It’s 8:30 P.M. Do You Know Where Your President Is?

Stephanopoulos will be tough, I think. But Biden, who stumbled yet again in remarks on July 4, is nonetheless unlikely to look as bad as he did during the debate. Will it be enough for his people to stand pat with that ridiculous “he had a bad night” spin? It might be. Then next week, Congress will come back to Washington. There’s little doubt that congressional Democrats are hearing from their constituents that Biden has to go, but it’s still a major question whether as a group they’ll have the guts to say it publicly. Only two have so far.

Give Biden two weeks, people say. Maybe he deserves a little time. But … well, there are two buts. The first is that the memory of the disastrous debate will fade. The second is this: If there were any real signs that Biden is engaged in genuine and honest deliberation about this, then I’d say sure, give him a week, anyway. But there’s very little indication that he and his people are engaged in that. Their public comments and their tweets go out of their way to be defiant. So why give him two weeks just to dig his heels deeper into the soil?

We all understand that that’s the standard public posture: Politicians always defiantly say “no!” until the moment comes when they realize they have to say “yes.” So maybe team Biden really is thinking this through. But this isn’t like, say, a sex scandal, which tends to build and build over the course of several days because there are new revelations. Unless there are new bad polls, Democrats will probably just be passive team players.