Politics As Usual?

Dr. Malcolm Cross

Last week President Biden gave a speech in which he denounced election deniers and urged the voters to reject them at the polls.  If he’s really serious, he should denounce Democratic as well as Republican election deniers.  And he should block Democratic efforts to destroy the careers of Republicans who oppose election denial.  Otherwise, his remarks should be seen merely as the continuation of politics as usual. 

In his speech President Biden denounced, “The mob when they stormed the United States Capitol on January the 6th, when they broke windows, kicked in the doors, brutally attacked law enforcement, roamed the corridors hunting for officials and erected gallows to hang the former vice president, Mike Pence.”  Biden said that “Extreme MAGA Republicans aim to question not only the legitimacy of past elections, but elections being held now and into the future…That means denying your right to vote and deciding whether your vote even counts.”  He urged voters to therefore, “Ask a simple question of each candidate you might vote for. Will that person accept the legitimate will of the American people and the people voting in his district or her district? Will that person accept the outcome of the election, win or lose? The answer to that question is vital. And, in my opinion, it should be decisive.”  You can read a transcript of President Biden’s entire speech at https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/02/us/politics/transcript-biden-speech-democracy.html

As a former election judge and administrator myself, as well as someone who’s both won and lost elections, I see Biden’s point.  But he diminishes his credibility by tolerating Democratic election deniers. The Wall Street Journal has said that Biden could have criticized Stacey Abrams, who to this day refuses to concede defeat in her 2018 race for Governor of Georgia; to the contrary, she still maintains that it was stolen and its outcome is illegitimate.  Or Biden could have mentioned his own press secretary, who support Abrams’s claims.  And, of course, it should not be forgotten that Hillary Clinton, who’s campaign bought and paid for the infamous and phony Steele Dossier, has maintained that Trump’s 2016 election was illegitimate due to “Russian collusion,” despite the failure of a 2-year investigation to find proof of such collusion.  Check out the Wall Street Journal’s editorial at https://www.wsj.com/articles/joe-bidens-missing-democracy-pages-speech-republicans-democrats-election-11667511588

In the same editorial the Journal suggested Biden praise those Republicans who refused to participate in former President Trump’s attempts to overturn the presidential election outcome.  Actually, to do so might destroy Republicans’ careers:  Given the venomous nature of our party politics today, Biden’s praise for any Republican would no doubt be the kiss of death for the career of the recipient of the praise.

But Biden is truly serious about what he is saying, he could at least try to bring to a halt the Democrats’ attempts to destroy the careers of non-MAGA Republicans.  Last summer, major newspapers, including the Democratic-leaning New York Times and the Washington Post, began to report Democratic efforts to help MAGA Republicans win their party’s nominations for governor, senator, representative, and other offices.  The Democrats’ reasoning was that MAGA Republican nominees were more likely to be rejected by the voters in the general election.  As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a supporter of the strategy, said, it was “in furtherance of our winning the election.”

One case in particular stood out—that of Michigan congressman Peter Meijer.  He was one of the few GOP congressmen who voted to impeach former President Trump over 1/6. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $400,000 advertising the loyalty of Meijer’s Republican primary opponent to Trump. Meijer lost the primary to the Trump loyalist.

The Washington Post recently reported a more recent and more cynical case too—that of California Republican Congressman David G. Valadao who, like Meijer, also voted to impeach Trump over 1/6.  Despite the Democrats’ expenditure of $110,000 advertising Valadao’s impeachment vote, he narrowly won his primary over another Trump supporter.  But the Post reports that “The Voter Protection Project, a political action committee that backs Democratic candidates for House and Senate, has set up a website, traitordavidvaladao.com, calling Mr. Valadao ‘A Traitor Who Turned His Back On President Trump To Serve His Own Interests’ in an attempt to weaken his support among Republicans.”  Such is how Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats reward Republicans who agree with President Biden on election denial.  As the Post notes, despite its Democratic leanings, “’Hypocritical’ is too weak a descriptor for the contradiction between these tactics and Democrats’ depiction of this election as a struggle against ‘ultra-MAGA’ election deniers.” For more on the subject from the Washington Post, go here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/10/26/democrats-david-valadao-trump-jan-6/.

So was President Biden’s speech really a heartfelt plea for more civilized and rational politics?  Or was it just more hot air “in furtherance of winning the election.”  Until the President denounces Democratic election deniers and blocks Democratic efforts to destroy the careers of Republicans who share his stated opposition to election denial, one must consider his remarks to be merely politics as usual.

Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville and taught politics and government at Tarleton since 1987. His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990 to the present).  He was Mayor Pro Tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014.  He is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Stephenville Rotary Club, and does volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.

1 Comment

  1. Cope and seethe, my friend. Cope and seethe.

    Or better yet, just join the democrats. That would be the best way to get them to stop attacking you. I mean, you’re already on their side essentially. So take the plunge

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