Much has been written about the remarkably large percentage of Americans who don’t want President Joe Biden to run for a second term. Most of the commentariat, however, tiptoes around the obvious reason they want him to retire after one term. When they can’t avoid discussing Biden’s bizarre behavior and weird maundering, most pundits hide behind vague allusions to his age, but the public has long known that the real problem is his steady cognitive decline.
As far back as November of 2021, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found that only 46 percent of voters agreed with the following statement: “Joe Biden is mentally fit.” In an ABC News/Washington Post survey conducted in February of 2022, a mere 40 percent of respondents said he possesses the “mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively as president.” Last month, the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll found that only 44 percent of registered voters said Biden is “mentally fit to serve as President of the United States.”
He provided fresh evidence last Thursday at a White House event where a child asked him, “What was the last country you traveled to?” Biden scratched his head and stammered until another youngster gave him his cue: “Ireland!” Biden smiled and the parents laughed, but not everyone finds such episodes amusing. Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) served as White House physician to Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump and wants Biden to take a cognitive exam. Fox News has a copy of the letter he is circulating for signatures. Here’s the key passage:
[T]he American people deserve complete transparency on the mental capabilities of their highest elected leader. Moreover, the United States’ national security relies on a cognitively sound Commander in Chief, and it is evident that you do not fit that bill. Therefore, we call on you to either resign immediately and renounce your bid for reelection or submit to a clinically validated cognitive screening assessment and make those results available to the public.
This will be the fourth such letter that members of Congress have sent Biden regarding the need for a cognitive test. The first was dated June 17, 2021. The second was sent Feb. 8, 2022. The third went out on July 27, 2022. The White House never deigned to respond to any of them. Biden has had two medical exams by White House physician Kevin C. O’Connor, D.O. The first was conducted in November of 2021, and the second was conducted in February of this year. Neither report includes even a passing reference to a cognitive assessment.
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When Trump was in office, Democrats and reporters demanded that he take the kind of mental acuity test to which Biden refuses to submit. Jackson administered the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA), and Trump passed without difficulty. On the rare occasions that a reporter asks Biden about submitting to such a test, he responds with visible agitation. In fact, when CBS correspondent Errol Barnett had the temerity to ask about it during the 2020 campaign, he barked, “Why the hell would I take a test?”
Now, the “news” media colludes with the White House to cover up Biden’s cognitive issues by providing questions in advance of press conferences. As The American Spectator’s Daniel Flynn pointed out when they got caught at it last week, this once again raised concerns about who actually runs his administration. This is particularly worrisome considering that members of Biden’s own party are nervous about his access to nuclear weapons. Recently, two Democrats introduced legislation that would limit his ability to launch a nuclear strike:
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), co-chair of the Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Working Group, and Representative Ted Lieu ([D-Calif.]) today announced the reintroduction of the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act to prohibit any United States President from launching a nuclear strike without prior authorization from Congress. The legislation would also institute safeguards to prevent the president from introducing nuclear weapons in a conflict and reaffirm Congress’ singular constitutional authority to declare war.
This is not the first time congressional Democrats have tried to wrest control of the nuclear arsenal from Biden’s grasp. In February of 2021, nearly three dozen Democrat lawmakers sent a letter to the White House suggesting that there are “real risks” associated with vesting only President Biden with the power to use nuclear weapons: “We respectfully request that you, as president, review ways in which you can end the sole authority you have to launch a nuclear attack, and to install additional checks and balances into the system.”
These Democrats were ignored by the White House, just as the Republicans who want Biden to take a cognitive assessment have been ignored. So, where does this leave us? A large percentage of voters believe the president’s mental acuity has rendered him unequal to the demands of his office, and there is bipartisan concern in Congress about the same issue. Few voters will buy this claim made by David Leonhardt in the New York Times: “Strange as it may sound, the American government can function without a healthy president.”
It’s also possible for a chicken to run around for a few moments after being decapitated, but we have already seen how the government runs without a head. Consequently, it’s time for the commentariat to stop talking about Biden’s age. No one would care how old he is if he could get from the beginning to the end of a declarative sentence without forgetting his topic. No one expects him to run the Boston Marathon, but they do expect him to stand up at a press conference and take real questions. The voters deserve a president who is all there.