Biden Jumps the "Ultra-MAGA" Shark
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
People don’t pay nearly as much attention to President Biden’s Twitter account as they did President Trump’s, and there’s a good reason for that. While Trump used Twitter to spontaneously attack (often in very personal terms) whoever or whatever had him fired up at any given moment, Biden’s account is primarily used by his team (not him personally) for public-relations photos and videos, as well as calculated political messaging.
Sometimes that messaging from the administration is of particular note, and Friday was one such example:
Biden has been pushing the “ultra-MAGA” narrative pretty hard in recent weeks, leading up to the midterms. In fact, it was the central theme of his bombastic speech last week in Philadelphia, where the president cast “MAGA Republicans” as an existential threat to American democracy.
“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.”
In that speech, Biden was careful to distinguish between election-denying MAGA Republicans, and more traditional, mainstream Republicans — the type that don’t pledge “blind loyalty to a single leader,” and who aren’t willing to “engage in political violence.”
Well, that distinction apparently no longer exists.
Traditional, mainstream Republicans are now “ultra-MAGA” as well. We know that because the falsely-portrayed attack lines in the above tweet, under President Biden’s name, are the exact same ones Democrats (including Biden himself) employed all the time against Republicans before Donald Trump ever entered politics.
They were used against George W. Bush’s efforts to reform Social Security. They were used against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s plans to reform Medicare. They’ve been used against pretty much every Republican tax-reform initiative over the past couple of decades. Only now… they’re part of the “ultra-MAGA agenda.”
Who would have guessed that Bush, Romney and Ryan are MAGA?
The irony runs even deeper when you consider that Trump, and therefore his GOP allies in Congress (and much of the Republican base), have been against reforming entitlements.
Believe me, I wish fiscal solvency was the “ultra-MAGA agenda”, but that’s not at all the case.
This messaging from Biden is lazy and stupid. Worse, it diminishes genuine threats to our democratic system, some of which the president highlighted in his speech. Replacing election-respecting public officials with ones who refuse to accept election results they don’t like should be a serious, legitimate concern for any patriotic American. Yet, the president’s party was already trivializing that concern before Biden’s tweet, and I’m not just talking about reckless election-rhetoric from Democrats in the past.
As I wrote about a few months ago, Democratic groups including the DCCC spent roughly $40 million in Republican primaries this year to prop up election-denying MAGA candidates. Their strategy was to help these (often underfunded) individuals win their GOP nominations, with the idea that they would then be easier for Democratic nominees to defeat in the general election. The DCCC even successfully helped the primary opponents of Republican congressmen who voted to impeach Donald Trump in response to Trump’s undemocratic efforts that caused the January 6 attack.
If Democrats truly believe, as I do, that government officials, who are willing to ignore or even overturn the results of free and fair elections, are a threat to democracy, why on earth would they take such a gamble?
The explanation is the same as Biden’s tweet: shameless, cynical, power-hungry politics.
If you’re going to campaign on defending democracy, don’t make a joke out of it. Actually defend democracy.