Editor’s note: Make sure to read Joseph Klein’s masterpiece contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
President Joe Biden delivered a televised address to the nation from the Oval Office on June 2nd following Congress’s passage of the compromise debt ceiling legislation that he negotiated with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The president tried to deliver a message of unity and bipartisanship, but it rang hollow.
For months, President Biden refused to negotiate with the Republicans a bill that would both raise the debt ceiling and curb future spending. Biden’s attitude was his way or the highway – a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling without any strings attached. Only after the Republican-controlled House passed its bill that both raised the debt ceiling and bent the spending curve in a meaningful way did President Biden finally come to the negotiating table.
“No matter how tough our politics gets, we need to see each other not as adversaries, but as fellow Americans,” President Biden pontificated in his brief remarks praising the bipartisan debt ceiling deal. “Treat each other with dignity and respect. To join forces as Americans to stop shouting, lower the temperature, and work together to pursue progress, secure prosperity, and keep the promise of America for everybody.” He added that “without unity there is no peace, only bitterness…and fury. And we can never become that country.”
We have become that country under President Biden, who has spent much of his term in office doing the precise opposite of what he preached. Biden has treated the many millions of Americans on the other side of the political divide from him as enemies of democracy and denounced them as semi-fascists. He has shouted out his denunciations and raised the temperature in an already overheated, super-partisan political environment.
Last year, for example, the president accused the Republican Party of turning toward “semi-fascism,” which he linked with the huge movement of Americans led by former President Donald Trump who believe in America First. Biden latched onto the acronym MAGA, which stands for “Make America Great Again,” as something to fear. He never got around to explaining why he thought that trying to restore America’s greatness as a strong and respected country making good on its ideals of individual freedom and opportunity is a bad thing. Instead, he turned MAGA into his shorthand for Americans he claimed are “a threat to our very democracy” and “embrace violence.”
In January 2022, President Biden delivered a speech in Atlanta, Georgia promoting the left-wing plan to impose unprecedented federal controls over how states carry out their constitutional responsibility to administer elections. He compared the opponents of this plan to the infamous segregationists George Wallace and Bull Connor and to the treasonous president of the Confederate States during the Civil War, Jefferson Davis.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took President Biden to task for his “rant,” which, Senator McConnell said, was “designed to pull our country apart” and “poured a giant can of gasoline on the fire.”
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Biden sought to divide the vaccinated from the unvaccinated with the lie that “the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.”
President Biden did not stop pulling our country apart at the water’s edge. He also showcased his extremely divisive rhetoric on foreign soil.
During a news conference in Madrid, where President Biden was attending a NATO summit meeting in June 2022, he attacked the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, a co-equal branch of the federal government, for overruling Roe v. Wade. “The one thing that has been destabilizing is the outrageous behavior of the Supreme Court of the United States,” President Biden said.
Once again, Senator McConnell rebuked President Biden for his own outrageous behavior. “Attacking a core American institution like the Supreme Court from the world stage is below the dignity of the President,” Senator McConnell said in a statement. “Beyond that, President Biden’s attacks on the Court are unmerited and dangerous. He’s upset that the Court said the people, through their elected representatives, will have a say on abortion policy. That does not destabilize democracy – it affirms it. By contrast, it is behavior like the President’s that undermines equal justice and the rule of law.”
Even in his June 2nd remarks to the nation on averting default through the bipartisan budget agreement, President Biden could not resist misrepresenting the original House debt ceiling bill and indulging in some class warfare rhetoric. Boasting of his success in securing more funding for the IRS, he said that “I’m going to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share.”
According to 2020 tax year data from the IRS ( published by the Tax Foundation in January 2023), the top 1 percent earned 22.2 percent of total Adjusted Gross Income and paid 42.3 percent of all federal income taxes. That does not take into account all the additional state and local taxes which fall most heavily on high income earners. How much does President Biden consider to be a “fair share”? He does not say but demagogues the issue anyway.
Joe Biden ran on the theme of unifying the country and promised in his Inaugural Address to govern as a unifying president. False advertising.
It does not matter whether President Biden is expressing his own thoughts when he spews out his vitriol or is just reading his handlers’ words from a teleprompter. Either way he is undermining America’s standing as “the shining city on a hill” and recklessly dividing Americans from one another.