Monday, September 19, 2022

When Biden Attacks ‘MAGA Forces’ He’s Talking About All Republicans

When Biden Attacks ‘MAGA Forces’ He’s Talking About All Republicans

By Marc A. Thiessen

The Washington Post

Whom does President Biden consider a “MAGA Republican?” In his Sept. 1 prime-time address from Philadelphia, the president claimed he was not tarring the entire GOP — or even the majority of Republicans — as followers of “extreme MAGA ideology.” He was attacking only “election deniers” who “do not believe in the rule of law” and refuse to “recognize the will of the people.”

If he had limited his critique to those who refuse to accept legitimate election results — including Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Jan. 6 committee, who voted on Jan. 6, 2005, in objection to the counting of Ohio’s electoral votes, and Stacey Abrams, who still refuses to concede the 2016 Georgia governor’s race — then he might have had a point.

But that is not what Biden is saying. Even in his speech outside Independence Hall, he expanded his definition of “MAGA Republicans” to include every American who supports the right to life. “MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose,” Biden thundered. He said the same thing after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, declaring in a tweet: “The ultra-MAGA agenda has always been about taking away women’s rights, in every single state.”

Sorry, but long before Donald Trump, the mainstream of the Republican Party has been pro-life. According to Gallup, 7 in 10 Republicans consider themselves pro-life. And since 1980, the Republican Party platform has always included a pro-life plank. In 1984, when Ronald Reagan sought reelection, the GOP platform declared that “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed” and called for “the appointment of judges at all levels of the judiciary who respect … the sanctity of innocent human life.” In 1988, when George H.W. Bush ran to succeed Reagan, he declared in his convention address: “Is it right to believe in the sanctity of life and protect the lives of innocent children? My opponent says no, but I say yes.” In 2000, when George W. Bush ran for president, he pledged to “lead our nation toward a culture that values life — the life of the elderly and the sick, the life of the young, and the life of the unborn.”

If Biden defines “MAGA forces” as anyone who believes in the sanctity of human life, then that means Reagan and both Bushes were all MAGA Republicans — as are 70 percent of Republican voters.

That’s not all. Biden also says that “MAGA forces” include Republicans who support pro-growth tax cuts. Last week, he tweeted, “We understand something that MAGA Republicans in Congress don’t. Wall Street didn’t build this country. Working people did.” In a Labor Day speech, he declared that MAGA Republicans “threaten … our economic security,” adding, “I’m so sick and tired of trickle-down economics.” Put aside for a moment that he is the one forcing working people to pay for the business school loans of people in households making under $250,000. Apparently now, in Biden’s telling, if you support supply-side economics, you’re a threat to “the very foundations of our republic.” By that definition, the entire Reagan Revolution was part of the MAGA movement.

Also in the Labor Day speech, Biden declared that “the ‘Trumpies’ … these MAGA Republicans in Congress are coming for your Social Security.” This has been a Democratic line against Republicans who support entitlement reform for years. In 2012, a Democratic Super PAC ran ads in swing states showing GOP vice presidential nominee Paul D. Ryan pushing an old lady in a wheelchair over a cliff, as his running-mate, Mitt Romney, sang “America the Beautiful.” So, by Biden’s definition, Ryan and Romney are MAGA Republicans, too. Never mind that the MAGA movement has jettisoned the Ryan-Romney push for entitlement reform. “Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid,” Trump said in 2015. “And we can’t do that. And it’s not fair to the people that have been paying in for years.”

So, let’s be clear: When Biden talks about “MAGA forces” who threaten “America’s soul” he does not just mean politicians who don’t accept the 2020 election results. He does not mean the people who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. He does not even mean Trump supporters. He means all mainstream Republicans who support life, limited government, fiscal responsibility and pro-growth economic policies. He’s using his “MAGA” slur to attack the entire conservative movement.

If anything threatens the foundations of our republic, it is a president who promises to put his “whole soul” into uniting the country, but then denounces 74 million fellow Americans who disagree with his policies and voted for his opponent as “semi-fascist” and “a threat to this country.”

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