No, Joe's Health is NOT Out of Bounds

During the 2016 election campaign, Dennis Prager told me Hillary's health was not a legitimate subject for discussion.  He seemed to think it was somehow similar to FDR's paralysis.  That disease produced a physical disability but did not impair Roosevelt's ability to think.

Hillary showed signs consistent with Parkinson's disease, a major movement disorder.  That's all that most people think about.  They see the hand tremor but don't realize that P.D. entails huge difficulties with thinking.  It doesn't cause memory loss like Alzheimer's Disease.  Instead, P.D. dementia is a severe reasoning problem.  This is why P.D. was a disqualifying condition for a potential president.  Hillary's "medical records" were a bad joke that did nothing to clear up her status.

There may have been other reasons for Hillary to stay out of public view, but popping up once every third day did nothing to promote her candidacy.  It also fed the idea that she wasn't up to the job of being president.  This was amplified by being certain that she could never be filmed getting in or out of a vehicle or climbing steps.  This is all in the face of the simple fact that the easiest way to show that she was up to the job would be for her to be out on the stump every day and at all hours.

Sleepy Joe has the same problem.  His difficulties don't manifest the same way as Hillary's, but they're obvious.  He can't recall some of the most famous American lines – "endowed know...the thing."  He can't recall which office he's running for (senator or president).  He can't remember which lady is his wife and which is his sister.  He bobbles his lines even reading off a teleprompter.  He insults people asking him questions — "You're a dog-faced pony soldier."  The list goes on.

Let's shut down one path of speculation right now.  Even though Joe had surgery for an intracranial aneurysm, he recovered.  That means it's not a present-day issue.  Anyone who pushes it as an answer for Joe's problems is simply blowing smoke.  What we're looking at with Joe is likely "multifactorial."  That means that more than one problem can be contributing.  So we have to sort out his bad behavior, poor memory, and word salad.

Memory loss is common with age and can be either Alzheimer's or mini-strokes.  Those miniature strokes involve tiny areas of brain, with unpredictable results.  Depending on details, there can be vascular dementia, with problems in concentration, reasoning, decision-making, memory, and agitation.  Because Joe hasn't released his detailed medical records, we are left to make a best guess as to what is likely happening.

We know that Joe gets worse when he's out in public under stress.  That is consistent with either process.  His other difficulties point more toward mini-strokes.  But they don't rule out the possibility that both are happening.  And we should remember his comment that he is getting older, suggesting that after one term, his V.P. would need to take over.  That tells us he knows he's in medical trouble.

The United States cannot afford a president whose brain is operating at less than full strength.  Whether we agree with his governing philosophy or not, he has to be able to make a clear, definitive judgment when presented with that famous 3 A.M. phone call.  Joe Biden can't do that.  We can't afford Joe Biden.

Image: Marc Nozell via Flickr.

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