Biden goes on offense, as Trump and GOP are on the run
A remarkable turnaround: MAGA candidates sinking, Trump destroying himself, GOP in-fighting erupts. And Biden comes out swinging.
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Last night Democrat Mary Peltola won the special election for Alaska’s sole Congressional seat — held by Republicans for decades, beating the Trumpiest of the homegrown Trumpers, Sarah Palin. She becomes the first Alaskan Native to serve in Congress, making history.
The Cook Political Report immediately moved the rating on the race for November — the special election was to fill the seat after Republican Don Young’s death in March — from “Likely R” to “toss-up,” along with moving several other House races toward the Democrats.
This comes after Democrats outperformed President Biden’s 2020 margins in districts in every special election for House seats since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
The GOP is in chaos.
Leaders in the House have been thrown off of talking about Biden and inflation, which is ebbing. Instead they’ve been thrust into continually defending Donald Trump after the Mar-a-Lago search, as Trump’s claims become more and more indefensible.
Trump, in every move — whether by his lawyers on legal grounds, or in his statements on his floundering Truth Social platform — continues to incriminate himself. By asking for a special master to go through the documents the DOJ took back — which is unnecessary as none of the documents are Trump’s — he forced the DOJ to reveal more in its filing opposing a special master. And that included photos of documents marked “TOP SECRET” and “classifIed” found in his office at the resort.
This underscored that his attorneys either lied or were misled by him — so they are now either witnesses or possible defendants, and must withdraw from the case — when they told the DOJ they sent back all the classified documents and were protecting files in the storage area downstairs, not allowing them to be taken. And it shows Trump lied about “declassifying” them — which was always ridiculous — because the files were all marked “TOP SECRET” and “classified.”
Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, two weeks ago attacked the “candidate quality” of Trump-backed Senate candidates, only to be attacked by Trump as “a broken down hack” and see Trump call his wife, Trump’s own former Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chow, “crazy.” Senator Rick Scott, who runs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, under fire for possible mismanagement of the PAC’s funds, today tried to deflect from attacks on him by going after McConnell in an op-ed. Now the top leaders in the GOP are having a public feud.
All of this clearly has President Biden and his team realizing you have to go in for the kill.
Fresh off of a string of big legislative wins, Biden last week at a fundraiser warned that the GOP is turning toward “semi-fascism” and has been lambasting the “MAGA Republicans” and the threat to democracy they pose in remarks and speeches in the past week.
After Senator Lindsey Graham threatened “riots in the street” if Trump is prosecuted, Biden took him to task in another fiery speech in which he mocked the GOP for claiming to be the party of “law and order.”
And tonight Biden will give a primetime address to the nation from Philadelphia, a speech focused on what the White House calls “a battle for the soul of the nation”:
White House official said Thursday's address at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia would focus on “the continued battle for the soul of the nation” and show how the president sees the central argument of his 2020 candidacy remains as salient as ever with the midterm elections coming into clearer focus.
The president will lay out how America’s standing in the world and its democracy are at stake, the official said. Biden will highlight what he sees as progress over the past two years to protect our democracy, but note that rights and freedoms remain at risk.
“He will make clear who is fighting for those rights, fighting for those freedoms, and fighting for our democracy,” the official said.
This is so vitally important, and in prime-time no less. While the GOP continues to show its rampant extremism, and Trump is ever more an omnipresent danger, it’s not enough to just let the American people see it. You have to draw the sharp contrast.
Biden sees the massive response to Roe v. Wade being overturned. He sees the horror of the GOP threats on democracy. And, though he’s remarkably accomplished a lot, he’s realized that getting major legislation passed will require keeping the House and expanding the Senate. And this can be done. He’s finally listening to the base, and speaking forcefully and with urgency.
Tonight’s speech is another opportunity, while the GOP is in disarray, to make sure people understand that Biden and Democrats are united and focused on the dangerous time we’re in and why it’s so critical that people vote. against the GOP.