In what comes as a devastating blow to his bid for re-election, Special Counsel Robert Hur effectively told President Joe Biden he won’t be charged for keeping classified documents because he’s too old and senile.
In his shocking report, Hur writes that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials,” but that a jury would be sensitive to an “elderly man with a poor memory.” The president “did not remember when he was vice president,” Hur writes, and could not remember “even within several years, when his son Beau died.” What is more, “his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him.”
Coming on the heels of Biden talking about meeting with dead European leaders, this development is, shall we say, less than ideal.
For years now, Americans have intuitively sensed that Biden was aging rapidly and had lost a step. His cognitive decline has been obvious. That is a key concern that voters have raised in the polls. Until now, this concern was anecdotal. Now, for the first time, we have something approaching empirical evidence that our president is too old for this job.
What is more, it’s not just some pundit saying so.
I’m reminded of a famous scene in the movie A Few Good Men, when Demi Moore’s JAG attorney character, Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway, “strenuously objects” to the testimony of an expert witness. Despite being overruled by the judge, Galloway persists in her objections. The backlash is swift when the judge responds: “The witness is an expert and the court will hear his opinion.” Later, Galloway’s colleague (Kevin Pollak) chastises her for the rookie move, saying: “Christ, you even had the judge saying Stone [the witness] was an expert!”
The last thing you want is for an independent voice of authority to publicly weigh in against you. On Thursday, Biden got the Demi Moore treatment—in front of we the jury.
I’ve already said Biden should step aside. But I’m still unclear where this development will lead. The revelation reinforces pre-existing concerns about Biden, which could arguably mean it is even more damaging to Biden or (conversely) just old news.
Already, some prominent Dems are dismissing Hur’s report as a “right-wing hit job from within Biden's own DOJ.” In other words, the Deep State is out to get him.
Will this lead them to finally pull the plug on his candidacy and send Biden to Shady Acres retirement home? My guess is that Democrats will batten down the hatches and circle the wagons, just like Republicans did when the Mar-a-Lago documents story first broke.
Speaking of Mar-a-Lago, it’s ironic, isn’t it? The only reason we are talking about Biden’s alleged senility is because Donald Trump took documents, kept them, and refused to give them back. That led us down a path where the special counsel has demonstrated that Biden is not fit to be president. Talk about a crazy turn of events.
In this regard, I am reminded of how the Benghazi hearings led to the discovery of Hillary Clinton’s private server—which led to revelations about Anthony Weiner’s laptop causing then-FBI Director James Comey to reopen the Clinton investigation just in time to elect Trump in 2016.
It’s amazing how seemingly random events can spiral out of control.
Again, though, Democrats should have seen this problem coming a mile away. Instead, they tempted fate. They basically said, “Who are you going to believe? Us or your lying eyes?” They bet that Trump’s chaos and authoritarian tendencies would outweigh Biden’s age, when push came to shove. They bet that voters would see the old guy as the least-worst option against the evil guy. But there’s a difference between being old and being infirmed; and in the minds of many, Biden has now crossed the line.
Assuming Biden remains his party’s nominee, the contours of the race have now changed. Voters will filter future development through the prism of this revelation. If and when Biden refuses to debate Trump, for example, voters will rightly assume it’s because he’s not up to the task.
And make no mistake, unless Hur is outright lying, these revelations do matter. We have long known that Biden is showing signs of decline. But if Biden can’t remember when he was vice president or when his son died, it’s not a leap to imagine how this might impair a commander-in-chief’s ability to make life-or-death decisions.
There’s an old line—usually attributed to Mark Twain or Satchel Page—that says, “Age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” Well, when it comes to being president, we do mind, and it does matter.