President Biden Attacks Internal Enemies

President Biden addressed the nation on September 1 from the site of America’s founding. In many respects it was a positive, uplifting speech reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s wonderful speeches. Though I disagree with many of the details of his recent policy victories, it is normal for a president to promote them. But there was another part of his speech that has become very controversial.

“When President Biden stood before Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Thursday night, he warned that American democracy stands at the precipice… — one that, he said, comes from within the country’s borders. ‘Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,’ Biden said.”  “Biden-danger within us”

The President of the United States is both the leader and head of state for the entire country and the head of his political party. Did President Biden cross the line between defending the country from serious attacks and partisanship when he made his speech? Biden was not criticizing Trump’s protectionist, isolationist policies as I have done (and I have praised Trump’s tax reform and reduction of excessive regulations). Those are partisan political issues. If we don’t like someone’s policies, we can vote against them. Biden was making a much more serious charge. He clarified that:

 “’I don’t consider any Trump supporter to be a threat to the country. I do think anyone who calls for the use of violence, fails to condemn violence when it’s used, refuses to acknowledge that an election has been won, insists on changing the way in which you count the votes — that is a threat to democracy.’ Yet Trump supporters generally do all of those things, backing the former president’s calls to overturn the 2020 election and elect candidates who vow to rewrite election rules, and supporting his promise to pardon those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021….

“Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) [stated that], ‘Joe Biden just declared all of us enemies of the state.’”  “Biden-danger within US”

The critical question is who does Rep. Green mean by “all of us?” All Republicans or all who believe and promote what she does? And what does Rep. Green believe?

“Last month [Aug 2020] , The New York Times reported on Greene’s past statements referring to Q as a “patriot” and pushing the idea that Q was working to take down a supposed cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.

“QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory that falsely claims, among other things, that an individual known only as Q with supposed “Q-Level” government security clearance has been leaking high-level information. The theories allege a global network of child sex traffickers is orchestrating a plot against President Trump. QAnon followers believe Democrats are behind the plot.” Rep Green more recently said that she has changed her mind about QAnon. “Marjorie Taylor Greene has several ties to conspiracy hate groups”

Wikipedia’s summary includes that “Greene has promoted far-right, white-supremacist, and antisemitic conspiracy theories, including the white genocide conspiracy theoryQAnon, and Pizzagate, as well as other extremist conspiracy theories “Marjorie Taylor Greene”

So, if President Biden means those like Marjorie Taylor Greene, then I fully agree with him that they don’t support American values. But are they dangerous? We don’t generally get too agitated by nut cakes who believe that the Earth is flat (there truly are such people out there on the loose) or that we are being visited by space travelers.

Several things make those like MTG very dangerous and justify President Biden’s warning. The primary danger is Donald Trump himself and the significant number of his True Believers. Trump tried in various ways to overturn the results of his losing Presidential race against Biden climaxing with the attack of the Capitol on Jan 6, 2021, in a final attempt to overturn the elections, which Trump continues to claim he won. He has not, does not, and presumably will not adhere to the rule of law. While we have already seen considerable evidence of his crimes, we must await the final judgement of the Justice Department whether to formally charge him.

“Trump told a right-wing radio host that, if he returns to power, he plans “full pardons with an apology to many” who attacked the Capitol. He also claimed he is ‘financially supporting’ some of those charged in the insurrection to defend them from ‘sick’ prosecutors and ‘nasty’ judges. Oath Keepers? Proud Boys? Unclear.”  “Kevin McCarthy – Joe Biden-semi-fascism – Trump”

Trump’s people have used violence before, as Trump quietly watched, and are threatening to use it again. Former Senator John McCain friend Sen Lindsey Graham, now a Trump worshiper, said on Fox News that “there will be riots in the streets” if the Justice Department indicts former president Donald Trump on charges related to his stashing classified documents in his Palm Beach, Fla., home.” If that doesn’t frighten you for the future of our country, read Jonathan Rauch’s account of what Trump’s reelection could look like: “Trump 2024 reelection-Viktor Orban Hungary”

The second reason for serious concern is that the Republican Party has either given in to Trump or gone silent. Given some of the Trump supported candidates the Republican Party is offering in the November general elections, it could be in serios trouble. More recently, Trump has turned his attack directly on Republicans who do not bow to him.

“Trump (who doesn’t do subtle or even not-so-subtle) blasted McConnell as a “broken down hack” who isn’t doing enough to help Republicans win.”  “Will Trump topple Mitch McConnell”

Trump further stated that: “The party is furious at [Mitch]. We have to put up with him for a period of time, but eventually, he’ll be gone. He’s bad news.”  “Trump rages about GOP” 

In a statement posted to Truth Social on [August 27], Trump criticized McConnell for a statement he made that week about the crop of GOP Senate hopefuls, before making a dig at Chao, McConnell’s wife of 29 years, calling her ‘crazy.’

‘Chao served as Transportation secretary during the Trump administration for nearly four years, resigning one day after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. In a letter to Transportation Department staff, she called the riot “entirely avoidable” and said she was ‘deeply troubled’ by the event.

“Chao previously served eight years as Labor Department secretary under former President George W. Bush.

I waited in vail for the Republican (real Republicans) backlash. “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said he does not have a reaction to former President Trump’s statement over the weekend that labeled his wife, former Trump administration Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, ‘crazy.’

“Asked in Kentucky if he had any reaction to Trump’s statement, McConnell responded simply, ‘no.’”  “McConnell asked if he has reaction to Trump’s attack on wife Elaine Chao says no”

If the Republican Party does not stand up and defend its principles and those of our constitution and country, I will be worried. Very worried. As should everyone else who believes in America’s constitutional democracy. “Republican Rep Adam Kinzinger says we have no leadership”

Author: Warren Coats

I specialize in advising central banks on monetary policy and the development of the capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy.  I joined the International Monetary Fund in 1975 from which I retired in 2003 as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department. While at the IMF I led or participated in missions to the central banks of over twenty countries (including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Zimbabwe) and was seconded as a visiting economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1979-80), and to the World Bank's World Development Report team in 1989.  After retirement from the IMF I was a member of the Board of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority from 2003-10 and of the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review from 2010-2017.  Prior to joining the IMF I was Assistant Prof of Economics at UVa from 1970-75.  I am currently a fellow of Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.  In March 2019 Central Banking Journal awarded me for my “Outstanding Contribution for Capacity Building.”  My recent books are One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina; My Travels in the Former Soviet Union; My Travels to Afghanistan; My Travels to Jerusalem; and My Travels to Baghdad. I have a BA in Economics from the UC Berkeley and a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. My dissertation committee was chaired by Milton Friedman and included Robert J. Gordon.

One thought on “President Biden Attacks Internal Enemies”

  1. This latest “musing” wonders: “Are we slipping beyond normal political differences? ” In 2000, was (is) it “normal” for Gore supporters to “muse” (post chad count) “Not my President” about Pres. George W. Bush? In 2017 (et seq.), was it normal political difference for an even more passionate “Not my President” hue and cry be applied to Pres. Donald Trump? Was it normal political difference that would have a presidential candidate (Hillary Clinton) conspire with foreign intelligence related (Steele Dossier) “Russiagate” negative “research” that would spill over into FBI participation in the presidential campaign?

    Certainly its well within one’s right to praise the recent Biden Philadelphia speech. However, isn’t a tad over the top to gush “In many respects it was a positive, uplifting speech reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s wonderful speeches.”? Perhaps the question is open when just as partisan a note was given by a Fox News commentator: “Biden tonight gave the speech of a dictator, in the style of a dictator, in the visual of a dictator, using the words of a dictator”? Personally, I couldn’t think of any of Pres. Reagan’s speeches that I could compare to the Pres. Biden effort. And, as far as presidential speech staging is concerned, I can’t think of any presdent who used such eerie red backlighting enhanced (military politicization?) with two Marine sentries. Didn’t CNN edit the red background with some toning down? Maybe we can agree the some WH staff have passed their stressed usefulness?

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