Joy Pullmann of the Federalist compares the Democratic Party’s current crisis to historical events from 40 years ago.

The current media fight with Democrat Party donors over how to handle Joe Biden’s public senility recalls inter-Communist Party struggles just before the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Before the Soviet Union collapsed, its puppet leaders Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, and Konstantin Chernenko were also publicly senile. They were, however, allowed to pose as in charge because that allowed bureaucratic underlings to consolidate power and top Soviets had no new ideas for reviving a self-destructing country.

A 1982 Washington Post opinion article about Brezhnev notes he had trouble speaking and walking, especially down airplane ramps. “[H]e also had slurring of his speech,” especially when tired. To stay alive, Brezhnev limited meetings with foreign leaders, and lackeys stayed at his side “lest he fall.”

On July 8 the Wall Street Journal detailed how Biden’s advisors “aggressively stage-managed” him “to minimize signs of” age. They take Brezhnev-like steps such as early bedtimes and limiting his meeting time, foreign travel, and interactions with voters.

“At the top of the [Communist Party of the Soviet Union],” wrote Angelo Codevilla in 1992, “politburo members struggled for primacy by acquiring the right to hire and fire chunks of the Party and governmental apparatus below them. Subordinate officials would try to do the same thing in turn with respect to their subordinates, while trying to retain as much autonomy as possible with regard to their patrons and protectors.” He describes this as “a latter-day feudal system” in which access to power determined economic and cultural prestige, instead of merit.

Others have also described the United States as lurching into “neo-feudalism,” including the writer Joel Kotkin. Here at The Federalist and elsewhere, Stella Morabito has noted that all forms of totalitarianism, including socialism and its desired end state, communism, make false promises of equality to the masses while actually delivering a Byzantine system of privileges controlled by a “power clique.” That’s exactly what Democrats do.