Do Democratic Leaders Really Think Republicans Are Dangerous?
If so, they don't act like they do.
“Mitch McConnell is a rational Republican.”
—Joe Biden, May 2022
“I think our country needs a strong Republican Party. That's very important.”
—Nancy Pelosi, February 2021
“In my view, we need a Republican Party that's united.”
—Joe Biden, November 2011
What do you make of the quotes above and many others like them? Are you perplexed? Is this just PR, spin, the appearance of loving the enemy for appearances sake? Or do quotes like these represent beliefs?
And what do you make of the image at the top, and other images like them? Here Joe Biden awards George W. Bush — and Laura Bush, for some reason — the Liberty Medal in 2018, “an annual award ... to recognize leadership in the pursuit of freedom.” George W. Bush, invader and butcher of Iraq, is the U.S. president most identified with war crimes and torture in the modern era.
Some freedom he represents.
Why Are Their Statements Ignored?
I think the Democratic Party–supporting public ignores these comments because the Democratic Party has positioned itself as the only alternative to Republicans, whom they and their media eagerly call fascists and a danger to democracy. For example:
• Joe Biden: “What we’re seeing now is the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.” (2022)
• Howard Dean: “The Republicans Are Now a Neo-Fascist Party” (2021)
• Dana Milbank: “To call a person who endorses violence against the duly elected government a 'Republican' is Orwellian. More accurate words exist for such a person. One of them is ‘fascist.’” (2022)
• MSNBC: “The GOP was sowing seeds of fascism and violence long before Trump” (2021)
• Salon: “Republicans have dropped the mask — they openly support fascism.” (2022)
• Vox: “The Republican revolt against democracy, explained in 13 charts”
The list of comments like these goes on and on, and extends much farther back than the Trump election.
Republicans Do Want a One-Party State…
This leads to two brief points and a question.
First, the “Republicans are fascists” theme is universal among Party propagandists.
And second, the “Republicans are fascists” theme is correct.
As History professor Kevin Matthews noted in 2020: “All inter-war fascist movements took part in elections with one goal in mind: to destroy democracy and create a one-party state.” (Emphasis mine.)
That's true today, and it’s probably been true since Nixon's time in office, when former Attorney General George Mitchell told the Watergate committee that (paraphrasing) the Democratic Party alternative to Nixon so threatened the nation that illegal action was needed. Later, when asked if his group would have committed murder to elect Nixon president, he replied, again paraphrasing, “Senator, you ask a difficult question.”
The "Democrats are traitors" theme goes way back in hardline conservative Republicanism, despite the fact that it was Nixon, the hardline conservative, who was actually betrayed his country.
Thus the question: If Republicans really are the party of fascism and Democratic leaders say so, why don't they act like they believe it?
…Yet Democrats Don’t Oppose Them
The complicity of Democratic leaders with Republicans is puzzling but constant. They confirm Republican judges and Supreme Court justices even when they have the power to oppose them. When Democrats held the Senate, for example, they confirmed Thomas, Roberts and Alito, three of the six who currently bedevil the Court.
About Alito, 19 Democrats voted to end debate, which allowed the nomination to reach the floor, and four Democrats voted for the nomination itself, putting it over the 50-vote threshold. Worse, Barack Obama later announced he regretted joining the filibuster, wishing he would have voted with the 19 Democrats who made the confirmation vote possible.
With respect to Trump, in September 2017 the Democratic Congress gave him more Pentagon money than he asked for, all while calling him, in effect, illegitimate:
All this makes statements like those quoted at the top entirely believable.
Peter Daou: ‘The Dirty Secret’
One could offer a number of reasons for these disconnects. The most obvious one, the Occam's Razor reason, is also the most shocking: Despite their rhetoric, Democratic leaders have no problem with Republican victories.
How could this be true? Here's former Democratic strategist Peter Daou to explain. He calls it “the dirty secret.” (The source Twitter thread is here. I've edited it lightly for clarity.)
THE DIRTY SECRET 🧵  As a former adviser in the belly of the establishment, I can tell you that Democratic leaders prefer a Republican Congress. Allow me to explain... #ElectionDay #Election2022
 Dem party leaders have one overarching job: Uphold the current system -- which keeps them funded and reelected. That involves enriching and protecting their big donors. But they have to maintain the appearance of "fighting" the GOP to appease their voters.
 What better way for corporate Dems to maintain the appearance of fighting for the people (while actually preserving the status quo) than for the GOP to hold more power?
That way, Dem leaders can blame Republicans for gridlock, while keeping their donor class happy.
 Thus, you get quotes like this, where establishment Dems constantly call for a STRONGER Republican Party.
 Have you ever asked yourself why the same Dem leaders run the party decade after decade? Why they maintain power even as the GOP becomes more powerful and entrenched? Why they rehabilitate the very GOP figures they once claimed were a "threat to democracy"?
 And please note: This thread refers to Dem LEADERS. There are certainly good people who run as Democrats, and lots of voters who sincerely believe voting blue can help stave off the GOP's fascism. But I'm talking about the party leadership that works to preserve the status quo.
Believing Impossible Things
The assertion above seems impossible to believe, yet it's always possible to believe impossible things.
I believed, for example, that Bernie Sanders could win the nomination after his 2020 Nevada primary win. I should have expected Obama to end all that.
And voters believe that Democratic Party leaders want to protect them from “neo-fascist party,” when they obviously, repeatedly won't.
So I can believe, till Occam's Razor says no, that “Democratic leaders prefer a Republican Congress,” since all the evidence supports it.
All very true, all very underreported. Thanks for this one.
The two parties have devolved into nothing more than two large crime families.