With the 2022 midterm elections around the corner, President Biden recently hit the campaign trail to help his fellow Democrats. In his fiery prime-time speech in Philadelphia, he referred to the MAGA crowd and extremist forces within the Republican Party as threats to American democracy. In response, former President Donald Trump called Biden an “enemy of the state.” Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid thinks Biden’s combative strategy will work, arguing that as long as Trump is in the picture, he has no choice:
In recent days, Joe Biden has publicly come down harder on the MAGA crowd than ever before, seemingly taking on a markedly more fired-up tone that suggests an aggressive return to the campaign trail. He’s clearly hoping that his recent string of political wins combined with this sharpened approach to taking on Republicans who have maintained their loyalty to Trump will fire up Democrats as we head into the midterms.
At an Aug. 25 DNC reception, he likened the MAGA philosophy to semi-fascism. Unsurprisingly, the RNC has countered these statements as “despicable,” likening them to Hillary Clinton’s controversial attack on Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables” — a decision that arguably contributed to Trump’s 2016 win. In her infamous speech, Clinton drew a line between what she viewed as the two distinct types of Trump supporters: On the one hand, she argued, there were Americans who felt abandoned by their government and were motivated by economic desperation, and on the other side were individuals who she dismissed as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic.”
I agree with Clinton’s assessment, with the caveat that I think right-wing media has blurred the line between these two camps. But it’s hard not to wonder whether Biden’s increased combativeness will play out similarly.
I don’t think so. In fact, I think Biden is on the right path with his vocal insistence that our country must fight back against this onslaught of hatred. This isn’t 1974, when Gerald Ford was forced to decide whether to pardon Nixon in the wake of the disgraced former president’s resignation, and elected to do so in an effort to heal the country. Trump, unlike Nixon, has not gone quietly into that good night: He has remained an outspoken — and powerful — force in the Republican Party, and has to be treated like the tangible and outsized threat to our democracy that he is.