Fiery But Mostly Peaceful ‘Dark Brandon’

Joe Biden’s unsettling speech in Philadelphia removes any doubt that his “unity” pledge was a fig leaf. When he spoke of “healing” in his inaugural, he was speaking as a surgeon excising a tumor. The “MAGA Republicans” who comprise a third or more of the electorate, as Biden told the nation so casually in his bizarre, Stalinistic rant on Thursday night, are not Americans: they are America’s enemies. To drive that point home, Biden chose Independence Hall, the birthplace of our government, as the setting for his vicious diatribe and billed it as official government business, rather than the political rally that it obviously was. 

To his credit, Biden wasn’t characterizing all Republicans as traitors. Just those who might dare to put up any kind of meaningful resistance to himself and his political party. So-called “mainstream” Republicans, by whom Biden means liberal Republicans who do what Democrats tell them to do, are fine. 

No American president has ever spoken in such an openly hostile way about his fellow citizens. But Biden’s divisive language is music to leftist ears. In Biden, they have found an authoritarian who is willing to crush people who disagree with them, or as they put it, “fascists.” 

While he may look sleepy and harmless, Biden has proven to be an energetic demagogue from whose mummified lips spews a constant stream of boasts, imprecations, and threats. To listen to Biden talk, the harvest is bountiful and those who do not appreciate the wonderful things Biden has done are ungrateful, blind, or working for the enemy. His crude Dear Leader routine is insulting to the intelligence of voters: he expects praise for passing a climate change law called the Inflation Reduction Act (subtlety not being among the regime’s virtues) that, if anything, will worsen inflation. 

Like all tyrants, Biden is an enthusiastic scapegoater. When gas prices shot to record highs, Biden attacked gas station owners. When his outlandish pledge to vanquish COVID with “science” failed, he dehumanized “the unvaccinated” (really, a dog whistle for Trump voters) and declared that “patience” was “wearing thin” with these undesirables. After reality asserted itself and Biden’s “pandemic of the unvaccinated” attack line lost its bite, he turned to characterizing opponents of his partisan “voting rights” agenda as “domestic enemies” and Jim Crow segregationists. 

He has governed as if America were a one-party state. As authoritarians often do, he furiously projects his own extremism onto his opponents: pushing “gender-affirming” bodily mutilation on confused, vulnerable children, abortion without limits, open borders, racialist handouts for his supporters, ending fossil fuels, appeasing violent criminals—these things are what comprise Biden’s so-called “moderate” agenda. His student loan smash-and-grab is a finger in the eye of the working-class people whom Biden claims to champion, and a blatantly illegal patronage scheme to boot. 

While asserting powers he doesn’t have, he has brazenly ignored his obligation to enforce the immigration laws. The Supreme Court has on a few occasions sought to rein Biden in, and he has fired back by calling the court illegitimate. He has tasked his Justice Department with finding novel ways to force red states to allow abortion, against the consciences and preferences of those states’ voters. While inveighing against “fascism,” he has gone to extraordinary lengths to censor critics, soliciting the assistance of the tech oligarchy that got him elected for this purpose. He has weaponized justice against his political opponents, including Trump, his likely 2024 election rival. 

Through it all, of course, he has found more than enough time to moralize about democracy and the rule of law. This was virtually all we heard from Biden on Thursday night. Besides threatening, Biden was tedious and redundant, repeating platitudes about “democracy” and the rule of law over and over. The rhetoric rang hollow, coming from the guy whose party unleashed nationwide “mostly peaceful” fiery anarchy two summers ago after spending four years rejecting the legitimacy of a free and fair election in 2016. 

But Biden wasn’t trying to persuade anyone. His speech was a cynical play for the liberal base and the media, who are convinced that “Our Democracy™” belongs to them. They love “Dark Brandon” and his war on the “MAGA crowd,” whom they clearly consider to be illegitimate and beneath contempt. 

They believe that anything is justified if it keeps Trump and the “MAGA Republicans” out of power. It’s scary to think what people this self-righteous might do if they are not chastened in November, supposing they can be chastened. After Biden’s speech, how could they accept defeat? 

About Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a Mt. Vernon fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a staff writer and weekly columnist at the Conservative Institute. His writing has also appeared in the Daily Caller. Follow him on Twitter @matt_boose. ‏

Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

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