Biden’s Authoritarian Speech

Thursday night, President Joe Biden said that if he opposes you, you are an extremist who hates Democracy.

Biden was flanked in the middle by two military members and illuminated from a podium with blood red lighting.

Biden, who delivered his rant in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, defined his political opponents—the “MAGA Republicans”—as illegitimate monsters, a rich statement to make just weeks after the FBI raided the home of former President Donald Trump, the man who opposed him in the last election.

Even though Biden fell and coughed some of his early liness, his message was clear. Those who oppose his administration are against democracy.

Biden never really addressed the critical issues that most Americans are worried about right now. He said nothing about the runaway inflation, the economy, the border crisis, or any of that—just a long string of invectives against his political opponents followed up by statements about “unity” and “hope.”

“As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault,” Biden said. “We do ourselves no favors to pretend otherwise.”

The president then smeared his political foes as an existential threat to the country: “Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”

So what is unacceptable extremism among Americans?

Earlier in the day, Biden’s Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had the answer.

“When you are not with where majority of Americans are, then you know, that is extreme.”

Since Biden is deeply underwater in the polls, this administration must be defining the “majority” differently.

“There is no place for political violence in America. Period,” Biden said, adding that “the blind loyalty to a single leader and a willingness to engage in political violence is fatal to democracy.”

Of course, Biden wasn’t so vociferous and animated when the “mostly peaceful protests,” turned riots destroyed large sections of American cities in 2020. That’s different, of course. When riots happen in the name of Black Lives Matter or when Antifa—which Biden defined as no more than an “idea”—smashes businesses, well that’s just people getting a little carried away.

Biden did not mention the abortion activist who attempted to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in his condemnation of political violence. He also didn’t mention the dozens upon dozens of churchesSeveral crisis pregnancy centers have been vandalized or attacked in the past few months.

Biden spent a lot of time claiming that those who question elections are fundamentally against democracy. He said that his political enemies were against the Constitution almost laughably. It’s a remarkable contention given that he just unilaterally declared student loan forgiveness, spending billions of dollars, with dubious constitutional authority.

I don’t think it is wrong to ignore the Constitution if other people do it.

“Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very republic,” Biden said. “Democracy cannot survive when one side believes there are only two outcomes to an election: either they win or they were cheated.”

Is it so? What an interesting take from the leader of a party that’s had a significant faction question the electoral legitimacy of every Republican presidential winSince 2000.

In fact, this was the president’s own press secretary after the 2016 election.

Yet again, and even more recently.

Is the press secretary a threat to democracy or is it just the president’s opponents?

As caustic and at times unhinged Biden’s speech was, it was important in understanding what this administration defines as extreme and intolerable: Basically, anyone who opposes them. 

It was a fiery speech that he gave to activists at his base. His attempts to speak of unity were completely incoherent.

“MAGA Republicans have made their choice, they embrace anger. They thrive in chaos. They live not in the light of truth but in the shadow of lies,” Biden said.

Did you hear that? Biden isn’t just saying that his former electoral opponent is bad, he’s saying those who supported him are bad and that they’ve “made their choice.”

It’s as if the words of unity were sprinkled into the speech to justify punitive actions toward political opponents.

While most Americans may not have heard Biden’s speech—many were probably watching college football instead—it nevertheless summed up much of what the administration has stood for and will now lean into.

Extremism under the name moderation, condemnation under the name unity, and petty politics under the name leadership

Biden said during his speech that his opponents “promote authoritarian leaders and they fan the flames of political violence.”

Thursday night, Biden sounded authoritarian.

Biden’s after-speech Tweet sums things up.

Biden considers you a threat to the country if you are against his regime. So what is Biden’s next move?

What a healer.

Biden certainly isn’t an Abraham Lincoln, who called on Americans to embrace the better angels of their nature. He’s not even a Jimmy Carter, who was simply an ineffective micromanager. 

Increasingly Biden’s looking like a James Buchanan, pushing his country to the brink while insisting that only his opponents are extremists.