Yuval Levin writes for National Review Online about problems plaguing America’s system of competing major political parties.

The letter that President Biden sent to Democratic members of Congress on Monday is an extraordinary artifact of the breakdown of the American party system. It should be studied in political science courses.

That argument makes two related points. The first is that Democrats had a chance to challenge Biden during the primary and no serious candidate did that:

We had a Democratic nomination process and the voters have spoken clearly and decisively. I received over 14 million votes, 87% of the votes cast across the entire nominating process. I have nearly 3,000 delegates, making me the presumptive nominee of our party by a wide margin.

This was a process open to anyone who wanted to run. Only three people chose to challenge me. One fared so badly that he left the primaries to run as an independent. Another attacked me for being too old and was soundly defeated. The voters of the Democratic Party have voted. They have chosen me to be the nominee of the party.

Do we now just say this process didn’t matter? That the voters don’t have a say?

This presents itself as an argument from strength, but it is an argument that depends upon the notion that primary voters and potential challengers had the basic information they needed when they made their choices. The Democrats have found themselves in the mess they’re in this month because even many Democratic elected officials and political professionals have concluded they were misled about Biden’s physical and mental condition and that voters were, too. So this first argument begs the question that made a letter like this necessary in the first place.

This fact speaks of a kind of elite malfeasance in the party. Biden himself, and others in a position to know, chose to mask or ignore the seriousness of his decline by keeping him largely out of public view, and other party elites chose not to challenge him on this decision and generally speaking not to challenge him for the nomination either.