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Biden's Speech Was a Joke
And the "semi-fascism" talk needs to stop.
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"Anger." "Chaos." "Carnage." "Darkness." "Despair." "Fear." "Political violence." "Present danger." "The shadow of lies." "Dagger at the throat of our democracy."
The most demagogic, divisive speech ever from an American president? It’s definitely up there. When’s the last time a president explicitly argued that all those who oppose him and his agenda are enemies of the republic?
Here’s what bothers me. Biden, who was elected with promises of normalcy and overcoming the divisiveness of his predecessor, has instead become needlessly divisive himself to distract from his own record and near-historic low standing in the polls. You can either be the high-minded, thoughtful centrist trying to restore norms and civility or you can be a needlessly polarizing partisan demagogue. But you cannot be both—especially in the same speech. In fact, you don’t even need to be centrist; you can be left or right wing while still being civil or humanist. At some point, though, the pattern becomes clear: The divisiveness is a choice.
The hypocrisy is rank, too (more on this below). You can’t indulge in fractious jeremiads denouncing purported political violence from the Right when you’ve remained silent about a wave of domestic terrorism — like actual domestic terrorism, not Threat Level Midnight domestic terrorism — targeting pro-life groups while actively encouraging the private harassment of Supreme Court Justices that ruled in ways you didn’t like.1 Nor can you stand there and lament a supposed assault on Democratic norms when you’ve repeatedly ignored your oath of office and have made a habit of abusing your power to appease political allies.
The illegal unilateral debt transference clearly meant to buy votes a few months before an election isn’t even what comes foremost to mind here; it’s the recently discovered, truly Orwellian and despotic censorship campaign the Biden administration executed with Big Tech during the pandemic to silence ordinary people.2 It’s easily the gravest assault on first amendment rights in American history. It makes war propaganda look like child’s play. This wasn’t even a matter of “misinformation,” this was everyday Americans being stopped from sharing very real vaccine side effects and complications and other consensus-refuting information.
“No right to choose, no right to privacy…” Oh, kind of like vaccine mandates and the apartheid state that people were subjected to for making private choices about their own bodies.
Says White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, “When you are not with what a majority of Americans are, then you know, that is extreme. That is an extreme way of thinking.” Well, Biden’s approval rating was 42% as of Thursday night. I’ve never been great at math, but it appears that a majority of Americans disapprove. “Extreme way of thinking.” Apparently all 74,000,000 of the people who voted for Trump are Extremely Dangerous to Our Democracy™, too.
In his address, Biden averred that American democracy is under a dangerous assault and that “too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal” as “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.” Other than his predecessor, Biden didn’t name any Republicans but warned that “Ultra-maga” election deniers who’ve won Republican primaries and those who’ve sought to overturn legitimate elections are a threat to the republic.
Sort of like White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who has still never been questioned by the media about this:
More election deniers:
And these “Ultra-maga” Republicans are such an existential threat that Democrats keep subsidizing them by the millions of dollars. Biden’s speech made it very clear that this is a party-wide effort to elevate the very faction that supposedly represents an existential threat to the republic:
Enough With the Fascism Stuff
Relax, killer. You’re embarrassing yourself. This is a fine example of how easily someone turns off his critical faculties based on the belief that absolute moral certainty has been attained. You have to be firmly ensconced in a radically closed and homogenized information bubble to pull out these inaccurate historical analogies to criminalize your opponents. You even gave the Bolsheviks a shout-out. That’s cute.
After the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks, relying on the dogmas of Marx and Engels, said that they would change existing ways and customs, and not just political and economic ones, but the very notion of human morality and the foundations of a healthy society. The replacement and eradication of age-old values, religion, and relations between people, up to and including the total rejection of family and encouragement to inform on loved ones—all this was proclaimed as “progress.” And it was widely supported around the world back then; quite fashionable. Oh, and the Bolsheviks were absolutely intolerant of opinions other than their own. Now, who does that sound like?
Last night’s speech came on the heels of Biden’s portrayal of MAGA-land as “semi-fascist.” Which is funny. Let’s talk a bit about fascism.
If history is any guide, fascism looks like the vast centralization of power in the executive branch subject to no oversight by a vestigial legislature. Fascism in Germany, for example, actually predated Hitler. In 1930, Heinrich Bruning, a German centrist, became chancellor of the republic and proposed a scheme of deflation and a refusal to pay war reparations. When the Reichstag rejected this, Paul von Hindenburg, a German field marshal during WWI and a widely revered figure nationwide, called for new elections.
The result was a massive upswing for both the communists and the nazis. Bruning, who didn’t have a majority of votes, decided to govern on the basis of the presidential emergency decree of Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution. That article said, “If public security and order are seriously disturbed or endangered within the German Reich, the president of the Reich may take measures necessary for their restoration, intervening if need be with the assistance of the armed forces. For their purposes, he may suspend for a while a whole or a part of the fundamental rights provided in other areas of the Weimar Constitution.”
Bruning’s emergency rule turned into emergency rule under Franz von Papen, which then turned into emergency rule under Adolf Hitler, who went on to solidify that emergency rule into full totalitarian government control.
This is the pattern of fascism: Centralized power in the executive branch under emergency circumstances. Once this is established, it’s just a matter of waiting for the right dictator to come along. In Italy, for another example, the king handed power to Benito Mussolini in 1922 under the constitution. Mussolini then secured dictatorial power from the legislature that eventually became permanent dictatorship in 1925. In fact, this has been the theme of dictatorship stretching all the way back to ancient Rome. Democracies delegate more and more power to one individual who then wields that power without regard for the legislature. Eventually, the pretense of legislative authority is dropped altogether. Republics don’t die because one dude takes power; republics die because of a repeated pattern of executive abuses maximizing centralized power.
Which brings us back to Joe Biden and “semi-fascism.” In 2014, without control of the House of Representatives, President Obama declared he was going to run the show without any delegated authority. That same year, after having said on at least 17 different occasions that he didn’t have the constitutional authority to unilaterally change immigration law, Obama simply suspended enforcement of immigrations laws for the so-called “dreamers.” Then, during the pandemic, we witnessed the rapid acceleration of actual semi-fascism, with federal and state governments locking Americans in their homes, shutting down schools and businesses and churches, ending rent and student loan payments, and imposing evidence-free masking policies and vaccine mandates. Originally, some of that might’ve been justified by an actual emergency, but as we all know well, when the emergency went away, the powers did not.
Joe Biden has been the next step in the semi-fascist devolvement of American government. Upon taking office, he attempted to use the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to force his odious vaccine mandate on some 80,000,000 Americans. His basis, supposedly, was a public health emergency.3 He then used the CDC to institute an eviction moratorium that the Supreme Court had already deemed unconstitutional. Again, his basis was a public health emergency. Then, just last week, Biden declared that he was cancelling half a trillion dollars in student loan debt despite the fact that less than a year ago Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said he had no authority to do so. His basis, yet again, was a public health emergency.
And the centralization of power in the executive branch is just beginning. In July, Biden announced he would unilaterally reshape America’s energy and economic policy based on another “emergency,” this time climate change. Under this administration, the CDC declared that “racism” was also a public health emergency, which opened the door to a splendid little window in American history. So yes, America is indeed on a slippery slope to “semi-fascism,” but it has nothing to do with Trump, Republicans, and everyday taxpaying voters.
During his campaign, Biden did a lot of talking about the importance of unifying the country and bridging divides. It now appears that unifying the country is the last thing on his mind, and that his main goal is to exacerbate those divisions, presumably because he and his aides believe it’ll help Democrats in the mid-terms if he uses inflammatory rhetoric to rile up his voter base.
This new emphasis on calling Republicans fascists is an exercise in dehumanization. There was a time when good-faith engagement with opposing points of view was standard operating procedure. Now, the Left believes that truth can be established by suppressing their counterparts, and that demonizing half the country is a worthwhile strategy. Liberalism continues to morph into something eerily similar to the most repressive of ideologies. Biden and his accomplices aren’t trying to correct their Republican counterparts or argue that such and such policies are necessary, they’re trying to anathemize their constituencies using condemnatory (and ridiculous) political language.
It shouldn’t matter whether calling your opponents “fascists” is smart politicking; it’s terrible for the country, and no less reprehensible than calling Republicans “nazis.” Not only is it egregiously hypocritical, historically illiterate, and supremely disrespectful to the memory of those who actually suffered under fascism and nazism, but the implicit takeaway really is dangerous. Everyone knows that the main lesson of the 20th century was that fascists and nazis had to be fought and killed. Thus, you are in effect, however subliminally, giving your voter base the green light to perpetrate political violence if the perceived threat — Republicans — is deemed existential enough.4 Far from uniting the country, you’re setting the stage for war. Indeed, one MSNBC pundit literally said Biden’s speech was an “urgent wartime address.”
It doesn’t sit well with me, to put it mildly, that it’s now common for left-wing types to conflate people who do actual violent activity with a broader rubric of everyone who happens to vote for the other team.
It’s not a good sign when you have to make the guy you beat years ago the primary subject of your speech, but this is actually a thinly-veiled strategy on the part of Democrats. They want Trump to be the foremost topic of discussion; they want him to still be the face of the Republican Party. Is it any coincidence that Biden’s polling numbers, though still poor, have risen with Trump at the top of the American news cycle over the past month, and that there’s been a surge in Democratic enthusiasm as well?5 Biden and his camp are keenly aware that he won in 2020 by successfully turning the election into a referendum on Trump; winning in the mid-terms can be accomplished in much the same way.
This renewed focus on Trump is geared toward inflaming Democrats who might be disinterested in mid-term voting because of the long list of issues weighing on the Biden administration—inflation, the border, crime, etc. That’s the real threat and motivation for Biden’s speech last night: The Democratic Party’s political peril. If Democratic voters don’t share the administration’s anxieties, they’ll lose political power to the GOP. I suspect that this ham-fisted attempt at psychological manipulation was meant to enthuse otherwise listless Democratic voters. Nothing gets the people going like the Bad Orange Man w/Mean Tweets, and the White House would love nothing more than to make Democrats think a vote in November 2022 is a vote against Trump. It’ll narrow the enthusiasm gap between the parties and make up for lost ground.
N.B. — Less than 24 hours later and there’s already an attempt to walk the rhetoric back:
You’d think in a speech that emphasizes the illegitimacy of political violence, Biden would’ve felt compelled to at least mention for credibility’s sake the George Floyd
riots mostly peaceful protests.
The Biden administration asked Facebook to take down a Fauci parody account, to give you an idea of how comprehensive this censorship was.
Speaking of which, here’s Joe Biden’s covid response coordinator Ashish Jha: “The goal in my mind is not to go back to normal, the goal is to build a very different new normal that has equity much more at the heart of it."
Recall that the dude who flew across the country to kill Kavanaugh was radicalized by the rhetoric dominating the mainstream media coverage at the time.