Opinion: We finally beat Medicare

Billy Fried

By Billy Fried

By the time you read this, I am hoping Biden inhaled the smelling salts and dropped out of the race.

It couldn’t come a moment too soon, because putting Joe on that debate stage was clearly an act of elder abuse. And political suicide for the Democrats. No matter how the party spins it – he had a cold, he was hoarse, he has a well-known stutter, he was over-rehearsed, tired from travel, they covered his tan with pale makeup, and the eye-roller, “everyone gets knocked down. It’s how you get back up” reassurance – none if it can overcome what we can’t un-see: 90 minutes of a doddering old man, who looked like he’d been roofied, with a blank stare struggling to keep up with and dispute the tidal wave of lies flowing from Trump. 

And what we saw after was even worse. Trump strutting off the stage the triumphant peacock, Biden helped down by “easy now, old man” Jill, side-stepping down one ginger foot at a time. And then, in the post-debate room, praising Joe like a toddler who wasn’t quite sure what happened: “You did great, Joe. You answered every question.” Here’s a cookie. 

Wasn’t it just a few years ago we were roasting Teflon Don for tottering down the bleachers at the Army-Navy game, holding the arm of a general, while candidate Biden was making a show of his fitness, riding bikes and skipping up steps like he was going to prom. Oh, the ravages of biology. 

I don’t blame Jill for channeling her inner Nancy Reagan and encouraging her man to stay in the game. For a career politician who has finally reached the pinnacle, and received the praise and admiration he for so long coveted when he was an oft-ridiculed, career gaffe machine, being told you are no longer useful is a bitter pill to swallow. 

So now there is panic in the party divided. The spin doctors tell us it was just an off night, and that Biden is a fighter. But voters aren’t thinking about the next four months. They’re thinking about the next four years and the rapid cognitive decline we are witnessing in real time. And the sight of Biden going blank in front of Putin, or Xi Jinping, or, God save us, Marjorie Taylor Greene. 

There is simply no choice for Democrats now but to prevail upon Joe to bow out and get behind another candidate. Any carbon-based life form under 70 with a pulse will do. It’s a Hail Mary for sure, but we are on our own 10-yard line, trailing by 6, with 2 minutes left, and the quarterback is unconscious. Nancy, Hakeem, Chuck, Bill, Hillary, Barack, Michelle, Oprah and Tom Hanks have to perform an intervention and hammer Biden with the truth: step aside gracefully and be remembered as a terrific, stabilizing, one-term President. Or go down in history as the stubborn, deluded asshole who lost the country to a sociopathic malignant narcissist. 

Am I naïve to put any faith in Democrats? This is the party that coronated (not nominated) the 2016 candidate, Hillary Clinton, believing they’d cruise to victory because she was more palatable – to them, at least. But they were completely tone-deaf to the grassroots eruption of passionate support Bernie Sanders had engendered among scores of young people across the party divide. Had it not been for the DNC, we’d be enjoying a second Sanders term and a sane Supreme Court. And then the party coerced the class of 2020 Presidential hopefuls to rally around Team Biden after they exposed all of his foibles because, we were assured, the bland, not-too-bright, avuncular Joe was just a transitional, one-term President. 

Now the party says it’s too late to sport anyone else. Which is exactly why there’s probably ample time. They get everything wrong. They didn’t fight for Gore. Or Merrick Garland. But they did throw Al Franken out of the Senate for mock grabbing a woman’s breasts in a photo bomb. 

The stakes are galactic. The Supreme Court just ruled that America shall be ruled by a King, with limitless power. The people have already expressed their displeasure over both candidates. Let the Republicans die on the hill for theirs. But a second Biden term was never our hill to climb. It was foisted on us, especially on the young people who have undoubtedly lost faith in a political system that produces such insipid choices. Maybe this race will beget so many third-party votes that it inspires a movement for more choice. 

The day of reckoning for the tone-deaf Democratic Party is here. It’s no more business as usual. We need an orator who can excite us by annihilating Trump with real debating chops and fact-checking on the spot. Someone who can unhinge and fluster The Don by simply reminding him of what he has proven to be time and again: a loser. Especially in golf.

So Joe, we get that you may have gotten your handicap down to a 6 when you were VP (cause you don’t lie) … or was it an 8? And that you carried your own bag. Because you’re a big boy! But you are the handicap now. And we are hitting dead into the wind. With a putterer. We love ya, Joe, but you gotta go.

Billy is the CEO of La Vida Laguna, an outdoor adventure company, and Executive Director of KXFM Radio. He can be reached at [email protected].

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  1. “A long-expected guest, whose arrival always astonishes — Old age.” ~Charles Searle, Look Here!, 1885


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