The conflict within the Biden administration rages on, promising only more chaos ahead

The Democratic civil war continues, in a bizarrely passive-aggressive way.

Cue ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Two days after President Biden called into “Morning Joe” to insist that he’s absolutely staying in, she went on the same show to say, “It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run,” noting that “time is running short” to find a replacement.

That was a polite way of saying get out, and a key sign party bigwigs still know where they have to go.

The night before, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) joined the drip-drip of House members calling outright for Joe to go; later Wednesday, so did upstate New York Dem Rep. Pat Ryan.

Yes, Biden’s threats were enough to make Rep. Jerry Nadler blink: He’d joined the putschists behind closed doors on Sunday — but publicly proclaimed his Biden support barely a day later.

Another profile in cowardice: New York Times columnist Paul Krugman tweeted that, despite making the case that Biden needs to drop, he won’t write a word more about it if the prez refuses.

Yet others who’d joined Nadler on Sunday aren’t recanting: Reps. Mark Takano (Calif.), Adam Smith (Wash.) and establishment Upstater Joe Morelle, all top committee chairs.

Also notable: Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres, who had called the panic among Dems a “suicide mission” and “self-destructive,” followed Pelosi by tweeting on the need for “a serious reckoning with the down-ballot effect of whomever we nominate.”

More: “An unsentimental analysis of the cold hard numbers — which have no personal feelings or political loyalties — should inform what we decide and whom we nominate.”   

And the numbers show that sticking with Biden means disaster: What had been swing states are falling rapidly into the Trump column, while Politico is reporting that New York is now a “battleground” state thanks to Joe’s plummeting polls.

That is: Biden threatened to destroy the party if he’s pushed, but smart Democrats are seeing “cold hard numbers” showing he’ll destroy it if he stays.

What candidate in a tight race wants to have to insist the top of the ticket is just fine, when all the voters can see that he’s not? You either tell the truth and outrage the base, or lie and outrage everyone else.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders and AOC are on Biden’s side — because their seats are safe, and they clearly figure a Biden humiliation will hand complete control of the party to progressives (who grew by leaps and bounds in the first Trump term).

Yet the numbers for most Democrats will only get worse, because the only way Biden can reverse them is to prove he’s actually fit.  

That is: Give up TelePrompTers and pre-taped interviews, do a barnstorm tour of speeches and live Q&As — and commit to public release of the results of a major medical cognitive test. 

That he’s done none of that since his collapse on the debate stage is damning: He (or his handlers) know he doesn’t dare. 

Biden is hoping he can somehow bluff it out, just as he summed up his disastrous Afghan bugout as a “tremendous success.”

But Pelosi’s made it plain: His fellow Democrats are going to keep pushing ever-harder for Joe “to decide” until he gives them the decision they actually want. 

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