Joe Biden stated that “we know that democracy is at jeopardy in our bones.” a serious assertion. But Biden’s address in prime time, made just days before the November elections, and his overall stance on this matter are anything but somber.
Without a question, Biden is serious when he expresses his horror and outrage over the events of January 6 as well as former President Donald Trump’s acts and inaction on that day. Witnessing the assault on and destruction of the Capitol left many people devastated.
However, using the democratic process to mobilize support for one candidate in a democratic election is more than just a cunning ruse. It stokes the fires that Biden says he wants to extinguished.
First, according to Biden, the party that is overwhelmingly expected to win the 2022 election will widely reject the results. (However, Biden has publicly stated that he anticipates the Democrats will control both chambers of Congress.)
This looks at best improbable. At worst, it appears to be a warning to Republicans who might find themselves in competitive elections after Tuesday night. The margin of error includes at least six Senate races, some of which are in states that offer automatic recount procedures or recall elections. Will carrying out these procedures be portrayed as election sabotage if Republicans do it but as ensuring that every vote is counted if Democrats do it?
More than 350 election skeptics are running as Republicans on Tuesday’s ballot, according to Biden. He hasn’t provided a source for this figure or specified what it takes to make the list. When the Washington Examiner questioned, the White House remained silent.
There are undoubtedly Republican candidates who have cast doubt on the outcome of the 2020 election or worse. Voters have valid questions for them, particularly if they are secretary of state candidates.
But Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA), who dismissed Trump’s election claims but had a different opinion from the White House on how to preserve voter integrity, is someone who Biden has frequently failed to separate from. Indeed, after the state’s criticized voting legislation proved compatible with high turnout, Biden vilified Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R-GA) as the masterminds of “Jim Crow 2.0.” However, he later changed his mind.
As he did on Wednesday night, Biden has been evasive about whether MAGA Republicans are a minority of the party or if the term “ultra-MEGA MAGA” is a pejorative for the GOP that includes Supreme Court justices whose employment precedes Trump’s political career by decades.
One of Biden’s top picks for his party and Kemp’s Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, questioned the validity of her loss in the 2018 gubernatorial election. Hillary Clinton has reemerged as a leading Democratic surrogate after questioning the validity of her defeat in 2016.
No, the Capitol was not attacked by their supporters. However, it shouldn’t be the only obstacle to overcome.
Democrats spent tens of millions of dollars assisting Republicans who refused to acknowledge the results of the 2020 election win their primaries this year on the justification that they would be simpler to defeat in the general election in November while Biden and the White House remained mute. One Michigan Republican representative who voted to confirm Biden’s victory and to impeach Trump for his behavior on January 6 was defeated as a result.
Biden has actually been encouraging Trump to run for president again in 2024 for the same reason. If Trump campaigned for office again, he has claimed he would be “extremely fortunate.” He has publicly stated as much, and according to the Washington Post he has “suggested that he will be more inclined to run if Trump gets into the race.”
Biden should be warned by Clinton not to wish for too much. According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, he would have a slim 0.2 percentage point advantage over Trump in a hypothetical rematch. They are deadlocked in the most recent Wall Street Journal survey. Trump leads in a study conducted by the New York Times and Siena College, but the margin of error is small.
In the end, Biden is arguing that you cannot just love your country when you succeed, while also asserting that “democracy is on the block” if the opposition party triumphs in a fair election. Associating political opponents with fascism, which in the 20th century was not destroyed by moral persuasion, he is urging people to abstain from using political violence. While advising one side to use prudence in its language, he does not use the presidential podium with any restraint.
All of this is not meant to minimize the significant issues that Republicans and the broader political dialogue face. It is just unclear whether whatever Biden says will resolve the issues or merely exacerbate them.