Pollak: Biden’s Union Station Speech Was ‘Dark Brandon’ 2.0

Democracy - President Joe Biden speaks outside Independence Hall, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022,
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden delivered a closing message to voters with a televised prime-time speech to the Democratic National Committee at Union Station on Wednesday, returning to the themes of his disastrous Sep. 1 address: that Republicans are a threat to democracy.

President Joe Biden’s speech on September 1 attacking “MAGA Republicans” as a “threat to this country” failed to move polls in the Democrats’ direction. In fact, it arguably helped to reverse Republicans’ sinking fortunes, and to revive the prospect of a “red wave.”

The speech was dark and pessimistic, and frightened some Republicans into thinking their physical safety was at stake in 2022. But even voters who did not feel personally targeted understood one thing clearly: Biden’s main focus was politics, not their well-being.

Biden’s message has not improved in two months. Lacking a coherent argument on inflation, crime, or the border, he resorted again to attacking Republicans as a threat to democracy, linking them to the deranged illegal alien who attacked Paul Pelosi last week.

The president tried to argue that because the assailant used the phrase “Where is Nancy?”, he was evoking the chants of the mob at the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. Biden went on to implicate former President Donald Trump, and indeed Republicans as a whole.

Biden said nothing about left-wing political violence — the assassination attempt against Justice Brett Kavanaugh; the summer of attacks on pro-life institutions nationwide; the Black Lives Matter riots that his party excused or embraced in the summer of 2020.

It is not even clear what effect Biden hoped to have with this speech. As he himself admitted, 27 million Americans have already voted, thanks to Democrats’ insistence on vote-by-mail procedures in 2020 (provoking doubts about the integrity of the election).

If the polls are correct, and Republicans are on the verge of taking one or both houses of Congress, historians will look back at this speech as another wasted opportunity — or, worse, a desperate attempt to cast opposition to the governing party as a form of treason.

It is too soon, of course, to pronounce a verdict on the 2022 elections. But while Democrats once hoped that the abortion issue — revived by the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade — would rescue their political fortunes, they are losing momentum.
Weeks ago, the New York Times warned that GOP attacks on Democrat Senate candidates like Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin were taking a toll. And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who once talked down the odds of victory, grew more bullish.

There are many factors working against the Democrats. Gas prices, which had declined all summer, are on the rise again. Inflation, instead of falling, has been rising more rapidly than economists anticipated. And the war in Russia is starting to look like a global threat, despite — or even because of — Ukraine’s recent advances. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) also shone a harsh spotlight on the consequences of Biden’s border policy when he sent 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, causing panic among the Democratic elite.

But the key was that prime time speech at Independence Hall. It thrilled the Democratic base, and may even have helped in the polls for a while. Yet what it told everyone else is that Biden cares most about something other than what they do — something abstract, even occult.

Biden repeated Hillary Clinton’s error in August 2016, when she devoted a major speech to attacking the “alt-right,” which not even her own fans could identify. And for some reason, with six days to Election Day, he did it again.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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