OTHERS: President Biden describes the Others!


But also, one fleeting disclaimer: It started on Thursday, August 25.  

On that date, President Biden introduced his current, ongoing rhetorical campaign against "Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans." 

President Biden named one person that day; he named Donald J. Trump. But who else was he talking about? In a public address in Maryland, he painted a remarkable picture of who these extreme people are.

According to President Biden, these extreme MAGA Republicans "have made their choice." They've chosen "to go backwards, full of anger, violence, hate, and division."

They aren't "real Republicans," the president said. Beyond that, he said he didn't "respect these MAGA Republicans." 

As he continued, it became obvious why he wouldn't respect these unnamed, unidentified people. As he ended his speech, the American president said this:

BIDEN (8/25/22): I’ll close with this: We’re at a serious moment in our nation’s history. 

The MAGA Republicans don’t just threaten our personal rights and economic security, they’re a threat to our very democracy. They refuse to accept the will of the people. They embrace—embrace!—political violence.  They don’t believe in democracy.

This is why, in this moment, those of you who love this country— Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans—we must be stronger, more determined, and more committed to saving America than the MAGA Republicans are to destroying America.  

The president was talking about a group of people who "embrace political violence"—who "don’t believe in democracy." Indeed, the MAGA Republicans are committed "to destroying America," the  embattled president now said.

It's rare to hear an American president describe a group of American citizens in such a remarkable way. We're not sure if any major elected official since Joe McCarthy has described a group of American citizens in such an alarming way.

According to the White House transcript, the president's final description drew applause—but who was Biden talking about? So far, he had named only one person. He had named Donald J. Trump. 

The president had named Donald J. Trump, but who were these other MAGA Republicans—these people who want to destroy America? Why wouldn't he offer some names?

Briefly, our own assessment:

If Biden was talking about the individuals who created the violent riot at the Capitol, we'd think his description might be a bit overwrought in certain ways, but we'd also think that it made a type of sense.

If he was talking about the public figures who have joined Donald J. Trump in claiming the last election was stolen, we'd also say that his description made a type of sense. 

But is that who he was talking about? And if that's who Biden was talking about, why didn't he simply say so? Why didn't he name some names, or offer some general descriptions?

Who was Biden talking about? In part due to his lack of specificity, many observers—red and blue observers alike—seemed to think he was talking about Trump voters in general in the two speeches he offered on August 25. 

Perhaps for that reason, when he spoke again on September 1, he offered a basic disclaimer:

BIDEN (9/1/22): Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.

Now, I want to be very clear, very clear up front: Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans.  Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology. 

I know because I’ve been able to work with these mainstream Republicans.

Joe Biden wanted to be very clear. Not every Republican is a MAGA Republican, he now said. It isn't even most Republicans, the president now declared.

President Biden had made it clear. Most Republicans aren't numbered among "the MAGA Republicans," he now said.

If that assessment is accurate, we ought to be grateful. Because as he continued, the president continued to describe these people who want to destroy America in the following ways:

BIDEN (continuing directly): But there is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country.

These are hard things. But I’m an American president—not the president of red America or blue America, but of all America.

And I believe it is my duty—my duty to level with you, to tell the truth, no matter how difficult, no matter how painful. And here, in my view, is what is true: 

MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. 

They refuse to accept the results of a free election. And they’re working right now, as I speak, in state after state, to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself.

Biden was speaking about a group of people who are working, right now, "to undermine democracy itself." They're "a threat to the nation," he again declared.

Let us say this about that:

Has anyone since Joe McCarthy ever presented such detailed claims about an enemy within? And for the record, we'll say this again:

Depending on who Biden was talking about, we'd say there's a type of justification for those startling claims. But who was Biden talking about? Even in this blood-red speech, he still named only one name.

Who has Biden been talking about? In our view, his failure to articulate this basic point represents an enormous failure in presidential rhetoric.

Based upon that one disclaimer, it seems that he isn't talking about Trump voters in general.  

Based upon that one disclaimer, he isn't saying that, if you voted for Donald J. Trump—even if you'd do so again—that means that you're committed to destroying America. He isn't saying Trump voters are trying to undermine democracy itself.

Biden offered that one disclaimer, but that one disclaimer was fleeting. Almost surely, the tone and tenor of Biden's speech gave many people a different impression. 

That includes the many liberals, in comment threads, who have gloried in the notion that every Trump voter is encompassed by Biden's accusations. Every such voter is one of the Others, liberal voices have routinely declared.

We're going to focus again today on this failure of Biden's rhetoric. Beyond that, we'll offer this thought once again:

Down through the annals of human history, such rhetoric has tended to be dangerous.

Who has Biden been talking about? As of his blood-red speech on September 1, he still hadn't managed to say.

He said they want to destroy America, but he still hadn't said who they are! Imprecision of such type can easily lead to disasters. In our view, we the people deserve better from elected officials.

Let's say it for the third time. In our view, Biden's description could be defended as reasonable if it's aimed at an array of Republican leadership cadres. But even in his blood-red speech, Biden made amazingly little attempt to say who he was talking about when he made his remarkable claims.

Coming from an American president, we think that was grossly incompetent rhetoric. We also think it constituted irresponsible, dangerous conduct. 

In fairness, he hadn't called the Others "cockroaches"—but within the realm of political speech, he'd come fairly close. Viewed within an historical context, we thought his rhetoric had him playing with fire.

We thought his rhetoric was lazy, unwise. Monday afternoon, on Labor Day, his rhetoric started to change.

Tomorrow: Inevitably, Charles Blow


  1. Jeez, dear Bob.

    Enough already. Enough about Brendan speechwriters' Nazi-style dembottery, please. No one cares anymore.

  2. "But is that who he was talking about? And if that's who Biden was talking about, why didn't he simply say so? Why didn't he name some names, or offer some general descriptions?"

    1. He did offer some general descriptions -- he described the behavior they engaged in, including refusing to acknowledge the will of the people after an election.

    2. Some of the elected officials who fit Biden's description should not be named by name because they are currently under investigation by the 1/6 Committee or other law enforcement entities, such as the grand jury hearing testimony in Georgia. It is wrong for the president to interfere in such activities by publicly commenting on people who may be subject to arrest or indictment.

    3. Biden may or may not know who those people are, specifically, but if he does not know, it is better for him not to name names for fear of such interference.

    4. Naming specific names turns Biden's speech about the danger to our democracy into a campaign speech. The press already saw it that way, but that was most likely not Biden's intention. As Biden clearly said, this is a problem that transcends local politics and is about how certain Republicans regard their duty to our democracy, not a political issue with any specific Republican, other than Trump, who has set the MAGA agenda and is the leader of this anti-democratic semi-fascist movement.

    Somerby continues to be unwilling to actually pay attention to what Biden said in his speech, preferring to put words in his mouth.

    1. If Biden names specific names, it lets all those who are not named off the hook. We do not yet know how far some of this plotting extended. We have not yet heard from the 1/6 Hearings about which Republican members of congress were implicated in the insurrection and/or the plot to replace elector lists and keep Trump in office, despite losing the election. There are Republicans walking around free today, who may be indicted in coming months. Biden may know what is coming, or he may not, but either ways, he cannot name names completely and thus is better off defining the category in other ways than by extension, as he did in his speeches.

  3. Jonathan Chait says, "The GOP response to Biden's speech proves his point: yep, thy are dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump."


  4. Somerby does not acknowledge his comments. He does not respond to anything said in them, even when it concerns a factual error or major typo in his essay (such as getting the posting date wrong or misspelling someone's name). He has been corrected about statistics and numbers in his essays, without responding to or correcting his mistake. And he never resonds to criticisms or answers to his questions or any other content in his comments.

    That permits Somerby to keep posting repetitive, irrelevant dreck day after day, without having to come up with more ideas. Worse, it prevents any discussion about his ideas from moving forward. Then he drops a theme and takes it up again months later or years later, in a repetitive cycle that is boring and frustrating for readers, especially those of us who think Somerby is wrong because he has a mistaken idea about something, or an incorrect assumption or fact.

    It would be a huge waste of time to keep correcting Somerby over his wrongheadedness, but he has a public podium and an audience, albeit smallish. Letting his nonsense stand without correction presents an obstacle to advancing Democratic goals and ideals, because he keeps calling himself liberal while advancing conservative talking points. And he gives exposure to some pundits with much larger podiums, and an implied endorsement of their views when actual liberal views are not behind such people (most recently, Bret Stephens).

    Today Somerby rehashes the same old stuff he has been talking about without merit since last Friday. At least Kevin Drum interacts with his commenters. Somerby writes comments on Drum's blog. Why not here, as Drum does? It shows a fundamental disrespect, again for democracy, but also for the concept of exchange of ideas, a foundation of learning and part of our democratic process. Lecturing down to us while chiding us over ridiculous claims, such as that we are all sliding into the sea, is far from democratic. It is autistic, authoritarian in itself, and arrogant. Somerby needs to rethink this approach to blogging. If he truly only wants to talk and never listen, he should abolish his comments, as Digby did long ago. Somerby's blog remains a farce and wastes his readers' time.

    1. So Bob repeats Right-wing memes even after he’s been told they aren’t factual.
      So typical, for the liberal tribe he belongs to.

    2. Making the spreading of disinformation illegal is just a way to make it illegal to be on the Right.

    3. This comment section is all trolls. Why feed the trolls?

  5. Is Somerby really unaware that Republicans are working to enact laws and elect state officials who will be empowered to overturn national (i.e. presidential) election results if voters elect Democrats? Is Somerby really unaware that several red states are enacting laws to restrict voting by certain demographic groups who disproportionately find such restrictions burdensome? Is Somerby unaware of gerrymandering to give Republican minorities control over state legislatures so they can replace electors in national elections. Is he unaware that MAGA state election officials are already refusing to accept and certify election of Democrats in certain states? Is Somerby really unaware of the MAGA court-packing that results in overturning legislation at the state level, just as has occurred with Trump's MAGA justice who is interfering on his behalf with the DOJ in its investigation of him? Is Somerby unaware of the conservative movement to convene a new constitutional convention designed to modify the nation's Constitution in ways that will give the Republican minority more sway over our government, making us less of a democracy.

    Is Somerby unaware that these threats to democracy are not vague and rhetorical but specific and extreme and happening in states nationwide? Apparently Somerby is not only ignorant but unable to see the coordination behind such efforts. But what kind of political blogger doesn't know about this stuff? While Somerby plays dumb, MAGA Republicans are busy shaping our country into the kind of republic where a corrupt moron like Trump can resume office supported only by a minority of equally corrupt MAGAts.

    There isn't time in a speech to wander into the weeds and describe in detail each of these efforts, but Biden is warning Americans to keep their eyes open in their states and oppose what is happening in their own backyards. Meanwhile, Somerby pretends that Biden is talking about deplorables. This goes far beyond deplorable. While we wait for Trump to be indicted, we must support our Democratic candidates and oppose these wack-a-mole MAGA schemes nationwide -- and that was Biden's message.

    If this message wasn't received by Somerby, perhaps it is because it wasn't intended for him, but for those of us who are not Trump supporters, those who are concerned about democracy and don't want to live in Trump's autocracy.

    1. https://digbysblog.net/2022/09/07/the-independent-state-legislature-doctrine-is-now-operational/

      The Independent State Legislature Doctrine is now operational

      Leonard Leo’s “Honest Elections Project” files Supreme Court brief arguing state legislatures are not constrained by even state constitutions protecting voting rights when they regulate federal elections.


      And, unsurprisingly, ALEC takes the same position—state legislatures should be unconstrained (apparently not only unconstrained by state courts but also “federal judges”):


      I’ve written a lot about the Independent State Legislature Doctrine, which, in a normal time would be laughed out of court but which may very well be validated by the Alito 6. This is now a Leonard Leo project, which means he will be able to put his billion dollars of dark money behind to get it before the court.
      Is Somerby unaware of gerrymandering to give Republican minorities control over state legislatures so they can replace electors in national elections.

      Take a look at Wisconsin for example. A roughly 50/50 state, is on the verge of having republicans take a veto proof majority in both houses of their legislature through the unbelievably corrupt gerrymandering in place. Even when a Democrat wins statewide governorship, the legislature takes total chokehold control of both houses. This is not democracy anymore.

      What do you want to call it, Bob?

    2. "Take a look at Wisconsin for example. A roughly 50/50 state, is on the verge of having republicans take a veto proof majority..."

      You don't understand how the first-past-the-post voting system works, dear dembot.

      If all your D-voting tribesmen are packed all together in a few districts -- which they are, because they live in large cities -- then, for electing the legislature, they're at a disadvantage.

      Without any gerrymandering, incidentally.

      For the presidential and federal senate elections, on the other hand, they have an advantage: having the full control in their districts makes ballot-stuffing much easier. So, stop complaining, dear.

    3. Republicans are bigots, dear.

  6. "Has anyone since Joe McCarthy ever presented such detailed claims about an enemy within? "

    And yet Somerby just finished complaining because Biden's claims about the "enemy within" were too unspecific, because Biden didn't name names as McCarthy did.

    Which is it? You can't have it both ways.

    1. Somerby's clearly stated point was that Biden made detailed claims about an enemy without, beyond Trump, naming them.

    2. Spock, do you not see the contradiction between what you say Somerby has clearly stated and the above claim that Biden "presented such detailed claims about an enemy within"?

      Somerby is both urging Biden to name names as McCarthy did, while also blaming him for being like McCarthy in calling out an enemy within. McCarthy is no hero on the left, so Somerby's intent in calling Biden a McCarthy is to blame, not laud. But Somerby calls for Biden to be more like McCarthy, not less like him. That is a sloppy contradiction.

      Yes, I get it that Somerby wants Biden to name names. McCarthy named names without evidence and ruined people's lives, including rank and file citizens not "leadership cadres". Somerby is egging Biden into making an error.

    3. What do you mean “naming them?” Was Biden supposed to list individual names of people? He specified the group clearly by their actions and their beliefs, and hangs the blame on Trump as the embodiment of anti-democratic tendencies. That actually gives Republicans a way of repudiating this movement without repudiating the Republican Party. It’s charitable of Biden to offer them this off ramp.

    4. Biden said "I could name names, but you know who I'm talking about." And we do.

      McCarthy put people in jail and wanted them tried for treason, shunned and fired and blacklisted. Biden is calling for political opposition. He wants voters to support those working to preserve democracy and not vote for those who are MAGA Republicans. Those who have broken the law will be prosecuted, all of us hope, because it is important to our democracy that no one be above the law. McCarthy named prominent Democrats as communists, without evidence, and tried to use his naming authority (as head of HUAC) to attack Democrats for political reasons. Biden is refusing to do that, but has made it clear what activities he considers to be anti-democratic (and they are certainly that). Who is going to argue that plotting an insurrection is pro-democracy?

    5. My comment at 11:02 was a reply to “Spock.”

    6. McCarthy would wave a piece of paper and claim that it had the names of, say, 164 commies employed by the federal government, but other times it was 207 commies, or 302 coming up with numbers more or less at random, and would never back any of it up. He also did attack individuals by name for their real or past membership in alleged Communist front organizations. Biden's speech and Mccarthy's methods aren't really comparable. McCarthy did at one point have a 50% approval rating in polls, he was a big thing, then after a few years fizzled out.

  7. "In our view, Biden's description could be defended as reasonable if it's aimed at an array of Republican leadership cadres. "

    Are Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani part of the "Republican leadership cadres"? What about Kash Patel? Are the Kochs?

    Liz Cheney is part of the "Republican leadership cadre" or she was until she crossed Trump. She would most likely not be included in Biden's description despite being part of Republican leadership. Similarly, Mitt Romney and other never-Trumpers, including George W. Bush and Arnold Schwartzenegger.

    It is better to define the MAGA cohort by their united support for Trump and their desire to undermine democracy by refusing to uphold the constitution, their unwillingness to accept loss of an election won by Democrats, and their encouragement of violence to achieve political goals.

    Who does that include? Look at what various Republicans have done, instead of their party identity. Who is calling the 1/6 convicts "political prisoners"? Who tries to take guns onto the House floor (or onto airplanes)? Who is recommending that Pence and Pelosi be hung? Who tried to derail the certification of Biden's presidential win? Who is on a fake electors list? Who is urging armed resistance to the FBI? Who is a member of Oath Keepers or Patriot Front or Proud Boys? Who has called for Hillary to be locked up?

    This isn't rocket science. Somerby and other Republicans would love to bait Biden into naming names so that they can attack him for doing what Trump did routinely for years, until he lost his twitter account. It won't work because Biden has better sense than that. But look around and it is easy to identify who Biden was talking about -- unless you don't want to help protect democracy and would rather nitpick Biden's speech than oppose the anti-democratic forces working to make sure no MAGA ever loses another election.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Are you sure Romney is a “real Republican”?

      In 2012, Biden said this about Romney and about Republicans:

      "We got a real clear picture of what they all value," Biden said. "Every Republican's voted for it. Look at what they value and look at their budget and what they're proposing. Romney wants to let the - he said in the first hundred days he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, 'unchain Wall Street.' They're going to put y'all back in chains."

      “Ya’ll” been doing this stuff for years.

    3. Obama’s not the Democratic Party.
      Some random caller on CSpan is the Democratic Party.
      Try to keep up.

    4. Cecelia cannot tell the difference between normal political rhetoric and sedition. Why is that not surprising?

    5. Anonymouse 11:59, exactly. It’s all divisive political rhetoric as normal, whether said by a Democratic VP or here by anonymices.

      We all know it’s bullshit whether it’s said about real- Republican Romney or of DeSantis .

    6. Cecilia - you seem to me to be sensible, more or less, moreso than some of the 'liberal' commenters here in this small world of TDH followers. TDH has some attractiveness to a few republicans because he criticizes dems. I wonder if you see that while dems presently, in significant measure have gone off the rails, the conservatives-republicans in large measure have also gone bonkers. Someone in this string pointed out the efforts to take control of state elections from independent voting administrators. that's one thing. What do you say to that? Do you see how nuts things have gotten on your side?

    7. AC/MC, what I see is that Democrats have won most of the battles so quickly in the last decade that they aren’t aware that they’ve won the war.

      There’s not an institution outside of their thrall.

      You’re a regular liberal, not a warrior-extremist fighting heretics. However, I doubt you’re any more aware of the extent of your party’s victory.

      Republicans aren’t socialists, but millions of us have discovered that we are the rubes of a cultural/economic symbiosis of monetary interests allied with cultural ones. Mitch and Biden combined.

      With the advent of a world where physical distance means nothing, the world is their stress ball. As time passes, Democrats like you, will discover this too.

    8. AC/MA,
      So you are willing to equate Republican Party operatives removing citizen representation from the USA’s representative Democratic system to someone who called CSpan and said mean things about Republicans.
      You should be the lead Editor/ Producer of a corporate-owned media empire with that kind of insight.

    9. You certainly nailed it about Democrats winning, Cecelia,
      I'm so impressed with you, your next ten abortions are on me.

    10. Your father made the same promise to your mother and we see how #10 turned out.

    11. Yeah. It certainly feels like every dembot here is a unfortunate product of failed abortion. Sad.

    12. AC when you try to treat Republicans like they are honest brokers you are likely to get stuff like…”there’s not an institution outside of their thrall….”
      Like the Supreme Court I guess?
      Burned again AC.

    13. Any leak of a SCOTUS judgment before and any crowds outside of the homes of a liberal Justice?

    14. https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/politics/a39894046/supreme-court-leak-history/

      The original Roe v Wade decision was leaked.

    15. Democrats are winning because the Constitution of the United States says Supreme Court justices have no right to privacy.

    16. A SOTUS draft has never been leaked before.

      The DNC might not have a lock on SCOTUS as yet, but it has certainly put certain justices on notice.

    17. Cecelia is still pretending Republicans care about the SCOTUS decision leak. Give her another week or two, and she'll never mention it again.

    18. Remind me again of which liberal Supreme Court Justice's wife tried to overturn the 2020 Presidential election.

    19. Cecelia,

      How is CJ Roberts' search for the leaker going?
      Forgotten to death I think?

    20. Cecilia, you didn't answer my question. I recognize that there have been dramatic, accelerated culture changes over the recent past, though this goes on throughout history. A lot of it has been for the good - I assume you agree that the civil rights changes in the 1950's and 60's was a positive thing - and it was liberals who effected that. The whole Woke thing - seems far-fetched and divisive. There has long been a cultural/economic symbiosis of monetary interests in the US I would think, whatever that means - there are billions of people and their interest aren't the same, there is competition for power sometimes leading to wars, it's very tangled.

    21. anon 2:08, I never thought about it before, but I agree - I should be lead Editor/Producer of a corporate-owned media empire. And you can be my right hand second in command.

    22. Second in Command: How much will you pay me to find the nonsense Right-wing memes you'll repeat?

    23. AC/MA,
      Re; the divisive woke thing
      Don't be coy. Tell us exactly which group of people you believe should not have their rights protected.

    24. AC/MC, there is more than enough craziness to go around. Your side, my friend, has the distinction of its very best and brightest being coo coo for Cocoa Puffs.

      My father had both a professional and personal stake in fostering civil rights. He was not a liberal or a Democrat.

      A couple of years ago, I had an extraordinarily vivid dream of opening a hotel room door and finding my father in his undershirt and boxers, in bed, reading the newspaper, as was his wont on Saturday mornings.

      That was his idea of heaven.


    25. "...and it was liberals who effected that."

      Meh. It was, in our humble opinion, the establishment-sanctioned development in the Cold War context. Trying to avoid looking too uncivilized to the world.

      Liberal-conservative has nothing to do with it. MLK wasn't a liberal, not to mention the Panthers...

    26. "...the establishment-sanctioned development in the Cold War context."


      Hey, Ivan, you win the prize for the most ignorant comment today.

    27. Mao, the thing about politics, and reality in general, is there are many ways to look at things. How does it work that the "establishment" sanctions things? do they meet and work these things out? who specifically does it? Or is it just an organic phenomenon?


    28. Please, what's the mystery? It's the same thing as with Orange Man Bad.

      The decision was made (in 'smoke-filled rooms' as they say), and it was promoted, advanced, organized, coordinated by the establishment media and bureaucracy.

      How do you think major reforms happen in this world? By activists holding signs? There were thousands of anti-war protests in 2003, with tens of millions of people participating, and yet it didn't make an iota of a difference.

  8. "Let's say it for the third time. In our view, Biden's description could be defended as reasonable if it's aimed at an array of Republican leadership cadres. But even in his blood-red speech, Biden made amazingly little attempt to say who he was talking about when he made his remarkable claims."

    Somerby apparently thinks HE gets to say who Biden meant when he gave his speech, not Biden himself. But who made Somerby boss of interpreting what other people mean by their words? There is a lot of hubris in this paragraph.

    Rather than repeating this "three times", why doesn't Somerby read his comments, think about what others have said, and address the problems with his approach? The most glaring problem is that Roger Stone is not part of any "Republican leadership cadre" (whatever that means), because he has always worked in the shadows, and yet he was instrumental to the 1/6 plot to keep Trump in office after he lost the presidential election. Neither was Kash Patel, buried as he was within the Pentagon so that he could help mobilize military in support of Trump's coup (even if it didn't work out that way). And what about Tony Ornato and Mark Meadows? They are not part of a Republican leadership cadre. They are Trump's aides and they were both part of his plot too, but we would know nothing about them without the 1/6 investigation. And would we know about the various Republicans in leadership positions who opposed Trump's effort to change the election outcome, if not for the 1/6 hearings? It would be wrong to conclude that those defended their oaths and stood up to Trump's pressure were MAGA because they are part of Republican leadership cadres.

    Somerby really should think before he writes, but since his business here is anti-Democratic propaganda and not press musing, he only needs to repeat his talking points and receive his monthly ruble stipend (or maybe it comes from a conservative think tank or an anonymous donor to his blog (which is why he needs to keep up this farce daily). And he will repeat this stuff for the fourth time tomorrow, until his handler tells him to move on to the next Republican chore.

  9. Even though Biden neither intended to dehumanize nor actually did dehumanize all Republicans in his speeches, conservatives and Somerby “heard the tone”, the tone being, apparently, as Somerby so helpfully points out, McCarthyesque.

    And yet, Somerby wanted more specifics from Biden. But it would have been inappropriate in a speech about ideas and ideals to name specific individuals. That would have sounded petty, like a political grudge match, and the named targets would have worn the attack as a badge of honor. But the imagined “tone” seems to come from Biden’s identification of Republicans as the source of the problem. At least, that is why they have all seemingly taken such great offense, especially if you ignore the MAGA qualifier.

    So, following Somerby’s line of reasoning, in order not to sound McCarthyesque, Biden would have needed to be even less specific, just decrying some random group of unaffiliated individuals who are trying to undermine democracy.

    But that ignores the fact that it is specifically the group around Donald Trump that are doing this in a quite concerted fashion. So not naming Trump and his cadres would have been too vague. You kind of have to say that these people are Republicans (because they are), and they are followers of Trump (or MAGA).

    For what it it’s worth, a recent poll (post Biden speech) found this:

    “Fifty-eight percent of respondents in the two-day poll - including one in four Republicans - said Trump's "Make America Great Again" movement is threatening America's democratic foundations.”


    1. One in four Republicans is dembot zombie?
      I’m betting it’s Mao.

  10. "That includes the many liberals, in comment threads, who have gloried in the notion that every Trump voter is encompassed by Biden's accusations. Every such voter is one of the Others, liberal voices have routinely declared."

    This isn't anywhere close to what has been said in THIS comment thread.

    I think Somerby may be overreaching and including the liberals who have said that some elections are referendums on Trump and that those who supported Trump have explicitly supported what he does, including his many anti-democratic actions. It is hard to believe that any liberal has called Liz Cheney included in Biden's denunciation, simply because she is a Republican. But the RNC and GOP have certainly lined up behind Trump and they do include all Republicans who have registered with that party. I see gradations of complicity, but Somerby may consider this all-or-nothing condemnation.

  11. Anything is possible, so it could be that Somerby does visit his comments and even comment himself. We have perhaps been dismissing him as a troll, but Somerby may even be Mao or AC/MA or even Cecelia.

    1. Somerby wouldn’t fake me at gunpoint. If I could fake him I’d be thrilled, but couldn’t. Not even under the threat of redecorate-your-house-in-modern country-style point.

    2. Bob’s appearance in Kevin Drum’s comment suggestion this week strongly suggests he is no stranger here.

    3. Yes, Cecelia could never emulate Somerby by repeating nonsense Right-wing memes.

    4. I may also be Santa Claus for that matter

    5. You do realize Santa Claus is fictional, right?

  12. Biden should have pointed out that anyone who isn’t a bigot, or isn’t perfectly fine with bigotry, left the Republican Party more than two decades ago.
    Watching Bob flail around trying to deny that obvious truth would at least be entertaining.

  13. Bob knows who Biden is talking about, obviously. He wants something he can jump on, like “deplorable.” He of course wants to
    have it all ways. “Sure it’s a threat to
    the Country, but I don’t understand who
    he is talking about.” Pathetic.
    Again, this has nothing to do with the
    Press’s performance. So I guess we
    can assume Bob thinks all is well with
    the continuing explosion of the
    document theft story.

  14. Actually, the MAGA Republicans are the mainstream of their party. If they weren't Trump would never have been nominated.

    1. Indeed. What Binden's speech is, really, is a plea to those who should know better, to know better.

  15. Democrats are the part of angry unmarried women, gay men, and people who don't like to work. When you realize this all their mentally deranged beliefs make sense.

    1. 12:57,
      That’s a pretty impressive list of things you don’t care one iota about. If I was a mouth-breathing moron, I might even believe you DO care about those things and not bigotry and white supremacy.

  16. "Has anyone since Joe McCarthy ever presented such detailed claims about an enemy within?"

    Bob jumps the shark.

  17. Thanks to that hack judge in Texas, if you're a healthcare provider and Anti-fascist, legally you don't have to provide healthcare to Republicans.

  18. "Tomorrow: Inevitably, Charles Blow"

    As near as I can tell, he hasn't written anything lately. What is Somerby resurrecting to attack him with?