Joe Biden is two presidents in one. And America can't keep turning away

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In Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” we find two men in one character: one a kind, sociable man, the other a corrupt miscreant, and neither knows much about what the other is doing.

Democrats face a similar predicament regarding the president, because there are two Joe Bidens. There's Joe the Teleprompter, who still seems capable of being president if you squint, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and then, well, there's the other Joe Biden.

The other Joe Biden, the one who appears after the sun goes down, a phenomenon well known to neurologists, is obviously the problem. He is a senile old man, unable to finish his sentences, his gaze vacant, devoid of any trace of understanding. He is the Joe Biden of the debate, the one that no sane person considers fit to serve.

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The first question that this curious situation raises is whether these two Joe Bidens really know each other?

Recall that when ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos asked him about his debate performance just a week after that public disaster, Joe Biden’s somewhat convincing version struggled to describe it, inventing false details about the screams of his opponent, former President Trump. As if he were describing something that had happened to someone else.

And maybe Biden doesn't remember, maybe he doesn't really know, maybe he really believes that the debate and all the other moments of senility he displays are just “episodes,” but increasingly, episodes are becoming the norm, not the aberration.

On Wednesday morning, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Biden needs to make a quick decision about whether to stay in the race, which is curious given that for the past two weeks Biden has been insistently shouting that his decision to continue fighting is made and set in stone.

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But which Biden does Nancy Pelosi expect an answer from? The Biden with the fixed gaze failed to answer the question convincingly, and the Biden who eats ice cream in the afternoon seems completely oblivious to his own decline.

The day before, from her perch in the briefing room, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had told Fox's Peter Doocy that if an emergency happens at 3 a.m., there's a team that wakes up and advises Biden, so which Joe Biden answers that alarm?

If it's Joe the Incoherent who wakes up because of the terrorist attack, the nuclear meltdown, or the invasion of Taiwan, then does the team just decide what to do? Did anyone elect anyone onto the team?

The question for Democrats, who may well hold Biden’s fate in their hands, is not which of the two is the real Joe Biden. Clearly, they both are. The question is whether the nation is safe and secure in transitioning from one president to the other under the leadership of both versions of the president.

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Increasingly, and reluctantly, Democrats are realizing that the answer is no.

Politically, they understand that another major blunder by the president means the end, and that another major blunder is almost certain to occur within the next four months.

But it's deeper than that, more urgent, because the danger posed by these two Joe Bidens is not just a threat to the future of America, it's a threat today, today.

At the end of “Jekyll and Hyde,” the kind doctor, who had used a serum to control which person to be, loses the ability to choose and knows that the uncontrollable Hyde will soon eclipse Jekyll forever.

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We all hope and pray that the convincing Joe Biden will be with us for a long time to come, but the other Joe Biden is already here, appearing more and more often, and he cannot be allowed to share the most powerful office in the world.

There are two Joe Bidens, but there can only be one president, and that is why they both must resign.

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