Bob Lonsberry

Bob Lonsberry

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Lonsberry: THE DEMOCRATS MUST REPLACE BIDEN

Flag for candidate Joe Biden

Photo: Douglas Sacha / Moment Unreleased / Getty Images

The Democratic Party has a moral and patriotic duty to replace Joe Biden on the November ballot.

 

               The issue isn’t is he the best candidate for president, the issue is should he be replaced right now under the 25th Amendment.

 

               The debate last night was a shocking answer to any lingering questions about his mental competence and ability to discharge the duties of his office. The man is substantially impaired, suffering from what generations of Americans called senility.

 

               This isn’t written mockingly, or in an effort to seek partisan advantage. Yes, I am a Republican and a Trump voter. Yes, I hope the Republican candidate wins in November.

 

               But this isn’t about that. This is about the fact that last night America saw that it doesn’t have a president, that this gentleman, who has given so many decades of his life to the service of our country, is afflicted with some form of dementia. He is profoundly ill and infirm and would not be trusted with the keys to the car, much less the reins of a nation.

 

               The American people deserve two viable candidates, and Joe Biden is not a viable candidate. He cannot serve and should not be run.

 

               The reality is that America is fairly evenly divided between folks who tend to vote Democrat and folks who tend to vote Republican. That means that, in any given election, the candidate of either party could win. There is a very real possibility that the Democratic candidate will be elected in November, and the Democratic Party owes it to the country to make sure that that person can serve with vigor and capability.

 

               So Joe Biden has got to go.

 

               It is probably not a coincidence that, for the first time ever, a presidential debate was held before the parties’ nominating conventions. You wonder if maybe the Democratic bigwigs wanted Biden on display before he was officially the candidate. Maybe the public visibility of last night’s collapse was intentional. Maybe there are folks who know Joe needs to be pushed toward the door and wanted to show the nation why.

 

               Either way, there is still the convention. And sometime between now and then, Democratic leaders need to figure out how to put someone else at the top of their ticket. It may not seem possible by current standards, but historically, political conventions have been living, dynamic events completely capable of handling a change at the top and the fights that might be associated with it.

 

               But Joe has to go.

 

               What the world saw last night was horrifying and heartbreaking. Horrifying that the ostensible leader of the free world is not functional, and heartbreaking that this poor gentleman is so afflicted. All his life Joe Biden wanted to be president, and he sought the office for decades. And now that he has it, like a character in a Greek tragedy, time and chance have taken from him the ability to truly use the office. It is a sad thing which engenders sympathy for him and those who love him.

 

               But this is about us. More correctly, it’s about our nation.

 

               And he has entered a stage of life where he cannot usefully serve the nation.

 

               And so he should be removed from the ticket.

 

               The Democratic Party is big, and our nation has many people of talent. Generations past have found leaders in trying circumstances, and so can ours. There are many Democrats who have the ability, experience and health to serve as president. One of them should be on the ballot.

 

               No, I won’t vote for him or her. I am a Republican. My party has a candidate. You might not like him, but he is mentally capable.

 

               Democrats deserve a candidate who is mentally capable as well.

 

               Democrats deserve to have their priorities championed by a candidate who is ready to fight and lead. And Americans deserve a candidate who, regardless of party, can get the job done.

 

               So whatever needs to happen, needs to happen.

 

               That is not disrespectful. It is not malicious. It is not mockery.

 

               It is the simple recognition that last night we watched a man whose mind and life are slipping away, a man

who must now step away from his long career in federal service.

 

               How that is accomplished is for the Democratic Party to figure out. History has many precedents and many nominating conventions to study.

 

               But Joe Biden is done.

 

               The president is not well. As Americans, we mourn that and pray for him.

 

               But as Americans we also demand better.

 

               And it falls to the Democratic Party to give us better.


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