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It’s Time to Take away Biden’s Car Keys

Have you ever had to take away an aging parent’s car keys? I have.

I remember how hard it was when my family, seeing that my dad’s declining mental and physical abilities made him a danger on the road to himself and others, took away his car keys. It wasn’t pretty— the family had underestimated how important driving a car was to Dad’s sense of self as vigorous and competent.

Now the Democratic Party needs to take away Joe Biden’s car keys and the risks of inaction are a lot higher than somebody getting hurt by a disoriented driver.

Biden’s recent days of trying to explain away his debate performance has not moved the needle in his direction. None of his post-debate presentations have been nearly good enough to relieve the doubts created by those disastrous 90 minutes watched by 50 million people.

The core problem I see—being almost exactly his age—is that Joe Biden refuses to accept the seriousness of his own decline, a reality that we saw with our own eyes, which will not be wiped away (see my commentary on the debate).

The most chilling statement from Biden’s ABC interview last Friday came in his answer to a question about how he would feel next January if Trump won the election. He said that what was important would be knowing that he had given it his all and had done his best—

as if this election were only a personal contest, like a heavyweight title bout or a Wimbledon final instead of what it is—the survival of this democracy. It was Joe’s ego talking, not his patriotism or his sense of history.

Whether Joe Biden remains the candidate should not be up to Biden and his family to decide. It’s way too important for that. And if his family will not tell him, then the leadership of the Democratic Party needs to summon the courage and tell him: either he surrenders his car keys, or they will take them from him.

Surely there are thoughtful, compassionate people who can do this by describing Biden’s honorable withdrawal as the capstone of his decades of public service, including accomplishments in office rivaling FDR’s.

If you agree with this piece, please share it widely. Time is of the essence. Dragging the process out only makes it harder.