Extra! Extra! Unidentified Sources "Uncomfortable" About Pres. Biden's Age
It is a sign that President Joe Biden's days are numbered when the Democratic Party house organ, The New York Times, starts citing anonymous concerns about his age
It’s how they drove Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein out of her position as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The New York Times cited anonymous critics in 2020 who said Feinstein was not up for the job at age 87. The evidence? She failed to serve as an attack dog at the pro forma confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and, hugged GOP Judiciary Committee Chairperson Lindsay Graham as she was leaving. Feinstein was quickly stripped of her leadership position.
In May, the NYT cited anonymous sources in a story headlined: “As Feinstein Declines, Democrats Struggle to Manage an Open Secret.” The NYT now asserts that Feinstein, 88, is in a state of decline and suffering memory loss. Readers are told Feinstein is “increasingly dogged by questions about whether she is fit to serve in the Senate.” Questions by who? The article was based entirely on interviews with lawmakers and aides “who spoke about the situation on the condition of anonymity.”
Now the glare of the spotlight is turning on Biden.
The NYT “reported” Sunday that unidentified current and former senior officials and advisors report that Biden looks older and his energy level is not what it was. “[S]ome aides quietly watch out for him. He often shuffles when he walks, and aides worry he will trip on a wire.”
The NYT says Biden is generally a five-day or five-and-a-half day a week President, even though the “White House rejected the idea” and Biden’s doctor pronounced last November pronounced him “a healthy, vigorous 78-year-old male who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.”
Inevitably, public opinion reflects what people see and read in the media. It should come as no surprise that polls increasingly reflect concern about Biden’s age.
The NYT tells us that a June survey by Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies and the Harris Poll found that 64% of voters think Biden is too old to be president, including 60% of respondents age 65 and older. But didn’t 80 million people have confidence in Biden when they elected him a year and a a half ago?
What has changed?
The public clearly is affected by what they read and see on the news and in social media. Since Biden’s election, the Republican Party has relentlessly focused on each verbal gaffe and physical slip-up by Biden, gleefully declaring these to be proof the President is dazed, confused and too old for the job. And now the Democrats have joined the chorus.
Nevermind that Biden has had a life-long speech impediment and he certainly isn’t the first President to miss a step or fall down. (Former GOP President Gerald Ford, 62, infamously slipped down the steps of a plane in 1975 when Ford’s knee, injured playing football in college, gave way.)
Age is an easy target to begin with.
Age discrimination is the last form of acceptable discrimination in America’s youth-obsessed culture. It is widely accepted even by older people, who internalize societal fears and loathing about signs of aging. Even healthy and vigorous older people look in a mirror and see infirmity.
It’s one thing to criticize Biden for the questionable policies that he has foisted on the American public but it is quite another to stigmatize him based on ageist stereotypes.
We’ve known for more than 50 years that older workers likely experience far higher levels of discrimination than any other group. And yet the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 remains far weaker than Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, reflecting societal attitudes that tolerate age discrimination.
Sadly, career politicians like Biden could have demanded parity for older workers before they themselves became the target of age discrimination.