Joe Biden speaks passionately from a podium in front of a deep red background and an American flag

Lots of ‘Conservatives’ Are Telling on Themselves With Responses To Biden’s Anti-Fascism Speech

Last night, President Joe Biden gave a speech which can best be described as “fiery,” in terms of both the content and the visual aesthetic. Biden spoke for about 20 minutes about “the continued battle for the soul of our nation” and the assault on “equality and democracy,” and he did so in front of some extremely dramatic lighting:

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An absolute mood.

Biden’s speech addressed the threats posed by “extreme MAGA ideology.” These are the forces, as he described it, that are opposing free and fair elections and that “promote authoritarian leaders.” They want to take the country “backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.” They “look at the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th—brutally attacking law enforcement—not as insurrectionists who placed a dagger to the throat of our democracy, but they look at them as patriots.”

Biden specifically took time to say that he is not talking about Republicans or conservatives in general, but about a growing extremist faction of that party. “I want to be very clear up front,” he said. “Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans.  Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology. I know because I’ve been able to work with these mainstream Republicans.”

And yet we knew how this would go, didn’t we? A ton of Republicans and conservative media outlets decided to feel personally attacked by Biden’s fascism call-out.

This speech capped off a whole week of these same people complaining about Biden using the term “semi-fascist” to describe these pro-authoritarian extremists at a recent fundraiser. But again, if someone calls out fascism and you take that personally, well, that’s on you.

All of this is far too reminiscent of when Hillary Clinton coined “basket of deplorables” and Republicans freaked out because they don’t know how to hear someone talk about racist, misogynistic, violent extremists and not take it personally. They really should look into that.

You can watch Biden’s speech (or read the transcription) in full here:

(image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)


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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.