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First Congressional Democrat Officially Jumps Ship on Biden: 'Not Done Lightly'

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President Joe Biden doesn’t seem to be taking a whole lot of hints from the media — so now, present and former Democratic congressmen are starting to do it for him.

In a statement on Tuesday, Texas Democrat Rep. Lloyd Doggett, 77, said that Biden should follow the example of former President Lyndon Baines Johnson and bow out of the race.

But naturally, he did it with whipping up fears about former President Donald Trump returning to the White House.

“Trump, newly empowered with immunity, could usher America into a long, dark, authoritarian era unchecked by either the courts or a submissive Republican Congress,” Doggett said in a media statement, according to CNBC.

“President Biden has continued to run substantially behind Democratic senators in key states and in most polls has trailed Donald Trump,” the statement read. “I had hoped that the debate would provide some momentum to change that.”

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“It did not,” he noted, with significant understatement.

“Instead of reassuring voters, the President failed to effectively defend his many accomplishments and expose Trump’s many lies.”

He then turned to the example set by his fellow Texan, LBJ, in pulling out of his run for re-election in 1968.

“Under very different circumstances, [Johnson] made the painful decision to withdraw. President Biden should do the same,” Doggett said.

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“My decision to make these strong reservations public is not done lightly nor does it in any way diminish my respect for all that President Biden has achieved,” he added.

“Recognizing that, unlike Trump, President Biden’s first commitment has always been to our country, not himself, I am hopeful that he will make the painful and difficult decision to withdraw.”

While Doggett is not necessarily a massive name in the Democratic Party, he is the first congressional Democrat to publicly call for Biden’s withdrawal.

Moreover, two former elected Democrats with higher profiles called upon Biden to step aside this week.

Former Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio — who ran unsuccessful campaigns to unseat Nancy Pelosi as speaker and then to become senator, a race he lost to Republican Sen. J.D. Vance two years ago — wrote a commentary piece for Newsweek published Monday, bluntly titled, “Kamala Harris Should Be the Democratic Nominee for President in 2024.”

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“Joe Biden’s debate performance was deeply troubling. But it isn’t just about a 90-minute debate and a terrible performance. This election needs to be about generational change — something about which I have been shouting for more than a year now,” he wrote.

He added Biden “promised to be a bridge President to the next generation. I liked that idea.” [Emphasis in the original.]

“I envisioned him defeating former President Donald Trump, stabilizing the country, and passing the torch to the next generation,” he wrote.

“Regrettably, that bridge collapsed last week. Witnessing Joe Biden struggle was heartbreaking. And we must forge a new path forward.”

Also calling for Biden to step aside as nominee was Julián Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, and Barack Obama’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 until the end of Obama’s term.

“I think the Democrats would do well to find a different candidate,” Castro said in an MSNBC appearance, according to ABC News.

Anyone who does not believe this is somewhat orchestrated is either 1) much less cynical than I am, 2) wrong or 3) both.

We saw, in the hours following last week’s debate performance, well-placed pundits who talked to well-placed anonymous Democrats who gave them various quotes that all tended to include the word “panic” somewhere laced in.

In the weekend that followed, three major organs of the Democratic media officially announced their editorial stance that Biden must step aside as nominee: The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

While the AJC might not have the name recognition that the Times or Tribune do nationally, it’s worth noting that Georgia is a swing state and when the Democrat atop the ticket has lost the Journal-Constitution, he might as well concede he’s lost Georgia. (And Biden is, in fact, losing in Georgia polling, 49-44 percent according to a New York Times polling average.)

In addition to formal media calls for Biden to step aside, other big-hame Democrats are clearly concerned.

Sen. Joe Manchin, the retiring West Virginia Democrat, had to be talked out of going on the Sunday talk shows to say that Biden should step aside, according to ABC.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who remains an elected representative, said Tuesday that, “it’s a legitimate question to say is this an episode or is this a condition” during an appearance on MSNBC, according to The Hill. She also, however, would not go so far as to say that Biden ought to step down, merely that questions need to be asked.

This, in other words, is a question of how much public pressure must be applied to Biden after a disastrous debate in order to get him to step aside. The White House continues to say this was just a bad night and the president will continue to press on.

That doesn’t mean that calls like Doggett’s will stop. It just means the next person making them will be of a higher profile than Lloyd Doggett.


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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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