Debating the Biden Courtier Problem: Resisting Pressure from the Base and Other Opinions

Libertarian: The Biden Courtier Problem

Arnold Kling at In My Tribe argues that for the modern Presidency, the courtier game is probably an occupational hazard. Biden’s closest associates urging him to run for a second term without considering the well-being of the country shows how a President can be ill-served by officials playing the courtier game. This game involves lackeys devoting themselves to flattering the king and doing his bidding, rather than focusing on getting to the best decisions. Biden, with his infirmities, would have been better off setting a tone where aides are focused on the best decisions rather than a seat closer to the king. Unfortunately, the people around Biden did not care about the damage he could do to the safety and well-being of the citizens of the United States.

From the left: Don’t Bow to the Base

Jonathan Chait at New York magazine advises that if President Biden quits the race, party leaders should select a new candidate within a week and have delegates ratify the nomination at the convention. The most important aspect is to find a candidate who can appeal to voters outside the Democratic Party’s base, as energizing the base tends to reduce the party’s chances of winning. Naming a replacement quickly can create a fait accompli. It is essential for the party to assume that voters will turn out for the nominee and beat Trump.

White House watch: Joe’s Last Lifelines

Politico’s Jonathan Martin warns that as the president fights for his political life, he is counting on the support of African-American Democrats and his union allies as his last line of defense. Despite portraying his detractors as elite white liberals in the past, recent polls show that many rank-and-file Democrats, including African Americans, believe that the president is too old for the job. Any defection from unions or African American elected officials would be devastating for Biden, especially from younger lawmakers and those representing competitive districts.

Eye on Albany: Hochul’s Costly 1199 Bailout

Bill Hammond of the Empire Center reports that the Hochul administration is giving a new subsidy to the health-care union 1199 SEIU, allowing some members to shift into taxpayer-funded health coverage through the Essential Plan. This move appears to bypass the Essential Plan’s normal eligibility rules and is seen as a handout to the union’s National Benefit Fund for Home Care Employees, which has been running deficits despite state subsidies. This shift from commercial insurance to taxpayer-funded coverage could be potentially costly and disruptive if replicated with other unions.

Law prof: Lefties’ Unfounded ‘Immunity’ Panic

Jonathan Turley at The Hill criticizes the left and media for their portrayal of the Supreme Court’s presidential-immunity ruling. He argues that the ruling does not invite tyranny as claimed. The court held that presidents have absolute immunity for actions within their exclusive sphere of constitutional authority and presumptive immunity for other official acts, but not for unofficial or private actions. This is not a green light for extreme actions as some have suggested.

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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