Search
Close this search box.

Climate activist Bill Mckibben calls for Biden to drop out: ‘It’s Time for Biden to Concede to Political & Human Reality’ – ‘Dragging Biden across the finish line will be a hugely hard—probably impossibly hard—task’

https://billmckibben.substack.com/p/the-view-from-the-doors

By BILL MCKIBBEN

Last week I wrote that, given some room, I thought Joe Biden would figure out that he had a unique opportunity to help his country—that by stepping down and turning over the nomination to someone younger, he could make it clear that any ‘cognitive impairment’ he was suffering hadn’t affected his heart and soul. That may have been optimistic—the week since has been a display of what increasingly looks like bull-headed selfishness. His insistence to George Stephanopolous last night that only he could carry the ball echoed too closely the Trumpian insistence that he alone could save the Republic.

I’m grateful for Joe Biden’s presidency; it has been, by and large, successful, and it was psychically relaxing after the daily chaos of the Trump years, a respite I think we underestimate. But there is no reason to think he’s uniquely qualified to run the country, and in any event it doesn’t matter if he can’t win the election. There’s been a huge quantity of punditry and tweetery this past week, most of which I’ve tried to ignore—a lot of it has consisted of raging at journalists and other elites. (Unsurpassed version from David Roberts). I’ve been more interested in talking with fellow organizers around the country—people who do the work of campaigns, which involves knocking on doors and making phone calls. And it’s clear to most of them that I’ve talked to that dragging Biden across the finish line will be a hugely hard—probably impossibly hard—task.

I’ve talked with people who’ve spent their lives as union organizers, and people who are state legislators in swing states, and I’ve been out on an organizing tour for Third Act, speaking with people who between them will write hundreds of thousands of postcards and phone bank for untold hours between now and November. And what I hear, overwhelmingly, is that this view from ‘the doors’ makes them think Biden must do the realistic thing.

Yes, they’ll work for the president’s reelection if that’s the only choice. We all are so scared of Trumpism that, in that sense, Biden has us over a barrel—no one is going to walk away from this election. But there’s a growing sense of anger that we’re being put in an almost impossible situation. We want to talk, at every door and on every call, about the climate crisis, about abortion, about a dozen other places where the contrast between progressives and MAGA blowhards is enormous and works in our favor. But that’s impossible when you first have to have a conversation about whether or not Biden can do the job—a conversation none of us can win with any real conviction even in our own minds.

The perfect example is last week’s run of Supreme Court decisions, so radical in their implications that at any other time they’d be not just dominant stories but also a huge help in getting people to understand Trump’s threat. Instead, they’ve barely been noticed. You can blame the media for that, but one of the things you learn on ‘the doors’ is that people care mostly about things that seem immediate and real to them. We all have opinions about aging, because we’ve all gone through something like this with our parents or grandparents; it’s visceral, real, fascinating. Most people aren’t experts on constitutional law; most people have had an aunt or a father who needed to have their car keys negotiated away.

#

Climate activists hope to prod Biden to exit race – ‘To converge at Biden’s campaign HQ in Delaware

Share: