The second extraordinary thing about what Biden is doing is that it could in fact work. The guy who has decided to run for president by not running might just win. I’ve said before that Trump Is playing the presidency on All-Madden difficulty. Back in early February it looked as if he had emerged from three years of show-boating hearings and Democratic scandal mongering more or less unscathed, with record-low unemployment figures.

This is not the country we live in today. Trump himself might relish the prospect of four more years of total war against the Democrats and the press, but, as my former colleague Lili Loofbourow has observed, the vast majority of the American people would likely prefer something that seems like a return to normal. The fact that “normal” here refers to a country in which more Americans died of drug overdoses each year than were killed during the war in Vietnam, a nation of stagnant wages, rising health-care costs, obesity, depression, pornography addiction, and appalling racial disparities does not matter. This is true for the same reason that it does not matter that the atmosphere of chaos we have spent the last three and a half years reading about was largely a matter of media selectivity. (Ask yourself how CNN would have covered something like Fast and Furious if it had taken place during this administration, much less a tragedy like the one in Benghazi.)