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President Joe Biden’s stunningly demagogic, hysterical “voting rights” speech is drawing fire from all across the right-wing aisle, from die-hard, modern Republicans like Sens. Tim Scott and Mitch McConnell to even “Never Trump” Republicans like Sen. Mitt Romney and commentator David French.
As previously reported, the president used the speech Tuesday in Georgia to call for the elimination of the filibuster on the grounds that unless autocratic power is granted to him to govern without any substantive opposition, Republicans will turn America into an autocracy.
The speech ostensibly concerned “voting rights,” or more specifically, a set of election reform measures passed by Republican governors throughout the country, including in Georgia, that Democrats have falsely claimed will lead to Republicans winning every election.
Biden has repeatedly claimed these election measures constitute “Jim Crow 2.0.” Speaking on Fox News’ “The Story” Wednesday afternoon, Scott said the president’s hyperbolic rhetoric was “disheartening.”
It was equally disturbing to him how, during one point in the speech, the president once again repeated yet another longtime lie — this one the claim that he’d once been arrested during a civil rights march back in the actual Jim Crow era.
To make matter worse, Biden then used this lie to drop a joke about his age: “Because I’m so damn old, I was there as well.”
Scott was disgusted.
It’s becoming clear—some of the Democrats want to eliminate the filibuster just so they can ram through their radical agenda.
This has nothing to do with voting rights.
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) January 11, 2022
“The importance of the civil rights movement can never be overstated. The fact that we have a president of these United States looking for a way to get laughs at a rally around lying to people about voting is just hard to digest. But as a southerner, I’m offended. I’m insulted that he refuses to recognize the tremendous progress made by Americans. Not by Republicans or Democrats, not by black or white folks,” he said.
“By Americans coming together to fight for the rights of every single man, woman to vote. How he missed the opportunity to shine the bright light on progress and instead used something that has been proven to be untrue time and time again, his being arrested, it’s just offensive to me as a southerner. But more importantly it’s offensive to me as an American. We fought too hard, too long for the progress that he’s denying.”
This disgust has been unanimous on the right.
Even David French, a “Never Trumper” who’s defended the teaching of racial essentialism in schools and who’s described drag queens reading stories to little children as a “blessing to liberty,” has taken issue with the president’s speech.
“His rhetoric was unbelievably inflammatory. And Biden has a history of inflammatory racial comments. Remember ‘Put you all back in chains’? He made that comment about the Romney/Ryan ticket. Yes, Romney/Ryan,” French tweeted Tuesday.
His rhetoric was unbelievably inflammatory. And Biden has a history of inflammatory racial comments. Remember “Put you all back in chains”? He made that comment about the Romney/Ryan ticket. Yes, Romney/Ryan. https://t.co/KEnD2K9cFj
— David French (@DavidAFrench) January 12, 2022
The president’s whole administration is doubling down on this methodology.
Following his speech, the most milquetoast Republican in the party, Sen. Mitt Romney, issued a statement deriding the speech and comparing the president’s election fear-mongering to former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” efforts.
“And so President Biden goes down the same tragic road taken by President Trump, casting doubt on the reliability of American elections. This is a sad, sad day. I expected more of President Biden who came into office with a stated goal of bringing the country together,” Romney said.
In response, White House press secretary Jen Psaki essentially impugned Romney’s otherwise verified anti-Trump bona fides.
“I know there’s been a lot of claim of the offensive nature of the speech yesterday, which is hilarious on many levels, given how many people sat silently over the last four years for the former president,” she said.
As noted by French, Romney is “the first senator in U.S. history to vote to convict a president of his own party.” In fact, the senator convicted said president, Donald Trump, twice.
Can I be the 100,000th person on this website to point out in response that Mitt was the first senator in U.S. history to vote to convict a president of his own party and voted to convict twice? https://t.co/N0sCZkPjAd
— David French (@DavidAFrench) January 13, 2022
But again, the truth doesn’t appear to matter to either the president or his top officials. Their methodology for success appears to center on one and only one tactic: Sowing division.
Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rightly noted that the president’s behavior has been anathema to everything he’d claimed he stands for.
“Twelve months ago, a newly-inaugurated President Biden stood on the West Front of the Capitol and said this: ‘My whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, and uniting our nation.’ Yesterday, the same man delivered a deliberately divisive speech that was designed to pull our country farther apart,” McConnell said.
“We have a sitting President invoking the Civil War, shouting about totalitarianism, and labeling millions of Americans his domestic ‘enemies.’ We have a Senate Democratic Leader who now frequently calls American elections, a ‘rigged game,’” McConnell continued.
“Mr. President — this will not be repaired with more lies, more outrage, and more rule-breaking.”
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