It's Time To Finally Grow A Spine, Democrats

It's Time To Finally Grow A Spine, Democrats

A. G. Sulzberger

The New York Times editorial board called for Joe Biden to “leave the race." You know who they didn’t call upon to leave the race? The convicted felon, serial liar, and adjudicated sexual abuser and rapist, Donald Trump.

As Democrats, as a political party, as human beings, we should be ashamed of ourselves that it took a Republican former political operative to point out the obvious to us: President Biden is our guy. You don’t walk away from your guy because of one bad debate. You stand behind him, and you double down.

That’s essentially the message from Stuart Stevens in a New York Times op-ed published online yesterday. Listen to this, from the top of his piece: “It’s baffling that so many Democrats are failing to rally around a wildly successful president after one bad night. But it does remind me of why Republicans defeated Democrats in so many races Republicans should have lost.”

Do you know what he’s talking about there? He’s talking about the lamentable habit of Democrats to navel gaze and nitpick their way out of political victories because they found a flaw in a candidate – not a flaw that was pointed out by Republicans, mind you, but a flaw that was brought up by fellow Democrats who thought the candidate not progressive enough, or in the bad old days of 1968, not sufficiently anti-war enough.

The list of assholes we could have beaten if we weren’t so busy beating up on ourselves is a long one, and it begins with Richard Nixon in 1968, who narrowly beat Hubert Humphrey for one reason: because Democrats didn’t get behind their man and spent their convention and every moment thereafter squabbling amongst themselves, while the Republican Party got behind Richard Nixon and turned out their people.

I could go on. If you’re from New York City, or New York State, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Democrats in New York lost not one, but two mayoral races to Rudy fucking Giuliani, who was the exact same person he was then that he is now. Democrats lost the governorship three times to something in a suit called George Pataki because they couldn’t come together behind a candidate.

And now look at us. We have a Democrat in the White House who nearly everyone agrees is the most successful president we’ve had in years, and many of the big-wigs in the party, goosed along by the traitorous New York Times, are saying that because Joe Biden was hoarse and lost his train of thought a couple of times in a debate with Donald Trump, he should step down as a candidate.

Donald Trump had a disastrous debate if you look at his performance the way we used to look at debates in the Before Time. He started the debate as a convicted felon, and he lied for 90 straight minutes. Every time he opened his mouth, another lie came out. He lied about the big things, like his loss in the 2020 election. He told a lie when he said Nancy Pelosi had “taken responsibility” for what happened at the Capitol on January 6. He lied when he said he had “offered” her 10,000 National Guard troops and she turned him down. He lied about everything right up to and including his pathetic golf game. And he refused to answer the big questions asked of him, such as one on abortion and whether he would accept the results of this year’s presidential election.

It used to be when a candidate told that many lies about so many important issues and ducked and dodged when confronted with his own record and previous lies, he would be declared the loser of the debate. But Donald Trump, who starred on television for a decade and knows the medium as well as anyone who has ever run for political office, didn’t stutter or hesitate in his delivery. No, he told his lies quite competently in a clear and understandable voice, even if what we were listening to was utter and complete horseshit and everyone knew it, even Republicans.

The New York Times hardly gave Biden the time to walk off the stage before their Serious Thinkers and Contemplators of Great Issues were calling for him to leave the race. Yesterday, the Times ran a conversation about the debate between Michelle Cottle, Ezra Klein, and Ross Douthat. Ezra Klein busily patted himself on the back for having been first back in February to say Biden was too old and should drop out. Ross Douthat has been wrong and just plain stupid about so many things, it would take a novel to get to them all. Michelle Cottle I was less familiar with, so I looked her up. A 2018 Times press release announcing her appointment to the editorial board contained this nugget, which under the circumstances, tells you just about everything you need to know about her: “Among many other gems, her recent work has included (politely) nudging Hillary Clinton toward the exit.”

Don’t you just love that aside, “politely?” Only in the New York Times would you find that descriptor of a backstabber still holding a bleeding knife.

I won’t go into the heap of garbage that comprised their conversation, except to quote this line, one among many of this ilk, from Douthat: “It’s pretty hard for a Democratic president to soldier on when he loses the media and the intelligentsia.” Douthat, as we all must know, his having reminded us in such a timely fashion, is both intelligentsia and media. Now ain’t that grand? Oh, wait a minute, I just saw that Douthat graced us with a signed piece today called “Forget Defeating Trump,” that included this Admonition From On High Up in the Intelligentsia: “A second Biden administration would be unusually dangerous for the country in a very specific, very significant way.” What he’s talking about there are “the ways that his obvious deterioration endangers the country that he nominally leads.”

To which I say, I’m certainly glad that Douthat knows President Biden personally and so well that he could make that observation after watching a single debate with a man whose moral and psychological deterioration Douthat has witnessed but never acknowledged.

On Friday morning, the Times ran a screed from “The Editorial Board” entitled, “To Serve his Country, President Biden Should Leave the Race.” I will refrain from going into the so-called analysis of why the editorial board feels this way, although I suspect that it reflects at least in part the pique of Times owner and publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, who is said to have been plenty pissed that Biden wouldn’t sit down for an interview with the Times editorial board, over which Sulzberger would have presided.

Why is the New York Times doing this? Some pundits, watching the New York Times indulge in its plethora of attacks on Biden over the last few months, not to mention the last four years, have said the Times wants a “horse race” because it’s better for the paper economically. I think that’s bullshit. I think the Times, as an avatar of Liberal Self-Flagellation, has simply reverted to type. We’ve got a Democratic presidential candidate and there are some things we don’t like about him, so let’s remind all our readers exactly what they are.

As I have pointed out previously, with one candidate in the race who is such an inveterate liar that the Washington Post was able to count more than 30,000 lies he told while in office as president, the Times saw fit to run a “both sides” piece called, “Biden Loves to Tell Tall Tales, We Cut Them Down to Size.” Among Biden’s “tall tales” was one he told about driving “an 18 wheeler,” which precipitated a lengthy analysis of how many wheels there were on various larger vehicles they could determine that Biden is known to have once driven, including a “cargo truck.”

The New York Times is so happy that all their nitpicking and nibbling and dissecting of Joe Biden allegedly proved itself out in the debate, they can barely contain themselves. You have to wonder, with having published at least three opinion pieces calling for Biden to drop out so far, how many will they put up in the coming weeks?

But it wasn’t only the Times. Look at this crap from Politico. They assigned a “body language expert” to watch the debate. Here is just a little of what he found significant about the debate.

Fuck Politico. Fuck David Remnick in The New Yorker, who whipped himself into a tither and called Biden staying in the race “a national endangerment,” which is apparently what passes for Big Words at his magazine these days.

And fuck the New York Times. They are fond of reminding everyone that they are not partisans, although you could hardly know it reading their coverage over the last months and the editorials yesterday and today.

But we are. We are Democrats, and it’s time for us to stand up for our candidate, Joe Biden. I’m sick and tired of the navel-gazing roundelay that is going on all over the place – if we have an open convention, what’s going to happen?…if we don’t nominate Kamala Harris and put up someone like Gavin Newsom, what about the Black vote?…

On and on it goes, one “what if” after another, when we have a candidate, Joe Biden, and we need to beat Donald Trump, and we should be getting busy doing that instead of lining ourselves up in yet another typical Democratic Party circular firing squad.

You know who’s enjoying watching us beat ourselves senseless because one debate didn’t go the way we wanted?

Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

We should take a page out of their playbook. They don’t care if he’s a felon and a liar and an out-of-control lunatic who makes up weird shit and spews it out of his mouth like a firehose – sharks and electric boats, anyone? Republicans want to win, so they’re behind him. For some of them, his racism and cruelty are the point, it’s why they love him. For other Republicans, it’s something they overlook in favor of getting the win. But they’re united. Felon or not, serial sexual abuser or not, fascist or not, they’re behind him all the way.

Come hell or high water, Biden is our guy. Think of it this way: If a few thousand Democrats hadn’t pissed around and stayed home because of the bullshit about “her emails,” Hillary Clinton would have won in 2016, and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. It’s time to stop behaving like spoiled children – oh, everything’s not perfect, and I didn’t get the present I wanted, so I’m going to go sit in the corner and cry.

Get a fucking spine, Democrats. It’s time to buck up and support Joe Biden, tan or no tan. We can’t have a few thousand Democrats in a few swing states equivocating again. Get over it. We need every vote. Joe Biden needs your vote.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

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