When evaluating political opinion pieces, it is important to consider the source. While left-leaning outlets like Vanity Fair may bash former President Trump, right-wing publications like Breitbart often criticize President Biden and his administration. However, it becomes particularly intriguing when even outlets leaning left, such as The Atlantic, publish articles mildly critical of the Democratic Party. This suggests a growing demand among liberals for discussions surrounding Biden’s mental acuity and ability to fulfill his presidential duties.
The recent Atlantic piece, titled “Step Aside, Joe Biden,” authored by Eliot Cohen, a former Bush appointee, serves as an example of this shift. Although the article carefully avoids directly accusing Biden of having dementia, it raises questions about his age and future as a politician, using Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Grassley as loose, bipartisan analogies. Notably, these senators are older than Biden by 9 and 10 years, respectively. The column also praises younger Democratic figures like California Governor Gavin Newsom and former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
While Cohen’s article avoids explicitly mentioning Biden’s occasional cognitive lapses, such as geographical confusion or perplexing statements, it nevertheless brings attention to the issue. The Atlantic is not the only outlet raising concerns about Biden’s mental capacity and electability; others, including The Hill, have also covered these topics. However, The Atlantic’s left-leaning reputation adds weight to the discussion.
An analogy can be drawn to Walter Cronkite’s pivotal role in the 1960s, when his visit to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War influenced public perception. Similarly, when media outlets that typically support politicians begin to question their abilities, it signals uncertainty for their future. While Eliot Cohen is not Walter Cronkite, and The Atlantic is not comparable to CBS Evening News in terms of political bias, the pattern remains: politicians face increasing uncertainty when they lose support within their media advocates.
If outlets like Breitbart were to provide a platform for MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough to call on Donald Trump to drop out of the presidential race, it would undoubtedly capture attention. Likewise, when left-leaning media outlets discuss the possibility of replacing Biden, it sparks conversations in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. The discussions extend to the donor class and the backrooms of the Democratic National Committee, potentially influencing the trajectory of future political candidates like Gavin Newsom or Cory Booker.
In conclusion, the emergence of critical discussions about Biden’s mental acuity within left-leaning media outlets indicates a shift in public sentiment. While these discussions may not directly accuse Biden of dementia, they raise valid questions about his age and ability to serve as president. As opinions sway within influential media circles, the political landscape becomes increasingly uncertain for the president and the Democratic Party.