Dangerous and uncharted territory.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column is a revision and a re-posting of the column that I originally published Thursday afternoon. This reposting was necessitated by developments that occurred shortly after that original publication.
Yesterday, Robert Hur, the special counsel appointed to investigate the mishandling of classified material and documents by President Joe Biden – mishandling that spans decades dating back to when he was a senator – released his report and recommendation to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The report is damning. Not so much for the criminality that it reveals. But instead for the reason given for not prosecuting that criminality.
In a nutshell, Robert Hur’s report recommends that Biden not be prosecuted for the reason that he is too old and his mental faculties too diminished for a jury to convict him. Here’s a quote from the report:
Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,”
Merrick Garland and the country are now in a quandary. Either Biden is, as he angrily asserted in a hastily called press conference last night (more on that presser in a moment), fully in possession of his faculties, in which case he is prosecutable for multiple felonies. Or, he is, as special counsel Robert Hur reported, too old and senile to be prosecuted.
Which means he is therefore unfit to be President of the United States.
The nominal greatest nation on the planet is now in uncharted territory. It’s now indisputable that the president’s ability to remember important facts and to form and express a coherent thought is embarrassingly bad and rapidly getting worse.
Here’s an example from a press conference Wednesday at which he couldn’t remember that it’s Hamas against which Israel has been fighting since October 7.
There is some movement and I don’t wanna… I don’t wanna… [long pause] [mumbles] …choose my words. There’s some movement… there’s been… a response… from… the, uh… the… the… there’s been a response… from… the opposition… but uh… it uh… [voice off camera suggests, ‘Hamas’]… yes, I’m sorry, from Hamas…”
But last night’s presser that Biden called on the fly in an attempt at damage control from the special counsel’s report, was an order of magnitude worse. Biden was simultaneously angry and confused. Here is an example. He brought up the subject of the Israeli war in Gaza and then said this:
As you know, initially, the president of Mexico, Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in. I talked to him.”
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi isn’t the president of Mexico. Mexico is nowhere near Gaza or Israel. El-Sisi is the president of Egypt.
Given the cognitive infirmity that is obvious and undeniable and that is now of record in a criminal investigation, it makes perfect sense that Biden’s comms team has had him avoiding live interviews and debates and press conferences to the greatest extent possible. Last night was a perfect illustration.
But he’s still the president. The ability to form and express a cogent thought is implicit in the job description. So, too, is the capacity to immediately call to mind the names of world leaders and the names of our geopolitical adversaries.
Members of the political pundit class (on both sides of the divide) will spend much time on the question of what Biden’s rapid and obvious decline means for the 2024 election.
I have a much more sobering question.
Knowing that China’s Xi Jingping has read Hur’s report and that he saw that calamitous presser last night, to what degree are his nefarious designs – and those of the world’s other geopolitical gangsters – emboldened by the now undeniable and alarming state of Biden’s mental decline?
It’s a long nine months until election day. If you’re not asking yourself that question, and if you are then not scared to death by the obvious answer, you’re not paying attention.