This is a turning point in our history and a horrifying one. But it is here now. We can’t argue it away. Our democracy has gotten to a place where show business and politics are intertwined as never before. And the cult of celebrity rules. George Clooney just publlshed a piece in the New York Times asking Joe Biden to step down. While it is certainly his right to do so, as an American, I don’t know if he has fully assessed what he is asking to happen. This is a development of monumental proportion here.

I love Joe Biden. As a senator. As a vice president and as president. I consider him a friend, and I believe in him. Believe in his character. Believe in his morals. In the last four years, he’s won many of the battles he’s faced.

But the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time. None of us can. It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe “big F-ing deal” Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.

Was he tired? Yes. A cold? Maybe. But our party leaders need to stop telling us that 51 million people didn’t see what we just saw. We’re all so terrified by the prospect of a second Trump term that we’ve opted to ignore every warning sign. The George Stephanopoulos interview only reinforced what we saw the week before. As Democrats, we collectively hold our breath or turn down the volume whenever we see the president, who we respect, walk off Air Force One or walk back to a mic to answer an unscripted question.

Is it fair to point these things out? It has to be. This is about age. Nothing more. But also nothing that can be reversed. We are not going to win in November with this president. On top of that, we won’t win the House, and we’re going to lose the Senate. This isn’t only my opinion; this is the opinion of every senator and congress member and governor that I’ve spoken with in private. Every single one, irrespective of what he or she is saying publicly.

We love to talk about how the Republican Party has ceded all power, and all of the traits that made it so formidable with Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, to a single person who seeks to hold on to the presidency, and yet most of our members of Congress are opting to wait and see if the dam breaks. But the dam has broken. We can put our heads in the sand and pray for a miracle in November, or we can speak the truth.

It is disingenuous, at best, to argue that Democrats have already spoken with their vote and therefore the nomination is settled and done, when we just received new and upsetting information. We all think Republicans should abandon their nominee now that he’s been convicted of 34 felonies. That’s new and upsetting information as well. Top Democrats — Chuck Schumer, Hakeem Jeffries, Nancy Pelosi — and senators, representatives and other candidates who face losing in November need to ask this president to voluntarily step aside.

All of the scary stories that we’re being told about what would happen next are simply not true. In all likelihood, the money in the Biden-Harris coffers could go to help elect the presidential ticket and other Democrats. The new nominee wouldn’t be left off ballots in Ohio. We Democrats have a very exciting bench. We don’t anoint leaders or fall sway to a cult of personality; we vote for a president. We can easily foresee a group of several strong Democrats stepping forward to stand and tell us why they’re best qualified to lead this country and take on some of the deeply concerning trends we’re seeing from the revenge tour that Donald Trump calls a presidential campaign.

Let’s hear from Wes Moore and Kamala Harris and Gretchen Whitmer and Gavin Newsom and Andy Beshear and J.B. Pritzker and others. Let’s agree that the candidates not attack one another but, in the short time we have, focus on what will make this country soar. Then we could go into the Democratic convention next month and figure it out.

This is a major turning point here. Now in all honesty, every nerve in my body is screaming that this was a wrong thing for George Clooney to do. But he has done it. They’ve all done it. Michael Moore has done it. I canceled a subscription to Moore’s newsletter yesterday because of his anti-Biden stance. I believe, with all my heart, we should stand behind Joe. But it would appear that there are too many celebrities, too many people with clout, who have decided to take this election a different direction.

On that basis, maybe Joe Biden will step aside. And maybe this can all work out. I will support the Democratic candidate with all my heart and soul. I just pray to God that this doesn’t blow up in our faces and that we don’t have Donald Trump headed back down to Pennsylvania Avenue.

I think this is a terrible mistake, what is taking place now. But I’ve lived long enough to know that events sometimes take on a life of their own and this is clearly one of them.

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  1. This is very disheartening. I feel that this is too close to the election to be doing this. It is going to create chaos and that would benefit the GOP no end. I will vote for whoever, but I want Joe and Kamala. I have faith in them.

    • This is sheer MADNESS. But it is happening. We have to deal with reality and real time here. Joe may have turned the corner. I well recall one of my best friend, an old WWII vet. I was friends with he and his wife for thirty years or so. I called him on his 80th birthday and he said, “I don’t feel 80. I feel 55.” I said, “That might be your mental age, mid-50’s.” He died about eight years later. My point is that in that eight years, a lot changed. This happens when people are in their 80’s. For some people it happens sooner.

      But the bottom line here is that if enough people BELIEVE Joe can’t do it, then we are screwed. And that’s where we are right now.

  2. Ohmigod. This popped up as I was writing and it stopped me cold. I’ve been sick, struggling against a bunch of shit, and then fell and hurt the right-side of my body, and figured out how to hold a wake for my husband in early June, but somehow, this made me so sick I felt like I needed to find a wall to hold me up.
    Rational me here: how come Clooney mentions folks who could step up and in and be nominated, but hell, not a one of them has been vetted and along with Biden, been accorded about 40 million primary votes, as is true of only Kamala Harris?
    No wonder we lose–we’re incredibly good at seizing defeat from the jaws of victory.
    Further, why are so many talking heads and celebrities forgetting that there is no president who goes it alone—Biden has a VP, he has an entire cadre of experts and aides for every area of governance, and he has the best medical care in the world. And then there’s the psychopathic and malignant narcissist who it seems almost everyone is ignoring is in the throes of mid-stage dementia.
    Okay. Enough. Gotta go and try to find a paper bag to breathe into.

    • Carroll, I’m elated to see you back here. Although I wish we were discussing happier topics than this one!

      I agree with every single thing you say. I’ve been saying this for days as Rob Reiner has lashed out, Michael Moore, Stephen King, it goes on and on. And now Clooney, the Big Kahuna, the fundraising movie star. There will be a movie made about THIS, I’m telling you that right now. What we’re going to see now is some definitive resolution. I just pray to God we can save the bacon and defeat Trump. I guess we’re going to find out if that’s possible.

      The last time an actor made history like this it was John Wilkes Booth.

    • I’ve been wondering about that myself. Obama did a great job and history will judge his Presidency as one of the better ones. At the same time it must be said that Biden has gotten things done Obama couldn’t. Could there perhaps be a bit of jealousy on Obama’s part? Without Joe Biden there would have been no President Obama. Biden was the seasoned, “wise man” advisor that reassured people a young Obama had about the best advisor close at hand as any President could ask for. I’ve been disappointed that Obama hasn’t publicly come out strong in support of Biden. It’s diminished my view of both Barack and Michelle.

      • I read he picked Joe because he thought he would be too old to succeed him… maybe as a nod to Hillary. The fact that he has not yet supported Joe has at the very least helped enable all of this.

  3. Calling people to say what? That they should beat the drum for Biden to step down? On the basis of what do you think this may be possible? Just my humble opinion, but I think Obama is a far straighter shooter than that. My guess from having paid attention to his eight years in officeand his time since is that he’d head on up to the White House, sit Joe down and have that hard conversation. I think if Bill Clinton had any cred in this arena, he’d be the one to take this surreptitious route. But we’ll likely never know unless some very good reporter, or later down the road, some historian ferrets out this info from the kind of discreet convos this would require. During my career as a reporter before I headed into my own editorial publishing business I covered Capitol Hill and had the chance to “see” in action different Senators and Congresspeople and how they operated–some were upfront, others not so much, and others were almost totally “off the record” and well, sneaky as hell with the covert convos and phone calls. Just don’t see this with Obama.

      • And what do the ‘far left radicals’ of the Democratic party say?

        Here’s AOC,

        “Joe Biden is our nominee. He is not leaving this race. He is in this race, and I support him.” She added: “What is critically important right now is that we focus on what it takes to win in November, because he is running against Donald Trump, who is a man with 34 felony convictions.”

  4. I’ve enjoyed some (not all) of his acting and directing work, and appreciate that he’s tried to advocate on matters that need people’s attention. Having said that I say this:

    George – go fuck yourself. And when your done go fuck yourself again. Then don’t bother rinsing, just keep repeating fucking yourself you egomaniacal, self-righteous piece of shit

  5. Clooney is still a thing? I thought he was a has-been. Hmmph. Who knew?

    Seems like the only thing he ever did have going for him was a face that made some little girls cream their panties. Can’t say he had any brains tho’ and certainly not after this dumb-ass stunt.

    Clooney, and I do so hope you peruse P.Z. on occasion, reiner and king are much bigger…”talents” than you are and they received short shrift from everyone wanting Von Shitzinpants kept out of the oval. The only reason they, and one must logically assume you, want President Biden to step down is because they want more tax cuts for the wealthy from Von Shtizi. People with sense however would rather have someone NOT in the throws of cognitive decline but especially not someone who is so fucking demented he shits himself constantly.

    We’ll stick with President Biden and you? You go fuck yourself, sideways, with a very long steel pole. Oh, and please keep your ass out of MT as you do make a very good target and you are not worth any kind of a jail sentence.

  6. I’ll vote for him if that is the name on the ballot. He’s got an all-encompassing job and a campaign to do. The Mango Menace’s job is campaigning by lies, distortions, half-truths, made-up stories, etc.; not even remotely comparable in demand on mental abilities (other than having a conscience).

    What I am rather annoyed about is that his handlers appear to have tried to hide these issues. That prepared us very poorly for the situation we saw in the debates. It probably prepared him poorly too. The inverted King Midas is a fool in many ways, but he wouldn’t be where he is if he didn’t have some tricks of his own. I’d guess Biden went in overconfident and got thrown off his game by something in that one-to-one interaction. There were a couple of times I was thrown off in that way and blew an important opportunity. So that part can happen to anyone. The problem is that Biden’s handlers were probably so over-protective that now it makes many of us wonder if there isn’t a real problem. I think it severely damaged the expectations we had.

    There is also a kind of arrogance (call it overconfidence) that Biden will have to get real about. He’s not 40 anymore. There’s a part of me that cheers on the grit. Nobody tells me I cannot do something. On the other hand, we all need to be realistic about what we can accomplish. Skateboarding at 50 is not the same as 20.

    • I sincerely feel this thing has taken on a life of its own. And if Joe has turned a corner, then he has. We’re all going to turn that corner somebody. I’ve had many friends, people older than me change as their lives played out and their best years were behind them.

      Timing is everything in life. Maybe that’s just the plain reality here. My mantra right now is that we have to do what we’re going to do and fast. If it’s pass the torch time, fine. Let’s pass the torch. But let’s not stay in this limbo because this is doing irreparable damage.


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