It was the meme of the week: Joe has to go. It was as if all of the liberal media had participated in a week of scathing criticism of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, with many even from the President’s own party suggesting he was pledging not to run in 2024 .
It’s not just wishful thinking. If Democrats are successful in pushing President Biden into retirement, they will do something Republicans have refused to do after two impeachments, a horrific pandemic response and a detailed attempt to undermine American democracy: They will tacitly admit that they chose the wrong person to introduce themselves. the country. It’s hard to see how they will recover politically for generations to come.
That’s not to say Joe Biden’s presidency was entirely successful. Many believe he was unable to secure any major legislative victories or deliver on his campaign promises, despite his majority in the House of Representatives and Senate. President Biden also failed to secure voting rights or police reform, two big issues for African Americans, who also happen to be the Democrats’ most loyal and largest voting bloc.
The president also appears helpless in the fight to protect bodily autonomy and health care for women and girls in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, while Biden’s signature Build Back Better legislation died in the Senate, where he couldn’t even rally consensus within his own Party. And the president is unlikely to be able to do anything in the last two years of his term, as Republicans are likely poised to take the House of Representatives.
These failures were compounded by unforced errors like the botched exit from Afghanistan and poor messaging about his administration’s successes and direction. President Biden is rapidly losing the trust of the people who voted for him to bring the country back to normal and work across the aisle. His approval ratings are down.
And yet, the truth remains that Democrats chose Biden and Harris to lead them. Rejecting them quickly would be politically disastrous because it would signal to the rest of the country that the Democrats by their own admission can’t choose someone to lead the nation.
And that logic applies not only to President Biden but to Vice President Harris. Like Biden, Harris isn’t the strongest communicator and could face a tough climb in an open primary against polished impromptu speakers — the likes of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg or California Governor Gavin Newsom, whose names have been proposed as alternatives to Biden in 2024. Other insiders have suggested bringing back 2020 Democratic primary candidates like Senators Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.
But if Democrats put their weight behind any of these candidates, they risk upsetting black women, the demographic base most loyal to the party. When Biden nominated Harris, it was knowing she was the future of the Democratic Party. Her nomination was in part a nod to the vigilance of black women at the polls and their dedication to the party nationwide. Harris was an example of a world to come under Democratic leadership, where qualified black women get their due.
If the party abandons this token gesture at the first sign of trouble, then it was never more than short-term complacency.
Some black people, especially black women, will feel like they will once again be ignored and taken for granted by Democrats if Vice President Harris is forced into early retirement. And that would be a disaster for the party. If even a small percentage of black women stay home on Election Day in Fulton County, Georgia, Philadelphia or Detroit, the gains made in 2020 will quickly disappear, creating a potential electoral college explosion in 2024.
Passing from Harris also sends the message that Democrats made a mistake and that she was in fact not ready to be president on day one.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the latest Biden replacement to be named. But it should be obvious that leading Secretary Clinton would be a huge mistake. Not only is there no evidence that Clinton is more popular than Biden or Harris, but at a time when young voters are increasingly disillusioned with Democrats, supporting Clinton sends the message to them that we don’t have new ideas or leadership. She is also a figure who energizes the Republican opposition like few others are capable of. If Biden isn’t the person to lead the Party into the future, it wouldn’t make sense to try to replace him with another decades-old Washington insider.
Sorry, Democrats, but we’re stuck with President Biden and Vice President Harris. We chose them, and now we have to stay with them. The cost of abandoning them is simply too high to bear.
Dr. Jason Nichols is an award-winning lecturer in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Maryland College Park and was the longtime editor of Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture. He co-hosts the “Vince and Jason Save the Nation” podcast.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.