With the promised red tsunami starting to look like a red ripple, Republicans were desperate for something — anything — to get the November midterms back on track. their normal.
Joe Biden could have given it to them.
“What we are seeing now is the beginning or death knell of an extreme MAGA “Philosophy,” Biden told Democratic donors during a private meeting last week. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the whole philosophy that underlies — I’ll say something: It’s like semi-fascism.”
Later, at another Democratic event, Biden continued: “I respect conservative Republicans. I don’t respect these MAGA Republicans… Not many real Republicans anymore. “
Ignoring Biden’s penchant for hyperbolic curves, there may be a method to his madness. “There’s a reason why Democrats want to keep Trump at the center of the conversation,” tweeted conservative Ben Shapiro, “Half of independents say Trump is a major factor in their vote and they are breaking 4-1 for the Democrats. Republicans shouldn’t be playing that game. If they do, they’re flying for a bruise. “
The U.S. Capitol riot on January 6 (“Mike Pence Cave!”), and the increasingly common election phenomenon that rejects winning candidates in the next GOP primaries, testify to Show this is not your father’s Republican Party.
Biden should know, however, that similar observations — whether they’re authentic or appear politically beneficial to the establishment — have backfired in the past.
In 2012, a video of Mitt Romney appeared told a private group of sponsors that “There are 47% of people staying with [Obama]people who depend on government, people who believe they are victims, people who believe that the government has a responsibility to care about them… And they will vote for this president no matter what. “
Now, there’s some the truth to Romney’s claim. About half of American households do not pay any income tax. Some percentage of voters are habitual (inaudible) Democratic voters. Some percent of Democrats are socialist. Likewise, some percentage of Americans receiving benefits, may vote for their own economic benefit.
None of these warnings matter.
Four years later, Hillary Clinton also made a similar mistake, saying: “You could put half of Trump supporters in what I call a basket of perverts. Right? Racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, banning Muslims — you name it. “
Like Romney, she plays with the crowd and exaggerates the number of Americans she can write down. And like Romney’s “47 percent” line, there’s also some element of truth in it.
What other things do they have in common? Both lost.
Unlike Romney and Clinton, Biden is not running for president (at least not right now), and it is possible that midterm voters “don’t count Biden into their ballot calculations.” as conservative writer Matthew Continetti theorized.
However, Biden only opened up to the same criticism that was deadly in 2012 and 2016 — even when he added the word weasel “for sale” in front of the F-bomb.
“Biden ventures to remind everyone that libertarians have cried wolf before. Similar profanities were hurled at Reagan.“
Indeed, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu — hardly a Trumper—reveal predictable responses on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday: “The fact that the president is going to go out and insult only half of America… actually calls half of America semi-fascist because he’s trying to stir up controversy, he’s trying to stir up controversy, he’s trying to stir up controversy. This anti-Republican sentiment just before the election… it’s horribly inappropriate. “
It seems that the elimination of half of the nation is not to be taken lightly as a game of dice.
But it would be a mistake for me to stop here without analyzing the uniqueness of the word Nazi.
Almost no one knows exactly what fascism is, as evidenced in part by its often used representation of “dictatorship”. In the movie Bull DurhamCrash Davis (played by Kevin Costner) says that the strike is “fascist”—Not like the balls on the ground, which he says are more “democratic”.
My simple acronym for “fascism” is “socialism of the right,” but not everyone agrees that it’s just a right-wing. In a recent column, review his 2008 book Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg describes fascism as a “The highly centralized and toxic form of populism, which manifests itself as mob politics, not a manifesto.”
By this definition, there is a legitimate case for Biden to call the MAGA philosophy “semi-fascist”. Looking beyond the January 6 riots, fake voter schemeor links between Trumpworld and paramilitary groups like the Proud Boys and the Vow Keepers and Trump Supporters as evidence. Or, most recently, consider Sen. Lindsay Graham warned last weekend that there would be “riots in the streets”“If Trump is indicted.
The danger is that for most of my life, the word “fascist” has been casually coined to essentially associate conservatives with “Nazis.” For this reason, Biden runs the risk of reminding everyone that the free people cried wolf before. Similar curses were thrown at Reagan.
On the other hand, the fact that the word has been dropped so often may make it ironic less than potentially counterproductive. There’s something new about calling yourself “culpable”. That is not the case with “fascists” (although, in some circles, “semi-fascists” may have some ironic potential).
Regardless of whether this backfires against Biden, this makes it clear to me that this is the latest example of Biden. give up the quest to become opposite by Trump. Like his decision to cancel student debtJoe Biden’s call to F-word could be better understood as someone focused on building his base than a president committed to restoring norms.
The only question that remains is whether this moment matters – whether Biden’s use of the F-word is a big deal.