President Joe Biden's rhetoric on elections went too far this week.
Biden has continued to wrongly compare Republican-backed state election reforms to the Jim Crow era South, which is ludicrous. But in a speech this week designed to pressure Senators into abolishing the legislative filibuster so that Biden's radical federal takeover of elections could pass, Biden did the unforgivable and compared elected officials who disagree with him to the likes of Bull Connor, George Wallace, and Jefferson Davis. That's right, Biden compared Members of Congress like Tim Scott, Burgess Owens, and Byron Donalds to radical segregationists and the president of the confederacy.
I really don’t think people fully understand yet how much Tuesday’s speech permanently damaged the Biden Presidency. There is no pivoting back after that demagogic display.https://t.co/YeSeaVcJNq pic.twitter.com/nNRf061uUD— AG (@AGHamilton29) January 14, 2022
Peggy Noonan wrote for The Wall Street Journal:
It is startling when two speeches within 24 hours, neither much heralded in advance—the second wouldn’t even have been given without the first—leave you knowing you have witnessed a seminal moment in the history of an administration, but it happened this week. The president’s Tuesday speech in Atlanta, on voting rights, was a disaster for him. By the end of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s answering speech on Wednesday you knew some new break point had occurred, that President Biden might have thought he was just crooning to part of his base but the repercussions were greater than that; he was breaking in some new way with others—and didn’t know it. It is poor political practice when you fail to guess the effects of your actions. He meant to mollify an important constituency but instead he filled his opponents with honest indignation and, I suspect, encouraged in that fractured group some new unity.
The speech itself was aggressive, intemperate, not only offensive but meant to offend. It seemed prepared by people who think there is only the Democratic Party in America, that’s it, everyone else is an outsider who can be disparaged. It was a mistake on so many levels. Presidents more than others in politics have to maintain an even strain, as astronauts used to say. If a president is rhetorically manipulative and divisive on a voting-rights bill it undercuts what he’s trying to establish the next day on Covid and the economy. The over-the-top language of the speech made him seem more emotional, less competent. The portentousness—“In our lives and . . . the life of our nation, there are moments so stark that they divide all that came before them from everything that followed. They stop time”—made him appear incapable of understanding how the majority of Americans understand our own nation’s history and the vast array of its challenges.
By the end he looked like a man operating apart from the American conversation, not at its center. This can be fatal to a presidency.
As Republican Leader Mitch McConnell noted on the the Senate floor, President Biden's remarks were "profoundly unpresidential." He added:
There was no consistent standard behind anything the President said. He trampled through some of the most sensitive and sacred parts of our nation’s past. He invoked times when activists bled, and when soldiers died. All to demagogue voting laws that are more expansive than what Democrats have in his own home state.
Americans should not forget President Biden's atrocious display of disdain for what a majority of Americans support: election integrity. Republicans must not let them forget how Biden compared all who disagree with him to George Wallace and Jefferson Davis. Republicans want to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat—and so do most of Americans. The leftist policies of the Biden Administration are totally unpalatable to everyday Americans, and they should be reminded of that again and again.