Joe Biden is unfit to be president. Why didn't anyone stop him?

Despite Democrats performing better than expected in the midterm elections just completed, two-thirds of those voters do not want their leader, President Joe Biden, to run for re-election in 2024.  Perhaps, by now, like nearly everyone else in the country, they know the real Joe Biden.  Just who is he?  

President Biden is a man of mediocre intellect who, over almost five decades in national public office, accomplished little to nothing, other than his election to federal offices and becoming rich off the federal teat and various side hustles.  He is a thin-skinnedchip-on-the-shouldermacho swaggerer who, in a Tucker Carlson phrase, "kisses up and spits down."  He is a prevaricatorplagiaristteller-of-tall-tales narcissist who has no respect for the truth, only narratives that advance his interests or portray him favorably.  If not a racist, he still sees only through the lens of race and pandersprejudges, or pounces accordingly.  Finally, when it comes to young children and women, he just cannot, as my mother used to put it, keep his hands to himself; he may be guilty of muchmuch worse.  

Sadly, as a result of advanced age and cognitive decline, his skills, such as a quick wit, adroit speech, and pleasant countenance, have eroded as his less desirable traits, such as angermendacity, and lack of self-control, have worsened.  No wonder people are discovering the real Joe Biden.

Senators who served with him always knew.  Nonetheless, none said to another, "Joe's a nice enough guy, but he must never be president."  We can't let him have access to the nuclear codesrun the largest law enforcement operation in the world, or make life-and-death decisions about sending our Armed Forces into or out of harm's way.  All senators, Democrats and Republicans, refused to hold Biden accountable and make him, at least as to any plan he had for the White House, persona non grata.

Nonetheless, there is historic precedent for such nonpartisan and patriotic action.

On August 7, 1974, my once and future boss, U.S. Senator Clifford P. Hansen (R-Wyo.), joined a few of his Republican colleagues, most famously Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) and Senator Hugh Scott (R-Pa.), on a journey to the White House to urge President Richard Nixon to resign.  They told him, "not only had he 'lost' the congressional support of his own party and his natural allies among conservative Democrats, [but] also that they would actually convict him at trial and remove him from office."  Nixon resigned the next day.

On New Year's Eve in 1974, Justice William O. Douglas, one of the Supreme Court's longest-serving jurists, suffered a severe stroke in Hawaii.  After months at Walter Reed Hospital, he returned to the Court, but he was nearly incapacitated, yet he hung on into the Court's new term on the first Monday in October.  On October 17, seven of the eight remaining justices agreed that no case would be decided by a five-four vote with Douglas in the majority.  Only Justice Byron White of Colorado disagreed and pressed for Douglas's retirement.  A month later, after 36 years on the bench, Justice Douglas did so.  

In 1988, President George H.W. Bush nominated former U.S. senator John Tower (R-Texas) as his secretary of defense.  Senator Tower, who served from 1961 to 1985, was the first Republican senator to represent Texas since Reconstruction.  He chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee, later was chief U.S. negotiator at the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks in Switzerland, and in 1986 chaired the Tower Commission inquiry into the Iran-Contra Affair.  All that was not enough to prevent the Senate from rejecting his nomination, given its concerns over his alcoholism and other issues.  

Years ago, on a visit from Denver to D.C., I met with an old friend who once served as an attorney to the Senate Judiciary Committee and thus had frequent interactions with Biden.  Knowing he was aware of my negative view of the senator, I asked his opinion.  "He's always been good to me," he responded.  "That's a pretty low bar," I replied.  "It's my test," he shrugged.  So it must have been for the senators, both Democrats and Republicans, who knew the real Joe Biden for nearly five decades.  Now all Americans are paying a terrible price for their willingness to set such low standards. 

Mr. Pendley, a Wyoming attorney, served in the administrations of presidents Reagan and Trump and for 30 years provided pro bono representation, including before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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