UPDATED 5:18 PM PT – Sunday, August 28, 2022
After President Joe Biden declared Republicans to be “semi-fascist,” leading Democrats have been either silent or supportive of his remarks.
Recently when speaking to Democrats, Biden not only said that the 74-million Americans who voted for former President Donald Trump were threatening to democracy and he declared that those individuals are on a path to “semi-fascism.”
In years past, that type of rhetoric about half of America’s voters would give party leaders a pause. In 2016, Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made a campaign defining statement by referring to half of Trump’s supporters, or about a quarter of voters, as being “in a basket of deplorables.” Many Democrats at the time criticized Clinton and she was later forced to backtrack on the comments.
However, now Democrats have stayed silent on the heating up of rhetoric against their fellow citizens even if they don’t outright support it. DNC chair Jaime Harrison was asked if he embraced the label. He said his party’s leader was just calling a spade a spade.
“Well, it’s not about the embracing – its calling what it is what it is, in the end of the day, we are a country built on freedom. And when you chip away at that, when you see the bullying that takes place in place like Florida with DeSantis,” Harrison said.
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said something similar, although she more closely matched Biden’s rhetoric.
“You look at the definition of fascism and you think about what they are doing in attacking our democracy, what they’re doing in taking away our freedoms, taking away, wanting to take away our rights, our voting rights. I mean, that is what that is,” Jean-Pierre said.
On the other side of the aisle, there are some Republicans demanding that President Biden apologizes for his inflammatory statement. Moderate New Hampshire Governor, Chris Sununu, referred to the Presidents remark as insulting.
“Horribly insulting. I mean the fact that the President would just go out and insult half of America, because effectively half of America votes Republican and half of America ultimately votes Democrat.” Sununu continued, “It’s horribly inappropriate and insulting, and people should be insulted by it and he should apologize.”
While that type of rhetoric coming from Biden and its defense by other party leaders is new, the Democrats have been trending in the direction of ratcheting it up ahead of the midterms.
After the 2020 election and the January sixth protests, far left Democrats have declared the Republican party to be a fascist and white supremacist movement. A notable Democrat who has spoken out is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
“If we fail to remove a white supremacist president who incited a white supremacist insurrection, it’s communities like Missouri’s first district that suffer the most,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “Well, you know I do think that fascistic tendencies, and we certainly saw a lot of fascist sympathizing.”
Now that the sentiment has gone all the way to the top of the Democrat party, it remains to be seen how it could benefit or hurt them in the November elections.