“A Dangerous Escalation”: Fifty-Six Percent of Voters Believe President Biden Sought to “Incite Conflict”

Many of us (including some Democrats) have criticized President Joe Biden for his inflammatory speech in Philadelphia that cast Republicans as “threats to the foundations of our republic.” I also objected to the use of Marines at the political speech like nutcracker props flanking the President as he accused millions of their fellow Americans of being enemies of the state. Now, a Trafalgar poll shows that a majority of Americans believe that Biden tried to “incite conflict” with his speech.

The poll asked respondents, “What is your opinion of President Biden’s recent primetime address to the nation in which he accused his political opponents of representing ‘an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic’?”

Fifty-six percent of the voters said that the speech “represents a dangerous escalation in rhetoric and is designed to incite conflict amounts Americans.”

For many, the speech was the final refutation of Biden’s pledge to be a unifier as president after two years of highly partisan and divisive actions. It was also a failure if intended to rally independents and others to his side. Yet, the speech may have had more modest objectives.  The same 35 percent of hardcore supporters liked the speech and Biden may have decided, again, to play to that base.

Whatever the reason, the speech added to the rage of our politics.  For his part, Donald Trump quickly bulldozed any moral high ground after the speech by denouncing Biden as an “enemy of the state” and calling the FBI “vicious monsters.”

With the leaders of both parties engaging in such rhetoric, it is little surprise that a majority of the public now believes that there will be an increase in political violence.

We are experiencing a near total failure of leadership in our country. Politicians on both sides are fueling rage for personal and political advantage. It is a dangerous and craven form of demagogueryJames Freeman Clarke once said that “a politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.” We have far too many politicians today and far too few statesmen at an increasingly perilous time for our country.

328 thoughts on ““A Dangerous Escalation”: Fifty-Six Percent of Voters Believe President Biden Sought to “Incite Conflict””

  1. If you look at the break out of whom is in what party, it is no surprise 89% of Republicans thought the speech was “represents a dangerous escalation in rhetoric and is designed to incite conflict amongst Americans.”
    Only 18% of Democrats felt the same way.
    What I did find mildly surprising was 62% of us Independents felt the speech “represents a dangerous escalation in rhetoric and is designed to incite conflict amongst Americans.” Which, I, as an Independent, agree with.

    Then there were the MSM MSNBC pundits saying they (the Democrats) were at war with “these people.” One went as far to say there was no difference between Republicans and right wing extremists.

    Kathy Griffin tweeted, “If you don’t want a Civil War, vote for Democrats in November. If you do want Civil War, vote Republican.” What does that even mean? She believes Republicans are going to start a war? Or Democrats?

    Regardless, the trend of “represents a dangerous escalation in rhetoric and is designed to incite conflict amongst Americans.” IS escalating, and that is dangerous.

      1. Dennis, great question. Even if you know who she is within the entertainment industry (though there is little about her that is entertaining), who is she that we should even care what she says or why she should even be quoted in the media?

  2. Part of the problem seems to be we are dealing with aging politicians who have haven fought too many political wars and need to step aside. They have all grown old and bitter and have left their better angels far behind. I cannot remember when the upper ranks of both political were so dominated by 80 year olds or close to it. We need younger leaders and some mass retirements
    Too many observers lack a sense of perspective and history. The time of McCarthyism was certainly no joy ride for the country.
    The Great Depression was a time of tremendous despair, poverty, malnutrition and unrest with the American Communist Party hitting an all time high in members and real Nazi’s such as the American Nazi Party and others sought to emulate Hitler. the Communists in the US was so closely allied to Moscow that Stalin’s agents were told to steer clear of the American communists lest they be uncovered.
    One wonders how things would have turned out if there was no WW 2 to unite the country and also bring back prosperity.
    There was once a short period called the “Era of Good Feelings” in the distant past but I remember no other time with that name. But most of the rest of the time politics in the US was a full contact sport and still is.
    If you grew up in the 1960’s there was a little war with 48,000 + deaths, mass demonstrations, yearly summer race riots with JFK, MLK Jr, and RFK all assassinated in that decade.
    Since I was in high school and college during that decade, I remember that decade very well and it was quite personal. Wonder how many of the people commenting here were involved then or were even alive. My perspective is somewhat different.

    1. I don’t disagree, the difference being those things were not nearly as institutionalized then (not even close!) and most sane people thought it was madness. Today, much of what you described is taught, encouraged, celebrated, and defended, and there is no justification for it in cushy modern life that is even comparable. Young people tweeting their rage on a $1,000 iPhone have kinda missed the point of your sound analysis.

    2. I was born in the early 70s.
      Vaguely recall Carter vs Regan election.
      Grew up with the Cold War Threat of nuclear war. I recall the TV movie The Day After. Regan getting shot. The Beirut bombing. The fall of the Soviet Union.

      To me, the Biden admin and the Dems in general are in desperation with poor polling numbers, failures at the border, the economy (just read an article about people having to use buy now, pay later for groceries and food banks are seeing record numbers of people even surpassing COVID numbers), foreign policy, unite the country, bring back “norms,” to the point this speech was designed to place all the blame on the GOP and start “othering” people.
      It is dangerous, divisive, and drives hate.

    3. I was married in the ’60s, so I know them well, especially from the NYC Greenwich Village perspective. There was division, but not as divisive as it is today. People with various ideologies mixed with others. Families did not split apart. The violent left was relatively small, and the killing and bombings were not acceptable to either side of the aisle.

      McCarthy was a bit early, but I don’t believe McCarthyism was as dangerous as the McCarthyism of the left is today. Though an unlikeable drunk, McCarthy happened to be correct. The McCarthyism of the left today is far more dangerous. The Great Depression could have split the nation, but I think we had cooler heads at the time, and as you say WW2.

  3. How, pray tell, are non-dem voters ‘inciting’ anything? All I get from that is that non-dems aren’t rolling over and just taking dem authority the way the dems believe they should. Give me a break. Non-dems have done almost literally nothing but defend themselves against the dems for six years, it is painfully obvious, and there are reams of written and video evidence. The speech was just the latest and most egregious example. Admit the dem party’s failure, don’t make it a failure on the part of people that have legitimately done their best only to be met by rebuke, hostility, and ostracizing over and over and over again.

  4. After the last six years or so of listening to Trump’s dangerous rhetoric and breaking all sorts of traditions and norms; the first time Turley notices a problem is with a Biden speech ( and he says in passing, oh yeah, Trump’s latest speech was a problem too).

    That is always the way it is with Turley. He would never call out Trump unless it is in passing for calling out something Biden or a Democrat did.

    If you want statesmen to run the country, you should not be testifying in Congress for those who extorted a foreign government with military aid unless it launched a baseless investigation into a political opponent.

    1. Polly Sigh wrote, “After the last six years or so of listening to Trump’s dangerous rhetoric…”

      Let’s have a brief comparison exercise.

      I’m not saying President Trump never did what you stated, he does have a loose cannon mouth, but I’m truly interested to see a couple of examples of what you would call dangerous divisive rhetoric from President Trump while he was President that comes close to the dangerous divisive rhetoric that President Biden spouted on September 1, 2022.

      I’m not into instant gratification and I don’t expect it from others, so I’ll wait in the wings while you look. Take your time.

      1. As a start, here’s the divisive rhetoric he used just on Twitter: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/01/19/upshot/trump-complete-insult-list.html

        And of course, his divisive statements weren’t limited to Twitter. He’s made sexist statements (“[Megyn Kelly] starts asking me all kinds of ridiculous questions. And, you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”). He made religiously bigoted claims like “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” He made ethnically bigoted comments, like his claim that Judge Curiel had “an inherent conflict of interest” simply by virtue of being Hispanic. He mocked a disabled reporter’s movements (you’ll have to watch a video for that one, because it was his movement rather than words). He told his rally-goers “I’d like to punch him [a protester] in the face.” He advocated torture: “I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” And this is only a small sampling.

        Trump’s divisiveness also wasn’t limited to rhetoric. He approved literally separating kids from parents after they’d crossed the border, and his admin. failed to keep track of who their parents were, so it has been next to impossible to reunite them.

        1. ” He approved literally separating kids from parents after they’d crossed the border, and his admin. failed to keep track of who their parents were, so it has been next to impossible to reunite them.”

          Half-truths are lies. Coyotes were using children to help transport drugs and also abusing them. Separation. in many cases, was necessary. The families could later unite themselves with the children. In any event, Trump was sealing up the border and reducing the harm to children, women, and Americans by reducing drug transport and crime.

          Today Biden is responsible for countless deaths of migrants trying to reach our southern border or drowning in the Rio Grande. He is responsible for the hike in American deaths from drugs due to the increased flow of drugs that Biden permits to travel with illegals. Biden is responsible for harming American families whose social services are given to illegals instead of themselves. Biden is a failure on all these social issues, along with a Constitutional issue where he refuses to follow immigration laws.

          Virtually every significant complaint of yours against Trump is untrue and is more fitting for Biden. That is your nature.

      2. Witherspoon says,

        “ I’m not saying President Trump never did what you stated, he does have a loose cannon mouth, but I’m truly interested to see a couple of examples of what you would call dangerous divisive rhetoric from President Trump while he was President that comes close to the dangerous divisive rhetoric that President Biden spouted on September 1, 2022.”

        Here’s one of the more recent ones,

        https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/03/us/politics/trump-coronavirus-mount-rushmore.html

        Here’s a compilation of them,

        https://mashable.com/feature/trump-timeline

        1. Below is a link to President Trump’s Mt Rushmore speech that’s not hidden behind a digital wall of some kind that I have no interest in trying to breech. Please read through that speech and, so everyone knows what you’re thinking, identify the part(s) that are dangerous divisive rhetoric.

          https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-south-dakotas-2020-mount-rushmore-fireworks-celebration-keystone-south-dakota/

  5. Biden gets a bill passed that, although actually harmful to the nation, he can at least claim got “something” done and then he steps on it with his loan theft and then crushes it with his Red Speech. His governing incompetency is matched by his lack of political acumen. He will make two or three more mistakes before November and the Democrats will pay at the polls.

  6. If you talk like a fascist, act like a fascist, perhaps you are a fascist. Look in the mirror. trump and any hard core supporters of him do not support democracy, he uses violence to get his way as do his many copy cats like Amon bundy in Idaho. When you loose an election, you accept the results, come up with better ideas and try again. This is not what trump and his supporters have done. They cry like fascists and incite violence to get their way. I think putting marine guards in Biden’s speech was a mistake, I think the red coloring was bad optics. But if you act like a fascist, don’t be surprised when someone calls you a fascist.

    1. “he uses violence to get his way.” When has Trump ever used violence? On January 6, 2021, he told the crowd to protest peacefully. What other example can you cite?

      1. In his Jan 6 speech trump used the word peacefully once. He repeatadly called for violent action. He said he would be with them as they walked to the capitol. Where was he? oh yea, fighting with his SS detail. Knowing the rioting was going on at the Capitol building by the people he just sent them, did trump tell them to stop? He gleefully watched his “supporters” from the safety of his dining room while everyone around him, including Hannity, pleaded with him to publicly tell them to stop the violence.

        And while where at it, what was the purpose of keeping classified documents in his wife’s closet over a year after leaving office?

        I’m still waiting for all that proof of election fraud. Where is it exactly?

        Biden called only MAGA crazed trump supporters fascist and a bunch of people get their panties tied in a bunch. Yea, good comparison about how Biden talks about people versus trump.

    2. BabyTrump wrote, “…if you act like a fascist, don’t be surprised when someone calls you a fascist.”

      You mean like this…

      “I agree that Donald Trump’s speech on January 6, 2021 was an irresponsible loose cannon spewing of opinion (Constitutionally protected free speech) that he really shouldn’t have engaged in as a leader, but this speech from this sitting president, President Biden, was pure hate and a style of open bigotry demonization of his political opponents that resembles fascism.”

      Who Is Assaulting Our Society’s Building Blocks?

    3. “If you talk like a fascist, act like a fascist, perhaps you are a fascist. “ You must be talking about Biden.

      “he uses violence to get his way “ Biden again.

      ” When you loose an election, you accept the results” Like Hillary. Don’t accuse Biden of that because he cheats in order to win.

      “They cry like fascists “ You are right. Biden did that in his speech.

      “putting marine guards in Biden’s speech” You are right there as well, but Biden is a fascist so that is expected.

  7. I thought quite frankly that Biden went easy on the MAGA Republicans and WAnon fans in that speech. They are a dangerous cult that does not believe in facts or the rule of law.

  8. Trump quickly bulldozed any moral high ground?

    When in your estimation has Trump ever had the moral high ground?

    1. In these degraded times, when people seldom actively do good, simply not doing bad must be considered moral high ground (relatively speaking).

  9. “For his part, Donald Trump quickly bulldozed any moral high ground after the speech by denouncing Biden as an “enemy of the state” and calling the FBI “vicious monsters.””

    After the MSM attacks,coup attempts, manipulation of an election before, during and after his term of office you expect him to act like Fred McFeely Rogers?
    You gotta be kidding me? The heart of the poll is Biden’s attempt to incite conflict. I don’t recall any Democrats denouncing Biden’s anti American speech, now there’s a story.

  10. I noticed that you did not explain why you think anything in Biden’s speech was inaccurate.

    Because everything he said was true, so your spin needs to be he should have been more polite about it. Which is not the way Trump and his crowd have ever rolled.

  11. Yes I agree. But let’s remember it began with Impeachment 1.0, Impeachment 2.0, a ripped up State of the Union speech and a highly political DOJ. You can’t keep poking a bear and not expect them to react. Btw/ Same with Russia. Maybe MSNBC could leave the comfort of their propaganda network and go help Ukraine

  12. (OT)

    “Leonard Leo’s “Honest Elections Project” files Supreme Court brief arguing state legislatures are not constrained by even state constitutions protecting voting rights when they regulate federal elections. https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/21/21-1271/237126/20220906144631896_21-1271%20tsac%20HEP%20Final.pdf

    Leo’s goal is extremely dangerous legally.

    Will Turley address this case? It’s so much more important legally than a public opinion poll.

    1. OT response: This is an amicus brief. Although I have not been following this blog site for long, I do not recall the good professor commenting on merely a non-party filing, for that matter, even party briefs.
      If this were to be discussed at all, it would have to be under the broader topic category of, -perhaps, “judicial activism?”

      1. Turley sometimes references amicus briefs. Brief examples:
        https://jonathanturley.org/2022/07/08/hope-and-a-prayer-liberals-condemn-the-conservative-justices-after-dubious-rolling-stone-article/
        https://jonathanturley.org/2022/06/18/another-democratic-member-calls-for-justice-thomas-to-resign-over-wifes-activism/

        But the case itself — scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/moore-v-harper-2/ — is important, and I don’t recall him addressing it. Leo’s amicus brief is significant in part because Leo plays such an outsized roll on the conservative law side.

  13. (OT)

    “A county official in New Mexico who was convicted of entering a restricted area during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol must be immediately removed from office for his involvement in an insurrection, a judge decided Tuesday. District Court Judge Francis Mathew ruled that Couy Griffin, an Otero County commissioner, is now disqualified from holding public office because he violated Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment by participating in the Jan. 6 siege.”

    It’s interesting that Turley is silent about this, given his multiple columns asserting that similar 14th Amendment “claims are meritless” (see, e.g., https://jonathanturley.org/2022/04/23/destroying-democracy-to-save-it-court-advances-effort-to-block-gop-candidates-from-ballots/ )

    1. “A county official in New Mexico who was convicted of entering a restricted area during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol must be immediately removed from office for his involvement in an insurrection, a judge decided Tuesday. District Court Judge Francis Mathew ruled that Couy Griffin, an Otero County commissioner, is now disqualified from holding public office because he violated Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment by participating in the Jan. 6 siege.”

      What Couy Griffin did by being part of the riot and entering the Capitol was wrong; however, if the quote is true then that judge is acting and talking like a bigoted activist and that ruling is blatantly unconstitutional, the ruling should be appealed as such. That ruling is not justice and the judge should be removed from office for what was said and the ruling.

      1. Have you read the ruling?

        When you say “if the quote is true,” it makes it sound like the answer is “no.” Maybe you should reserve judgment until you read the ruling.

        1. LOL. So you don’t listen to NPR, but you delude yourself about their reporting.

          You know, if you don’t trust their reporting, you could read the judge’s ruling for yourself, which NPR links to but is also easy to find with an internet search.

      1. Griffin is punished for his passive attendance at the January 6 protest.
        Let’s see how much coverage NPR gives to Democrat politician Robert Telles, who was just arrested for murdering a Nevada journalist who published some non-flattering investigative reporting on Telles.

        1. Griffin was not “punished for his passive attendance at the January 6 protest.”

          Griffin was sentenced to 14 days behind bars with time served, a $3K fine, plus one year of supervised release after he was found guilty of trespassing on the Capitol grounds. He was also charged with disorderly and disruptive conduct, but was acquitted in a bench trial. Had he protested legally, he would not have been charged.

          As for Telles, you apparently didn’t bother to check first: https://www.npr.org/2022/09/07/1121617699/las-vegas-journalist-stabbed-investigation-jeff-german
          I expect that they’ll report further as new information comes out.

          1. (Did you notice that I said, verbatim, “Let’s see how much coverage NPR gives to…”–and I did NOT say “Let’s see if NPR reports this.”)
            Second, Democrat Judge Mathew’s use of the 14th amendment (oath to uphold the constitution) to justify such a harsh sentence is troubling to me and could be a harbinger for future attempts to selectively rid certain politicians in opposing parties.

            1. How are you planning to measure “how much coverage” it gets (# of articles? minutes on air? …), and are you expecting both to be covered the same amount according to whatever measure you choose?

    2. Turley is preoccupied with defending Trump now that he’s dominating the news with his criminal behavior. He has no time to delve into the other issues that are just as important sadly. Trumpy bear demands protection from the unfairness.

  14. I wouldn’t use the word “incite” for the speech however, I would use phrases and words like demonization, dangerous escalation, unethical, immoral propaganda, extrapolations to absurdity, pure psychological projections, and outright lies.

    Here are a few excerpts from my blog post yesterday that is directly related to this topic.

    “I agree that Donald Trump’s speech on January 6, 2021 was an irresponsible loose cannon spewing of opinion (Constitutionally protected free speech) that he really shouldn’t have engaged in as a leader, but this speech from this sitting president, President Biden, was pure hate and a style of open bigotry demonization of his political opponents that resembles fascism. The speech was a dog whistle aimed directly at Democratic Party cultish foot soldiers to build a “war” upon.”

    “President Biden and the Democratic Party need to look in the mirror. The Democrats have figuratively dropped their pants and they’re exposing their hypocrisy, double standards and totalitarianism and President Biden’s speech is a great example of the irrational totalitarianism shift of the Democratic Party. This speech from President Biden far exceeds any of the divisiveness exhibited by President Trump.”

    “Congratulations President Biden, you’re worse than President Trump!”

    Who Is Assaulting Our Society’s Building Blocks?

    1. Nope….when they dropped their pants as you correctly state….it was their “ass” they were showing.

      They, in an apparent effort begged for someone to kick it for them….thinking such a reaction would be beneficial to the Leftist Agenda.

      The President is supposed to be the Leader of all of the American People and show by his example how we should seek to benefit from what we all share in common.

      Feckless Joe Biden…rejected that Leadership Role and gave vent to raw rank rubbish speech…that is beneath contempt.

      Biden is the very best recruiting Tool the Republicans could ask for….and they get it for free.

          1. Anonymous wrote, “self-promotion is so Trumpian”

            I think the correct response to that would be, oh bite me Anonymous.

            The contents of that particular blog post of mine is completely relevant to the topic of Turley’s blog post and the contents might help Ralph Chappell to hone his opinion a bit. Posting the entire 2580 word opinion here would be out of bounds. There is nothing wrong with providing a couple of relevant excerpts and link to my full opinion on the topic or pointing Ralph in that direction when the blog topic or conversation I’m engaging in is relevant.

            I’ve stated the following or something similar whenever I see a comment like yours pop up.

            Point of fact: My blog is simply a place for me to write and store my extended observations and opinions about the world around me so I can share that opinion, or pieces of it, elsewhere in discussion when topics are similar and the content is relevant. The direct result of the purpose for my blog is I rarely share links to my blog posts. I’m not a daily blogger and I’ll likely never be, I don’t promote my blog, I simply share content and links when it’s relevant, heck I’ve only gained a total of 34 followers since I started the blog in February 2019 and I suspect that that number won’t ever grow very much.

            Just for the sake of knowing; I just checked my archives of hundreds and hundreds of comments and I found less than 30% of the blog comment threads I’ve been part of on Turley’s blog have links to something in my blog. That Anonymous is not evidence of promoting. Honestly, based on my background and Turley’s back ground I’m kind of surprised that number was over 20%, but I guess we are both blogging about current events, and in doing so, topic crossover seems inevitable just from different points of view.

            Routinely smearing me with ad hominems because I share relevant information from outside sources and one of those sources happens to be my blog is bordering on obsessive trolling. I don’t “think” that’s your intent but that’s how it’s coming across.

    2. Witherspoon,

      Biden’s speech was no different than any of Trump’s speeches have been for years. As the author noted, despite Trump’s speeches being inflammatory and yes, bigoted and racist at times is constitutionally protected speech so was Biden’s.

      I know you don’t like Trump or his criminal behavior, you’ve made that perfectly clear. But if we are to be honest we should recognize that it was Trump who normalized these kinds of speeches and rhetoric. Biden does it and it’s now a controversy? It shouldn’t be. It’s been the norm in the conservatives world for years now and more so because of the crazy Qanon types and the proud boys kind of groups getting more and more emboldened by Trump’s normalization of the kind of rhetoric republicans are “outraged” Biden engaged in.

      1. Yes Svelaz, there is some hypocrisy on both sides but that’s doesn’t change the fact that President Biden’s speech was demonization, dangerous escalation, unethical, immoral propaganda, extrapolations to absurdity, pure psychological projections, and outright lies. Using Trump whataboutism is an unethical rationalization trying to justify something that was terribly irresponsible and hateful.

        Svelaz wrote, “…despite Trump’s speeches being inflammatory and yes, bigoted and racist at times is constitutionally protected speech so was Biden’s.”

        ON this point we are in agreement and I literally wrote in my blog, “President Biden’s speech was constitutionally protected free speech and does not fall into the legal category of incitement…”.

        1. Witherspoon, good to see we agree on something from time to time, certainly a rarity.

          If you recognize that there is hypocrisy on both sides why would it be unethical to use “whataboutism”? Sometimes using a “whataboutism” directly points out the hypocrisy of others. It’s not merely an excuse. It’s also a valid point.

          As you have noted, Trump has engaged in the same “demonization, dangerous escalation, unethical, immoral propaganda, extrapolations to absurdity, pure psychological projections, and outright lies.” Trump does lie and you acknowledge that to be true.

          This is why Trump supporters and his enablers shouldn’t be surprised about these kinds of speeches and rhetoric. Thanks to Trump and his famous rallies he’s normalized this. That’s his contribution to the political system.

          1. Svelaz wrote, “If you recognize that there is hypocrisy on both sides why would it be unethical to use “whataboutism”? Sometimes using a “whataboutism” directly points out the hypocrisy of others. It’s not merely an excuse. It’s also a valid point.”

            When whataboutism or bringing hypocrisy points is used it’s almost always used as a deflection away from an unethical, immoral or illegal action or used as a rationalization for the unethical, immoral or illegal action. It’s not that the facts related to whataboutism or bringing up hypocrisy are invalid, it’s how those facts are being used, so it really depends on how whataboutism or hypocrisy is used in argumentation.

            Svelaz wrote, “As you have noted, Trump has engaged in the same “demonization, dangerous escalation, unethical, immoral propaganda, extrapolations to absurdity, pure psychological projections, and outright lies.” Trump does lie and you acknowledge that to be true.”

            That’s not exactly what I noted but it’s not a huge stretch to twist what I wrote into that; forgetting about this and moving on.

            This “As you have noted…” paragraph is a good example of what I just wrote above, how the argument is presented. That paragraph by itself is just a statement of opinion and one true fact, that Donald Trump does lie and I acknowledge that to be true; therefore that paragraph is not a deflection or a rationalization by itself, then you had to go and change the context of that paragraph when you wrote this and linked it to the previous paragraph with your “this is why…” , “This is why Trump supporters and his enablers shouldn’t be surprised about these kinds of speeches and rhetoric. Thanks to Trump and his famous rallies he’s normalized this.”. Now looking back at the previous paragraph combined with this new context it all becomes one big rationalization unethically justifying President Biden’s choices and actions by blaming Trump for the choices and actions made by Biden. What Biden did was very intentional.

            Biden made his own choices, Trump didn’t make them for him. Biden was wrong to deliver such divisive, demonizing and hateful speech and no rationalization is going to justify what he did or change that fact.

            Okay, do you now have a little better understand of how not to use whataboutism or bring hypocrisy into an argument?

  15. “ Whatever the reason, the speech added to the rage of our politics. For his part, Donald Trump quickly bulldozed any moral high ground after the speech by denouncing Biden as an “enemy of the state” and calling the FBI “vicious monsters.”

    Well, it turns out Biden was right. After Trump’s ranting speech demonstrated exactly what Biden was talking about. Turley conveniently omits the fact that Trump and his horde of maga nutties have indeed been spewing the kind of rhetoric he cited in his column for years. The one time a democrat punches back forcefully suddenly it’s “inciting conflict”.

    Right wing nutties have been inciting conflict since Obama became president. All talking of civil war, government takeover, tyranny, socialism, etc, etc, etc. Nobody on the right really raised any concerns, probably because it’s been mentioned so much it’s just crazy talk from right-wing nutties dismissed as one would dismiss a ranting bum on the street. Now that Trump has legitimized that by encouraging it he has forced democrats to be more assertive against such insanity. The first speech that seriously confronted that problem is apparently too much for some in the population who rarely get the same level of pushback. Outrage and condemnation ensued because how dare Biden call out right-wing nutties for who they are thats just unacceptable apparently.

  16. Let the usual weak, childlike, low IQ ” what about Trump” responses commence.
    P.S I am NOT a Trump fan.

  17. Obama, Trump and Biden’s vitriolic rhetoric is, in itself, disheartening, but what is completely vexing is that there’s no adult in the room to stop it.

  18. As a MAGA conservative, I think Joe Biden in his dottage is a threat to democracy and a lot of other things, including national security – but that’s a discussion for another day. To function properly and fairly, our country requires at least two major political parties whoat times may see things differently for good and sufficeitnreason but who both love their country enough to resolve their differences amicably and, of course, peacefully. In his get-off-my-grass screed last week he announced to his party and ours that he is unfit to lead. Moreover, his misuse of Marines as Nutcracker props for his rant made it clear that he should not be commander-in-chief of our precious armed forces. As for uniting America, ironically he has united his party and the Independents and Republicans in disliking him.

    1. Is that speech an example of what Mr. Biden meant when he said he could work across the aisle, mend fences, overcome differences and unite the country?

      1. Perhaps he meant, work across the aisle etc etc with the RINOs who are in the pocket of the same oligarchs, Big Pharma, the military-industrial complex who’ve bought & paid for the Democrats.

    2. Justice Holmes: You, sir, served admirably as an associate justice of the SCOTUS and we are indebted to you and the Republican president (Teddy Roosevelt) who appointed you to the bench. But, like our current leader, you are way past your “best by” date and need to return to your well-deserved rest. At the age of 181, you have lost your mojo, sir.

    3. Justice Holmes wrote, “He sought to tell the truth.”

      That was an extrapolation to absurdity; and furthermore, what would you know about the truth?

      Justice Holmes has proven over and over again in these threads that he wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him square in the arse.

      No, Justice Holmes, President Biden is a bald-faced liar. Yes, I just called the President of the United States a bald-faced liar.

      1. Steve, imagine using Biden and truth in the same sentence. The guy is a fabulist, he is a known and proven liar, he has been forced out of races due to plagiarism, he lied about his grades, his civil rights activities, his being arrested, the cause of his wife’s death, his business dealings with Hunter and a myriad of other needless and endless made up stories.

        1. hullbobby wrote, “Steve, imagine using Biden and truth in the same sentence. The guy is a fabulist, he is a known and proven liar, he has been forced out of races due to plagiarism, he lied about his grades, his civil rights activities, his being arrested, the cause of his wife’s death, his business dealings with Hunter and a myriad of other needless and endless made up stories.”

          It’s really interesting how all that, and more, has endeared him in the hearts of Democrats and put him in the White House.

          1. I’m a Democrat. I’m not fond of Biden, but I remain very happy that he was elected over Trump. I consider Trump a danger to the country, and I find it funny that any Trump supporter calls Biden out for lying, when Trump lies much more than Biden does.

            1. Anonymous wrote, “I’m a Democrat. I’m not fond of Biden, but I remain very happy that he was elected over Trump.”

              I have no problem with that, you’re welcome to your opinion.

              Anonymous wrote, “I consider Trump a danger to the country…”

              Why? Please be specific.

              Anonymous wrote, “…I find it funny that any Trump supporter calls Biden out for lying…”

              I’m not a Trump supporter, never have been, never will be. So is it just as mockingly “funny” when I call out Biden for his lying?

              Anonymous wrote, “Trump lies much more than Biden does.”

              I smell the wretched stench of a double standard.

              So do you have hashmarks scribed on your walls keeping track of all the lies of both of them? Go ahead and try to prove that claim if you think you can.

              I can’t find it right now; but, there was an article sometime in the last year that used the same kind of criteria that was used to build the Washington Post’s Trump lie list and apply it to President Biden and his Administration’s statements and the result was that Biden and his administration was on par or exceeding the things that were defined as “lies” from Trump and his administration.

              The claims that President Trump lied over 30,000 times was and still is one of the biggest lies fabricated by the political left during the Trump Administration. The Washington Post Fact Checking article that promoted this big lie was titled “Trump’s lies…” and they were forced to change the name of the list to “Trump’s false or misleading claims…” because they were NAILED by critically think people for their libelous article that was literally lying to the public tarring things as lies that were in fact not lies. But of course the political left sheeple swallowed the big lie propaganda hook, line and sinker and it didn’t bother to fact check the fact checker instead they simply parroted the lie as if it was fact.

              A lie is certainly a false or misleading statement but not all false or misleading statements are actually lies.

              I’m not saying that President Trump never lied, what I am saying is a lie is a very specific thing and the big lie fabricated by political left activists and parroted ad nauseum that President Trump is always lying has been shown to be a bald-faced lie.

              Be careful what you parrot.

              1. Steve,

                As a start, I consider Trump a danger because of his refusal to concede the election; his choice to gather people on Jan. 6, rile them up, send them to the Capitol, and wait hours to intervene when many became violent; his failure to condemn the fake electors scheme; and his urging Pence to act contrary to his oath of office / condemnation of Pence for not doing so (did you listen to Judge Luttig’s testimony about that before the J6 Committee?). The peaceful transfer of power is essential to our democratic republic. I consider any official who undermines it to be a serious danger to the country.

                Can we agree on that aspect?

                “I can’t find it right now …”

                If you find it, please share it. I’m always open to changing my mind in response to valid evidence. Personally, I didn’t rely on the Post’s list, as they included a lot of things that weren’t false, only misleading. I prefer the list that Daniel Dale kept for a long time for the Toronto Star: https://projects.thestar.com/donald-trump-fact-check/index.html Dale is careful not to call all of these lies. But I believe that a significant fraction are lies — knowingly false statements said with the intent to deceive. I think Trump is mentally ill and that one symptom is that he’s very transactional: he says whatever he believes will serve him in the moment, regardless of whether it’s true, and regardless of whether it’s consistent with other things he’s said.

                “Be careful what you parrot.”

                I’m not parroting anything. Consider the possibility that I can come to my own conclusions about it based on evidence.

                1. Anonymous wrote…

                  “As a start, I consider Trump a danger because of his refusal to concede the election; his choice to gather people on Jan. 6, rile them up, send them to the Capitol, and wait hours to intervene when many became violent; his failure to condemn the fake electors scheme; and his urging Pence to act contrary to his oath of office / condemnation of Pence for not doing so (did you listen to Judge Luttig’s testimony about that before the J6 Committee?). The peaceful transfer of power is essential to our democratic republic. I consider any official who undermines it to be a serious danger to the country.

                  Can we agree on that aspect?”

                  Nope we can’t agree on that and here are my reasons why, please follow along.

                  I don’t “like” that President Trump refused to concede either but refusal to concede the election is his constitutional right, period. Now, if you choose to think the way you are and stand by your assessment that that makes him dangerous then exactly what do you think about all the Democrats that have very publicly outright rejected the will of the people in previous elections. Here’s a well crafted video showing the “dangerous” (as you call them) Democrats and their anti-election rhetoric when they’ve lost elections;

                  https://youtu.be/XX2Ejqjz6TA

                  The rally on January 6th, President Trump’s irresponsible loose cannon speech, and the following march and protest at the Capitol are all constitutionally protected actions. You thinking that Trump is a “danger” because of these actions is absurd. What’s not constitutionally protected is the actions of a small percentage of protesters that chose to riot, physically engage with police and illegally enter the capitol building and those are actions taken by individuals and not Trump and he did not tell them to engage in any of those illegal actions; therefore, there is no logical reason to think that Donald Trump is a danger based on the actions of a few rioters.

                  Thinking that Donald Trump is a “danger” because of the length of time it took him to ask them to stand down is absurd. In fact not too long after the rioters breeched the capitol trump tweeted “stay peaceful”, that’s the second time he told them to be peaceful and the people intent on rioting simply ignored him. The White House did finally call in the National Guard when it was absolutely clear that the police officers on the ground at the capitol couldn’t stop what was happening; did that take too long, you’re welcome to your opinion on that but it doesn’t make Trump a danger.

                  Saying Trump is a “danger” because of a failure to condemn the fake electors scheme is interesting. I honestly don’t know the full story and justification surrounding that tactic but I know I read some arguments back then that justified it but I didn’t like it, it just seemed wrong to me. Condemning Trump is a “danger” for a failure to condemn a tactic that he might have been convinced was legal and plausible seems like a moral stretch to me and I don’t honestly know for sure if there was ever a court ruling that ruled that it was in fact illegal. In the heat of the moment on that day, I hoped cooler heads would prevail and they did. Also, didn’t the Democrats try to manipulate the electoral votes after the 2016 election, in fact didn’t some members of congress stand up in the joint session of congress and openly reject some electoral votes because they didn’t like them? I honestly think that this reason for declaring Trump as a “danger” is a stretch, a big stretch.

                  As for condemning Trump as a “danger” because he urged Pence to send the electoral votes back to the states for recertification, I don’t think that has ever been fully addressed in the Supreme Court as to if the Vice President has the authority to do that or not so the legality is still up in the air. Even though there was nothing positively telling him that he could or couldn’t send the electoral votes back for recertification I’m of the mind that he did the right thing because based on my understanding of how the rules were written I think that sending it back would have been a b-a-s-t-a-r-d-i-z-a-t-i-o-n of the text in the same way that some states b-a-s-t-a-r-d-i-z-e-d their election laws to allow things that had never ever been done before. I’m against doing things that b-a-s-t-a-r-d-i-z-e rules and laws, so I support and commend Vice President Pence for his actions that day and Trump’s condemnation of him for his actions was unwarranted and out of line but not “dangerous”, Trump is welcome to his opinion.

                  I too think “the peaceful transfer of power” is very important but it’s literally not essential to our democratic republic it simply preferred, the republic will survive if things don’t transpire in a necessarily peaceful manner. You boldly stating that any official is a danger if they don’t adhere to what you would consider to be a peaceful transfer of power is arrogant and absurd. I will never ever ram that concept down the throat of any President that truly thinks that there was something wrong with an election, to do so just because there are lots of people that disagree with that president is a violation of all that we have fought for since the inception of the USA. We have a justice system, all the way up to the Supreme Court, to hammer out these kinds of issues in relatively short order and every President of the United States has every right to legally challenge the outcome of an election in court. On That Note: I’ve heard some things about some of the courts where challenges were filed rejecting things before they could ever get a court hearing based on some technicalities and I think that they should have worked together to bridge those technicalities to get a proper and prompt hearing because leaving these kinds of issues hanging builds mistrust in the system. To outright reject these cases and not work with them to rapidly resolve the issues with the filings did not serve justice and gave the outward appearance of activist judges trying to keep these cases out of court.

                  I hope that covers it all, I’ll reread it later and make additional comments if I forgot something.

                  1. Steve,

                    If you reread what I wrote, you’ll see that it was a single sentence, with components separated by semi-colons. That was purposeful, as I was discussing a single issue with multiple components. An analogy: suppose I have a cart with 6 100-pound boxes in it, and I point out that the weight of the contents is over 500 pounds. Someone could consider each box individually and point out that the box weighs less than 500 pounds. And that’s true. But their combined weight is still more than 500 pounds. That’s what I think you did in considering what I wrote: you considered each element individually, when I was talking about their combined effect.

                    You don’t have to agree with me about their combined effect (after all, people’s opinions about whether Trump is a danger is a matter of opinion, not a simple matter of weighing boxes). But I told you why **I** consider him a danger, which is what you asked me to do.

                    As for some of what you wrote: for me, if Trump believes that something that’s illegal/unconstitutional is instead legal/constitutional, that’s a serious strike against him. Presidents take an oath to uphold the Constitution and faithfully execute the laws, and they need to be able to accurately assess whether something is or isn’t legal/constitutional. And if he knew that the fake elector scheme and what he was pressuring Pence to do was illegal/unconstitutional, that’s also a strike against him. So it’s bad either way. If you need some legal discussion of this, see Judge Luttig’s testimony about it before the J6 Committee. Luttig was one of the legal adivsors that Pence sought out as he was trying to figure out whether what Trump was asking him to do was or wasn’t constitutional.

                    I absolutely agree that “every President of the United States has every right to legally challenge the outcome of an election in court.” But the fake elector scheme and what he was pressuring Pence to do were NOT court challenges. Your point is precisely what Judge Carter noted in deciding that a memo sent to John Eastman (one of Trump’s lawyers) was subject to the crime-fraud exception: “believing the Electoral Count Act was unconstitutional did not give President Trump license to violate it. Disagreeing with the law entitled President Trump to seek a remedy in court, not to disrupt a constitutionally-mandated process.”

                    As for your comment that “I too think “the peaceful transfer of power” is very important but it’s literally not essential to our democratic republic it simply preferred, the republic will survive if things don’t transpire in a necessarily peaceful manner,” he was trying to prevent the transfer of power, peacefully and not peacefully. He was trying to stay in power beyond the end of his elected term of office, and THAT is why I consider him dangerous. I consider him a dictator wannabe. You may not. But hopefully you accept some part of why I consider him dangerous.

                    1. Anonymous wrote, “If you reread what I wrote, you’ll see that it was a single sentence, with components separated by semi-colons. That was purposeful, as I was discussing a single issue with multiple components.”

                      Yup that was obvious and I separated your semi-colon multiple components into single paragraphs because they were separate components and they should be dealt wit individually.

                      We clearly aren’t going to agree on this so it’s time to move on.

                    2. Steve, Apparently you were unwilling to consider the analogy. That’s too bad. Understanding the accumulated impact of multiple issues is central to all sorts of things in life (it’s a key idea in calculus and through that in engineering, it’s important in the practice of medicine, …).

                    3. Referencing your analogy,

                      Are the 6 boxes full of plutonium ? Or are they full of krytonite ?

                      Are those boxes sitting on a busy street corner on the internet, or are they in a locked closet in a government paid for secure office inside a private residence in a gated community with private security, as well as secret service ?

                      If the allegedly classified documents in the boxes are collusion delusion documents that Trump repeatedly declassified that are damaging to FBI/DOJ/and the Obama administration – then the clear and present danger is Biden – not Trump.

                      Those of you on the left do not understand the very legitimate distrust much of this country has for YOU.

                      Are you prepared to admit that if the documents that Trump was holding were about the malfeasance of the DOJ/FBI/Obama administration that the only Crime here is the coverup being attempted by DOJ/FBI/WH ?

                    4. John,

                      The boxes are on a cart, where the person is trying to cross a bridge that can only bear 500 lbs and will break if the weight exceeds that.

                2. Anonymous wrote, “If you find it, please share it.”

                  I’ve looked a bit and I can’t find what I remember to be the exact one and I’m not going to spend any more time looking; that said, the following link will give you the idea, check out the first 100 days chart about half way down the page. The author describes how he got the numbers.

                  https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidmarkowitz/2021/04/30/who-lied-more-during-their-first-100-days-biden-trump-or-obama/?sh=8d711de1a89d

                  Here is another links to Politifact score cards
                  https://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/
                  politifact.com/personalities/joe-biden/

                  Since I can’t find what I remember and I’m not going to spend the the next 40 hours looking and I’m not going to loose any sleep over not finding it, I hope that the links above are at least a bare-bones reasonable attempt to show a trend and kinda support what I wrote.

                  1. Steve,

                    I looked at your Forbes link, but it makes no attempt to assess all of the false statements made by each person in the first 100 days. Instead, it relies on Politifact’s sampling for its own sample, when Politifact was not trying to assess all of the lies or even saying how it selected its own sample. Therefore, the article cannot show what you assert. Politifact doesn’t show what you assert either, again because it makes zero attempt to analyze all false statements. This is clear if you compare the Politifact sample to Daniel Dale’s comprehensive list for Trump’s first 100 days.

                    1. Anonymous,
                      So you won’t accept that as a “bare-bones reasonable attempt to show a trend” when it actually does show a trend based on their criteria, sobeit.

                      By the way it doesn’t matter what method people use to evaluate these kinds of things, in our hyper-partisan political environment there will always be disagreement in conclusions because there are differences of opinion on the methods used to evaluate individual statements, there is lots of subjectivity in this kind of stuff. A good example of this is a statement made by President Biden in his September 1st speech, saying that Republicans do not respect the Constitution, I call that one a bald-faced lie and I’m as certain of that as I am that the sun is going to rise tomorrow morning and shine on the nose on my face. That statement from President Biden was pure psychologically projection.

                      As for your opinion about why Trump is a danger and your ridiculous analogy with engineering above; I am the entire engineering department at a sheet metal plant and I fully understand margins of error and the problems associated with ignoring cumulative tolerances and cumulative errors, I deal with this all the time, and it doesn’t matter how many times you add 0+0+0+0+0+0, the answer will always be zero and if you try to use an increasing progressive scale to magnify the accumulation of insignificant errors, something like 0*0*0*0*0*0 you still get zero as the answer. In my opinion, all of the components you listed as reasons that Trump is a danger resulted in big zeros and you don’t extrapolate zeros and turn them into ones just because you want to.

                      I’m really curious about something; does your progressive error logic tell you that President Biden’s September 1st speech on top of his intentional and routine unconstitutional violations of the his Constitutional powers thus flagrantly violating his oath of office to support and defend the constitution have tipped the scale and now he too is a “danger”? That was a rhetorical question.

                      Even though we disagree it’s been a decent conversation.

                      Catcha later.

                    2. Steve,

                      Frankly, I’m astounded that you’d assign a value of zero to all of them. Multiple people have been subpoenaed in the fake electors scheme. A federal judge ruled that the memo about pressuring Pence to act illegally was subject to a crime-fraud exception. One of Pence’s legal counsels, retired federal judge Luttig, testified under oath about how Trump was pressuring Pence to act unconstitutionally and the effort harmed our democracy. You either haven’t educated yourself about all of this and/or you’re dismissing things that really deserve more serious consideration.

                      I disagree that “it doesn’t matter what method people use to evaluate these kinds of things.” I think the method matters and people can make evidence-based arguments about the plusses and minuses of various methods.

                      You say “A good example of this is a statement made by President Biden in his September 1st speech, saying that Republicans do not respect the Constitution” (emphasis in the original), but he actually said “MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution” and “I want to be very clear, very clear up front: Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology.” So his claim is essentially: some Republicans do not respect the Constitution. Do you dispute that? Do you dispute that some people — some Republicans and some Democrats and some people who affiliate otherwise — do not respect the Constitution?

                      Your rhetorical question could have been a serious one, in which case I’d start by asking you to elaborate what “intentional and routine unconstitutional violations of the his Constitutional powers” you’re referring to. But you’re apparently uninterested in that discussion. That’s too bad.

                    3. Anonymous wrote, “but he actually said “MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution” and “I want to be very clear, very clear up front: Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology.” So his claim is essentially: some Republicans do not respect the Constitution.”

                      I just saw this nonsense and a point must be made before I ignore this thread.
                      Yes I dispute your conclusion.

                      It appears that you swallowed that lie from President Biden (yes it’s a lie) hook, line and sinker.

                      President Biden’s speech was pure unbridled propaganda and an absolute demonization of the entire political right, not just the MAGA Republicans, and he made that point perfectly clear when he boldly stated for everyone to hear that “there is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven by, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country”.

                      Who are these MAGA Republicans that President Biden was referring to that don’t respect the Constitution? I’ve been told straight to my face by Democrats I know that MAGA Republicans are anyone that voted for President Trump in 2020 and anyone that supported the Republican Party in any way which in-turn supported President Trump as their 2020 candidate. If you only look at votes then President Biden saying “MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution” is stating absolutely that the 74,216,154 people that voted for President Trump in 2020 do not respect the constitution and that is a bald-faced willful lie straight from the mouth of the President of the United States.

                      Biden’s demonization of MAGA Republicans is an outright unethical and immoral demonization of all Republicans, the entire political right, all Conservatives, etc. It’s delusional to deny that President Biden was demonizing everyone considered to be part of the political right.

                      President Biden openly demonized well over 74 million people in his speech, President Biden is an immoral political hack.

            2. “calls Biden out for lying,” Lying Biden. When Biden promises something, he does the opposite. Trump fulfills promises.

                1. I looked at the list. Compare Trump’s playing golf to get a deal with a potential enemy with Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Are you a fool?

      1. I am assuming your opinion is based on your personal review of all of the documents, not just reporting of information leaked to the media by anonymous sources.

      2. Be honest. You just want him locked up and don’t care the means by which it’s achieved.

        If I’m wrong, please explain why trump violated the espionage act while at the same time arguing Hillary Clinton, who the FBI confirmed actually leaked classified intel to foreign adversaries via her admittedly illegal server, did not.

        I’ll wait.

        1. “Hillary Clinton, who the FBI confirmed actually leaked classified intel to foreign adversaries”

          No, the FBI did not say that.

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