President Joe Biden held his first political rally of the midterm season on Thursday (Aug. 25) in Maryland, and his message was very clear: Dump MAGA. Taking a leaf from Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” speech, he had even stronger words, calling former President Donald Trump supporters fascists. Campaign seasons are notable for political mudslinging, but usually the candidates attack one another, not the American people.
Joe Biden on the Deplorable Voters
It seems the president isn’t pulling any punches in his quest to prevent Republicans from gaining control of the House or Senate. Biden told those gathered for the event that:
“What we’re seeing now is the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something — it’s like semi-fascism.”
Riding high on the tail of reducing student debt, even though there are many, including some Democrats, who do not agree with such a move, Mr. Biden predicted the end of democracy should the GOP do well in the upcoming elections. “It’s not hyperbole now you need to vote to literally save democracy again,” he told the audience. “America must choose. You must choose. Whether our country will move forward or backward.” Biden proceeded to blame the nation’s ills on Republicans who support the 45th president:
“Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans have made their choice – to go backwards full of anger, violence, hate and division.”
Biden used this Democratic National Committee event to take a page out of Hillary Clinton’s book in what Fox host Jesse Watters called his “Deplorables Moment,” referencing the former secretary of state’s message in 2015 that Trump supporters were “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic,” and a “basket of deplorables.” That didn’t seem to work too well for Hillary, and it’s doubtful that attacking more than 70 million voters who approved of Trump’s agenda will do much to benefit Joe Biden either.
Karl Rove, who served as deputy chief of staff for George W. Bush, spoke on Watters’ show saying Trump supporters were not aligned with fascism, but rather the energy independence, limited government, and economic success Trump achieved. “After eight years of the Obama-Biden administration,” Rove said, “he [Trump] believed in secure borders and building the wall. He believed in law and order when our cities were in flames, and he appointed conservative judges. And that’s a semi-fascist philosophy?”
Rove admitted that, like many Republicans, he didn’t always agree with Trump, including his response to the January 6 Capitol riots, “But the idea that his successor would come in and denounce him and denounce the ideas that he stands for a ‘semi-fascist’ is just beyond the pale,” he said of the president’s speech.
Currently, Democrats have only a slim majority in Congress, and if the GOP happens to gain control of either the House or the Senate – or even both – then Biden knows much of his legislative agenda will go down the drain. The Biden administration and Dems are counting on recent legislation to boost their numbers, including the Inflation Reduction Act. The party also hopes outrage over the Supreme Court kicking the decision regarding abortions to the individual states will motivate its base.
But is attacking millions of American voters really going to help the Dems win in 2024? Or, as with Clinton, will it backfire tremendously? Rove complained that Joe Biden’s million-dollar fundraiser went “against what he had said in his inauguration address; the pledge that he made to unite the country – he threw it in the trash bin.”
Rove also had an explanation for the president’s criticism:
“And why did he do that? Because he wants to win in this election and he is willing to say and do anything in order to achieve his purpose. So let’s take 72,216,000 Americans and denounce them as believing in a fascist movement – he ought to be ashamed.”