Friday thread: Biden's blistering, relentless assault on MAGA Republicans
One powerful thing the president did was to cast "MAGA" -- the identity itself -- as terrible, hideous, dangerous. A dirty word that no one should want to be.
There were so many strong aspects in President Biden’s phenomenal and important speech from Independence Hall in Philadelphia last night focused on the “battle for the soul of the nation” in which he lambasted Donald Trump and the GOP over and over again as a dangerous threat.
But one thing I thought stood out was Biden’s repetition — the relentless assault on “MAGA Republicans” and “MAGA extremists” and “MAGA,” “MAGA,” “MAGA.”
He’s used the term before as a pejorative recently, seeming to be trying it out in speeches over the past few months, along with a few other Democratic leaders, like Chuck Schumer. But last night the use of the acronym, and portraying it as constituting a lowly, odious, sinister group and identity, was carefully thought out and articulated. And it was repeated over and over for maximum effect.
It brought me back to Karl Rove — George W. Bush’s brain, as he was known, the key advisor to the president’s political campaigns — and his much-discussed political technique, which was to hit your opponent on their strengths, not their weaknesses, something most evident in Bush’s re-election, running against Senator John Kerry.
Kerry, for example, was a war hero. So the plan was to take that down, which is what the Swift Boat veterans smear did. Hitting Kerry’s perceived weaknesses among some voters, like being on Martha’s Vineyard windsurfing as an “elite liberal,” was low-hanging fruit, It would jab him but not make much of real dent. Destroying his strength, however, his status as a war hero, was key to winning.
And — hear me out — I think there was something similar going on last night with Biden and MAGA.
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