Friday, September 2, 2022

Biden's Timely Message: If You're For Democracy You Can't Also Vote For MAGA Republicans .


                   "My gas still too high! I think I'll make a change and vote GOP!"
    Jim Jordan warning Garland what's to come if GOP takes House
         Josef Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister - offers MAGA Playbook

Just as Abraham Lincoln gave his 'House divided' speech in 1860, and Franklin Roosevelt his 'Four Freedoms' speech in 1940, President Biden has given this speech tonight. And by the way no historians helped him write the speech... But the good thing is he realized this is an historic moment and that's what comes out.  In the backroom, this is like 1860, this is like 1940 with the same level of divisions. We have to talk about the large issue in the room.  . If Trump got off the stage tomorrow -  and that may happen for all sorts of reasons -  this movement of Trumpism will still be there, against the rule of law, against free elections, my point of view against public safety.  Those elements they're against are the elements of democracy and what Biden is basically saying is there are two movements in this country: One is to defend democracy - which is mine, the other is against democracy, against free and fair elections, and you may lose it if you vote for them."  - Historian Michael Beschloss last night, in post speech discussion on ALL In.

"MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards. Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.”  - President Biden, last night, outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Those lacking back story or further information may believe President Joe Biden simply decided to get up on a 'soap box'  outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia last night to make political attacks on another party, e.g. to enhance Dem chances in the midterms.  This is the furthest thing from the truth. Indeed, the motivation for the speech came after a discussion with a group of historians, i.e.

And we learn therein:

"Comparisons were made to the years before the 1860 election when Abraham Lincoln warned that a ‘house divided against itself cannot stand’ and the lead-up to the 1940 election, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt battled rising domestic sympathy for European fascism and resistance to the United States joining World War II,

  President Biden,  after this meeting, had no choice other than to take the 'bully pulpit' and remind Americans: “We’ve reassured ourselves that American democracy is guaranteed but it is not.”  The problem is the preservation of democracy requires continual vigilance and defense of it. No one who cares can get complacent or cast his or her vote blindly or merely for "change".  

A number of momentous events have rocked American society in past decades:  The 1960s assassinations, the Vietnam War, Watergate, and 9/11.  But the January 6th insurrection differs in both meaning and impact.  Indeed, it is the first event in which a single psychotic criminal (elected via mischief of faction) attempted to lead an overthrow of his own government by overturning a valid election.  James Madison in Federalist No. 10 defined mischief of faction as follows:

Mischief of faction is when citizens - whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole - are united and actuated by a common impulse of passion to cast their votes adverse to the rights of other citizens or the permanent and aggregate interests of the community". 

This is exactly what the Trump voters did in 2016 and again in 2020, motivated by inflamed passions, grievance, gullibility and moral recklessness via Trump's often violent rallies to give a middle finger to the rest of the country. They thereby militated against the majority's interests and we have been dealing with this faction ever since as it devolved into the MAGA Republicans – all acolytes and believers in the Big Lie that Trump really won in the 2020 election.

How did it come to this?  How did our nation reach the precipice of fascism and what President Biden called an "inflection point" last night in his stirring 30 minute address? Biden's most singular remark, endorsed fully by historian Michael Beschloss (in a post -speech interview on ALL In), was:

"History tells us that blind loyalty to a single leader and a willingness to engage in political violence is fatal to democracy,” 

Adding: "there’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans,” 

Biden then, effectively, offered decent, law-abiding and genuinely patriotic Americans a choice at this inflection point: Vote on November 8th for democracy and progress toward a greater good for all - or, vote for regression, political violence, dissolution of rights and chaos as embodied in the MAGA Republicans.  But, you cannot vote for any MAGA Republican - whether Jim Jordan,  Doug Mastriano, Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Marco Rubio, Ron Desantis or any others and at the same time claim to be serious about preserving our democracy.

The reasons are clear and Biden laid them out in detail. You cannot at once be for democracy and assert that a guy who lost a valid election actually won.  You cannot stand by and give a pass or praise individuals as "patriots" who carried out an insurrection. You cannot in conscience say you are for law and order and then encourage mobs to riot in the streets if your tin god (Trump)  is subjected to the law, say via an indictment. Or lawful search of his premises after spiriting away classified documents and stuffing them in a drawer at Mar-a-Lago.  You cannot, after any election, insist either you won when you lost- or the other party cheated.

Claire McCaskill, one of the guests on ALL In for the post-speech discussion noted that in the midterm election, Democrats would need to "peel off" at least 20-25% of independents and perhaps 15% of non-MAGA Republicans (including never Trumpers) to keep the majorities in congress. But this elicited a question for Janice and me: Is this even possible in a polarized political environment in which so many lies have been spewed - even since the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago?  Given the continued inflation is it even possible for enough independents to see past their own personal economic interests to the nation's - which ultimately will be their own if they vote badly and lose rights.  To be blunt, can we be certain these voters will not be mesmerized in some way by Trump, or his MAGA Republicans to vote for them. Perhaps even out of desperation for "change" or because they mistakenly perceive Biden as "senile" - as the Right's media blowhards keep yapping.

Do these "swing" voters even care enough about national aspirations and ideals such as enunciated last night by Biden?  I am reminded here of remarks by the psychoanalyst Leo Rangell in the late 1990s - especially after Iran -Contra that "the American voting constituency had become surprisingly uncomfortable with integrity and decency."   In effect, "having become inured" to the greed, mendacity, and ruthlessness of their erstwhile leaders even then they "yearned to get to the loss of ideals before it began."

They wanted "a license to kill and crooks to lead them."  Well, they got it in spades with Donald Trump in 2016 - enough of them - or the minority faction (Recall Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million).  But the arrival of Trump was actually prefigured years earlier - actually in a 1995 episode of Michael Moore's The Awful Truth.  In that episode Moore induced a convicted felon, Louis Bruno, to run for president having met the primary two criteria: U.S. born and over age 35.  Campaigning in New Hampshire, the imp actually blurted: "I'm Louis Bruno and I'm runnin' for President. ...While with other politicians ya have to wonder 'Is he a crook?' - with me ya don't have to wonder. Me Lousi Bruno say right out, I'm a crook'.

Tell me, how is this any different from when Trump bragged on an Access Hollywood tape, 'Ya can grab 'em by the pussy!' or also bragged later,

"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?"

HOW is this guy any different from the convicted criminal - Louis Bruno- Michael Moore induced to campaign in 1995? Would Trump voters and supporters tolerate his admitted yen for criminality? Of course they would and DID!   See e.g.

If Trump shot someone dead on Fifth Avenue, many supporters would call his murder trial biased - The Washington Post

The preceding gives clues, first described by Louis Rangell, of just how we could lose our democracy on Nov. 8th because too many are in the grips of this kind of regressive, pro-criminal, "anti-Woke",  anti-politically correct thinking.

 A recent Colorado Springs Independent piece  'Old and Perplexed'  (Aug. 2-9, p. 3) by Mary Jo Meade echoes another more extensive piece in Mother Jones magazine by David Corn ('SWAG and Circuses') on how nearly a third of the country has descended into madness and political idiocy. 

For Meade, she's gobsmacked that as of August 1 polling, "42 percent of American adults still had a favorable opinion of Donald Trump."  I already referenced this misbegotten syndrome in a post at the end of March, e.g. 

 Asking how the hell Biden could be losing to Trump if a rematch election were held then. Part of the statistical basis was a 'bailout' in support by young (18-34 yrs.) voters who felt Biden was not amped up enough for their liking to battle problems on multiple fronts. This got worse as inflation grew higher, and nothing had been done on forgiving student loan debt.  So the support of this Dem faction (from 2020) sent Biden polling at 39% even below Trump at the same point in his term.   The lower Dem support was countered by an unwavering REEP support for the bombastic buffoon known as 'the Donald'.  His own popularity given jet thrusters thanks to the buildup of a rabid GOP entertainment culture as described in David Corn's MJ piece.  As Janice put it after reading,  "The power they have managed to confer on Trump is from bald -faced  lies yoked to entertainment."  And so the mob of Trump zombies has gotten high on it, even with Trump out of office, given he can still fire fusillades from his Twitter knock -off 'Truth Social".

In Meade's COS Indy piece, two things caught her attention on why Trump has not been flushed into the sewers yet by American voters.  As she explains:

"Remember during the runup to the 2016 election when Trump mocked disabled New York Time reporter Serge Kovaleski by contorting  his face and waving his arms around onstage"

"A reporter later asked a Trump supporter what she thought of his actions.  She replied: 'Well, he has an unusual sense of humor."

Sense of humor? The effing maggot disgraced himself and his party by insulting a disabled citizen!  But this gets to the core of the pathology of the syndrome whereby so many could give this roach a pass for his behavior.  It was all a 'joke' so big deal.  This is why Meade wrote:

"A lot of people thought Trump's grotesque behavior would be the end of his campaign but it wasn't."

Nope, because too many of his minions, errr....'basket of deplorables', gave this orange fecal fungus a pass.  But had they done the slightest research on Trump's beginnings they may not have found it so amusing to learn in his early teens he tested out home made switchblades on alley cats. Carving his initials into their hides, making them his pet test subjects.  This was why his parents had to send him off to a military school in NY.  The psycho had gotten totally out of control. The fact is he never should have been remotely near a presidential campaign and certainly not as a candidate.    The final straw, as Ms. Meade relates, was when the Washington Post revealed an Access Hollywood tape where Trump is caught bellowing: "You can do anything! Grab 'em by the pussy!"

But that didn't stop the demented prick either, and indeed the stats from the 2020 general election showed more white women voted for the pervert than for Hillary.  Making one wonder whether these women thought pussy grabbing was also a joke.  At the end of her Indy piece, Meade had to confess she was "old and stunned" that so many voters: a) found nothing terrible in Trump's behavior and b) actually cast votes for the pestilence.

As my now tenure track (psychology) niece Shayl put it: "It's no surprise. They were expressing their aspirations to be just like Trump. Just as vile, just as cruel, just as dismissive of standards-   in speech as in behavior.  They detest even the appearance of civility, or decency - what they deride as 'political correctness'."

Which, of course, echoes again Leo Rangell's take on what has happened to a significant portion of the populace.  (Up to 52 million according to recent Clear Politics surveys)   How dangerous is Trump now, and by extension his deluded minions? Extremely! According to Prof. Bandy X. Lee (author of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump) and interviewed in Mother Jones; "Trump's propensity for violence has increased over the past few years since his rejection by voters. "  Indeed, Prof. Lee had also predicted Trump would call the 2020 election a fraud and refuse to leave office.  

An even worse, more malignant aspect, is that Trump's normalization of violence "may have inspired its spread in the United States and around the world."  In the U.S. alone the FBI has documented a nearly one-third increase in hate crimes between 2016 and 2020.  If Trump is not neutralized, by thinking voters if no other way, nothing good will happen and his MAGA rabble will continue taking a wrecking ball to the country.   The last straw was his vow to pardon all 800-odd insurrectionists, confirming his traitor designation once and for all.

That rabble, meanwhile, has become deranged and been infected by Trump's own insanity, which means no Republican who backs Trump can be trusted with power.  The GOP's veering into mindlessness and insanity is now well documented. (See the Mother Jones' piece, 'SWAG and Circuses' e,g.

Trump Merch, Rabid Fans, Disgraced Ex-Officials: Inside the Right-Wing Conference Circuit – Mother Jones

Part of the special issue on 'How The GOP lost Its Mind':

It's up to all sentient and sensible voters to put an end to this threat on November 8th.  No excuses!  No citizen can vote for a person, or a party,  that disavows free and fair elections and only calls an election legitimate if it wins. No citizen can vote for a candidate who has vowed to remove election protections and voter records, and who promises to decertify results using third parties appointed by him or her.  

This is really as simple as it gets. Basically, the GOP now is no longer a genuine political party but a hodge -podge of phony power seekers who pay continual obeisance to Donald Trump.  In effect, the GOP has mutated to a personality cult, none of whom can be entrusted with power.  

See Also:



by Joan McCarter | September 3, 2022 - 7:00am | permalink

— from Daily Kos


The day after President Joe Biden’s masterful condemnation of the fascist threat posed to the nation by MAGA Republicans’ mindless embrace of would-be tyrant Donald Trump, those Republicans are ... doubling down on their support for Donald Trump.

“I believe the soul is the breath, the live, and the essence of who are are … the soul of America, that all are created equal in the image of God … and democracy must be defended, because democracy makes all these things possible.” That’s the core of Biden’s message from his Thursday address, and Republicans immediately lined up against that. Against democracy. 

by Robert Reich | September 3, 2022 - 6:44am | permalink

— from Robert Reich's Substack


Biden’s core message Thursday night was clear. American democracy is under attack.

But Friday’s media coverage of the speech was just more he-said/she-said reaction — as if the media were covering a typical political race instead of a contest between democracy and authoritarianism.


by Heather Digby Parton | September 3, 2022 - 7:25am | permalink

Trump should fill Christians with rage. How come he doesn’t?



Trump-led movement centered in victimhood sees Biden’s speech as attack


Trump’s dominance of GOP threatens nation, Biden warns


Lawrence: 'Is A Vote For Republicans A Vote To Destroy Democracy?’ - YouTube



"It’s Not the Economy; it’s the Constitution!'


by Robert Reich | September 1, 2022 - 6:52am | permalink

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