In their never-ending quest to push new variations of the horse race metaphor for the 2024 presidential election, the media has found a new angle: Joe Biden is old, and voters admit that, yes, he is old, and some of them find his age to be a concern.
I have to confess that I didn’t think it was a new insight, but then Nate Silver told me that it was, and so here I am. You see, voters acknowledge that Biden is old and are concerned about it, but the elite news media isn’t talking about that enough.
Here are the facts we are supposed to be considering:
Among Democrats, roughly equal numbers say that Biden and Trump are too old — presumably they respond that way because it’s hard to single out the other party’s candidate for being too old when your guy is even older. Among Republicans, however, 89 percent say that Biden is too old while only 28 percent say the same of Trump.
However, the differences can’t entirely be chalked up to partisanship — 74 percent of independents also said that Biden was too old, while just 48 percent said that of Trump.
It sounds like it’s not partisan, but it has been my political experience since the George W. Bush era that “independent” means “a Republican who is too ashamed to admit it”, or as they are currently styling themselves, a “libertarian”.
Nate wants you to know that he’s not here to pile on Biden, although he keeps talking about the approximately 3.5 year age gap between the 2 of them as if it is significant, the life expectancy of Americans, and of course a bunch of blather about when Alzheimer’s generally sets in. It’s kind of disgusting, to be honest. Silver has convinced himself he’s just all about the science, but the reality is that he’s layering false equivalencies and lacing them with disingenuous “facts”:
Cognitively, they both seem considerably less sharp to me than they did in their primes.
I mean, how do you rebut that kind of insight?
Or how about this magnificent “BOTH SIDES!!” gambit:
Beyond that, I’m not sure how much we can confidently say. Trump was notably cagey with his medical history as president. But there’s a long history of presidents from FDR to JFK withholding vital details of their medical conditions, so it strikes me as naive to take any candidate’s public disclosures at face value.
See, because other people lied, but most especially TFG, we can’t take anything Biden says as being true. TFG and Biden HAVE to be the same, because otherwise there is no horse race, and if there is no horse race then you have to spend actual time following the campaigns and issues, and that isn’t much fun.
But the truth is that there is only one candidate who is capable of being president. The other guy is a fascist goon, and voters know it, and over and over again polling shows that people are going to vote for Biden even if he is old and because they don’t want TFG back in office. I don’t see how TFG gets more popular between now and November 2024, and his sitting for trials isn’t going to be something that causes vast swathes of the electorate to rally around him.
Silver ends his essay with this:
But for all that said — if the expert class doesn’t understand that Biden’s age is both a real concern for voters and a valid concern, they’d better be prepared for a getting second Trump term instead. This election is probably going to be close, and Trump might be only one Biden-has-a-McConnell-moment away from winning.
So the “expert class” needs to get ready for the return of TFG because these imaginary voters Silver has created don’t see the danger that TFG and his goons pose. How does anyone take this guy seriously?
Split Enz can sing us out: