Biden’s Speech Was a Lie: Democrats are Funding Pro-Trump Republicans in Primaries

by Keaton Weiss

In his recent “Soul of the Nation” address, President Biden spoke for 25 minutes about the threat to democracy posed by the Trump movement. Making a point to differentiate MAGA Republicans from the more “mainstream” ones, he explained:

Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.
 
Now, 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.
 
I know because I’ve been able to work with these mainstream Republicans.
 
But there is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country.

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Conservative media reacted with predictable horror, calling it an attack on the 75 million Americans who voted for Trump in the 2020 election. Ben Shapiro called it “the most demagogic, outrageous, and divisive speech [he’s] ever seen from an American president.” Tucker Carlson warned that Biden’s speech sought to delegitimize and even criminalize the GOP as an organization. Mark Levin called Biden an “extremely dangerous demagogue.” Sean Hannity denounced the speech as “hate-filled.”

All of this of course is quite rich coming from those who supported Donald Trump even after he smeared Mexican immigrants as drug dealers and rapists, barred Muslims from entering the country, and suggested ten-year prison sentences for Black Lives Matter protestors who defaced statues of our Founding Fathers.

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Right-wing pseudo-indignation aside, however, there is an important critique of Biden’s speech that no one of prominence has yet leveled: it was, at its core, a complete lie.

Biden’s rhetorical olive branch to “mainstream” Republicans with whom he’s collaborated in the past is laughable, given that the Democratic Party has worked tirelessly this election cycle to undermine moderate Republicans and elevate the very “MAGA forces” he says pose such an existential threat to the republic. In numerous primaries throughout the country, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and Democratic PACs have spent huge amounts of money boosting MAGA Republicans against their more centrist opponents, thinking they will make for weaker general election adversaries.

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Take for instance Michigan’s 3rd Congressional district. Incumbent Congressman Peter Meijer was one of only 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach Trump after the January 6th riot – a decision which should have earned him the respect of Democrats looking to enlist sensible Republicans in the larger effort protect democracy from Trump’s “semi-fascist” movement. Instead, the DCCC spent $400,000 on ads bolstering Meijer’s Trump-backed primary opponent John Gibbs, a 2020 election denier and proponent of a conspiracy theory which claims Democratic leaders participate in satanic “spirit cooking” rituals. With Democrats’ help, Gibbs defeated Meijer and is the current GOP nominee to represent MI-3.

In California, another pro-impeachment Republican Congressman, David Valadao, faced a primary challenge from the Trump-aligned Chris Mathys. In this case, Valadao prevailed in the end, despite The Democratic political action committee House Majority PAC creating multiple ads casting Mathys in a positive light as a “pro-Trump Republican” and disparaging Valadao as a RINO (see below).

In Illinois’ governor’s race, incumbent billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker and the Democratic Governor’s Association (DGA) spent an astounding $35 million to boost the Trump-endorsed Darren Bailey in his Republican primary against moderate Richard C. Irvin. In what is already the most expensive non-presidential race in United States history, Bailey is now on the ballot in November as the Republican nominee.

Perhaps most egregiously, in the Pennsylvania Governor’s race, Democrats strengthened longshot candidate and Trump loyalist Doug Mastriano. Mastriano not only supported Trump’s election denial, he himself attended the January 6th riot and helped break into the Capitol. This gubernatorial election is of particular importance, seeing as Pennsylvania is a pivotal swing state that could potentially determine the outcome of the 2024 Presidential race. It’s also a state where the Governor himself appoints the Secretary of State, whose job it is to certify election results. Therefore, it’s far from implausible that a Mastriano victory in November could put the state – and with it, perhaps, the Presidency – at risk of being stolen by Republicans. Nonetheless, his own Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro spent $840,000 on ads propelling Mastriano to victory in the GOP primary. Despite Democrats’ theory that Mastriano would be easy to beat in November, current polling indicates a very close race, with Shapiro leading by a mere 3 points.

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These are just a few of many examples, and Democrats haven’t been shy about their role in promoting the candidacies of the very Republicans they denounce so strongly. DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney admitted and defended such tactics in a recent Meet The Press interview. When Chuck Todd suggested he put “party over country” by elevating the most divisive and extreme Republican candidates across numerous races, Maloney responded:

Absolutely not did we put party over country. The moral imperative right now, Mr. Todd, is to keep the dangerous MAGA Republicans who voted to overturn our election out of power.

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Maloney’s answer is shamelessly dishonest, seeing as all of these “MAGA Republicans” he feels so strongly about keeping “out of power” were running in primaries against non-MAGA Republicans who in many cases spoke out forcefully against Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. If Democrats’ first priority was actually to defend our democracy from the existential danger posed by Trump-aligned extremists, surely they would want to nip such threats in the bud by doing everything in their power to defeat them as early and as handily as possible. Instead, they’re doing the opposite and embracing Hillary Clinton’s “pied piper” strategy of 2016: boosting the most radical right-wing candidates in the hopes that they’ll be easier to defeat in the Fall (we all remember the results of that experiment, do we not?).

So as Biden insists that the “MAGA forces” within the Republican party represent a fringe minority, his own Democrats spend tens of millions of dollars aiding that very faction of the GOP in its efforts against the “mainstream” conservatives he misses so badly.

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Outspoken anti-Trump Republican Adam Kinzinger put it best when asked on CNN about Democrats’ support for the aforementioned MAGA candidate John Gibbs, answering:

Don’t keep coming to me, asking where are all the good Republicans that defend democracy, and then take your donors’ money and spend half a million dollars promoting one of the worst election deniers that’s out there.

In reality, Democrats care nothing for unity, decency, or democracy. Their only concern is that of most politicians and political parties: power. Biden’s appeals to the better angels of Republicans’ nature, given Democrats’ subversion of the very anti-MAGA Republicans they pretend to hold in such high regard, are Orwellian enough to complement the speech’s widely panned stage production of blood-red floodlights and shadowy Marines looking directly into the crowd. War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, and apparently, partisanship is patriotism – so long as the public isn’t equipped to spot the difference.

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Sam Harris’ Defense of Censorship Reveals Liberals’ True Contempt for Democracy

by Keaton Weiss

“Hunter Biden literally could have had the corpses of children in his basement – I would not have cared.”

Believe it or not, that’s actually the least controversial thing Sam Harris said in a recently released clip from his appearance on the “Triggernometry” podcast. He followed that up by asserting that “Whatever [the] scope of Joe Biden’s corruption is, if we can just go down that rabbit hole endlessly and understand that he’s getting kickbacks from Hunter Biden’s deals in Ukraine…it is infinitesimal compared to the corruption we know Trump is involved in…it doesn’t even stack up against Trump University.”

If this isn’t Trump Derangement Syndrome, I don’t know what is. Such a claim would be suspect under any circumstances, but Harris makes this argument as the Biden administration funnels tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons and other aid to Ukraine for its war against Russia. That this is a “firefly to the sun,” as he puts it, next to Trump’s fake college scam, is utterly ludicrous.

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But Harris was just getting started. These deranged musings were merely the setup to his main point, which was that the censoring of The New York Post’s reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop days before the 2020 election was justified. Harris granted that Twitter’s suppression of the story under the false pretense that it was Russian disinformation was in essence a “conspiracy to deny the presidency to Donald Trump,” but nonetheless insisted it was “warranted.”

The host then pressed him for clarification, after which Harris slightly walked back his “conspiracy” concession with one of his classic “thought experiments.” He posed the question, “If there was an asteroid hurdling toward Earth, and we got in a room with all of our friends and talked about what we could do to deflect its course, is it a conspiracy?”

To answer his question: yes – if half of the world’s population wants the asteroid to hit the Earth.

Harris’ analogy perfectly illustrates the fundamental contradiction at the heart of resistance liberalism. They see Trump as a singular threat to democracy, yet when pressed, they will fully endorse subversive, conspiratorial, and anti-democratic means of opposing him. They must maintain their view of Trump as something like an asteroid on a collision course with Earth in order to justify these tactics, because to accept Trump for what he actually is – a democratically elected leader – would lay to bare their true feelings about democracy itself: they hate it.

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This was plainly obvious from the minute Trump declared his 2016 candidacy, and is even more obvious now. From Hillary’s “deplorables” line to their relentless indignation over the January 6th riot, liberals have not only attacked Trump himself as an odious figure, but they’ve cast all of his supporters in that same mold in order to delegitimize their participation in the democratic process. In a real democracy, everyone gets a say, no matter how repulsive they may be. But liberals don’t want real democracy. Instead, they want a democracy curated to their particular tastes and sensibilities, and which excludes those who don’t conform to them. This, of course, is no democracy at all.

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Sam Harris and his ilk would be better suited to just admit all of this out in the open. It’s perfectly legitimate to oppose democracy – the Greeks themselves had many negative things to say about it, chief among them is the power it grants to a mostly ignorant and unenlightened population. If Harris’ cohort thinks the American public is too stupid to take seriously their responsibilities as democratic actors, they should just say so, and propose an alternative form of government that relegates the rubes to the irrelevance they feel befits them. But to claim, as liberals do, that their opposition to Trump is motivated primarily by some civic obligation to protect democracy, is patently ridiculous.

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We should be grateful to Sam Harris for so clearly articulating his upside-down ethos in all of its self-negating absurdity. Never has any prominent liberal expressed such bald-faced contempt for the very democratic norms and ideals they claim to cherish so deeply. It was a rare candid moment from an elite clique typically much more careful to couch their arguments in ways that conceal their honest opinions about democracy. It’s good that one of them finally let it rip.

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Photo: Triggernometry

Of Course Joe Biden Meant Exactly What He Said About Regime Change in Russia

by Keaton Weiss

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” said Joe Biden in Poland on Saturday in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House quickly tried to walk back the statement, insisting that “The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.” The Democratic Party-aligned media is doing their part to convince their consumers that Biden’s remarks were merely an unfortunate gaffe, and not a reflection of the United States’ true policy aims.

Funny how one of the few times Biden was coherent enough to say what he meant, his team and their media mouthpieces were forced into damage control to try and convince the public that he didn’t really mean it. Comic irony aside, Biden’s assertion that Putin must go was a revealing articulation of the all-too serious intentions of the United States to provoke Russia into a violent confrontation for quite some time.

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In 2008, George W. Bush supported NATO membership for Ukraine, knowing full well Putin’s vehement opposition to the idea. Shortly into Obama’s first term, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovitch was elected in Ukraine. Obama congratulated him on his victory, but four years later his administration would support his ousting via the Maidan Revolution which installed a more pro-Western government.

In 2015, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for a no-fly zone in Syria just days after Russia started bombing anti-Assad fighters in the country – a policy sure to result in a violent exchange between US and Russian forces. She would defend this position throughout the 2016 campaign, most notably in her third debate against Donald Trump.

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After Trump’s victory but before his inauguration, Senators Lindsay Graham, John McCain, and Amy Klobuchar visited a Ukrainian combat outpost to express their support for their military. Referring to their ongoing struggle against Russia, who had annexed Crimea during the aforementioned 2014 uprising, McCain promised that “we will do everything we can to provide you with what you need to win.” Graham added that they would “push the case against Russia” upon their return to Washington, and that 2017 would be a “year of offense.”

Of course, with Trump taking over for Obama just a few weeks after this meeting, those plans didn’t quite materialize. It’s hardly a coincidence that throughout his presidency, the main line of attack against Trump from Democrats and neocon Republicans was that he was a “Russian asset” doing the Kremlin’s bidding from his new home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

When Trump and Putin appeared at a joint press conference in Helsinki in 2018, the political class roiled in anger as the two got along rather well – an event that would produce a barrage of headlines declaring Trump a traitor and a “Putin poodle” for not chastising Putin over his alleged interference in the 2016 election. One CNN article even suggested in its headline that the soccer ball Putin gave Trump as a gift was implanted with a listening device, even though the text of the piece itself explained that the transmitter chip in question was a standard feature of Adidas products – a QR code of sorts that allows customers to further explore their brand.

After their four-year tantrum of such laughably ludicrous Russia hysteria, the Democrats – thanks to a once-in-a-century pandemic which Trump seemed uniquely unequipped to handle – successfully won the White House again. With “Putin’s poodle” out of the way, the United States was once again free to carry on in its hostility towards Putin.

Notice in the run-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Biden White House did nothing whatsoever of substance to try and prevent it. Biden warned of sanctions against Russia if Putin decided to invade, but simultaneously predicted he’d do so anyway. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on February 20 that “everything leading up to the actual invasion appears to be taking place.”

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The nonchalance of the Biden administration in the weeks prior to the invasion was in stark contrast to the shock and horror expressed by similar figures in response to the infamous soccer ball exchange in Helsinki between Putin and Trump. To the political establishment, the prospect of America and Russia peacefully and cooperatively coexisting is clearly more frightening than that of violent confrontation, even if such conflict escalates into a third World War. This is obvious given their outrage and indignation over Trump’s soft handling of Putin, and their glowing praise the Biden administration as it refused to engage in the kind of serious diplomacy that might have prevented war between Russia and Ukraine.

And so of course, Biden meant exactly what he said when he advocated for Putin’s removal from power; it’s the logical “best case scenario” result of the kind of violet clash between NATO and Russia that major figures in both major parties have been instigating for years. Of course, his administration has neither a strategy nor a desire to end the violence. Of course, the Ukrainian people are nothing more than expendable pawns on their imperial chess board. And of course, none of this is going to get better before it gets worse.

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The White House and their media stooges are now trying to gaslight the American people by convincing them they didn’t see what they just saw. It’d be easy – and accurate – to call this Orwellian. But perhaps the even more appropriate reference would be to the Marx Brothers, who in their 1933 film Duck Soup penned the now famous line, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes? This is the exact question the White House is asking all of us right now. But we know what we saw. We know what we heard. And those paying attention know that the United States has wanted war with Russia for quite some time, and now that they’ve got it, they of course want to see it through to its most violent conclusion.

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Image: Public Domain

After Trump and Russiagate, The War Machine is Back in Business

by Keaton Weiss

The Trump era was one of unrelenting malaise for the political class. Democratic politicians roiled in resentment and righteous indignation at every word and deed of the 45th President. The beltway media became, more nakedly than ever before, a propaganda arm of the DNC, and central command for the #resistance.

And while both the party itself and its media mouthpieces did pay some attention to Trump’s policies on immigration, climate, and economics, these were hardly their main grievances. Why would they be? After all, now that Trump’s out of office, Biden has caged more children at the border than his predecessor, licensed more drilling permits, and has essentially made permanent Trump’s massive corporate tax cuts (he proposed raising corporate taxes from 21 to 28%, still 7 points down from the pre-Trump rate of 35%).

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Mostly, the establishment signaled grave concern about Trump’s violation of “norms” and degradation of our cherished “institutions.” Nothing exemplified this more than the Russiagate narrative which consumed liberal media outlets for more than two years after his inauguration.

Those outside this corporate media bubble could fairly easily assess Russiagate as a pathetic exercise in collective self delusion fueled by sour grapes over an unlikely election defeat. And surely, to the humiliated Clinton campaign staffers who feared they’d never get a job in Washington again after losing perhaps the most winnable race in modern political history, this is exactly what it was.

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But to the real power players in American politics, it was much more than that. Branding Trump a “Russian asset” wasn’t just expensive psychotherapy for Hillaryworld. Rather, it was an expression of what Trump actually represented to these people: a wrench in the imperial war machine that needed to be removed as soon as possible. This makes especially good sense considering the timeline of events leading up the Russia-Ukraine war.

In 2014 the United States supported the ousting of Ukraine’s pro-Russian President via the Maidan Revolution. When audio surfaced of a State Department official and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine discussing political strategy for the incoming Ukrainian government, an embarrassed Obama administration accused the Russian government of leaking the tape. Of course, they did not deny the authenticity of its contents, because they couldn’t – the recording did in fact prove U.S. meddling in the rebellion and its aftermath.

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In the Summer of 2016, when Wikileaks dropped a trove of emails confirming DNC bias against Bernie Sanders during the primaries, the Democratic Party’s response was copied from the same playbook: they accused the Russians of perpetrating the hack and subsequent leak, while failing to dispute the validity of the disclosed materials themselves.

During the general election, the Clinton campaign and its media allies repeatedly hammered Trump as a puppet of the Kremlin, and insisted that Russia was pulling for his success. When Trump won an upset victory that Fall, a development Putin himself would later publicly admit he was happy about, Clinton campaign insiders immediately convened and decided to blame Russian interference for their defeat.

In the interim weeks between Trump’s election and inauguration, New Year’s Eve 2016, Senators Lindsay Graham, John McCain, and Amy Klobuchar traveled to a Ukrainian combat outpost to express their support for Ukraine against Russian aggression, and pledged that 2017 would be a “year of offense” (video below).

The first two years of Trump’s presidency were then overshadowed by the Mueller investigation, which liberals insisted would establish “collusion” (a deliberately vague term with no actual legal meaning) between the Trump campaign and Russia that would render their victory illegitimate. After two years of non-stop hype, the published findings produced no such result, though it did provide evidence that Russians promoted Trump’s candidacy and damaged Clinton’s.

With the Mueller Report having been mostly a dud, Democrats then impeached Trump for allegedly extorting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating Hunter Biden in exchange for $400 million of defense aid Congress had approved for his country. Trump’s actions were seen as politically motivated given that Joe Biden was his likely 2020 opponent, but they were also viewed as part of a series of actions to weaken Ukraine in its years-long standoff against Russia. Months prior to the phone call in question, Trump had ousted his Ukrainian ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, after hearing rumors that she was badmouthing him and predicting his eventual impeachment.

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While impeachment didn’t result in Trump’s removal from office, the 2020 election did. And sure enough, just over a year into Biden’s first term, here we are.

In the days and weeks before the invasion, Biden both threatened harsh sanctions against Russia if they invaded, and simultaneously predicted that Putin would be undeterred and invade anyway. This was not a serious attempt at diplomacy; this was going through the motions of a performative negotiation sure to fail and result in war.

From 30,000 feet, we can see pretty well what’s been going on this past decade in Eastern Europe. The United States was stirring the pot, provoking Russia into conflict, and then Donald Trump came along and, for a short while, ruined their plans. With him out of the way, it’s now full steam ahead.

By the liberal media’s own admission, Russia likely would not have invaded under a second Trump term. As MSNBC’s Chris Hayes explained:

“When Republican politicians say that Putin would not have invaded Ukraine under Trump, they are probably right, but for the wrong reasons. Putin likely would not have invaded because he did not need to. Because Trump was his ultimate gift doing everything Putin himself wanted to do: elevating Russia, denigrating NATO, delegitimizing Ukraine. Without him in the White House, Putin took matters into his own hands.”

Given liberals’ satisfaction that Biden is now President and their admission that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine likely would not have happened under Trump, we can safely assume what the aforementioned timeline suggests: that the political establishment has been wanting a violent confrontation with Russia for quite some time, and that they’re happy to have finally gotten it.

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That Trump was the “ultimate gift” to Putin is the line of attack still being used against him by Biden loyalists spells out very clearly that they’d rather Russia be dealt with by force than through diplomatic exchange.

In addition to the $6.4 billion in military and economic aid immediately following Russia’s invasion, Biden responded to Zelensky’s speech to Congress by pledging an additional $800 million for Javelins, anti-aircraft systems, and AT-4 anti-tank weapons – a hefty and perhaps overdue payday for the Military Industrial Complex.

Perhaps this explains the upbeat mood in the room as a beaming Nancy Pelosi introduced sketch comic-turned-freedom fighter Volydymyr Zelensky to make an impassioned case for prolonged combat in Ukraine, and more U.S. intervention.

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The Trump presidency was hardly a picnic for anyone, but it was especially miserable for the masters of war who were denied a new arena for four long years of stagnation. With him gone, their time-out is over, and they’re obviously very excited to be back in business.

We discuss Zelensky’s speech and related topics in episode 136 of the Due Dissidence podcast. Click the player below to hear our full conversation, and subscribe to our podcast on any major podcast player.

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Image: C-SPAN

If Yemeni Lives Matter, Biden Won’t Visit Saudi Arabia to Beg for More Oil

by Keaton Weiss

According to new reporting by Axios, President Biden is considering a trip to Saudi Arabia this Spring in order to mend relations and convince the Kingdom to produce more oil to offset a potential U.S. ban on Russian imports following their invasion of Ukraine.

If we lived in a country of informed citizens with uniform respect for all human life, that would be the whole story in a nutshell. There’d be no need to elaborate on the rank hypocrisy of even considering such a visit. Unfortunately, polling indicates that less than 40% of Americans are even aware that the Saudis are targeting civilians in their war in Yemen. The slaughter, now in its eighth year, has been deemed the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by the United Nations.

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And so essentially, the United States is seeking more product from a rich brown country committing genocide against their poor brown neighbors in order to compensate for a boycott against a white superpower attacking their white neighbors. The only sensible interpretation of this is that Yemeni lives don’t matter – not to the Biden administration, the media, or the West as a whole.

CBS correspondent Charles D’Agata’s description of Ukraine as a “relatively civilized, relatively European” place in order to elicit sympathy from a public who’s reacted to warfare in majority-brown countries like Iraq and Afghanistan with relative indifference is the most egregious, but hardly the only, example of racial bias in the media’s reporting of this crisis.

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Among the general population, there’s a similar discrepancy in attitudes towards intra-continental white-on-white warfare and its inter-civilizational counterpart. Support for Ukraine and its people has been overwhelming, dwarfing the levels of sympathy for “less European” countries in similar situations in recent history. For example, 74% of Americans support welcoming Ukrainian refugees. In 2015, when the Obama administration announced plans to admit 10,000 Syrians fleeing war and persecution in their home country, only 28% agreed with the decision.

Most pertinent to this particular matter, 80% of Americans support a ban on the importation of Russian oil, but 71% say gas prices should factor into our approach to the conflict. This means in order to prevent prices from soaring even higher than current projections predict, we’ll need to make up for any loss in supply caused by a Russian ban.

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And so we’re considering sending our President to the Saudi Kingdom to beg hat-in-hand for more oil. The suggestion has already attracted sharp criticism, most notably from Rep. Ilhan Omar, who said such a trip would be “wildly immoral” and that “Yemenis might not matter to some geopolitically, but their humanity should.”

If Biden does end up going, the White House would justify it as a necessary compromise of values for the sake of pursuing a greater good. Of course, this invites the obvious question that if we’re willing to set aside our principles – and sell out the Yemeni people – for access to oil, then why not entertain the moral compromise of engaging in real diplomacy with Russia in the hopes of ending the violence and preventing a potential World War?

The Kremlin recently announced their terms for ending their assault on Ukraine. They include Ukraine codifying a promise not to join NATO or the EU, acknowledging Crimea as part of Russia, and recognizing their separatist regions as independent. Capitulating to these demands at this point would be a great moral concession considering Putin’s war crimes against the Ukrainian people. But it too would be in service of a greater good.

So if we’re willing to denigrate the humanity of the Yemeni people by expanding our business dealings with those committing genocide against them, then – assuming all lives truly matter equally – we ought to be willing to commit a similar offense against the dignity of Ukrainians, especially since such a sacrifice would be in pursuit of a much nobler goal than cheap oil: a more peaceful world. To approve of the former but not the latter is to admit that brown Arab lives are simply not as precious as white European ones.

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Middle Easterners are used to being discarded in this way. Funding for Israeli defense passes with virtually unanimous support despite its apartheid-like treatment of Palestinians. Barack Obama still enjoys astronomical popularity despite having bombed Libya into a failed state with open slave markets (mention this to your average white liberal and they either won’t know about it or won’t care). And as Donald Trump threatened to upend the world order they’ve been molding since 9/11, Bush-era neocons like David Frum, Bill Kristol, and Stephen Hayes have been thoroughly rehabilitated by the political establishment despite having spread the misinformation that started the Iraq War, which killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

A Presidential visit to Saudi Arabia to ask for more oil would be the latest example of Western disregard for human life in the Middle East. If difficult times call for difficult decisions, we should make the moral compromise that averts WW3, not the one that helps pay for it.

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Photos: Public Domain

As Biden’s Pandemic Response Fails, Democrats Scapegoat Podcasters and the Public

by Keaton Weiss

A recent Pew poll shows waning confidence in President Biden’s ability to “handle the public health impact of the coronavirus outbreak.” As shown below, Biden’s numbers on covid have plummeted more than 20 points in less than a year. Last March, 65% of Americans were optimistic that the new administration would effectively pull us through the pandemic – currently, only 44% feel that way. Most troublingly for Biden, the number of people who say they’re “very confident” in his handling of covid has decreased by more than half. A mere 15% of the public now expresses such a level of trust.

Down the home stretch of the 2020 campaign, a poll by the same organization showed Biden trouncing Donald Trump 57-40 on the issue of pandemic response. Given how unexpectedly close the race turned out to be, it can be reasonably assumed that the people’s relative confidence in Biden’s covid performance over Trump’s is what pushed him over the top and made him our 46th President.

Now, one year, several variants, and approximately half a million deaths later, the country is recognizing that their high hopes going into 2021 were likely misplaced, as the rosiest outlook on covid now seems to be that it will soon enter an endemic phase.

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None of this is to say that covid’s resilience is the fault of the Biden administration. Even New Zealand, which virtually rid itself of coronavirus from May 2020 through July 2021, has seen a dramatic resurgence in cases these past six months. Rather, it seems that covid is an especially transmissible disease that simply can’t be eradicated entirely. Even vaccines, which have proven highly effective in preventing serious illness and death, do not stop the spread of the virus itself.

But regardless of whether or not Biden bears sole responsibility for rampant coronavirus, the political truth remains that he was elected largely based on the premise, and the promise, that he had a strategy to control the outbreak.

Now that he hasn’t delivered the results, the American people, including his own Democratic base (the same new Pew poll shows Biden’s overall approval rating at a miserable 68% among Democrat/lean Democrat voters), are quickly souring on him.

And so, the Biden administration is desperate for some explanation that neither implicates them nor paints too bleak a picture about how they’ll never be able to truly “control” the virus in a way that they signaled they could. Admitting fault or owning up to the fact that covid is here to stay in some form or another are both politically disastrous for a government already facing a dire confidence crisis.

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In plain English, they need a scapegoat. They need to deflect the public’s frustration over covid’s staying power in a direction that both exonerates them from blame and creates the impression that a covid-free world is possible but for x. Finding a variable that satisfies those two conditions is necessary to keep their fragile legitimacy from collapsing altogether.

“Misinformation” – those who spread it, and those who fall for it – is the perfect culprit. Media figures who traffic in vaccine hesitancy and the dupes who listen to them are now in the crosshairs of the establishment. We’re supposed to believe that they’re the ones standing between the rest of us and a return to our normal pre-pandemic lives. The government and their media mouthpieces want us, the vaccinated majority among which, by the way, I count myself, to hold purveyors and consumers of misinformation responsible for the ongoing covid crisis.

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If they can make this idea stick, they’ll be off the hook in two ways. First, the people will trust that Biden and his government have done all they can do, and that it’s now up to the unenlightened masses to cooperate and follow the plan. Second, and equally importantly, it will keep hope alive that a post-covid world is attainable.

Now to be clear, I would never argue that misinformation isn’t intrinsically bad, and that we as a society wouldn’t be better off without it. The question here is not whether misinformation is good or bad, but whether or not it’s the primary driver of coronavirus in 2022. My point is that if we’re to be convinced of the latter, we’re fooling ourselves into both excusing our leaders’ failures to manage it more effectively and believing that a small minority of our fellow citizens are responsible for its continued existence as a going concern.

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This is precisely the delusion that the government, their media allies, and their most loyal supporters (ie, the 15% of Americans who still express strong confidence in Biden’s handing of covid) want to perpetuate. And of course, this is what the campaign to cancel Joe Rogan and shame his audience is really about.

The Biden administration recently urged Spotify to take further punitive action against Rogan, rendering obsolete the already ludicrous “private companies” defense put forward by liberals who suddenly forgot every critique of corporate power they ever heard. This of course came after Neil Young and a handful of other musicians pulled their catalogues off of the platform to protest Rogan’s podcast.

Beyond Rogan, we’ve also seen a barrage of attacks on the unvaccinated themselves – ie, those on the receiving end of misinformation. In September, Biden himself said his “patience [was] wearing thin” with unvaccinated people and declared covid a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” In November, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell echoed many of these same sentiments in a viral Twitter thread. CNN’s Don Lemon called them “idiots.” Longtime Democratic strategist James Carville just this week called them “piece[s] of shit” who he wishes he could punch in the face with impunity. Perhaps most famously, Howard Stern railed against the unvaccinated on his show, saying, “Fuck them. Fuck their freedom. I want my freedom to live.” He added, “I want to get out of the house.”

Stern’s comments, more than any other’s, get to the crux of the matter. And again, just as it was necessary to clarify that misinformation is intrinsically bad, I should also state emphatically my belief that being vaccinated is intrinsically good. I am vaccinated and boosted, as is my wife, and we both mask up in public and limit our exposure to large crowds, seeing as we have twin three-year-olds who can’t be vaccinated yet. But just as in the misinformation example, the operative question is not whether vaccines are good or bad, but rather, are the unvaccinated to blame for people like Howard Stern being too afraid to leave their homes? Given the CDC’s confirmation that covid can still spread amongst vaccinated people and the record surge in cases this winter even in highly vaccinated population centers like New York City, it seems like the answer to this question is decidedly no.

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And this, once again, explains the Biden White House’s great predicament. If they can’t effectively scapegoat podcasters and the public for their inability to beat covid, they’re left with two equally dismal political options: accept blame themselves, or tell the public to accept that covid is unbeatable and that concern over it is something we’re all going to have to learn to live with indefinitely.

Both would cause irreparable damage to the administration, the political system more broadly, the economy, and institutional trust, and so neither are acceptable. Instead, we’re all supposed to buy into the increasingly implausible narrative that Biden has done all he can, and that we can be rid of covid if we all just get our acts together.

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Of course, canceling Joe Rogan won’t get us any closer to victory over coronavirus. Even if half of Joe Rogan’s listeners are unvaccinated, and all of his unvaccinated listeners are only unvaccinated because they listen to Joe Rogan – an extremely, comically generous assumption – that’s still only about 5 million people; roughly 1.5% of Americans, assuming (wrongfully of course) that all of his listeners live in the United States. More realistically, we can estimate that the number of unvaccinated Rogan subscribers who refuse the vaccine based solely on Rogan’s skepticism is at most a few thousand – not anywhere near enough to make a significant impact on covid cases.

For a third time now, I should clarify what might be to some a point of confusion. I personally wish Rogan were more encouraging of his listeners to get vaccinated, and I don’t think it is inherently good to understate the vaccine’s efficacy. Again, the question is not whether or not Rogan is doing his listeners a service by expressing vaccine hesitancy, but rather, is he to blame for the ongoing crisis? I don’t think an honest and reasonable person can make such a claim, and I also think, as outlined above, that the establishment has its own reasons for convincing us that Rogan and his audience are the real problem.

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The main issue here is an extremely contagious virus that likely cannot be contained to the extent we all wish it could be. Given its ability to spread even among vaccinated people, an endemic phase is probably the best we can hope for at this point. This is likely true no matter who’s President. But Biden’s election was predicated upon the people’s belief that a complete return to normalcy was possible and that Biden was better suited to get us there than Trump. The only way for his administration to keep people under this impression is to direct their disappointment away from the government, and at each other.

In reality, no good will come from de-platforming podcasters or publicly fantasizing about punching unvaccinated people in the face and getting away with it. But to those attempting to cancel Rogan, doing good isn’t the point. The point is to convince those who still hold out hope for a successful Biden administration that they’re doing something to try and contain covid, and that it’s our fellow Americans, our “idiot” little people, whose ignorance and selfishness is preventing us from entering the illusory post-covid future.

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It remains to be seen how long they can keep this ruse going, but the sooner we recognize it the better. Because while elimination of covid might not be possible, there are far more productive ways to mitigate the damage than to muzzle podcasters and ridicule their listeners. A Universal Basic Income to alleviate some the constant pressure most Americans feel to keep money coming in would be a great place to start. Medicare For All, which a recent report suggests would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives during the pandemic, is another achievable goal worth fighting for. Supporting union efforts so that workers can more forcefully demand safe working conditions is an obvious one. Expanded remote work availability to keep symptomatic people home when they might be carriers is another practical measure we can implement. Virtual learning as a contingency plan in case of further surges seems like a no-brainer. A four-day work week is worth considering. These are just a few examples of political battles whose victories would actually help usher in a new normal that is as safe, as comfortable, and as fulfilling as possible. The cancel crusade against “misinformation” is little more than short-term political damage control for a failing President and an illegitimate establishment. We shouldn’t partake in it.

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Photos: White House, Joe Rogan Experience

Centrists Killed the Biden Presidency and Doomed the Democratic Party

by Keaton Weiss

Last week, the Senate’s 52-48 vote against filibuster reform drove yet another nail in the coffin that is the Biden presidency. After having failed to whip his own party’s votes to pass Build Back Better in the last months of 2021, Biden attempted a “pivot” to voting rights legislation in 2022.

It was obvious to most that the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, like BBB before it, would die at the hands of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who have been immovable in their opposition to the most important components of Biden’s agenda. The two Senators are now pariahs within their own party, drawing the ire of even the most loyal Democratic voters, many of whom are already contributing to primary efforts against them.

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Of course, the irony here is that Joe Biden, Kyrsten Sinema, and Joe Manchin share the same centrist wing of the Democratic Party – you know, the one that’s always claiming they’re the “adults in the room” who can “work across the aisle” to “get things done.” The last two presidential primaries have been battles between Bernie Sanders advocating for meaningful reforms, and moderates like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton lecturing him and his supporters about how their ideas are unrealistic, and how centrists like them are best-positioned to actually achieve legislative goals, albeit less ambitious ones.

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This intra-party compromise proposed by the moderates wins out more than it loses. In both 2016 and 2020, Democratic voters were successfully duped into accepting this bogus bargain, nominating Clinton and Biden despite being far more aligned with Bernie on nearly every major policy issue.

If there’s one political development worth remembering in 2021, it’s that centrists, not progressives, drowned the Biden agenda in the bathtub and sabotaged his administration. Despite candidate Biden’s nostalgia for “getting things done” with segregationist colleagues in the 1970’s and his predictions of a Republican “epiphany” following his election that would usher in a return to bipartisanship, his first year in office was stymied by the same legislative stalemate that defined the Obama era.

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And once again, it should be noted for the history books that this impasse was arrived at not by radical socialist progressives or far-right Republicans, but by Biden’s fellow “moderate” Democrats, who every election cycle fraudulently claim they’re the ones who roll up their sleeves and make things happen while the ideologues on the extremes only scream and yell.

Will Democratic voters absorb any of this? Probably not. According to Morning Joe, Biden’s problem is that he’s “moved too far left and has not been able to bring those final two Senators home.” Rachel Maddow, in a particularly puzzling segment (below), defended Biden’s blaming his failures on Republican obstructionism while seeming to forget that the very rationale for his presidency was that he was uniquely qualified to overcome it.

If rank and file Democrats have proven one thing in recent years, it’s that they think how they’re told. Despite the truth being clear as day that moderates in their own party are responsible for tanking Biden’s agenda, their MSNBC thought leaders seem intent on blaming both progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans for the dysfunction in Washington. That their audience could be convinced of this even as they’re made to rail against Manchin and Sinema as “traitors” demonstrates a cognitive dissonance that only the most committed party loyalists are capable of.

It’s unlikely they’ll ever snap out of it, and it’s even less likely to matter whether or not they do. Come January 2023, Democrats will certainly be the minority party with virtually no power at the federal level. Between GOP dominance of state legislatures and the gerrymandering that will result from it, and the Democrats’ aforementioned failure to pass voting rights legislation, this dynamic isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

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And so while for progressives it’d be a nice consolation prize to hear our moderate counterparts admit that their approach has been a colossal failure resulting in both political gridlock and electoral annihilation, the real lesson coming out of this past year is that the Democratic Party is on its deathbed, and that centrism was the cancer that put it there.

If there is a way forward – and that’s one hell of a big if – it’s in the form of a new organization that rises from the ashes of the Democrats’ looming obliteration. There’s no course correction to be made within the party, especially not with a “progressive” wing too weak to keep its most basic promise of “holding the line” on the bipartisan infrastructure and BBB negotiations (ie, pledging not to pass the first without the second, and then doing just that).

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As far as the Democratic Party is concerned, the only thing left to do is write its obituary. The cause of death: a parasitic donor class attached itself to it and sucked the life out of it, rendering it incapable of performing even the most basic political functions when faced with life-or-death stakes. Or, as the Washington establishment would call it, “centrism.”

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Photo: Gage Skidmore CC 2.0

Democrats Shelve Build Back Better, Effectively Forfeiting Biden’s Presidency

It’s been a week that could arguably described as the effective end of the Biden presidency. Over a span of just 72 hours, the administration announced that the student loan payment freeze would expire at the end of January, that they would defer to Congress to deliver the $10,000 in student debt forgiveness they promised on the campaign trail, and that they’re shelving Build Back Better until 2022.

Permitting student loans to continue as one of covid’s most virulent variants descends upon us in the dead of winter is bad enough. Punting to a dysfunctional Congress on debt forgiveness is tantamount to abandoning it altogether. Delaying further negotiation on Biden’s would-be signature legislative accomplishment is itself an admission of defeat.

But the bad news didn’t stop there. The cherry on top came courtesy of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who defiantly asserted her and her colleagues’ rights to buy and sell stock, citing our “free market economy” as justification.

This avalanche of self-inflicted wounds coming at a time when Democrats’ midterm prospects are already historically dark and the economy is looking increasingly precarious as inflation soars and coronavirus surges. That a party with control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, elected precisely to provide relief and guidance through the pandemic, would portray this level of indifference about delivering on their most basic of promises, begs the question of whether or not at this point, they even want to remain in power.

After all, it’s been a common refrain on the Left these past five years that the Democratic establishment would rather lose to Republicans than win with progressive candidates. The events of this week are simply a manifestation of this very priority set.

Extending the loan payment freeze and forgiving student debt would certainly be a boon to their electoral prospects in November of next year, as would coming out against the idea that one can appropriately be a public servant and a private investor at the same time.

Of course, the party isn’t willing to do any of these things, because, as we’ve been saying for years now, they would rather lose to Republicans than upset their apple cart in this way. And so instead of seeing Democrats try and right the ship, we’re seeing more a resignation to the fate they’ll soon be the minority party again, which to them is just the price of doing business.

We discuss the implosion of Build Back Better, Pelosi’s defense of stock trading by herself and her peers, and more, on episode 129 of our podcast. Click the player below to hear our full conversation, and subscribe to the Due Dissidence on Apple, StitcherSpotifyCastbox, Google Podcasts, or any major podcast player.

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Photo: Public Domain

Democrats’ Shameful Betrayal on Student Debt Will Doom Them in 2022

by Keaton Weiss

Even Joe Biden’s insultingly meager campaign promise of $10,000 in student debt relief for borrowers in exchange for public service seemed dubious at the time he made it. After all, this is the guy who deemed it impossible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy, and has been a lifelong prostitute for credit card companies and big banks, both of whom profit greatly off the interest from their clients’ crippling debts.

Sure enough, his administration dealt student borrowers a brutal one-two punch this week, when it was announced that the federal student loan payment freeze will expire at the end of January, and no executive action will be taken to deliver on his pledge to cancel the aforementioned $10,000 in debt.

Regarding the former, Press Secretary Jen Psaki made it clear to reporters that “a smooth transition back into repayment is a high priority for the administration.” Given Biden’s decades-long aversion to debt relief of any kind, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. His home state of Delaware has long been a sort of Guantanamo Bay for parasitic money lenders, having drafted tax codes in their favor in order to lure them away from New York.

Disgusting as it is, at least Biden’s plan to restart student loan payments in February is being straightforwardly stated and spelled out. When it comes to his broken promise of debt forgiveness, the White House’s betrayal of student borrowers is sleazier and more dishonest.

When Psaki was pressed on the issue this week, she responded by saying, “If Congress sends him a bill, he’s happy to sign it. They haven’t sent him a bill on that yet.”

Three things are made clear by this answer.

First, that the Biden administration would defer on this issue to an obviously and demonstrably dysfunctional Congress shows they have no intention whatsoever to deliver on their promise of debt forgiveness.

Second, they trust that the portion of their base who needs whatever relief they can get, even $10,000, which for many borrowers would barely make a dent in the interest, much less the principal, is too stupid to realize they’re being strung along.

Third, they’ve assessed that the true power base of their party, upper middle class suburbanite Morning Joe junkies drooling over Sean Hannity’s texts to Mark Meadows on January 6th, don’t very much care about student debt or those affected by it. These are the last of the die hard “Blue No Matter Who” faithful, who see the Democratic Party as all that stands between us and a fascist takeover of our government, even as their beloved Democratic administration tortures Julian Assange to death in broad daylight for publishing truthful information about our military crimes.

These MSNBC-addled bimbos are endlessly loyal, and their monthly donations to ActBlue may keep the Democrats’ delusions of viability alive through the summer of next year. But come November 2022, the Democratic Party is in for the rude awakening that their sycophants may have deep pockets, but they can only vote once, and there aren’t enough of them left to save them from political annihilation.

Most of the country aren’t naked partisans, and much of the country stopped giving a shit about January 6th on January 7th, because much of the country understands that the real coup has long been over, and that the true “insurrectionists” are those like Biden, Pelosi, Manchin, and Sinema, who keep the door open for corporate donors to storm the Capitol much like the police let the rioters in.

And so, most of the country sees no reason to vote for these ghouls ever again. Their stab in the back on student loans is the latest, but almost certainly not the last, betrayal between now and Election Day next year. It hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The real fascists have already won. The Democrats’ new base of affluent white cable news addicts are the last ones not to realize this, because they’re the last ones not to have their “rights” trampled upon by America’s true oppressors: banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, and the like.

Dark days ahead for Democrats and their supporters – they deserve every minute.

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Photo: Public Domain

The Left Should Embrace the Primal Catharsis of ‘Let’s Go Brandon’

by Keaton Weiss

Yes, 90% of the “Let’s Go Brandon” chanters have politics that are pretty different from mine. After all, the phrase was born at a NASCAR event. During a TV interview with winning driver Brandon Brown, an NBC reporter nervously interpreted the crowd’s chants of “Fuck Joe Biden” as “Let’s Go Brandon.” Ridiculous as her attempted coverup was, she deserves credit for thinking on her feet.

In the weeks since the video surfaced online, “Let’s Go Brandon” has gone viral as a G-rated stand-in for the saying’s actual sentiment. As an added bonus that the Trump base is sure to enjoy, “Let’s Go Brandon” also serves to call out the media for its willful and absurd misrepresentation of reality (or, as they would put it, “Fake News.”)

While the Left has mostly responded negatively to the phrase – some have dismissed it as juvenile and classless, while others have hyperbolically (though if we’re being honest, somewhat predictably) compared it to a Nazi salute, I, for one, love it.

It’s everything the Left used to be: it’s mass politics, it’s grassroots, it’s transgressive in ironic and humorous fashion. But perhaps more importantly, it’s cathartic in its simplicity and emotional honesty.

As a Leftist who’s spent the past few months holding out hope that House progressives would hold the line on infrastructure negotiations and not capitulate to the “moderates” as they always have in the past, this last week has been incredibly frustrating. I should have known all along that it was only a matter of time before Pramila Jayapal and the rest of the holdouts in the Progressive Caucus would cave under pressure.

And so after months of digging through the weeds of political gamesmanship, analyzing intra-party negotiations, and fruitlessly attempting to predict the fates of both the bipartisan infrastructure package and the Build Back Better add-on, it seems that we are destined for yet another massive disappointment. In the end, once again, it all adds up to nothing. Progressives fold, centrists win, the media continues to propagate the narrative that the moderates are the “adults in the room” who “get things done,” and that Lefties are “pie in the sky,” “all talk, no action,” blah, blah, blah.

It all makes you want to just throw your hands up and say ‘fuck it all.’ Fuck the craven “moderates” who withhold even the smallest plate of crumbs from their constituents so as not to upset their corporate donors. Fuck the feckless progressives who were never willing to tank both bills in order to stand up to their corrupt centrist counterparts. And also, for showing little to no leadership on these negotiations, Fuck Joe Biden – or, in the parlance of our times, Let’s Go Brandon.

For NASCAR fans and the MAGA faithful, “Let’s Go Brandon” is a subversive rallying cry against the Biden administration and its media propagandists. For the Left, it ought to be a sort of mantra; a squishy stress ball we can all squeeze when the dysfunctionally corrupt Democrats become too infuriating to think about without losing our minds altogether.

For example, you might find yourself getting riled up over Ro Khanna’s disgusting cowardice on CNN when he explained that after all of this chest-pounding, he’ll be taking a “leap of faith” that Joe Biden can twist Joe Manchin’s arm into supporting BBB. When you feel your heart rate spiking, just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, whisper a soft, gentle, “Let’s Go Brandon.”

You may come across a clip of Don Lemon blaming the activist Left for the defeat of Terry McAuliffe, the insider’s insider and moderate of all moderates. Rather than excite yourself trying to formulate a retort that will surely be wasted on anyone brainwashed enough to care what Don Lemon has to say about anything, simply breathe in, breathe out, and, nice and quietly: Let’s Go Brandon.

Or, if you’re more from the Frank Costanza school of meditation, you can even scream it:

Say it soft, say it loud, say it fast, say it slow – anyway you want. You do you. But seriously, try it. I think you’ll like it. It’s comfort food; chicken soup for the soul; self-care for the embattled Leftist.

We discuss the ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ phenomenon, the 2021 election results, and more on episode 125 of the Due Dissidence podcast. Click the player below to hear our full conversation, subscribe to our podcast and listen on Apple, StitcherSpotifyCastbox, Google Podcasts, or any major podcast player.

(election recap begins at 4:25, Let’s Go Brandon discussion at 38:11)

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Photo: Ivan Radic (CC 2.0)