Biden Delivers Powerful Speech as MAGA Republicans Freak Out

UPDATE: Greg Sargent of The Washington Post sums up the conundrum for “MAGA Republicans:

Republicans are in a rage over President Biden’s speech in Philadelphia, in which he flatly declared that the American democratic experiment is in serious danger due to Donald Trump and the Republicans who remain allied with his political project.

So here’s a question for those Republicans: What exactly in Biden’s speech was wrong?…

…That MAGA coup attempt included extraordinarily corrupt pressure on many government actors, including law enforcement, which flouted the rule of law on its face. It involved pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to violate his constitutional duty. Pence himself said he was being asked to betray basic tenets of constitutional democracy.

Many Republicans who are now professing outrage supported all that. A review of their own conduct proves Biden right.

—–

“The MAGA Republicans believe that for them to succeed, everyone else has to fail.”

     — President Biden (9/1/22)

President Joe Biden delivered a powerful primetime speech on Thursday night from the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia that laid out in clear terms the battle for democracy in the United States.

As David Frum wrote later for The Atlantic, Biden’s speech was so effective because it was real:

The response from Biden’s Republican opponents has been hotter than mere tut-tutting. Biden’s sharp speech has only one justification: So much of it is true.

If you missed Biden’s 24-minute speech, you can read the full transcript here or watch it in full below. To better understand the significance of Thursday’s events — including here in Colorado — it helps to break things down into a few different parts. Let’s start with…

THE SPEECH

 

Biden’s remarks on Thursday were masterfully constructed. In plain language, he began by defining “MAGA Republicans” as people who were intent on destroying democracy. Biden did not resort to name-calling but stuck with facts instead:

And here, in my view, is what is true: [Pols emphasis] MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election, and they’re working right now as I speak in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself.

President Joe Biden

Biden then carefully explained that “MAGA Republicans” are a fringe minority in the United States, which had the effect of placing them in a rhetorical corner with the rest of the country on the other side:

But while the threat to American democracy is real, I want to say as clearly as we can, we are not powerless in the face of these threats. We are not bystanders in this ongoing attack on democracy. There are far more Americans, far more Americans from every background and belief, who reject the extreme MAGA ideology than those that accept it. [Pols emphasis] And folks, it’s within our power, it’s in our hands, yours and mine, to stop the assault on American democracy…

…MAGA Republicans have made their choice. They embrace anger. They thrive on chaos. They live, not in the light of truth but in the shadow of lies. But together, together, we can choose a different path. We can choose a better path forward to the future, a future of possibility, a future to build a dream and hope, and we’re on that path moving ahead.

Meanwhile, “MAGA Republicans” were busy identifying themselves and proving every one of Biden’s points.

 

 

At several moments in Thursday’s speech, we could hear protestors making noise from blocks away, including at least one idiot bellowing unintelligible nonsense from a bullhorn. This was amazingly tone-deaf and counterproductive, because it gave Biden several openings to essentially say, See what I mean? Biden deftly responded to #BullhornGuy with this:

They’re entitled to be outrageous. This is a democracy. [Pols emphasis] But history and common sense — good manners is nothing they have ever suffered from — but history and common sense tell us that opportunity, liberty and justice for all are most likely to come to pass in a democracy. We have never fully realized the aspirations of our founding, but every generation has opened those doors a little bit wider to include more people who have been excluded before.

These “MAGA Republicans” proved Biden’s points throughout the evening. Prior to Biden’s speech, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delivered some asinine remarks. As The New York Times reports:

McCarthy aligned himself with former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to undercut federal law enforcement over the search of Mar-a-Lago, condemning the court-ordered seizure of classified documents from the former president’s home as an “assault on democracy.” [Pols emphasis]

In a half-hour speech delivered from Scranton, Pa., Mr. McCarthy sought to take the themes that President Biden was hitting in a prime-time address and turn them on their head against Democrats, in a remarkable attempt at political jujitsu aimed at muddying the waters about Mr. Trump’s conduct and his handling of sensitive government material.

If this was jujitsu, it was the kind where an inexperienced student ends up breaking their own elbow in a tangle of bodies. As Steve Benen later pointed out for MSNBC:

The political strategy behind the speech was based on a relatively straightforward idea: McCarthy knew that Biden would accuse much of the Republican Party of abandoning democracy, so the House GOP leader would effectively deliver remarks in which he said, “Oh yeah? Well I think you’re the one who’s undermining democracy.”

“I know you are, but what am I” might be popular on a grade-school playground, but it is otherwise not considered to be one of the more effective rhetorical tools for adults.

 

THE BAIT

McCarthy’s dumb prebuttal may have been partly inspired by the very simple trap laid out earlier by the Biden social media team.

The official White House Twitter account tossed out some basic chum for the most simplistic of the “MAGA Republicans”:

 

 

Naturally, folks like Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert couldn’t resist the Twitter equivalent of “floor pie”:

 

In other words, Biden went on national television and told the nation that there is a relatively-small group of “MAGA Republicans” in the United States who are working to overthrow democracy. In response, Boebert yelled, “Hey, over here! I’m one of those people!”

 

The Impact in Colorado

President Biden hammered Donald Trump in Colorado in 2020, carrying the state by a nearly 14-point margin. Thus Colorado voters are already predisposed to being supportive of the sort of message that Biden delivered on Thursday. This is not good for a majority of Colorado Republicans who are running for elected office in November.

For politicians such as gubernatorial disaster Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, Biden’s speech only increases the price for her decision to move further to the right ahead of the June 28th Primary Election. We’re guessing Ganahl would like to have this one back:

 

The “MAGA Republican” label is also a problem for Republican Congressional candidates Erik Aadland (CO-07) and Barbara Kirkmeyer (CO-08), both of whom have heartily embraced Trumpism and MAGAbots. Aadland is on the record saying that the 2020 election was fraudulent (or “absolutely rigged,” to be precise); in a humorous display of poor timing, his campaign Tweeted out a reminder on Thursday afternoon that Aadland has the support of Kevin McCarthy.

Even Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea is in more of a bind today than he was a week ago. In recent weeks, O’Dea has been trying (and failing) to rid himself of the stench of his prior support for Trump. That effort went out the window on Monday, when O’Dea FOR THE SECOND TIME called the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago last month a “political stunt.

Hey, Joe, can you stand over there next to Kevin McCarthy and against the FBI and the Justice Department? You can?

Really?

 

President Biden’s strong words on Thursday night were what America needed to hear. In a fight over democracy itself, “MAGA Republicans” — who are a clear minority nationwide –are on the opposite side of everyone else in the United States. The hysterical response to Biden’s words from the MAGAbots served only to underscore this very point, and it leaves a lot of Republicans in Colorado in a very difficult space with just weeks to go until ballots start arriving in mailboxes.

Leaders lead. The truth is the truth.

It took awhile to arrive back at this place, but we’re sure happy to be here.

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. itlduso says:

    Democracy.  Pass it on.

  2. harrydoby says:

    Cowards like McCarthy and idiots like Q*bert are unfit to hold office.  As long as Republican voters allow them to speak for the GOP, it will continue to circle the drain into irrelevancy.

    • NOV GOP meltdown says:

      They are circling the drain; I just hope they don't take America with them, because that is a real danger. 

      • harrydoby says:

        It will take a crushing defeat, or several, to shake Republican voters out of their sleepwalking march toward fascism. 

        Much like it took defeat of Nazi Germany to awaken a sense of shame in regular German citizens, while rabid fascist sympathizers crawled back under their rocks, the statements from Jan. 6th defendants show that only by holding them accountable will they realize the tragic consequences of their actions. 

         

  3. MAGATs (pronounced "maggots") – MAGA Trumpers – pass it on

  4. COgator95 says:

    What a shock that republicans lack any self awareness and can't handle being called out as the fucking bottom feeding fascists that they are.

    These MAGA-republicans (IMO, if you still vote for ANY republican for any office local, state or federal you're a MAGA-republican) started us down this path.

    I believe it was 62 federal court cases donnie's lawyers lost trying to overturn the 2020 election and when asked by every federal judge to provide evidence of so called 'massive voter fraud' Rudy, the Kraken Sydney Powell and of course Jenna Ellis said that they have NO EVIDENCE only theories.

    It was republicans that tried to use fake electors to overturn the legitimate 2020 election.

    147 republican congresspeople and 8 senators voted to not certify the election results to try and stall the certification of the election results.

    It was republicans that stormed the capitol on 1/6.

    It was republicans that ended 245 years of peaceful transfer of power.

    It was republicans that to this day still deny that the 2020 election was fair and that Joe Biden is the legitimate President of the United States.

    If people still want to consider themselves a republican that's fine just don't get your panties in a bunch when patriotic Americans call you a fascist. Fuck you traitors.

  5. Powerful Pear says:

    Hitler told his countymen that Jews were the reason Germany could not have nice things.

    Biden is telling his countryment that Trump supporters are the reason for failing government policy.

    The true fascist is in the White House.

     

    • DawnPatrol says:

      You, sir, are a MAGA Republican.

      You, sir, are also decidedly a fascist. You are also dangerously deluded.

      I suggest you invest two minutes in, you know, actually attempting to understand what the word ‘fascist’ means, and what it entails conceptually.

      Then, once you realize that the ‘shoe’ does indeed fit, I suggest you seek mental-health intervention immediately, for the sake of your family.

    • Duke Cox says:

      Christ, PP. Could you be more of an idiot?

      No…I guess not.

    • unnamed says:

      Jews in Germany didn't commit domestic terrorism.   Trump supporters did.  And their MAGAt Repug electeds cheered them on.

    • st0ry says:

      Hey folks, when you change someone’s words to say something they totally didn’t say you can make them mean whatever you want..

       

      your logic is really funny.

    • ParkHill says:

      A semi-fascist hissy fit. Digby

      It’s enough to make you dizzy, isn’t it? Here we have evidence of Republicans routinely calling Democrats fascists (and communists and even pedophiles etc.) yet they are, once again having a hissy fit over Biden using the same word to describe them, as if he’s the one beyond the pale.

      Meanwhile, this week their leader Donald Trump demanded to be reinstated as president and went on a podcast Thursday morning to declare that he is financially supporting the January 6 insurrectionists with plans to pardon all of them and have the government offer them apologies if he becomes president again. I don’t know if that’s fascist but it certainly is demented.

      Normally the Democrats immediately fall all over themselves backtracking and apologizing in these situations but they have been remarkably stalwart this time. In fact, on Thursday night President Biden gave his speech in Philadelphia expanding on his judgment of the MAGA movement’s turn toward fascism (although he did not use the word again) and he was unsparing in his description of what a toxic dangerous movement it has become. He said:

      "For a long time, we’ve reassured ourselves that American democracy is guaranteed. But it is not. We have to defend it. Protect it. Stand up for it. Each and every one of us. MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people and refuse to accept the results of a free election."

      Biden said, correctly, that “they see their MAGA failure to stop a peaceful transfer of power … as preparation for the 2022 and 2024 elections,” quoting conservative former federal judge Michael Luttig. And he noted that they are working “in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisan and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself.” And he rightly pointed out that “they promote authoritarian leaders, and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country.”

  6. skeptical citizen says:

    Hey, Powerful Pear, your comment had an error: The true fascist was is in the White House (FPOTUS Trump, of course)

  7. st0ry says:

    GOP Twitter is in complete meltdown mode.

    It’s hilarious.

  8. coloradosane says:

    "Trump says he will ‘look very favorably’ at pardons, apologies for Jan. 6 rioters if elected."    The Hill  

    Oh YES, just like you lead them to the capitol………….fascist lying coward is correct.   MAGA = DESTROY CONSTITUTION = STOP THE STEAL OF OUR NATION from MAGA rodents. 

     

     

     

     

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