Republican pundits and conservative activists are debating whether they can win in 2024 with the successful Trump agenda but without the controversial former President Donald Trump as their nominee.
The Democrats have a similar, but far more serious dilemma with President Biden as the Democratic Party’s nominee in 2024.
Unlike the Trump administration’s successful four years, Mr. Biden’s tenure has been an utter disaster. There are no policy offsets to the personal liabilities and unpopularity of Mr. Biden himself.
Mr. Biden’s liabilities transcend his physical infirmities, his advanced age and his seeming geometric rather than an arithmetic rate of mental decline.
Mr. Biden, moreover, proves daily that he is not a nice guy. His excesses, past and present, are precisely those the left considers mortal sins.
Walking back Mr. Biden’s absurdities has become the nonstop, tiresome task of many on the left. As it faces a midterm disaster in November, many no longer see any compensating reasons not to drop Mr. Biden.
When the Republicans take the House of Representatives in 2022 there will be nonstop investigations of Hunter Biden’s alleged tax avoidances, his possibly illegal work as an unregistered foreign agent, and Mr. Biden’s untaxed compensation he received from the Biden lobbying consortium.
Consider also Mr. Biden’s nastiness.
During the 2020 campaign he personally attacked a young co-ed as a “lying dog-faced pony soldier” and a stocky questioner was reduced to “fat.”
Unlike former President Donald Trump’s art of the deal, exaggerations and distortions, Mr. Biden says things that are not simply untrue, but abjectly preposterous — such as the United States currently has a lower inflation rate than major European industrial powers.
In Mr. Biden’s world, there were no COVID-19 vaccinations until he took the oath of office. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the oil companies, the refiners or Mr. Trump is responsible for the historic crippling gasoline price hikes he caused by canceling drilling and pipeline projects.
Mr. Biden claims his negative-growth, hyperinflating economy is not disastrous but strong.
He serially lies that he drove a semi-truck. He has not been to the Middle East 38 times. He never received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. Nor was he a full professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
The MAGA movement is not the “most extreme political organization in American history.”
In other words, Mr. Biden reveals the same fantasies and plagiarism that ended his 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns.
On matters of race and sexuality, Mr. Biden is the epitome of that for which the left, supposedly, has zero tolerance. Mr. Biden was infamous for damning with praise then-candidate Barack Obama as the first “clean” and “articulate” African American presidential candidate.
In a fake patois, Mr. Biden once warned an audience of Black professionals that Mitt Romney would “put y’all back in chains.”
During the 2020 campaign, candidate Biden derided a Black journalist as a “junkie” and lambasted a radio host and his audience with the claim “you ain’t Black” if they didn’t support his candidacy.
Spinning racialist fables like Mr. Biden’s “Corn Pop” stories would brand any conservative politician as a racist. As president, Mr. Biden still uses the term “negro,” and he called an African American adviser “boy.”
On disturbing matters of sexuality, Mr. Biden is even more coarse.
After the Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh hearings, the nation was lectured that “women must be believed.” But it was the left who attacked former Biden aide Tara Reade who surfaced in 2016 to accuse then-Sen. Biden, her former boss, of sexually assaulting her.
Mr. Biden himself had a creepy history of invading the private space of young women — inappropriately kissing them, hugging and squeezing them, and smelling and blowing into their hair and ears.
Finally, Mr. Biden was forced to apologize — sort of — by claiming he belonged to an earlier generation when such aggression was simply normal behavior. It was not then or now.
The latest controversies whirl around the British tabloid Daily Mail’s publication of the diary of Mr. Biden’s own daughter.
From the Mail’s lurid reporting, Ashley Biden seems to suggest that she showered with her father at an age when “showers w/my dad (probably [were] not appropriate).” And she seemed to connect Mr. Biden familial inappropriateness with her regret over being “hyper-sexualized (at) a young age.”
When Mr. Trump was accused by porn star Stormy Daniels of a consensual tryst or was caught on old Access Hollywood tape crudely boasting about inappropriately touching female admirers, the resulting uproar nearly derailed the Trump 2016 campaign.
The point is not just the asymmetrical treatment that has shielded Mr. Biden’s cognitive decline, rude outbursts, outrageous racialist slurs and bizarre sexual aggressiveness.
Instead, the left now fears Mr. Biden’s terrible polls and a worse record — and the resulting damage he is doing to the Democratic Party.
In such a losing political context, Democrats will soon find no further reason to cover for Mr. Biden’s own serial abhorrent personal behavior on matters of financial probity, sex, race and truthfulness.
No wonder they are growing desperate to find ways to cut him loose — without making Vice President Kamala Harris his successor.
• Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author of “The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won,” from Basic Books. You can reach him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.