UPDATE: All but acknowledging defeat, President Joe Biden said Thursday he’s “not sure” his elections and voting rights legislation can pass Congress this year. He spoke at the Capitol after a key fellow Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, dramatically announced her refusal to go along with changing Senate rules to muscle past a Republican filibuster blockade. Read more...
Speaking from the grounds of two historically black colleges, Biden accused the Republican Party of hiding behind the filibuster rule in the U.S. Senate to block the Democrats’ “voting rights” legislation that is now stalled.
A tale of two speeches: Biden vs. DeSantis
A conservative activist says there was an amazing contrast in the messages delivered by President Joe Biden in Atlanta and by Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, at a State of the State address in Tallahassee.
Gary Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families, says the Biden speech was disgusting and divisive, and many others said so, too.
“They said it was unbecoming for a president,” he says. “It didn't look presidential.
What really captured a lot of attention, he says, is the Reagan-sounding speech delivered by Gov. DeSantis at almost the same time in The Sunshine State.
DeSantis is being viewed by many political observers as a likely GOP presidential candidate in 2024.
“A governor of Florida looks presidential in giving an upbeat positive speech, showing how conservative ideas are working in Florida,” Bauer summarizes. “And the President of the United States gives a speech that observers are saying, Wow, that didn't look like speech a President would give at all. It's an amazing contrast.”
An Associated Press story about the DeSantis speech can be read here.
"Do you want to be the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?” Biden angrily asked. “Do you want to be the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?"
The lawmakers who are holding back passage, he said, must decide if they are willing to “defend our elections” and “defend our democracy.”
At another point, Biden claimed he has been having “quiet conversations” with lawmakers for months, meaning he has been trying to be reasonable behind the scenes, and he slammed his hand on the lectern and proclaimed he is “tired of being quiet.”
The not-so-secret fact known by Senate Republicans is that Senate Democrats used the legislation-blocking filibuster a whopping 328 times during the 2019-2020 Senate term, when they were in the minority and the GOP controlled the chamber.
That fact is why Sen. Mitch McConnell, the measured but calculating GOP leader, denounced Biden’s claims in a Senate floor speech that suggested Biden is accusing Republicans of being racists because they are not caving to his demands.
“You could not invent a better advertisement for the legislative filibuster,” McConnell said, “than what we’ve just seen: a president abandoning rational persuasion for pure demagoguery.”
Reacting to Biden’s speech, Project 21 co-founder Deroy Murdock tells American Family News that Biden delivered “reprehensible, disgusting, and vulgar” comments that were the worst he has ever witnessed come from an American president.
“Other than calling somebody a Nazi, or comparing them to Adolph Hitler,” Murdock, an author and columnist, says, “I can’t think of anything more reprehensible and divisive and corrosive to say about other Americans.”
Reacting to Biden, too, Rob Chambers of AFA Action says the evil days when black voters were intimidated and chased away from voting precincts ended a long time ago.
“Look, people who are of any color have got to get a driver’s license if they want to drive. If they want to board an airplane, they have to show proof of identification,” he says. “Those things are not racist in themselves, and no one that I am aware of is pushing Jim Crow-era voting restrictions.”
Poll: Biden approval hits rock bottom
The political reality behind Biden’s angry speech is Democrats are watching polls predict an Election Day reckoning by voters, which could hand the Senate and House to the GOP. That prediction is why a growing number of Democrat lawmakers, now at 24 names, are packing up their offices rather than be in the minority in 2023.
This week, a Quinnipiac poll showed Joe Biden hit a rock-bottom 33% approval.
Faced with angry Americans and a prediction of defeat, Biden appeared in Atlanta with Vice President Kamala Harris because Senate Democrats have pivoted to pushing their “voting rights” bill after their “Build Back Better” legislation failed in the Senate. Now both bills are in jeopardy of failing, and scoring two embarrassing defeats for Democrats, because of the filibuster rule that Biden now calls a “relic of Jim Crow."
According to Murdock, Democrats have used the “race card” --- accusing their opponents of being bigoted racists --- so often the serious accusation has lost its effect.
“The idea that black people can’t get their hands on ID cards,” he says, “is one of the most racist and condescending and demeaning things I’ve ever heard.”
Editor's Note: AFA Action is an affiliate of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates AFN.net.