Joe Biden Kicks This Election Year Into Gear — ‘Is Democracy Still America’s Sacred Cause’

January 5, 2024

Sunshine in some spots still this late afternoon Friday here in California’s Central Valley. Another end to seemingly another week yet this one is special — not only the finish to holiday episodes but also the first few days in perhaps the most important, meaningful, consequential year since maybe in forever.
Life as we’ve known it might/could/most likely will be on the line in 2024.

Jolting-Joe Biden phrased it on point: ‘“There’s no confusion about who Trump is or what he intends to do,” Mr. Biden warned in a speech at a community college not far from Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, where George Washington commanded troops during the Revolutionary War. Exhorting supporters to prepare to vote this fall, he said: “We all know who Donald Trump is. The question is: Who are we?”

In the shape of things, Joe kicked the year in gear:

David Smith at the Guardian found Biden’s speech a ‘BFD‘ for the occasion:

This time it’s personal. On Friday Joe Biden tore into his predecessor Donald Trump as never before. He brimmed with anger, disdain and contempt. He apparently had to stop himself from swearing. So much for “when they go low, we go high” – and plenty of Democrats will be just fine with that.

If Biden was seeking to jolt his half-conscious 2024 re-election campaign into life, this may have done the trick. The palpable loathing of Trump took a good 10 or 20 years off him. Keep hating like this and he might do a Benjamin Button all the way to election day.

There is no better illustration of Biden’s evolution than a speech he delivered on the first anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. On that occasion, he denounced a “web of lies” but never mentioned Trump by name, preferring to cite the “former president”. Those were still the days when he would talk about “the former guy” and get a laugh.

Two years on, in an address near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Biden spoke the name “Trump” more than 40 times in less than an hour as he warned that his likely 2024 opponent would sacrifice American democracy to put himself in power. The 81-year-old president generally seems like a grandfatherly figure predisposed to give people the benefit of the doubt, which makes his detestation of Trump all the more striking.

Trump’s failure to act as a violent mob stormed the US Capitol, despite the pleas of staff and family members, was “among the worst derelictions of duty by a president in American history”, Biden said, noting that Trump went on to lose 60 court cases that took him back to the truth “that I had won the election and he was a loser.”

It was a jab to the ribs, since Trump hates nothing more than being branded a “loser”.

The president went on to recall how Trump has called the insurrectionists “patriots” and claimed there was a “lot of love” on January 6. At that, Biden shook his head, blinked and let out a gasp of disbelief, as if stunned anew by the assertion. “The rest of the nation, including law enforcement, saw a lot of hate and violence,” he said.

Biden furiously denounced political violence and Trump’s habit of joking about the big lie-influenced intruder who attacked Paul Pelosi, the former House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, with a hammer, saying: “And he thinks that’s funny. He laughed about it. What a sick – ”

He halted. At the last moment, the president of the United States had saved himself from uttering a profanity. The urge coursed through his body and found relief in his hands, which clenched into fists, as the crowd filled in with laughter and whooping. “My God,” Biden said. “I think it’s despicable, seriously, not just for a president but for any person to say that.”


Biden held a private meeting with historians this week to discuss the state of democracy and framed his speech around George Washington, the founding president who willingly relinquished power rather than become a king. He said the things that need to be said about this election on the eve of another January 6 anniversary, an outrage that animates him just as the white nationalist march in Charlottesville did in 2020.

There will be time enough to discuss the economy, border security, the climate crisis, reproductive freedom and foreign policy (his critics will ask why he cannot summon such righteous fury on behalf of Palestinian civilians). Voters will surely demand not only vivid Trump-bashing but a positive vision for a second term. Friday was hardly an optimistic start to the new year.

But for now, one thing is clear. The gloves are off and, assuming Trump wins the Republican nomination, this will be an election between combatants with a mutual abhorrence like none that has gone before.

War is coming. However, how do you deal with a vile, creepy, unrepentant, and cruel adversary? And of course, I’m talking about the entire Republican party, from T-Rump down to the lowest MAGA asshole — and if the speech ‘hardly an optimistic start to the new year,’ as wrote Mr. Smith, the reality of not lashing out can be worse.
As Joe intoned:’“Today we’re here to answer the most important of questions: Is democracy still America’s sacred cause.”

Although the T-Rump tried to slap back, calling Biden’s speech a “pathetic fearmongering campaign event,” there’s just so much the Orange Turd can do/say to combat real-time reality (he lies like breathing, anyway) — Jan. 6 was an insurrection/riot, and his bullshit instigated the whole thing. (This not including the phony electors/ballot fraud legal lying crap he also sprouted).

In the scope of living, one tortuous year lies ahead.

All of us — get out and vote! Get up, stand up:

Historical dimensions, or not, yet here we are once again…

(Illustration out front: ‘Joe Biden Painting,’ acrylic on paper, by Billy Jackson, and found here.)

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