Not Even Democrats Are Buying Biden’s ‘MAGA Republican’ Balderdash Anymore

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Remember when President Joe Biden stood on a stage with a Hitleresque red background and two marines to paint half of the nation as extremists? It was part of a desperate effort to frighten American voters into giving Democrats another chance in the upcoming midterm elections. The effort backfired largely because the only people who actually bought that particular piece of folderol were people who already wanted to believe it in the first place.

But now, it appears that even Democrats aren’t pretending to subscribe to this silly rhetoric anymore. Nevertheless, the president is still hoping to scare up some votes for Democratic candidates by insisting that Republicans are the next coming of Adolf Hitler.

During a rally in Miami last week, Biden addressed the crowd, claiming that “democracy is on the ballot this year.”

That’s right. If Americans democratically elect Republicans, then democracy will somehow die a slow and painful death.

In his last argument before the election, he gave an encore performance of his “MAGA Republican” speech in Pennsylvania earlier this year, warning about “mega MAGA Republicans” and reiterating that “This ain’t your father’s Republican Party.”

But this approach does not seem to be resonating with anyone, according to a recent USA Today report:

Yet there are serious doubts, including among Democrats, whether Biden’s doomsday portrayal of Republicans has broken through as stubborn inflation and pocketbook issues weigh on voters. Some in the party say Democrats should have touched more on economic concerns earlier in the campaign and less about restoring abortion rights, which dominated Democratic ads for much of the race, in part on the advice of the “governing consulting class.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said Biden’s message “was a mistake” and argued that “We need to frame this election as an economic choice.”

He’s not the only one. Others have cautioned Democrats against focusing primarily on those horrible Republicans instead of explaining how their policies are going to help Americans economically. The alarmism over what will happen should Republicans retake Congress is not moving Americans in the Democrats’ direction.

Lynn Vavrek, professor of American Politics and Public Policy at UCLA told USA Today that the public isn’t susceptible to these talking points.

“It’s sort of like saying, ‘Trust me, this time it’ll be really different if they take over. The country will never be the same,'” he said. “It’s a lot of hyperbole. And you’re asking voters to believe something that the past suggests may not be true.”

He’s right. Nobody actually believes democracy would be in danger if Republicans were to win one or both chambers of Congress – including the people claiming it would be. As I stated before, the whole “MAGA Republican” fearmongering only works on the anti-Trump crowd. But for regular folks in the middle or on the right, it’s not very effective, especially considering the public has already seen how awful things have already been under Democratic governance.

Republicans, for their part, have been doing an uncharacteristically decent job at messaging during this election season. They have rightly focused on the economy, crime, education, immigration, and other issues that Americans have identified as priorities as they head to the ballot box on Tuesday. Moreover, these are all issues on which Democratic politicians have failed quite miserably. These problems are what will be on voters’ minds as they show up to the polls, not fears about “MAGA Republicans.”

At this point, pretty much everyone’s mind is made up. It won’t be much longer before we find out which messaging strategy was more effective in the end.


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