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Do Democratic Leaders Really Think Republicans Are Fascists?

Former Vice President Joe Biden (left) and National Constitution Center Executive Committee Chairman Doug DeVos (right) present George W. Bush and Laura Bush the 2018 Liberty Medal at The National Constitution Center on November 11, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Getty Images)

By Thomas Neuburger

"Mitch McConnell is a rational Republican."

—Joe Biden, May 2022

"I think our country needs a strong Republican Party. That's very important." —Nancy Pelosi, February 2021

"In my view, we need a Republican Party that's united."

—Joe Biden, November 2011

What do you make of the quotes above and many others like them? Are you perplexed? Is this just PR, spin, the appearance of loving the enemy for appearances sake? Or do quotes like these represent beliefs?

And what do you make of the image at the top and images like them? Here Vice-President Joe Biden is awards George W. Bush — and Laura Bush, for some unexplanable reason — the Liberty Medal in 2018, "an annual award ... to recognize leadership in the pursuit of freedom."

George W. Bush, invader and butcher of Iraq, is the U.S. president most identified with war crimes and torture in the modern era. Some freedom.

Why Are These Statements Ignored?

I think the Democratic Party–supporting public ignores these comments, perhaps because the Democratic Party has positioned itself as the only alternative to Republicans, which its ecosystem purports to hate.

A brief list:

Joe Biden: "What we’re seeing now is the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism." (2022)

Howard Dean: "The Republicans Are Now a Neo-Fascist Party" (2021)

Dana Milbank: "To call a person who endorses violence against the duly elected government a 'Republican' is Orwellian. More accurate words exist for such a person. One of them is 'fascist.'" (2022)

MSNBC: "The GOP was sowing seeds of fascism and violence long before Trump" (2021)

Salon: "Republicans have dropped the mask — they openly support fascism." (2022)

The list of comments like these goes on, and much further back than the election of Donald Trump.

Are Republicans Fascists Who Want a One-Party State? Of Course They Are.

Which leads to two brief points and a question. First,The "Republicans are fascists" theme is universal among Party propagandists.

And second, the "Republicans are fascists" theme is almost certainly correct. As History professor Kevin Matthews noted in 2020: "All inter-war fascist movements took part in elections with one goal in mind: to destroy democracy and create a one-party state."

That's probably been true since Richard Nixon's time in office, when former Attorney General George Mitchell told the Watergate committee that (paraphrasing) the Democratic Party alternative to Richard Nixon was so dangerous to the nation that illegal action was required to prevent it. When asked if they would have committed murder to elect Nixon president, he replied, to the best of my memory, "Senator, you ask a difficult question."

The "Democrats are traitors" theme goes way back in hardline conservative Republicanism, when in fact it was hardline conservative Richard Nixon who was the actual traitor to his country.

Thus the question: If Democratic leaders think Republicans are fascists, why don't they act like it?

'The Dirty Secret'

The complicity of Democratic leaders with Republicans is puzzling. They confirm Republican judges and Republican Supreme Court justices when they had the power to oppose them, notably Thomas, Roberts, and Alito.

About Alito, 19 Democrats voted to end debate, which allowed the nomination to reach the floor, and four Democrats voted for the nomination itself, putting it over the 50-vote threshold. Worse, Barack Obama later announced his regret at joining the filibuster, wishing he would have voted with the 19 Democrats who brought the nomination to the floor.

In September 2017, the Democratic Congress gave Trump more Pentagon money than he asked for, after calling him, in effect, illegitimate:

One could offer a number of reasons for these disconnects. The most obvious one, the Occam's Razor reason, is also the most shocking: Despite their rhetoric, Democratic leaders have no problem with Republican victories. They have no problem with Republicans taking power.

Here's former Democratic strategist Peter Daou to explain why this is true. He calls it "the dirty secret." (The source Twitter thread is here. I've lightly edited it for clarity.)

THE DIRTY SECRET 🧵 [1] As a former adviser in the belly of the establishment, I can tell you that Democratic leaders prefer a Republican Congress. Allow me to explain... #ElectionDay #Election2022

[2] Dem party leaders have one overarching job: Uphold the current system -- which keeps them funded and reelected. That involves enriching and protecting their big donors. But they have to maintain the appearance of "fighting" the GOP to appease their voters.

[3] What better way for corporate Dems to maintain the appearance of fighting for the people (while actually preserving the status quo) than for the GOP to hold more power?

That way, Dem leaders can blame Republicans for gridlock, while keeping their donor class happy.

[4] Thus, you get quotes like this, where establishment Dems constantly call for a STRONGER Republican Party.

[5] Have you ever asked yourself why the same Dem leaders run the party decade after decade? Why they maintain power even as the GOP becomes more powerful and entrenched? Why they rehabilitate the very GOP figures they once claimed were a "threat to democracy"?

[6] And please note: This thread refers to Dem LEADERS. There are certainly good people who run as Democrats, and lots of voters who sincerely believe voting blue can help stave off the GOP's fascism. But I'm talking about the party leadership that works to preserve the status quo.

Believing Impossible Things

The assertion above seems impossible to believe, yet it's always possible to believe impossible things.

I believed, for example, that Bernie Sanders could win the nomination after his 2020 Nevada primary win. I should have known that Obama would end all that.

And Democratic voters believe their leaders will work to protect them from the "neo-fascist party" danger, when they obviously, repeatedly won't.

So I can believe, till Occam's Razor says no, that "Democratic leaders prefer a Republican Congress." All the evidence supports it.

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