Partisan leftists who watched Joe Biden’s speech Thursday night in Philadelphia saw a vibrant defense of democracy, a rousing call to action, and a blueprint for progress in a new America. I saw a feeble old man babbling about the supposed accomplishments of his failing administration and making a pathetic attempt to convince his own fellow Democrats that he deserves to be nominated as the party’s presidential candidate in 2024.
I also heard echoes of Benito Mussolini. Well, if Mussolini were a doddering octogenarian who spoke English. “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden proclaimed. In the original Italian, it went something like “the enemies of fascism are extremists who threaten our state and our power.”
Biden is literally calling us “enemies of the state.” For him and the Democrats, to vote for the political opposition is a criminal act, to oppose the Biden agenda is treason. In all my 61 years, I’ve never heard an American president speak in such language. But as a student of history, I have read such words employed by demagogues from Trotsky to Stalin to Mussolini to Goebbels.
But such rhetoric is now so common that it sounds banal. It’s just background noise. Delivered in such a bumbling fashion as it was last night, it seems unthreatening. But be wary. Biden may be weak and blundering, but in stronger hands such political animus and hatred can be dangerous.
In a classic demonstration of projection, Biden accuses Republicans of behavior I see daily on MSNBC and in The New York Times. “They embrace anger. They thrive on chaos. They live not in the light of truth but in the shadow of lies.” Oh, if only I had a nickel for every falsehood I’ve heard on The Reidout or Morning Joe, or read in the Times' op-ed pages..
And in a speech supposedly about “unity” and “preserving democracy,” Biden devoted plenty of verbiage to touting his own “accomplishments.”
“I believed we could make America safer, so we passed the most significant gun safety law since President Clinton,” he said. Uh, expanded background checks for 18-21 year old gun purchasers is hardly “significant.” Even gun control advocates admit the law is as useless as tits on a bull.
“We passed the largest economic recovery package since Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” he noted. They did, and the inevitable result is now the highest rate of inflation in four decades, as well as a huge increase in the national debt. And of the monies spread around so generously, an immense amount was lost to fraud and theft. It was the biggest bank heist in history. And we as taxpayers are on the hook for it.
Biden is already a lame-duck president. If Democrats lose the House, which is likely, Biden’s last two years in office will be spent fending off congressional investigations and keeping his grifter son Hunter out of jail. If Republicans fail to take the Senate this November, 2024 is a lock, Democrats will have to defend 10 vulnerable seats, from Montana to Pennsylvania.
Democrats themselves see that Biden is a failure. Nobody wants him to run in 2024. But they don’t want Kamala Harris either. Sure, she’s a woman, etc. etc. But she’s obviously unfit for the job. So, who’s left? A pretty boy governor from California and a pretty boy Secretary of Transportation from Indiana, both political lightweights. At least Hillary has some gravitas, and some cojones.
Thursday night’s speech was a sad spectacle, an irrelevant old man trying to convince his audience that he still matters. It would be so much more dignified for Biden to recognize reality, resign from office, and take the Amtrak one last time from Union Station back to Wilmington.