Luther Ray Abel of National Review Online assesses an aging President Biden.

Joe Biden, at the age of 81, is an old man. To hear the White House and its allies tell it, one would think that 81 was the new statesmanly 60. Medicine considers someone to be geriatric at 65 — Biden could qualify for a geriatric driver’s license 16 years into the category.

There is no shame in aging, but it does bear with it some realities that only those motivated to delude themselves can overlook. Joe Biden has lost a step (and most of the ability to step). But it would appear that his administration and party will use the barest of fig leaves to dismiss the president’s incapacity, as a recent report from the Wall Street Journal investigates, with some 45 interviews of those who have witnessed Biden’s limitations firsthand.

Annie Linskey and Siobhan Hughes report for the Wall Street Journal:

When President Biden met with congressional leaders in the West Wing in January to negotiate a Ukraine funding deal, he spoke so softly at times that some participants struggled to hear him, according to five people familiar with the meeting. He read from notes to make obvious points, paused for extended periods and sometimes closed his eyes for so long that some in the room wondered whether he had tuned out. …

… Last year, when Biden was negotiating with House Republicans to lift the debt ceiling, his demeanor and command of the details seemed to shift from one day to the next, according to then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and two others familiar with the talks. On some days, he had loose and spontaneous exchanges with Republicans, and on others he mumbled and appeared to rely on notes.

“I used to meet with him when he was vice president. I’d go to his house,” McCarthy said in an interview. “He’s not the same person.”

With reports like this, one can find material and rebuttals enough to confirm one’s priors. At least one could if there wasn’t the evidence before one’s eyes that Biden is, at the very least, cognitively inconsistent — a normal thing to be for a man his age.