Government Watch / Politics

Biden Bets Everything on a Strategy of Division

AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Berman

Last Thursday, in a speech that was billed as an address to the “soul of the nation,” President Joe Biden attacked what he termed “MAGA Republicans” as a “threat to Democracy,” blaming them for undermining the integrity of key American institutions and violating democratic norms. There is certainly something to be said for a warning about the state of American Democracy: after all, the United States does have a major political party whose members have rejected the authority of the Supreme Court, denounced the legitimacy of the Electoral College, and suggested they would not recognize a defeat in future elections, and who in June failed to denounce an activist who attempted to assassinate a member of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Self-reflection for the Democrats was not, however, on the agenda. If Democracy in the United States is in danger, and if part of the reason for it is a refusal by increasingly large portions of the country to accept defeat on issues, then the Democratic attitude of “rule or ruin” plays a key role. Republicans are not above gerrymandering, or playing hardball, but it is Democrats who refused to accept legislative defeats on guns, abortion, and student debt relief, and insisted on reversing them through highly questionable executive orders. If Biden has a point in warning about the behavior of a future Republican administration, a large part of that fear is that the next Republican president might try to do exactly the kind of overreaching that Biden has done.

If the goal of Biden’s speech was national healing, or to address the drift toward polarization, the speech was without a doubt a mistake. By singling out only one side, and ignoring the wider context, Biden ensured anyone interested in de-escalating on the Republican side would tune out. Meanwhile, by failing to call out the behavior of his own supporters, he made no effort to tone down their absolutism. It was a call not for peace and reconciliation, but for surrender. It was an ultimatum, not an olive branch.

Clearly, however, that appears to have been the point. A narrative has taken hold, driven by Democratic successes in special elections, most recently in Alaska, and by marginally rising poll numbers, that Biden and the Democrats are recovering. This alleged recovery correlates in the minds of Biden and his team with their decision to abandon efforts to win over swing voters in favor of mobilizing their own base, especially on divisive issues like abortion. As a result, the Biden White House has adopted a strategy of deliberate polarization.

Since June, Biden has “delivered” for his base on a series of policies – the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” “student loan relief,” raiding/harassing Donald Trump – all of which are without a doubt popular among left-wingers and the Democrat base. It is understandable, then, that at least some of those who disapproved of Biden’s performance because he was ineffective at delivering on left-wing priorities, not because he was too left-wing, would begin to express approval. This speech was merely the most dramatic example of this approach, driven by the perception in the media that it is working.

The problem for Biden is that this approach to a recovery has a ceiling. While it might be useful in improving his ratings from the 37-38% range to the 42-43% range by rallying left-wingers, many of these policies are either divisive (as with student loan relief) or outright unpopular (as with his spending bill). Biden, then has helped to alleviate the charge that he was an ineffective left-winger by demonstrating that he could be an effective left-winger. Unfortunately for him, he has, in the process, demonstrated to ordinary Americans that he is indeed what Republicans have alleged: a partisan left-winger.

If anything, Biden’s behavior, including presumably authorizing the raid on Donald Trump’s home in Florida and comparing “MAGA” supporters to fascists, seems designed to reinforce his image as a partisan rather than a unifying figure.

The one issue where Democrats had an opportunity to score a legislative victory on a “cultural issue” and rallied moderates, same-sex marriage, was one they lost interest in. In July, the U.S. House passed a bill codifying federal recognition of same-sex marriages with 47 Republicans voting in favor. To the shock of Democrats, who seem to have planned the bill as a political ploy, it suddenly looked like it would also pass in the Senate. Rather than welcoming this, Chuck Schumer seemed upset, and declined to schedule a vote, instead choosing to force through the budget-busting “Inflation Reduction Act” on partisan lines amidst warnings it might kill the same-sex marriage bill. Democrats were not interested in the issue as policy, nor in bipartisanship, and they were not going to allow it to pass by mistake and ruin their portrayal of Republicans as extremists.

Instead, they preferred to double down on abortion as a suitably divisive issue. Protecting the legal rights of same-sex couples, especially if legislation passed with protections for religious believers, risked bringing too many Americans together and removing an issue with which Democrats could frighten their voters.

It is important to keep this context in mind when it comes to analyzing or even discussing any impact of the Dobbs decision. The media, along with both Republican and Democratic analysts, have come to cite a “Dobbs effect,” alleging that the position of the Democratic Party has improved since the Supreme Court’s abortion decision. This appears to be the case insofar as, prior to the decision in June, Republicans were motivated and eager to vote, while liberals and Democrats saw little reason to. Now, Republicans remain motivated to vote, but Democrats and liberals are also much more willing to turn out.

But this phenomenon is also the result of the way the issue has played out. Unlike same-sex marriage, which after all is still governed by a controlling Supreme Court precedent declaring it legal nationwide, abortion law is now so fragmented among the states that Democrats were guaranteed to be able to find some jurisdiction to demonize.

“Failure” on abortion might not provide voters a reason to back Joe Biden, but it does provide Biden and his team with a reason why Democrats and liberals must turn out to vote against Republicans. And that is precisely what we have seen. To the extent that Democrats’ numbers have improved, it has largely been due to a shift in turnout dynamics in their favor, rather than winning over swing voters.

Will it work? The media thinks so. Politico suggests that Republicans are becoming reconciled to “fewer gains” while the Washington Post suggested the “unthinkable”: that Democrats could hold the House and make gains in the U.S. Senate. But, as I noted two weeks ago, it is easy to confuse movement for momentum. Both Republican and Democratic media figures exist heavily within the exact demographics (millennial city-dwellers with graduate degrees) where Biden’s base mobilization strategy has been most effective. It does not represent the scale of the task Democrats face, or whether the strategy is working at all with the Hispanic voters Democrats have been losing.

As for Republicans who are panicking over a Democratic ”comeback”, some seem to be exaggerating it for their own ends. Ben Shapiro blamed it squarely on Donald Trump’s increased prominence in order to advance his own argument that the party should redouble its efforts to move on from the former President.

This much is true: Any Democratic revival has been driven by Biden’s efforts to mobilize Democrats and liberals through division, and that requires an enemy. If Donald Trump did not exist, Biden would have to create him, which arguably is what he did with the recent raid—at least insofar as Trump goes as a midterm voting issue. In that sense, Shapiro is wrong to see this as easily avoidable. What the GOP should do is recognize that Democrats have benefited from shifting the debate from issues where they are on the wrong side of most of the public, such as school closures and wokeness, to ones where the public is split more evenly.

Republicans should respond with caution, but before Democrats celebrate, they should keep in mind that this sort of strategy is excellent for going from 37% to 44% of the vote. It is much harder to get to 50-51% if you are passing divisive spending bills, accusing your enemies of fascism, and obsessing over inside baseball issues such as the location of classified documents.

It may be the only strategy available to Biden—but that doesn’t mean it’s a good one.

Daniel Berman is a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He also writes as Daniel Roman.            


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Donna
2 months ago

I agree that the Democratic Party appears to want division in our country and is very radical. However, the Republican Party move towards acceptance of gay marriage has already resulted in many switching to the Constitution Party. First, if anyone reads the Bible anymore or even claims to believe it, there are several passages in both the Old and New Testament that speak out against homosexuality. However, there is also a verse that says in I Corinthians “ and such were some of you” – were being past tense- referring to homosexuality as well as other things such as thievery- that says people can change and be forgiven. The Bible many times says that Jesus looked on the multitudes and had compassion and in James it says, “ Having compassion making a difference.” So, yes, we should have compassion. For example, there are many young people, male and female, who are confused about sexuality because they were sexually abused as children. Our response should be to help them showing compassion, but not endorsing another violation of scripture because of a previous violation. For example, my sister, who was physically handicapped having only one leg due to complications from Type 1 diabetes, taught in the public schools for 34 years. The state teachers union told her to sign a statement saying she would tolerate homosexuality. She signed saying that as a teacher she would treat all students equally and fairly. The next year the Union asked her to teach that homosexuality was an acceptable lifestyle. This time she said that it was not acceptable to God and she would not violate her conscience. She was dismissed from the Union- with no regrets on her part. We can treat people kindly with compassion, but the government has no right to control our fundamental beliefs and thoughts. The second thing smart people should realize is that there is a domino effect. By accepting the first part of LGBT… propaganda, you will end up accepting the entire hedonistic program. One win leads to another- now the promotion of mutilating children. Next comes pedophilia – after all this group has supported the movement from the beginning and is waiting patiently for payback time. It has already started. I have always voted Republican, but God comes before party even if I have to write in a candidate or leave one blank. I know many who have already done so. In our church, having compassion making a difference means that anyone of the LGBT… persuasion can worship with us and feel welcome- but they can’t come in with a personal agenda to cause divisions.

Bwa Ha
2 months ago

Ol’ Slo’ Joe’s an outright global embarrassment! IMHO!

<u><i><b>MAGA2024! TRUMP2024!

FJB! LET’S GO BRANDON!</b></i></u>

teresa Ann d'alessandro
2 months ago

this guy is a dingbat! i just can’t believe that this imposter and his motley crew followers think it’s ok for illegal men to come here and rape kids – how can you be proud of this – you’re disgusting! you are not human or compassionate – you are selfish and greedy

Bob
2 months ago

We have to come to the realization that the big red wave expected in November is doubtful. The American publics in depth understanding of politics is relegated to headlines, a brief description of the political football of the day by local left leaning news stations and catchy titles of spending bills like the “American Rescue Plan,” “Infrastructure Bill,” and the “Inflation Reduction Act.” Each sound like the solution to the current issue and in reality, the causes of the problems we face today. If the Republicans don’t get out the message and expose these deceptions to the American people don’t expect any red wave.

MBlanc46
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Plus, many Americans have a negative opinion of Mr Trump, or, at least, are sick and tired of herring about him.

teresa Ann d'alessandro
2 months ago
Reply to  MBlanc46

well that’s too bad bc at least President Trump isn’t allowing unlawfulness to happen. who cares that morons have a negative opinion we want a leader who can deal with harsh people in harsh times. the left are wusses plain and simple. those who lack common sense would hate a man who does good for this country! p.o.s

Sam
2 months ago

The old adage divide and conquer is still being used! The thing here is don’t let this guy fill your mind with misconception and stay the course of the constitution!

Bwa Ha
2 months ago
Reply to  Sam

You’re right, we shouldn’t let that derelict, ol’ slo’ joe and his minions fill our minds with misconception(s)! We must continue to stay the course re: our Constitution! IMHO!

<u><i><b>MAGA2024! TRUMP2024!

FJB! LET’S GO BRANDON!</b></i></u>

Pete from St Pete
2 months ago

The mainstream news media keeps assuring us that the Democrats are steadily gaining ground and election day will validate Biden’s policies. DON’T BELIEVE A WORD OF IT! They are trying to convince we conservatives that there is no sense in our bothering to vote and they are backing up their words with fake polls. Vote by any means available to you even if you have to crawl through ground glass to get to the polls.

Marie Langley
2 months ago

The Democrats have nothing to run on. They have no accomplishments to report so they have to turn to violent and hateful rhetoric to distract from all their failures. That’s all they got!!!!!
And we the Republicans are the hateful and fascist party????? LOL

Douglas Proudfoot
2 months ago

Given that the Democrats were in Hail Mary pass territory when it came to election polls, how much do Democrats think they gain making 2022 about Trump and MAGA, rather than the issues?

The issues of record high inflation and crime, school closings, supply chain issues and baby formula shortages aren’t working for Democrats.

Most voters don’t want to emulate rolling blackouts in California or freezing houses coming soon in Europe, just because both places decided wind and solar meant they didn’t have to produce their own natural gas. Voting green Democrat isn’t attractive.

Most voters don’t want their kids taught that their skin color determines their lives, regardless of their individual efforts. Most voters believe “meritocracy” is the law, not a code word for white supremacy.

Most voters don’t think it’s a priority to protect pregnant men from climate change. Most voters will not vote to open our jails and borders, and close our schools. Most voters prefer the police, no matter how excessively white, to their local street gang, no matter how diverse.

If you were a Democrat, wouldn’t you rather talk about Trump and MAGA as a threat to “Our Democracy?”

tomanderson
2 months ago

Here is what we are facing.

They continue to provoke the normal people in this country. Unfortunately, people who believe in self reliance, God, hard work, and morality are being displaced. Look around folks, there are less and less of us.

The Left knows that. The fact that Biden’s ratings aren’t tanking are highly illustrative. The election may have been stolen, but close to 50%, if not more, voted this scum into office. The Left hardly needs to cheat. Look around. People are totally sucked into climate change garbage, they totally sucked into the vaccines, they totally got on board having our kids uneducated and tortured in school. Aside from a handful of good parents, people are fine with mutilating kids bodies, even without parents knowing about it. People cheer on criminals. Laws are not enforced. If you are liberal can burn down things, hurt people, destroy their businesses, you can do an illegal search and seizure of your political opponents. You can lie to federal judges to get a warrant. And, if you step out of line and barge into YOUR Capitol, you can be thrown in jail for years with no charge.

We are being marched into a sick, twisted, fascist society, and being called fascists if we speak up about it. We are called terrorists.

The Left is confident. They will win by sheer numbers. If we push back, they will have the power and law to come down on us hard, and take even more rights away. Which is what they want. Either do nothing, or fight, we lose.

If this continues on this path, the only reset will be a civil war. Period.

Jacobite2
2 months ago
Reply to  tomanderson

Fascists, Nazis, Falangists, Iron Guard, and every other Right-wing movement are defined as being reactionaries. They are reacting to Left-wing attacks on their nations (nation: a group of individuals all sharing ONE, COMMON race/ethnicity, language, culture, religion, history, traditions, etc.). In the US, the American Nation is under attack from the typical Leftist cabal of actual aliens and of deracinated Americans. In all European-settled states, Leftists are anti-white, and Right-wingers are anti-Leftist/pro-white. In the US, a Right-wing party would be pro-white, pro-Christian, and pro-Western Civilization. The US Left is the exact opposite, which is why Leftists are so terrified by any hint of “white supremacy” or “white nationalism” (which are normal social-animal behavior, AKA Human Nature). I mean, as a white person, I’m supposed to want non-white supremacy?

Bwa Ha
2 months ago
Reply to  tomanderson

Keep reloading that brass!

IMHO

MAGA2024! TRUMP2024!
FJB! LET’S GO BRANDON!

Roland
2 months ago

In his 2021 inaugural address, in which he falsely pretended to be a responsible leader of a divided nation he said, “We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors,” Biden said then. “We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.”

And the other day, for cynical political gain, he gave a speech that was all bitterness and fury, raising the temperature, and discarding all pretense of unity.

Duties
2 months ago

If Democrats don’t create victims and villains, censor the truth and fabricate lies, they could not exist.

Duties
2 months ago

I’m retired.  I have grown kids, each of whom are employed.  I’ve never been arrested.  I pay my taxes, all of my bills and I’ve never defaulted on a loan.  I play tennis as a hobby and walk my dog twice a day.  I occasionally go out to dinner and always tip 20%+.   I’ve never voted more than once in an election. I’ve never smoked crack cocaine and have no business deals in China, Russia or Ukraine because of my father’s last name.

I’m a threat to the very soul of the nation.

Myrna Wade
2 months ago

The Biden administration is trying to ramp up a fight already in progress. I think this is their strategy. Russia had been building up its military along Ukraine’s border for many years, but it was as though Biden as president was what it took to start the war. I so remember his impatiently stating “he (Putin) has to do something.
I think they would be pleased to have citizens who oppose them start rioting.
Perhaps it would be an excuse to increase control. I don’t know why but it seems like they are asking for a fight.
We must peacefully confront them and make them see the error of their ways.

A Voter
2 months ago

Democrats have no other strategy besides division.

Hal
2 months ago
Reply to  A Voter

I think the DemocRat Party follows the manifesto for Communism…. sub rosa, of course.

Bwa Ha
2 months ago
Reply to  Hal

I have no doubt now that the DemocRat party “follows” the communist manifesto. It’s my belief that they’ve followed that particular manifesto for decades.

MAGA2024! TRUMP2024!
FJB! LET’S GO BRANDON!

Ted Weiland
2 months ago

MORE EVIDENCE THE CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED

“The United States Constitutional Republic was destined to fall from its inception. This is borne out in the following two passages:

‘And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matthew 7:26-27)

‘[E]very kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.; (Matthew 12:25)

“The house known as the Constitutional Republic was not built upon the rock of Yahweh’s1 word, but instead upon Enlightenment and Masonic concepts.2 It began and continues as a divided house….

“The day is therefore approaching when the Republic’s cup of iniquity will be full3 and Yahweh’s longsuffering is exhausted. At that time, the Republic will be subjected to His judgment. Like all nations before her built on sand, she will cease to exist. The question that remains is whether that generation’s Christians will be prepared to build upon her ruins. If not, another ungodly nation will fill the void until finally a future generation of our posterity are prepared to erect a government and society upon Yahweh’s righteousness as expressed in His triune moral law (His commandments, statutes, and judgments).4

“It is therefore incumbent upon this and all intervening generations of Christians to do everything in their power to help prepare for that future generation of Christians to do it right(eous) the next time….”

For more see free online book “A Biblical Constitution: A Scriptural Replacement for Secular Government” at Bible versus Constitution dot org. Scroll down to title.

Find out how much you really know about the Constitution as compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar and and received a free copy of a book that *examines* the Constitution by the Bible.

Larkenson
2 months ago

Why is it that EVERY White country is FORCED to accept massive third-world immigration, assimilation, and why is it that ONLY White countries are FORCED to become multicultural? Nobody asks that of any non-White country. Multiculturalism is just a code word for White Genocide.

Bernadette TV
2 months ago
Reply to  Larkenson

If you are referring to the USA, as a white country, please remember that this nation was founded on the backs of first the Indigenous natives, and then upon the BROWN backs of the Latin/Hispanics and was built and serviced by slaves of BLACK Africans and Chinese immigrants. Your statement Larkenson is most racist and ignorant!

tomanderson
2 months ago
Reply to  Bernadette TV

No, it wasn’t. We didn’t use the indigenous natives to build our country, and our country certainly wasn’t built by slaves. Pick up a real history book.

MBlanc46
2 months ago
Reply to  Bernadette TV

Blah, blah, blah. The American republic was founded by European colonists. In the Immigration Act of 1790, they restricted future immigration to whites.

Dan
2 months ago

Hard to tell if democrats are just plain stupid or consumate liars.
Well here’s a truth for you.
BIRTH CONTROL PREVENTS PREGNANCY.
ABORTION PREVENTS LIFE.

Hal
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

Both !

David Lilly
2 months ago

Pretty easy to see that the speeches will play well to the insane anti-American leftist base. The problem is that the country is far more concerned with economic matters that make the democrats look REALLY bad.
Reasonable folks will be repelled by the accusations our dementia addled mushmouth president throws at his political enemies, especially when he contradicts himself over the same accusations just a day or two later.
How could the republican party, en entire gutless political entity at the top, ever gift itself with political opposition so thoroughly lacking credibility ?

prophesies
2 months ago
Reply to  David Lilly

But, as usual, how many republican candidates are highlighting and running on the real issues of the economy, growing lawlessness and crime-threatened communities, radical environmentalism, such, that are eroding our Republic?

Andrew P
2 months ago

The Democrats are showing an unusual amount of panic about the midterms. They didn’t show such panic in other years they lost, like 2010 and 2014. The question is why? I think the answer is the place in the economic cycle we are in right now. We are at the end of a cycle that has been full of bubbles and now has rampant inflation. The Democrats need to accelerate reckless spending just to keep the economy afloat. They know a GOP House will cut that spending off. Biden was fed delusions about him being another FDR when he started. His handlers now know he is likely to be a second Herbert Hoover – blamed for another depression when his party runs for reelection in 2024.

David Lilly
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew P

The democrats and the media are currently pleasuring themselves with the insane notion that they might just carry the mid term elections instead of losing both the house and senate.
I detest james carville because he is detestable, but if you are right your are right, and he is right when he says “its all about the economy,$$%^&”.

Navyvet79
2 months ago

The perpetual Leftist MO: If you don’t have an enemy, create one. Who was it that did the same, back in the 1930’s?

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