Mitch McConnell Goes There on Joe Biden’s ‘Incoherent’ Georgia Speech in Calculated Move

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Not surprisingly, the unabashedly partisan, racially charged speech President Joe Biden delivered Tuesday in Georgia on supporting an overhaul of the Senate’s rules on the filibuster royally cheesed off his political opposition, particularly when Biden literally compared those who disagree with him on changing the filibuster rules and federalizing elections to prominent Democrat racists of the past like Bull Connor, Jefferson Davis, and George Wallace.

“I ask every elected official in America: How do you want to be remembered?” Biden asked rhetorically. “Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis? This is the moment to decide. To defend our elections. To defend our democracy.”

Chief among those disgusted with Biden’s smear against both Republicans and the Democrat Senators (Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema) who oppose altering or eliminating the filibuster rules was Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who took to the floor of the U.S. Senate earlier today and laid into Biden, calling his speech “incoherent” and “profoundly unpresidential” for a man who pledged to be a unifier who would bridge longstanding political divides in order to get things done.

Early on in the speech, McConnell reminded his colleagues and anyone else listening or watching that he knew Biden well since they had worked alongside each other in the Senate and when Biden was Vice President under Barack Obama, but that he “did not recognize the man at that podium yesterday.”

It was a calculated move to mention their long professional working relationship because McConnell clearly understands that one thing Joe Biden is fond of doing is to remind people of how far back in the Senate he goes and the cordial relationships Biden has said he formed over the years, even with some of his political adversaries. McConnell knows that it’s important to Biden to be viewed as a skillful, bipartisan negotiator (even though the image is not remotely true) and in invoking his relationship, he was saying in a nutshell “the man I know and the man Joe Biden professes to be is not the one we saw on that stage.”

Here’s some of what McConnell said:

Twelve months ago, the President said that “politics need not be a raging fire destroying everything in its path.” That was just twelve months ago. Yesterday he poured a giant can of gasoline on that fire.

Twelve months ago, the President said “every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.” But yesterday, he said anyone who opposes smashing the Senate and letting Democrats rewrite election law is a domestic “enemy” and a traitor like Jefferson Davis.

One week ago, President Biden gave a January 6th lecture about not stoking political violence. Yesterday, with the world’s largest megaphone, he invoked the literal Civil War and said we are on the doorstep of “autocracy.” He talked about domestic “enemies.” Rhetoric unbecoming of a President of the United States.

In less than a year, “restoring the soul of America” has become: agree with me, or you’re a bigot. From lowering the temperature to invoking totalitarian states and the Civil War. This inflammatory rhetoric was not an attempt to persuade skeptical Democratic or Republican Senators. In fact, you could not invent a better advertisement for the legislative filibuster than a President abandoning rational persuasion for pure demagoguery.

A President shouting that 52 Senators and millions of Americans are racist unless he gets whatever he wants is proving exactly why the Framers built the Senate to check his power. This whole display is the best possible argument for preserving the Senate rules that extend deliberation, force bipartisan compromise, and let cooler heads prevail. Nothing proves it better than this episode. It offers a perfect case study in why Senator Biden was right about the filibuster and President Biden is wrong.

One respected scholar explained it this way: “The smallest majority we’ve ever seen in our politics is trying to change the rules for how people get elected in every state.” That’s just about the best argument for the filibuster you could possibly imagine.”

Watch a portion of McConnell’s speech below:

McConnell is smart enough that he knows he’s not going to change Biden’s mind, nor Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s, who he also criticized in his speech. But what he does know is that between himself, Schumer and Biden, McConnell is the one most sounding like the adult in the room, and from all available info, we also know that McConnell has a much better working relationship with Manchin than Biden does. What McConnell said today is going to resonate with Manchin much more than what Biden said yesterday. In fact, what Biden said yesterday likely only further emboldened Manchin to stand his ground.

What McConnell’s remarks did were to cut Biden down to size, painting him as the duplicitous, double-talking “leader” that he is while emphasizing just how awful his speech was and how it ruthlessly (and wrongly) impugned the reputations of any Democrat who dared to think differently than him, like Manchin and Sinema.

Biden thought he was being smart yesterday by hitting the gas on the Woke Express. McConnell let him know today that Biden did not just steer the train wildly off course with what he told that Georgia crowd, but that he derailed it — and that the results for him will ultimately be catastrophic in the coming months legislatively and also come election time.

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