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Biden May Regret Calling MAGA a Semi-Fascist Movement

With the promised red tsunami beginning to look similar to a red ripple, Republicans have already been in need of somethinganythingto return Novembers midterms with their normal historical trajectory.

Joe Biden may have just handed it in their mind.

What we’re seeing now could be either the start or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy, Biden told Democratic donors throughout a private meeting the other day. It isn’t just Trump, it is the entire philosophy that underpins theI’m likely to say something: It’s like semi-fascism.

Later, at another Democratic event, Biden continued: I respect conservative Republicans. I dont respect these MAGA RepublicansThere aren’t many real Republicans anymore.

Putting aside Bidens penchant for hyperbolic gaffes, there could be a strategy to his madness. There exists a reason Democrats are wanting to keep Trump at the biggest market of the conversation, tweeted conservative Ben Shapiro, 1 / 2 of independents say Trump is really a major element in their vote, and they are breaking 4-1 for the Democrats. Republicans shouldn’t play that game. Should they do, they’re cruising for a bruising.

The Jan. 6 Capitol riot (Hang Mike Pence!), and the more widespread phenomenon of election denying candidates winning subsequent GOP primaries, demonstrates this is simply not your fathers Republican Party.

Still, Biden must be aware that similar observationsdespite their veracity or seeming political utility with the basehave backfired previously.

In 2012, a video surfaced of Mitt Romney telling an exclusive band of donors that You can find 47 percent that are with [Obama], that are influenced by government, who think that they’re victims, who believe the federal government includes a responsibility to look after themAnd they’ll vote because of this president regardless of what.

Now, there is some truth to Romneys statement. About 50 % of American households dont pay any tax. Some percentage of voters are habitual (unpersuadable) Democratic voters. Some percentage of Democrats are socialists. Likewise, some percentage of Americans who receive benefits, probably do vote within their own economic self-interest.

None of the caveats mattered.

Four years later, Hillary Clinton made an identical mistake, saying: you can put 1 / 2 of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobicyou name it.

Like Romney, she played to the crowd and exaggerated the amounts of Americans she could write off. And like Romneys 47 percent line, there is some component of truth within, too.

Another thing that they had in keeping? They both lost.

Unlike Romney and Clinton, Biden isnt running for president (not now, at the very least), also it could be that midterm voters aren’t factoring Biden to their down-ballot calculations, because the conservative writer Matthew Continetti hypothesizes.

Still, Biden just opened himself around exactly the same criticism that proved so lethal in 2012 and 2016even though he did add the weasel-word semi while watching F-bomb.

Biden risks reminding everyone that liberals have cried wolf before. Similar slurs were hurled at Reagan.

Indeed, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununuhardly a Trumperunveiled the predictable pushback on CNNs State of the Union on Sunday: The truth that the president would venture out and just insult 1 / 2 of Americaeffectively call 1 / 2 of America semi-fascist because he’s attempting to stir up controversy, he’s attempting to stir up this anti-Republican sentiment before the electionit’s horribly inappropriate.

Dismissing half the country as irredeemable, it appears, is really a dicey gambit.

Nonetheless it will be a mistake for me personally to avoid here without analyzing the uniqueness of the term fascist.

Almost nobody knows what a fascist is, as partly evidenced by the truth that it really is typically used as a stand-in for authoritarian. In the movie Bull Durham, Crash Davis (played by Kevin Costner) says that strikeouts are fascistunlike ground balls, which he says tend to be more democratic.”

My simplistic shorthand for fascism is right-wing socialism, however, not everyone even agrees it really is exclusively a right-wing thing. In a recently available column revisiting his 2008 book Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg describes fascism as a highly concentrated and toxic type of populism that manifests itself because the politics of mobs, not manifestos.

By this definition, theres the best case for Biden to call the MAGA philosophy semi-fascism. Search no further compared to the Jan. 6 riot, the fake electors scheme, or the links between Trumpworld and paramilitary groups just like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and Trump supporters for evidence. Or, lately, consider Sen. Lindsay Grahams warning this last weekend that there will be riots in the streets if Trump is prosecuted.

The chance is that for some of my entire life, the term fascist has been cavalierly tossed around to basically associate conservatives with Nazis. Because of this, Biden risks reminding everyone that liberals have cried wolf before. Similar slurs were hurled at Reagan.

However, the truth that this word has been bandied about frequently will make it ironically less more likely to backfire. There is something freshly transgressive about labeling oneself a deplorable. Thats false with fascist (although, in a few circles, semi-fascist could have some ironic t-shirt potential).

Whether or not this can backfire against Biden, this strikes me because the latest exemplory case of Biden abandoning the mandate to be the opposite of Trump. Like his decision to cancel student debt, Joe Bidens invocation of the F-word can better be understood as a guy more centered on riling up his base than as a president focused on restoring norms.

The only real question that remains is whether this moment will matterwhether Bidens usage of the F-word is a big F-ing deal.

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