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How Joe Biden should abdicate America's Emperor is openly taunting the Gods

President Biden on July 4 (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

President Biden on July 4 (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)


July 10, 2024   5 mins

In times of crisis, a certain sort of cynicism tends to set in: a citizenry’s belief that, despite feeling dissatisfied with the state of affairs or the leadership of the country, none of it actually matters. Because surely, those who rule us have a plan. Even when a political class is teetering on the brink, this automatic faith in its competence is enough to keep people from grabbing their pitchforks.

It is for this reason that the current political crisis playing out in the United States might end up being one for the history books. As far back as the 2020 election, there had been whispers about Joe Biden’s cognitive decline. Since then, supporting evidence continued to mount — until 27 June, when the President’s house of cards came crashing down.

A fortnight after that wretched debate, the Democratic Party has passed through a stage of shock, then grief, only to now arrive at a determination to push Biden out. Polling is now showing that an increasing number of Americans believe Biden is too old to stand; party donors are in revolt; and senior Democrat lawmakers are publicly urging the President to resign. As the trickle of leaks from the White House increasingly turns into a deluge, the picture that emerges is one of a collapsing administration.

Yet the real crisis at the heart of the American political system is not the punctured pretence of Biden being able to run things. Rather, the problem is almost the opposite: it’s now become clear that nobody is doing the job for him. Protected in the White House by his disgraced son-turned-gatekeeper Hunter, and powered by the conviction that the presidency is his God-given right, Biden, somehow, is still the one calling the shots.

“Rather, the problem is almost the opposite: it’s now become clear that nobody is doing the job for him.”

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise: in America, the President is the head of the executive branch of the government, the only person with the authority to give orders to — and coordinate with — every branch of the executive apparatus. If he does not do this job, nobody else has the formal authority to step in: the Treasury Secretary, for example, cannot simply decide to give orders to the Pentagon.

Nor is this a situation lacking in historical precedent. In 1848, the Austrian Empire faced an incredibly serious set of crises, after a string of revolutions in Italy, Hungary and even Vienna threatened to tear apart the entire empire. The Emperor of Austria, Ferdinand I, was severely disabled since birth, and couldn’t be expected to navigate this crisis. Beyond his mental infirmity, simple day-to-day activities would trigger extremely serious epileptic seizures. In 1831, after Ferdinand was wed to Princess Maria Anna of Savoy, he suffered five seizures as he tried — and ultimately failed — to consummate the marriage.

But because the Emperor was the head of the Austrian state, his inability to do his job led to the various people underneath him picking contradictory policies and fighting factional battles against each other. As Prince Klemens von Metternich and Count Franz Anton von Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky — the two most notable members of the government at the time — attempted to increase their dominions, Austria see-sawed dangerously back and forth between one set of incompatible policies and another, even as the crises continued to fester. Armed struggle was breaking out in Italy, the Czechs were talking about independence, the Hungarians were clearly moving towards breaking free from Habsburg rule, and the streets of Vienna were filled with demonstrators and barricades. An impotent Ferdinand could do nothing about any of this, and the people who were supposedly running Austria on his behalf were too busy feuding to notice.

So how was this resolved? Finally, in December 1848, as Austria’s situation finally became too desperate to ignore, Ferdinand I was pressured to abdicate. Everyone agreed that the factional power struggles inside the state apparatus had to be alleviated; and everyone knew that required a fully capable Emperor. Thus, after a few dynastic tussles within the Habsburg family, all potential claimants were eventually convinced to abandon their claims and clear the way for the 18-year-old Franz Joseph I, who actually turned out to be a very good choice. He would become one of the longest-reigning monarchs in the history of Europe.

When compared with today, what gives this story a suitable twist was the pivotal role played by the ambitions of a single woman. In 1848, that woman was Princess Sophie of Bavaria, mother to Franz Joseph I. Her plans to finally place her son on the Austrian throne had been well known long before his accession, and it was through her hard work that Franz Joseph’s coronation became possible. Indeed, occasionally described as “the only man at court” in Vienna, it was through her work of cajoling, coercion, and persuasion that the rest of the imperial family finally got on board.

Today, the woman in question is Dr Jill Biden, who is clearly the most forceful voice urging her husband to continue with the presidential race, no matter the cost to the country. But she is far from acting alone. For many in Biden’s inner circle, their own fortunes are completely tied up with the man himself: if he falls, so will they. In this way, the entire American political system has essentially become hostage to one political family, whose interests are increasingly not in line with anyone else’s. One common reaction to the presidential debate was to call it a form of “elder abuse”: many viewers recoiled at the spectacle of an old man forced to perform a role for which he was clearly no longer capable of, when he should be spending his last years relaxing. But what is the health of an individual man, compared to dynastic ambition? We shouldn’t be surprised when such calls fall on deaf ears.

And yet, at this point, the pressure from donors, party operatives, and down-ballot candidates has probably passed the point at which it could be stopped: not removing Biden now will probably cause greater damage to the party’s credibility than forcing him out will. And that’s before we face up to the damage to the credibility of America at large.

Just as Austria was unable to deal with crises abroad in 1848 due to its domestic dysfunction, so is America trying to keep a lid on the Middle East, prevent Ukraine from losing, and keep Beijing at bay in the South China Sea. It is arguably failing in each of those theatres, and this current crisis is unlikely to change that.

More important, however, is revealing to the Americans themselves that the people who rule them no longer have a plan. At this point, nobody in America believes their senile leader can do the job of president for four more years, and most have stopped trying to argue that he can. But even so, even with disaster so clearly visible ahead — whether it comes six months or a year from now — Biden is pressing on, openly taunting the Gods themselves to intervene to stop him.

And perhaps this is where the 1848 analogy should give way to another. America might not be particularly interested in classical Greek tragedy, by and large. But as this disaster slowly unfolds at the heart of the US political system, it appears Greek tragedy has become interested in America.


Malcom Kyeyune is a freelance writer living in Uppsala, Sweden

SwordMercury

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Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
12 days ago

Ar-Pharazôn (cut price Walmart edition).

Matt Woodsmith
Matt Woodsmith
12 days ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Nice reference!

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
12 days ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Ar-Pharazôn was overweeningly proud and arrogant (as well as commanding the largest fleet ever seen in Middle Earth), so the parallel isn’t a bad one. But I don’t think he suffered from senile dementia, so Biden’s even worse.

David Yetter
David Yetter
11 days ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

Command of the largest fleet, check.
Proud and arrogant, check.

Sylvia Volk
Sylvia Volk
12 days ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Well said.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
12 days ago

The problem for the Democrats is that all the hypothetical replacement candidates are equally if not more unpalatable to the electorate. Plus, they have no time. Only Harris can inherit Biden’s war chest, and she’s almost as unpopular as he is. The election is 17 weeks away. That’s hardly enough time to build a house, let alone a national presidential campaign.

jane baker
jane baker
12 days ago

As they are only electing a Head of State why can’t they have Taylor Swift or Dolly Parton or someone like that. Why does the figurehead like we got ie the Queen,now The King,got to run the bloody political administration as well. Bloody stupid and asking for trouble in my opinion.

T Bone
T Bone
12 days ago
Reply to  jane baker

Because the US has a coequal tripartite system of government. The Presidency is unlike the Monarchy. A President is elected and has real responsibilities executing the laws of the nation.

The system has worked pretty well for almost 250 years.

Martin M
Martin M
12 days ago
Reply to  T Bone

Coequal tripartite system of government. That is exactly what I was going to say….

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Unfortunately, the three are about equal! 🙂

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
12 days ago
Reply to  jane baker

The problem isn’t the Constitution so much as the endemic corruption arising from the massive cost of winning any election, not just the Presidency. This has effectively given control of the Democratic Party to the oligarchs of Wall Street. A tight limit on campaign spending would restore a semblance of democracy.

Tony Price
Tony Price
12 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

You might want also to include those who bankroll the Republican party!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Exactly!

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
12 days ago

I’m not sure that only Kamala Harris could inherit Joe Biden’s money if he makes it to the convention and picks someone else as vice president. I think that person could inherit the money if Joe Biden then stepped down and he or she took his place.
Probably doesn’t matter anyway, as that scenario is unlikely to happen.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
12 days ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

I was told that all black Democrat women will rebel, if he would replace her. The Democrats are in a real tight spot right now

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Or, perhaps, the donors could take their money back and give it to someone else

Martin M
Martin M
12 days ago

If the argument is that Biden is senile, then surely a candidate who isn’t is a better bet, even if, objectively, they are not “popular”. I know a lot of people don’t like Harris, but I have not heard anyone contend that she also is senile.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

No doctor has examined Biden and pronounced that he is senile.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
12 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

No doctor would dare. It’d be the equivalent (in career terms) of carrying out an assassination.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
12 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Correct.
If a doctor said that there was something wrong with Biden, the 25th Amendment would be called for, and Democrats don’t want that.
Biden is suffering from a rare disease which means he is not capable of running to be President, but is perfectly capable of being President.

Martin M
Martin M
12 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Running for President is something only he can do. Actually being President can be delegated to any number of people.

Sylvia Volk
Sylvia Volk
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Biden is suffering from a rare disease which means he is not capable of running to be President, but is perfectly capable of being President.
Running for President is something only he can do. Actually being President can be delegated to any number of people.
… There’s a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta somewhere in this.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Sylvia Volk

Funny!

David Gardner
David Gardner
10 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

He’s hardly capable of walking, let alone running.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  David Gardner

Good one!

Martin M
Martin M
12 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

How do we know that?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Have you ever seen him run? He trots sometimes just to show off.

Ernesto Candelabra
Ernesto Candelabra
12 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Parkinson’s – is what he has….

Ernesto Candelabra
Ernesto Candelabra
12 days ago

I suspect that is the reason he thinks he can struggle on – because it’s not the same as senility….

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
12 days ago

The White House has ruled out Parkinson’s.
Does Biden have shaky hands?
Remember when the Democrats were claiming Trump had Parkinson’s?

Ernesto Candelabra
Ernesto Candelabra
12 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Indeed but what do you make of this?
https://x.com/endwokeness/status/1810662295753650471?s=46

R.I. Loquitur
R.I. Loquitur
12 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

My mother has Parkinson’s though, thankfully, not as bad as Biden does.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago

It’s not Parkinson’s. Look up the symptoms and the number of famous people who have it, and you’ll see it doesn’t come with cognitive decline. It’s dementia.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
12 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

I’m not sure a doctor is needed to clarify our understanding

George Venning
George Venning
11 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

No, but you may recall that, quite recently, Biden was in trouble for storing classified documents in his garage. The only reason that case didn’t go forward was that the prosecutor thought that “Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview with him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
i.e. Biden has already been excused from criminal prosecution because he would be incompetent to stand trial.

Elon Workman
Elon Workman
9 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

It took Robert Hur with his investigation to do that.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

He hasn’t had any proper, in-depth cognitive testing. He says they check him every day which is rubbish. They probably just ask him what day it is. Plus he says if they ask him to be tested he would do it, but it doesn’t work like that. He has to ask to be tested and he’s not going to do that.

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

I wouldn’t vote for her, but I think she’s mentally all there. That alone makes her more qualified than Biden to be president– right now.

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
12 days ago

The Democrats need to use the money raised for Biden’s campaign, and no one else, apart from Kamala Harris, can use it. And, as a practical matter, it’s too late to get a new presidential candidate on the ballots of 50 states. I think the Democrats are constrained to run Kamala for prez.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
12 days ago
Reply to  Erik Hildinger

There is still time to change runners. He hasn’t been nominated by the party convention yet, and there is even time after that

Jo Jo
Jo Jo
11 days ago

RFKJr? What do UnHerd readers think? 🙂

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
11 days ago
Reply to  Jo Jo

An old lunatic who can’t speak properly? Why swap?

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago
Reply to  Jo Jo

If I need a definition for the terms “crackpot” and “crank”, he’s the guy I point to.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

And who could stand listening to that voice for long?

George Venning
George Venning
11 days ago

Given how obdurate Biden has proven to be, I can’t help thinking that the appointment of Harris as VP was a deliberate strategy.
There were plenty of people saying that Biden wasn’t all there in 2020 and he came under a certain amount of pressure to announce himself a one term president even before the mid-terms.
My guess is that team Biden knew that he’d be under pressure to step aside at some point and they deliberately chose a VP who was important for a key demographic but deeply unpopular at the aggregate level precisely in order to make it harder to dislodge Biden himself.
That suspicion was strengthened when, instead of attempting to build Harris up into a popular VP, they dispatched her down South to take charge of one of the most explosive and intractible issues in American politics – the border.
The Democrats did this to themselves. I don’t look forward to another 4 years of Trump but, if your entire electoral strategy is vote for our guy because the other guy is worse, and then your guy turns out to be dead, then that’s what happens.

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
10 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

A brilliant final sentence.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago

I disagree, there’s time but it’s quickly running out, and Biden seems to have dug his heels in again, which is very distressing. There seemed to be a window of opportunity after the debate when it appeared he might step aside but, subsequently, after barely making it through a couple of speeches he dug in. Watching him perform is like watching a trapeze artist waiting to fall, truly nerve-wracking.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
12 days ago

I’m not sure what terrifies me more – Biden calling the shots or the grifters hanging around him calling the shots? I really enjoyed this essay and the historical analogy. Good stuff.

jane baker
jane baker
12 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s getting very Byzantine.

James P
James P
12 days ago
Reply to  jane baker

That’s didn’t work out well for Byzantium.

Martin M
Martin M
12 days ago
Reply to  James P

Well, no. It turned into Constantinople (and later, into Istanbul).

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

The process of turning into is not a precedent the US will easily follow…

David Yetter
David Yetter
11 days ago
Reply to  jane baker

As an Orthodox Christian, I object to that slur on the site of our old Empire’s capital.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Agreed, superbly crafted essay.

jane baker
jane baker
12 days ago

Unfortunately for me I often see posts of the most incredible obtuse self willed blindness from the hordes of Democrat voters who have to justify TO THEMSELVES their decision to vote Biden as they.HAVE to vote Biden in order to vote Democrat,and they have to vote Democrat even if the candidate is a Blue Assed Baboon as GOOD PEOPLE vote Democrat and BAD PEOPLE vote Republican. It’s always been that way. They say,in those astonishing posts I read,Biden has the mature wisdom of a statesman,one bad night doesn’t mean he should go,he got put off and confused by Trump lookjng daggers at him,shouting at him,and interrupting him,none of which Trump did. I can’t believe the self-inflicted obtuse stupidity of these actually I suspect high IQ people but they have to see Biden as good + capable or it makes their vote look stupid. To deploy a USA colloquial,the USA political system,it sucks.

AC Harper
AC Harper
12 days ago
Reply to  jane baker

It’s a battle between Trump Derangement Syndrome and Deranged Biden Syndrome. Both syndromes are probably over-egged but there are Elite jobs and patronage at risk.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
11 days ago
Reply to  jane baker

If Trump was not Trump, if he was say, John McCann or Mitt Romney, or even an evangelical conservative like Mike Pence, then the Republican Party would be set to win on an absolute landslide.
I don’t think it can be overestimated just how much many people fear the presidency of Trump. I honestly think there are people who’d rather a potato be President for four years than him.
Whether Biden is mentally infirm or not is kinda irrelevant. After all, what’s the worst he could do, threaten to nuke North Korea on social media?

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Well I fear a Trump Presidency, and I live about as far away from the US as it’s possible to get!

Pequay
Pequay
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

May I ask what it is you most fear about a Trump presidency?

Liam F
Liam F
10 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

in what way did the last one affect you?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Exactly, it would affect the whole world.

T Bone
T Bone
11 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

And yet Trump outpolls Republican Senate candidates by significant margins at the State level. Explain that if your theory is so obviously true.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  jane baker

And unfortunately for me, I see your off-the-wall comments too frequently.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
12 days ago

After this article was written, the tide seems to have turned. It looks like Joe Biden has fought off the people calling for his ouster as the nominee for now. His aides will protect him, and if he can keep up his teleprompter reading, it’s hard to see how he will make another mistake like the debate.
Some went on the attack against Joe Biden on Saturday implying that a Parkinson’s disease specialist visiting the White House in recent months was treating Joe Biden. That story blew up in their faces, as he was there for other reasons, and that strengthened Joe Biden.
I’ve never seen a person in politics quite as lucky as Joe Biden. Nor at the presidential level anyone as incompetent. I guess it’s better to be lucky than good.

AC Harper
AC Harper
12 days ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Occasionally the barely competent are the last ones standing.

Terry M
Terry M
12 days ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

There is no F-ing way that doc was there for ANY other reason than to see Biden. No one – perhaps other than “Dr” Jill – could get a doctor to come to the WH. All others go to the doctor’s office. Don’t believe the BS they are feeding you. Use your head.

Sylvia Volk
Sylvia Volk
11 days ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Alas, the White House has just confirmed that the Parkinson’s specialist was, indeed, there to visit Biden.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Trump missed a bullet and was then rewarded by having the classified documents case against him dismissed the next day by a judge he appointed himself.That sounds pretty lucky.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
12 days ago

This is why there is a 25th Amendment.

Martin M
Martin M
12 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

But who is going to take the bull by the horns?

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

By its terms, the fourth section of the 25th Amendment requires the Vice President to act:
“Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”
We would have to see Kamala Harris join forces with others to oust Biden. Would she do that?

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
12 days ago
Reply to  Erik Hildinger

If she was sure she would win, yes

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Erik Hildinger

It’s such a truly horrible situation. Biden is going to die soon anyway, so wishing he would die in a couple of weeks is the best scenario for the rest of us, if he’s too selfish to step aside. He has dementia which is a progressive disease whether he’s in office or not.

Martin M
Martin M
12 days ago

The Democrats have already gifted Trump one Presidency by putting the awful Hillary Clinton up as their candidate. Are they going to gift him another?

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

The polls would suggest so

Klive Roland
Klive Roland
12 days ago

Can someone please tell me why, in a country of 340M people, a man who should probably be dead and a man many would prefer to be dead are the two ‘best’ candidates for president?

Martin M
Martin M
12 days ago
Reply to  Klive Roland

I know. It’s puzzling, isn’t it?

El Uro
El Uro
12 days ago
Reply to  Klive Roland

May I will express your thought more clearly?
.
Since your democratic President crapped, you want to crap Trump. Just to even the odds, or rather, to get rid of the need to admit the fact that you crapped.

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago
Reply to  El Uro

I thought you said you were going to express it more clearly.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  El Uro

Well, aren’t you the eloquent one!

R.I. Loquitur
R.I. Loquitur
12 days ago
Reply to  Klive Roland

Only people that shouldnt be in charge want to be.

AC Harper
AC Harper
12 days ago

But if Biden is dismissed who will run as a proxy for Obama’s fourth term? Not only has Biden’s replacement have to be compos mentis he (or more likely she) will have to be ‘the right sort’ of Democrat.

Martin M
Martin M
12 days ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Is Kamala Harris “the right sort of Democrat”?

Terry M
Terry M
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Let’s see…she rose to power by laying on her back for Willie Brown, was an incompetent evil prosecutor in California, is wildly unpopular with negative charisma, was chosen for her job due to her sex and skin color, which she handled incompetently, and produces word salads when she talks.
YEP, perfect for Donkeys.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
12 days ago

Not so much taunting the gods as taunting the American people. The democracts know that Biden should go, but can’t be seen to forcibly remove him because they are standing on a ticket of being the Defenders of Democracy against the Evil Tyrant Trump, and the optics would be terrible. Invoking the 25th Amendment is also out because that automatically hands the chalice to Harris who is as unpopular as Biden and possibly even less capable. Biden’s family will do nothing because they know full well what awaits them in the law courts should he be ejected from the protections of office. And having done unto Trump they know now their turn will surely come. Lastly the democrats have no credible alternatives, Newsom is a snake, Whitmer has said she won’t run, there are a few others all tarnished to some extent or another. It’s a quandary, the only certainty is that it would be a total disaster for the US to put up with a further four of senility at the top.

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago

Are you saying that there are other Democrats who are “tarnished to some extent or another”? Phew, lucky Trump is untarnished by anything!

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

That’s not my point, obviously. I’m sure Trump and Biden would be equally disasterous in their own special ways; narcissistic bully or senile vacuity – tough choice. The point is that even though they know they have a massive problem in Biden they can’t easily fix it.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago

Oh is that what you were saying! Brevity is a fine thing don’t you think.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
10 days ago

The plan is probably for Biden to run and win, die soon and then the Democrats can claim credit for having the first woman and black woman to be President, even though of course she wasn’t elected.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago

But he wouldn’t win so that’s not the plan.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
12 days ago

We need him gone yesterday for the sake of the Slavic people around the Ukraine – forgetting their bloodthirsty nationalists asking for nukes – and a sea change in the transhumanist culture now being fostered in the US and beyond.

El Uro
El Uro
12 days ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Until now, I have only from the Russians heard threats to use atomic weapons. They even conducted military exercises with tactical nuclear weapons.
However, looking at you, I understand where men suddenly become women come from – the imagination has no limits in any direction.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
12 days ago
Reply to  El Uro

Those crazy Russians have noticed their country being gradually surrounded by the same NATO that was not supposed to move one inch eastward. Push someone deep enough into a corner with the belief of having nothing to lose and the result is not pretty.

Sylvia Volk
Sylvia Volk
12 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

“Being gradually surrounded.” Interesting thought – are you implying China is angling for NATO membership now? How rumors fly …

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago
Reply to  Sylvia Volk

I’d let China in before I’d let Russia in.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Certainly better food.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  El Uro

What?!

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
12 days ago

…..

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
12 days ago

Just because no one else is supposed to give orders other than the President doesn’t mean that something else isn’t going on behind closed doors. Barak term III is a persistent rumour.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
12 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

That would mean an amendment to the constitution which is effectively impossible in the time available

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
11 days ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

No. I’m referring to the rumour that Obama is the real power, behind closed doors.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Which he very clearly is not

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 days ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

You must be a White House, Congressional or Pentagon insider. It’s certainly very clear to anyone with eyes and ears that Biden himself, rather than his team, (whoever’s on it Obama or not), is NOT in control.

Rosemary Throssell
Rosemary Throssell
12 days ago

Its not just family, It’s the whole of MSM who have failed dismally and the DNC, who are currently doing their utmost to prevent others from challenging Biden.
They would rather Trump than a Kennedy Democrat.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
12 days ago

Most people would go with that

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago

Trump may be a narcissist and a demagogue, but at least he is sane (more than can be said for RFK Jr).

Terry M
Terry M
12 days ago

Not on point. The problem is not the American system, it is the Democratic party. They short-circuited the primary process so ol Joe could be nominated without working for it. Because they knew he couldn’t be seen in public. Operation bubblewrap was initiated to keep him out of the limelight in any unscripted setting.
The Democratic party is an evil, power-hungry, unprincipled cabal. In addition to pushing pure nonsense about genders they routinely call anyone they don’t like racists, homophobes, transphobes, or N*zis. And the mainstream media go along, providing cover for these villains. They are complicit in numerous crimes.
Unfortunately so many Americans are too dim-witted to see through this, or have been brainwashed into believing that Trump REALLY IS H*tler, that the country is in deep, deep trouble.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
12 days ago
Reply to  Terry M

Operation Bubblewrap. Very nice. I shall appropriate that.

David Gardner
David Gardner
10 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Operation Mothballs may also be apt.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
10 days ago
Reply to  Terry M

There are plenty of Republican politicians who would prefer to see Biden stay in the White House rather than have Trump return. The swamp is not just on the Democrat side of politics.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Terry M

I don’t think Democrats are dim-witted, on the contrary, If anyone has been brainwashed it would seem to be MAGA followers.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
12 days ago

deleted

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
12 days ago

Just to make a pedantic point. Kings abdicate, presidents resign.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
12 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Not pedantic. Accurate. Europeans writing about America write not from knowledge of the subject, but what they read from other writers, who often know about as much.

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
12 days ago

It doesn’t matter who becomes the US president, because our UK govt will continue to do as America tells us.
It’s gone time to have a British (4th July) and declare our independence from that corrupt nation.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
11 days ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

A corrupt nation, yes, but one that once prevented you from speaking German. And one that currently prevents you from speaking Russian.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
12 days ago

Even when a political class is teetering on the brink, this automatic faith in its competence is enough to keep people from grabbing their pitchforks.
I would like someone to explain this grossly misplaced “faith” that too many people have. Virtually any problem in the US, from spiraling debt to the border to crime to inflation has the fingerprints of the vaunted political class all over it. These people can barely manage to administer the basic functions of govt – public safety, infrastructure, education, and a few others. Yet, they fancy themselves as masters of the universe who can regulate the climate into compliance, dictate what the proles should eat or drive, and a hundred other things on which they are totally clueless.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
12 days ago

This was an oddly good article from this author. Thank you, sir. Well said and well put, this was an entertaining read.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

It was, indeed.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
12 days ago

What makes me laugh about the nattering nabobs who were all in for Biden just two weeks ago but now got the OK to pull the chair out and let him dangle is that many of us knew what he was years ago.

I was a young teen when he entered the senate. He was a nasty racist and widely regarded as the stupidest man on The Hill. His appalling treatment of Robert Bork and his atrocious behavior in Clarence Thomas’s “high tech lynching” before the latter became a Supreme Court justice are probably the only things anyone remembers about his 50 years as a political grifter – until now, of course. Now he’s a dementia-addled traitor who made millions selling himself to foreign enemies. And he’s a degenerate, as his daughter confirmed.

If things had gone well for Biden in that charade of a debate, this author would likely be writing columns of praise from his right-on-the-scene, finger-on-the-pulse front line in … Sweden. Good f*cking grief.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago

Ouch, nasty.

Pablo West
Pablo West
12 days ago

This article appears to have been written a week ago. Following the first week of machinations, the party is predominantly resigned to supporting Biden.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Pablo West

Is it? I think not.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
12 days ago

Really first class article, perceptive, intelligent, beautifully written and the historical context very well drawn – and also, ultimately encouraging that the US will survive this blip in its political history.

Philip L
Philip L
12 days ago

Can’t we all have a moment of appreciation that at least the attempted consummations of Ferdinand I were not televised?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Philip L

I would have watched.

Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
12 days ago

This is great! The only person in this saga who deserves our pity is Princess Maria Anna! What fun for her in the royal bedchamber!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

Really! Can you imagine. One wonders why this has never been made into a movie. It’s high drama, costumes and all.

Marc Miller
Marc Miller
12 days ago

It’s too late to do anything other than let the Biden-Harris ticket proceed to the November election. If Joe loses, he’s gone in January, 2025 without any embarrassing Democrat wrangling. If Biden wins, the Democrat issue continues until someone pulls the 25th Amendment emergency brake early in his second term and Harris assumes the Presidency. I think voters want a lot less drama and will waive bye to Biden.

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago
Reply to  Marc Miller

Yes, and the only cost they will have to pay is the dismantling of democracy by Trump.

David Yetter
David Yetter
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

I think you’re using democracy the way Democrat pols do: not to mean rule by the demos, but to mean rule by Democrats.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Marc Miller

Unfortunately it’s not up to us the voters, at this point.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
12 days ago

Wonderful essay; particularly the final paragraph.
Since that awful debate too many people have been under-estimating the Democrats. In truth their abilities in the arts of screwing up, acting like a vegetable, pulling defeat out of the jaws of victory, etc., are heroic. It would be tragic if it wasn’t so funny.
Early this morning the NYTimes sub-head was something like “Dems in a Panic; No One Does Anything”.

James Sullivan
James Sullivan
12 days ago

Biden has thought he was owed the presidency since he first plagiarized his way through college. He has always been a lying blustering pompous ass.

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago
Reply to  James Sullivan

Yeah. Nothing like Trump, eh?

David Yetter
David Yetter
11 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Actually, a mirror image of Trump, even as Hillary Clinton was the one Democrat who out-corrupted Trump so he could win the first time out. Which is why I voted third party the last two times, and surely will this time as well: I refuse to give my assent to any of the wannabe Caesars our political parties have manage to offer us over the past decade.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  David Yetter

Ah, if only there really was a third party to vote for.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
11 days ago

oh great, a history lesson straight from Netflix, complete with pagan deities

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
11 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Imported from Sweden.

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Pagan Deities? Are you talking about Donald Trump?

Mark Royster
Mark Royster
11 days ago

Excellent piece. The dynamics may not be any more complicated than generic pride. People cannot bear to admit they were wrong, especially if it means those others were right. Impossible. I think they would truly rather die first. Cognitive dissonance is Hell. Some opinions are rooted in our deepest self-preservation circuits, the ones that cause people to drown their would-be rescuers.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Mark Royster

Most people I know would rather die than admit to being wrong including, and perhaps mostly, family.

Diane Rodio
Diane Rodio
11 days ago

Oh, but there are a lot of people still insisting that Biden is good for another 4 1/2 years. They see nothing more than a guy with a lifelong stutter.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  Diane Rodio

Who are these people?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
11 days ago

What is extraordinary is the main stream liberal media suddenly realising during the debate that Biden is at best partially senile, something those outside the left leaning media realised years ago.
I guess the likes of the bbc editing out Biden’s obvious senile episodes were successful.

Martin M
Martin M
11 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Do lots of people in the US get their news from the BBC?

G G
G G
11 days ago

In this way, the entire American political system has essentially become hostage to one political family, whose interests are increasingly not in line with anyone else’s.
This is the critical point. The interests of the ruling family is to keep themselves out of jail — or at least out of strenuous investigations and potentially over-zealous prosecutions; jail is for a court to decide. They need that immunity for the “big guy” and pardons for Hunter and possibly also the “big guy”.
If an accounting error of a hush-money payment gets a former president a felony conviction, imagine what a zealous prosecutor and biased jury could make of any coordination of the Trump lawfare — likely RICO, not to mention the long suspected influence-peddling.
By going after a former president with dubious lawfare cases, they have breached the precedent that would have protected themselves…that’s the irony at the heart of great tragedy. Now they are looking to ride it out until after the election when pardons can be granted even if the democrats are landslided.

George Venning
George Venning
11 days ago

To those who point out that Harris is even less popular than Biden.
It’s interesting isn’t it that we now have a democratic party which is arguing that “blue no matter who” is a principle that can and should protect an old white guy who is visibly declining mentally and may well not make it to the end of the next presidential term.
That same principle cannot, however, be extended to the fantastically smart black woman who he himself picked as his constitutionally guaranteed successor.
I don’t see how you can claim to be the feminist/antiracist party if you are literally saying that your voters would rather vote for a dead white guy than a black woman.

David Yetter
David Yetter
11 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

I think those pointing that out are basing their view on opinion polls, the respondents to which by and large do not assert they are either feminist or antiracist. And on that score, is it either feminist or antiracist to push a black (really mixed-race) woman whose political career was jump-started by having an affair with an older powerful politician?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  David Yetter

Is this affair an actual fact. And if so, so what?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago
Reply to  George Venning

Who is saying that? I don’t hear or know of anyone saying that. On the contrary. I know Kamala is supposed to be blck but she doesn’t seem to be black and she certainly doesn’t look it.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
10 days ago

One of the advantages of becoming a Republic was meant to be that an incompetent person could not rule by divine right. In theory, in a democratic republic, no one would be elected if they were senile and it would be highly unlikely that someone would be re-elected if they went senile in office. (The obvious exception is Reagan. Reagan was ballot box gold and the Republicans felt it best for him to run again in 1984 despite his rumoured loss of faculties).
The current situation is therefore remarkable and the peculiarity is down to the political system in the US where a TV host can run for the Presidency without having run for any other office. The first black woman to be President would also be able to hold that office without having been elected to it. The Covid outbreak also played a role, justifying large numbers of postal votes and enabling abuses. There were not ‘whispers’ about Biden’s cognitive capacity in 2020. It was clear that one of the motives for the Covid lockdowns was for the Democrats to hide from the American people that their candidate was mentally incapable of being President.
Not explored in this article are the number of criminals in high places in the US who have committed war crimes, started illegal wars, committed murder, trafficked drugs, abused the legal system and spied on electoral opponents. All of them as well as Hunter Biden have a vested interest in insiders holding the Presidency for the next four years.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 days ago

“It was clear one of the motives for the Covid lockdowns was for the democrats to hide from the American people that their candidate was mentally incapable of being president.” And so the motives for Covid lockdowns in the UK, Australia and China etc. was what?

J Dunne
J Dunne
10 days ago

And yet the phoney Starmer met him today and commented on how mentally fit he is.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
9 days ago

“In times of crisis, a certain sort of cynicism tends to set in: a citizenry’s belief that, despite feeling dissatisfied with the state of affairs or the leadership of the country, none of it actually matters. Because surely, those who rule us have a plan. Even when a political class is teetering on the brink, this automatic faith in its competence is enough to keep people from grabbing their pitchforks.”
*Not valid for actual conservative voters.

Ardath Blauvelt
Ardath Blauvelt
8 days ago

Well stated, even better written.