration? He had a bunch of neocons and Establishment generals last time. Is he wiser now? How do we know? We can be sure that the Establishment would go all out to sabotage him again unless he guaranteed them that he would be good and obey the rules. He’d need some very strong and knowledgeable people to fight them. *Who would they be*?

            As I keep saying, I see the surveillance/censorship/national security state as a much more likely road to fascism than a Trump Presidency. But I can’t see how the latter would work. I’d be happy if someone could explain it to me.

            1. chris

              And there you have it. Which sums up the criticism of the Schedule F plan that people discussed after it was announced. Who does Trump know that is a true believer AND is disciplined (not Rudy) AND knows how government works AND can run a massive hiring operation on the order of 10000 people AND can do that quickly and efficiently? That type of thing is just not Trump.

            2. Katniss Everdeen

              The thought in MAGA world is that Donald Trump “knows NOW what he didn’t know THEN”–the illegal, extra-constitutional, insubordinate, propagandistic, uber-manipulative, disrespectful-to-the-office lengths to which the blob would go, suborned by the media and supported by big tech censorship, to nullify a constitutional presidency.

              (In a perverse way, those determined to crush Trump and his MAGA movement would probably have been more successful if they just would have let him win in 2020 and continued to hamstring him for another 18 months until he became a lame duck. And Poof! He’d be gone for good. But no….)

              In MAGA circles rumor has it that, for the last year or so, Trump loyalists have been quietly vetting potential staffers and appointees, who can be slotted in to key positions should Trump be re-elected, eliminating the need to rely on the blob itself for administration personnel who, during the first term, shamelessly and relentlessly sabotaged his presidency and derailed his agenda.

              No one can predict how a 2nd Trump term would go. Who–other than bill gates or gina haspell–could have predicted a “pandemic” and all its attendant complications? But to my mind, striking a devastating blow against the blob with high profile firings and maybe even trials, ending this grotesque debacle in ukraine and possibly other military “misadventures,” and finally closing the goddamn border–all of which The Donald has vowed to accomplish–is worth the “risk” of a vote for Trump.

              1. marym

                I don’t think it’s a rumor. The links are negative on the initiative, but they do have information on the status and participants.

                The possibility of replacing tens of thousands of career civil service workers with political appointees “vetted” by the conservative movement whom the president can fire at will leading to anything other than some combination of authoritarianism and chaos seems unlikely. Trump may see it as a path to doing whatever he wants to do (what ever that means in reality), while the Heritage Foundation, etc. will have their own agenda about what needs to be done (or undone).


          2. Screwball

            And I’m with you. If it comes down to Trump vs. the Blue savior of democracy (whoever that might be), I’m voting Trump. Have at it I say.

            At the same time, he had a chance the last time and failed miserably. We could see that wasn’t happening with the appointments of Pompeo and Bolton, so I won’t hold my breath.

          3. jeff

            But Trump won’t do that. Remember what he ran on in 2016? Draining the swamp, building the wall …. that kind of talk?

            Trump knows a grand total of 40 words, and all of them are used to brag about himself. He has no patience, intellect, integrity, etc. for him to do what you think he will do. He’s no 4-d chess player. He’s an angry 14 year old that – as don draper might say – sees the world as a bra strap ready to snap.

            Sure, he’s better than Biden, but that’s the faintest of praise you could bestow upon any sentient being. Biden is the worst president of our lifetime and its not close. Believing that Trump would do ANY of what is saying means you didn’t listen the first time.

          4. marku52

            Yes. “Vote No on WWIII”

            Trump is the only anti war candidate.
            RFKjr is too, but the Dems will see to it that he is never the candidate.

    2. nippersdad

      That was very well and concisely put. I do, however, disagree that it will be difficult to deep six Kamala. Is she really going to want to preside over the shit-show on the horizon? Seems like she might find a sinecure at an Ivy League college far preferable to the alternative.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Seems like she might find a sinecure at an Ivy League college far preferable to the alternative.

        I have no doubt that’s where harris will ultimately wind up. The ivy league seems to have an insatiable appetite for failed politicos and the politically adjacent, and I think it’s clear California is moving on without her. Even lori lightfoot secured an ivy league “teaching” position, but only after having stood for re-election in Chicago, and suffering the humiliation of not even qualifying for the runoff.

        Despite the much-ridiculed mess she’s made of it, harris’s “election” to veep was and always will be historic. I’d imagine the calculation will be which 2024 course will raise her (and the dem’s) stock price more–withdraw quietly from the fray “for personal reasons,” or accept the consequences of her ground-breaking incumbency and see it through to its logical end, however difficult that might be.

        As I mentioned, Cornell West will always be there to shoulder a modicum of blame for any disappointing outcome.

        In any event, I don’t think the decision will be hers to make. Godfather obama got her into this and he will need to show her the way out. If it means talking her down off the ledge–for the good of the “party”–he’s the guy to make it happen. I’d imagine he has a few high cards to deal–the aforementioned ivy league sinecure, or some cushy Spotify or Netflix gigs for instance.

        1. nippersdad

          As much as I hate to say it, they may not have Cornel West to kick around for much longer. He appears to have taken the IdPol bait and is running with it to the detriment of his campaign. That Jimmy Dore interview was just painful to watch, and has had predictable results. As Garland Nixon has pointed out, this is not his fault given his background but it is not going to play well with those who just want to see the entire system burn.

          For better or worse that is his base, and he needs to learn that such as Peter Daou were not trained in that kind of blood sport. I am really surprised that Jill Stein suggested him as a campaign manager since she of all people should remember how he attacked the very people he has been hired to attract. He may have done good work for her behind the scenes, but that is not what people will remember about him.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            You may be right, particularly if “brother” barack decides to get involved.

            However, in the scenario I’m fleshing out, West may be more valuable in than out. Spoilers like Nader or Stein can soften the blow long after the “shellackin’ ” has been suffered.

            1. nippersdad

              Yup. I do hope West can make the distance without flaming out; he really did look a little thin skinned in the Dore interview, and the afterparty was unspeakable. I love nothing more than pointing out to PMC’s that they have created their own reality a’ la Karl Rove. If he stays the course that would just give me another data point to work with. Hopefully one that came with at least five percent in the polls. If you are going to be a “spoiler” then you need to make the Democrats loss really odoriferous; something worthy of the name.

              Red faced stomping and spittle flecked rants against their own purported base are what got them Trump the first time. Briahnna Joy Gray was just talking about the MSNBC billionaire commentator that was worried about being guillotined in Central Park were Bernie to win the other day. Going back to that well for a fourteenth edition may work, but the history they so love to cite has not been fruitful, and now here they are. Again.

              I could never vote for Trump, but it is thrilling to think that there are accelerationists out there who can, and will.

              1. Arkady Bogdanov

                I’ve actually admitted to accelerationism to my circle. I do not see Trump as the accelerationist candidate. Biden has done FAR more to hasten the collapse of this shitshow than Trump. As much as I want Democrats to get their comeuppance, if acceleration is your game, then Biden is a much better choice (if he does indeed end up on the ballot).

                1. nippersdad

                  I was of the impression that accelerationists were all about getting rid of the Democratic party and replacing it with something that would actually represent their former New Deal/Great Society working class constituents. IOW, the burn it all down club.

                  From my perspective, that was achieved when the DNC had to cheat Bernie out of his nomination in ’16 and then again in ’20. They showed their colors, “nothing will essentially change” and “America is already great” as a mantra has not worked for a while now, and you cannot win an election on the backs of the suburban wine moms, alone.

                  If yet another Trump scare is what it takes to show the PMC that their paradigm now rests on too small a base to continue, then Trump would be an accelerationist candidate every bit as much as is Cornel West. After all, Biden’s present circumstances were predicted in ’16, when we were saying that a vote for Hillary was only a vehicle for getting worse Trumps down the road.

                  The only thing that got Biden’s carcass over the finish line was the coordination of the security state, the Democratic Party and the media, and that is no kind of win at all because it cannot be replicated. That it turns out that the worse Trump predicted will be a vengeful Trump is just a fun little side benefit.

                  Biden cannot win; that debate has been settled for everyone except those who have yet to accept it and are well on their way to irrelevance.

  19. Skip Intro

    The efforts to suppress the Ukrainian prosecutor firing story, despite Joe openly bragging about it on video, were amazingly successful, and included impeaching Trump. It would be a shame if that all unraveled in an impeachment hearing for President Palpatine Biden.

    1. Neutrino

      Suppression by a willing press that ignored the standard of objectivity. Yellow journalism became blue, and then muddy. As the multiple scandals unfolded it gave little comfort to watch the prevaricators squirm. They were on both sides of the camera, or microphone. The last several years have shown that conventional journalism has died.

      The supply of lies was way out of balance with the demand for said lies. Price discovery needed.

  20. Bobby Gladd

    Ahhh… My dyskinesiac Golden Years. Biden Hunters, #RhondaSantis, #RamaSwamyDingDong, Woke sailors reading poetry aloud aboard ships, and, of course, all those Trump-Hating RIGGERS. (Uhhh, and, #WheresMelania?)

    At least pot is legal here in Maryland now. 🤣

  21. Carolinian

    There have been some reviews of new Franklin Foer bio of Biden that give a bit of psychological insight. According to Foer Biden is both sincerely religious and sees everything in his career as a matter of “destiny.”

    Where have we heard that one before? Oh George W. Bush and just about every monarch through the centuries who thought that God put them on the throne and who are you to disagree? Or, to paraphrase Flip Wilson, destiny made me do it. It’s the all purpose excuse for any whim or poor decision. And arguably Biden’s poorest decision so far has been to run for re-election. While most of us see this as crazy from an 81 year old man with mental problems he sees it as fate.

    Here’s hoping the country’s destiny is not to suffer through another four years of this. Almost anyone will be better than Joe.

    1. nippersdad

      I think a straight line could be drawn from the early videos of Biden publicly trying to prostitute himself to his monicker of the Senator from MBNA to his presidency. His only religion has been that of being a self serving company man. Psychologically speaking, we have all met “that guy” before and Foer is dreaming if he thinks that book will be the thing to fund his retirement.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      At times I wonder if the elite pastors who minister to our leaders aren’t all secretly Calvinists. That would explain a lot of things.

    3. .Tom

      Regarding your last sentence, I often have conversations like that. I say things like “Your kids could do better. I’d vote for them.” and after I say it out loud I realize that it’s true. What an amazing thing.

      Or maybe not. The flip side of Aurelien’s thesis about the elite political class behaving like it’s a one-party system is that anyone with a psychology that isn’t pathological steers well clear of those jobs.

    4. jeff

      Biden’s perception of himself as a person of destiny sounds as delusional as someone in prison proclaiming how they’re innocent…. that they didn’t really kill all those people.

  22. Vodkatom

    The commentary here supposes the Democratic Party establishment can control who’s up next if Biden is forced out/implodes. With the disconnect between the elites and the votes seemingly vast, and most agreeing the Democrats will put up lousy candidate, maybe the establishment will lose control of the nomination process like the Republicans did with Trump?

    If oxygen does return to the room what does that mean for candidates like RFK or West? I’m so cynical that the Democrats’ strategy as mentioned above is to lose this election. But if they don’t even maybe they’re leaving to door too wide open

    1. Mark Gisleson

      State parties are still controlled by the DNC, almost as if by remote control. In whatever way the primaries and caucuses are reopened, the rules will be more stacked than ’16 or ’20. D’s don’t do primaries anymore, they just anoint the candidate they really want and then adjust the election results accordingly.

      If RFK Jr. is saying it can’t be done, that means the rigging is now hard-wired by which I mean even if you legally make the necessary changes, they mostly could not be implemented until the 2026 election cycle.

      Even with a major shift in alignment, it takes generations to purge crooked election offices and election officials.

      It will be an unholy mess, but now some Republicans are behaving sanely, it’s probably time to blow up the Democratic party and either reshape the Greens or start a new party (which would mean 100 new may fly parties of which 97 would be Blob-controlled).

      1. Screwball

        I agree with what you are saying, but raises the question for me; we know this, why didn’t JFK Jr.? He should know he had no chance before he even put his hat in the ring, and I would “think” Kucinich would know this too, and would have told him.

        So what’s he up to? He has less of a chance than Bernie did.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          I don’t know any details but my sense of it is that the DNC piled on a little more when no one was looking. They may not have made a challenge impossible, but they’ve already exhibited the kind of amoral resilience that can’t be beaten. No matter how you adjust your strategy, they reserve the right to adjust the rules in response.

      2. Vodkatom

        Mark – maybe the institutional obstacles to an outsider or grassroots takeover of the Democratic Party are insurmountable. And its collapse is the best options. I can’t argue with the case you laid out

        Wishful thinking perhaps, but channeling my inner Nassim Taleb, we can’t know what’s possible in a time of crisis. And the times seem ripe for surprising change

        1. Mark Gisleson

          I’ve been thinking change was inevitable for so long now I’ve watched generations of allies give up and expatriate or move to the deep country. I haven’t gone full Kunstler yet, but I am gravel road adjacent ; )

  23. marym

    Just a minor note about paywalled articles: If you click on these links – stand-alone link with no ? data after the title, or the link sourced from a WaPo tweet

    – or the link in the Ames tweet there’s a paywall. The link in the post with lots of stuff after the /? displays a note that says it’s a gift article from a Post subscriber.

  24. Wukchumni

    My crystal ball was purchased at Wal*Mart and was made in China, and is pretty good for telling events about a year out or less, and this is what i’ve got…

    Joe & Kamala check out on the same day of natural causes, with My Kevin (since ’07) being swept into office, and he appoints Trump VP.

    The rest from then on is a little fuzzy…

    1. elissa3

      Hilarious. The “natural causes” is the only sticky part. My Kevin as Gerald Ford! Truly inspired. Guard that crystal ball with your life. It may come in handy next year.

  25. Folk Coin

    Biden’s age: mixed reviews. However, of the five accusations Speaker McCarthy made, only one of them occurred during Biden’s presidency, the alleged leniency, an act which is literally unsubstantiated (thus far) and more compellingly, Hunter’s case hasn’t even been adjudicated, yet.

    In spite of the Speakers precognitive powers, McCarthy isn’t long for the role. His deciding vote was George Santos, who will soon be forced to resign as a prerequisite for a plea deal. Somebody must have pointed out to McCarthy that Santo’s fundraiser just had a change of disposition in his case, which means the fundraiser is becoming state’s witness. One roll call vote and, well… it was fun while it lasted.

    For the sake of argument, let’s return to VP Biden and his alleged neo-Gogol-ian exploits. The Veep has no foreign policy authority beyond being the ceremonial representative of President Obama and his administration’s policy toward Ukraine. There are no legal duties nor legal actions over which to be influenced. There is only a spongy son and “influence”, which under the FCPA and other parallel statutes, is only illegal if the outcome of an official decision was changed. Even if US foreign policy was expedited to protect Hunter, that is not illegal influence. That’s called “business”, which I thought Republicans fight tooth and claw to preserve. That’s the American Way.

  26. Michael Fiorillo

    Since we’re all just chewing the fat and speculating here, howzabout this: Trump/Kennedy’24 ?

    It might be worth it, just to see the #McResistance heads explode.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      The odds of Trump living to a ripe old age would skyrocket.

      Assuming they never ever get on the same plane together.

  27. Feral Finster

    The Blob, The Borg, The Deep State, The National Security Establishment, whatever you want to call it, is not loyal to Biden or to Team D. They’d be perfectly happy with a different corporate imperialist muppet, whether Team R or Team D.

    Seems that Ignatius and crew are confident that Team R will nominate a corporate imperialist muppet.

  28. David in Friday Harbor

    No time to really comment today, but lots to unpack!

    Ignatius speaks for the Blob. The Blob’s 2020 Hunter laptop letter (which I conveniently uploaded into my cloud account) said the laptop had “all the earmarks of a Russian information campaignnot dis-information.

    This suggests to me that the information linking Biden to “Ukrainian” corruption is there and it’s strong if the Republicans in congress have the patience and gumption to seek it out (unlike that lazy turd Adam Schiff who never enforced or litigated his subpoenas like Sam Dash did in Watergate). It will show that Biden corruptly pulled the plug on Afghanistan so that the Ukronazis could push ethnic Russians out of Novorussia and the Black Sea Fleet out of Sebastopol — for fun and profit.

    Sadly, unlike Obama and Kerry in Syria, Biden and Blinken severely underestimated the resolve of Putin and Lavrov to use military means to force a negotiated solution — that nearly succeeded. Instead Blinken and Boris forced the war to drag on, resulting in 15 million refugees and hundreds of thousands of casualties.

    Ignatius is telling us that Biden isn’t only senile — he’s toast…

  29. Peter

    From a practical standpoint, it might be hard to replace Biden for the primaries. There are deadlines to get your name on the ballot and they might be coming up faster than anyone is able to replace Biden and decide on a new candidate. There’s a USA Today article today talking about people trying to start a write in ballot campaign for Joe Biden in New Hampshire because the deadline to get on the ballot is fast approaching.

    I’m assuming that if the deadline is coming up for New Hampshire, it has to be approaching for other states too.

    The other issue I can see is that if you replace Biden for the primaries, you’ll have to have debates. The last thing the DNC wants to do is give RFK Jr a chance to talk in front of a national audience.

    I think that would leave the possibility of replacing Biden happening at the DNC convention – i.e., Biden wins the primaries, but the DNC decides to nominate someone else instead. That’s a pretty ugly option.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Me thinks that if the D Party wants to pick a nominee other than JRB at the Convention, there are surely ways to engineer the primary outcomes (or, if needed, the convention rules) such that JRB does not have enough delegates to win nomination on the first round. They could do whatever they wanted after that.

  30. Gulag

    What exactly are the present networks of power that have the capacity to manage or to reduce the amplitude of potential political instability we will be facing over the next 14 months?

    Is there some entity or mechanism (analogous to the Fed) that is capable of initiating ceilings and floors, to contain the upcoming political chaos?

    1. elissa3

      Been wondering about that. If the Blob doesn’t band together, it’s every man for herself. One or several kinds of chaos are all but guaranteed.

    2. nippersdad

      “Is there some entity or mechanism (analogous to the Fed) that is capable of initiating ceilings and floors, to contain the upcoming political chaos?”

      DHS? The rise of fusion centers like Cop City and the domestic terrorism laws implemented in the past decade or so cannot be coincidental. I suspect the carceral state would be the power structure you are looking for.

  31. Revenant

    What if Biden drops out too late to be replaced and Trump is barred as a felon and the election result is 50 local favourites. Who then has the power to pick a winner…?

  32. .Tom

    I’ve seen a number of names for the thing Yves here names “the surveillance-intelligence industrial complex”. That’s not a but one but is a but bulky. How do y’all feel about “domestic ISR”?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      ISR is a little too scary. That is the same acronym the military uses for its Intel. Spook Industrial Complex sounds more like something we could call the Ghostbusters to take care of.

  33. Susan the other

    Joe is not in a good place. The spooks would probably arrange a nasty accident for him if he stays and is impeached or of he leaves and faces prosecution. It sounded as if Kamala is being being put up to be a distraction and will be replaced by a suitable candidate, just in case Biden goes rogue on them. Biden might have a safe full of documents. We’ll see Kamala get dumped either way.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      > We’ll see Kamala get dumped either way.

      She’s got no future. She was just a gift demanded by Jim Clyburn to AA voters.

      [Newsom|Pritzker]/Klobuchar* ’24 … LOL

      * – I have always held that #Jo3yN0rdStre4m wanted Amy K as his veep, not Kamala.

  34. Jeremy Grimm

    So far, I have read only a sampling of the comments to this post — but wow! I thought I was a pessimist.

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