Wineke: Biden is precisely right about MAGA

Fact Check: Trump’s False And Uncorroborated Claims In Response To The Fbi Search
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump, seen here in New Jersey in July of 2021, and his representatives have offered up a dizzying flurry of defenses in the wake of the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago resort in early August.

MADISON, Wis. — It is long past the time that our national leaders should take on the authoritarian wing of the Republican Party, and President Joe Biden was right to do so.

If you doubt that, just look at what former President Donald Trump promised the same day Biden spoke. Trump said that, should he be reelected president, he would give “full pardons” to the insurrectionists convicted of storming the nation’s capital in an effort to overturn the 2020 elections.

But Trump is no longer the major threat to American democracy. His legal sins are catching up to him and he won’t wriggle out from them easily.

The problem is that Trump has energized the most virulently anti-democratic wing of the party he so recently joined.

The way to become a “leader” of the modern party is to pose as a strongman and to adopt as vulgar an image as one can muster.

Another example: After Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of this nation’s most respected public health officials for 50 years (and seven presidents of both parties) announced he plans to retire in December, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis responded by saying “someone ought to grab that little elf and chuck him across the Potomac.”

Fauci is not above criticism. You can’t serve at his level as long as he has without making some mistakes. Overall, however, he is the epitome of a public servant. Also, overall, Florida’s covid death rate per capita is considerably higher than that of more liberal states.

But the thing is, DeSantis wants to be president of the United States. There was a time when a president would never talk that way. After Trump, it is the way Republican hopefuls talk.

You can see it in the campaign promises MAGA leaders make.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy promises that if Republicans regain a majority in November his priorities will be to launch investigations of the Justice Department and of Biden’s son, Hunter.

They don’t even try to suggest ways their leadership will improve the lives of ordinary Americans; they promise revenge on their supposed enemies.

No one can honestly accuse Biden of the same partisanship. The main criticism of Biden over the years is that he has been far too willing to work with Republicans.

But, in a time when a former president promises to pardon those who have been convicted of attacking police officers in a Capitol insurrection, when the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor was one of those insurrectionists (though there is no evidence he attacked cops), in a time where across the country candidates for election promise to control the voting procedures so that only their candidates can win, in times like these it is high time for someone to champion the cause of democracy.

I’m happy Biden has taken up the challenge.