President Biden Gives a Significant Speech

Possibly the most important thing to happen today was President Biden’s speech. And I missed it. But here’s the video:

And here’s the official transcript.

Note that even though much of this speech was about Donald Trump, and no point in the speech did the President use the word “Trump.” It was the “former president.” As in:

And here is the truth: The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election.  He’s done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interests as more important than his country’s interests and America’s interests, and because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution.

He can’t accept he lost, even though that’s what 93 United States senators, his own Attorney General, his own Vice President, governors and state officials in every battleground state have all said: He lost.

That’s what 81 million of you did as you voted for a new way forward.

He has done what no president in American history — the history of this country — has ever, ever done: He refused to accept the results of an election and the will of the American people.

And “defeated former president.” As in:

He’s not just a former president.  He’s a defeated former president — defeated by a margin of over 7 million of your votes in a full and free and fair election.

There is simply zero proof the election results were inaccurate.  In fact, in every venue where evidence had to be produced and an oath to tell the truth had to be taken, the former president failed to make his case.

Joe Biden is done with this crap. This was later:

Our Founding Fathers, as imperfect as they were, set in motion an experiment that changed the world — literally changed the world.

Here in America, the people would rule, power would be transferred peacefully — never at the tip of a spear or the barrel of a gun.

And they committed to paper an idea that couldn’t live up to — they couldn’t live up to but an idea that couldn’t be constrained: Yes, in America all people are created equal.

We reject the view that if you succeed, I fail; if you get ahead, I fall behind; if I hold you down, I somehow lift myself up.

The former President, who lies about this election, and the mob that attacked this Capitol could not be further away from the core American values.

They want to rule or they will ruin — ruin what our country fought for at Lexington and Concord; at Gettysburg; at Omaha Beach; Seneca Falls; Selma, Alabama.  What — and what we were fighting for: the right to vote, the right to govern ourselves, the right to determine our own destiny.

If you missed it too, do watch or read, or both, the whole thing. This was a significant speech. There is no other speech equivalent to this in American history, I don’t believe, in which a sitting president issued a major address that so directly slammed the former president and his allies. I hope this marks a recognition that ignoring Trump won’t make him go away.

Of course, Trump deserved it. He was never a President of the United States, even when he held the title. Trump was like an alien thing who took up space where a president should have been for four years. In reaction to the President’s speech, the former not-president issued a series of his trademark adolescent whines at news media in which he said nothing new.

E.J. Dionne writes of Biden’s speech that  “In what was by far the most passionate, forceful and effective speech of his presidency, he moved democracy to the center of the nation’s political debate.”

Only rarely does a single speech alter the trajectory of politics, and Thursday’s address will matter even more if he and Vice President Harris follow up with equal force when they speak next week in Atlanta on behalf of voting rights — and if the administration fully joins the battle for two democracy bills pending in the Senate.

But in one important moment of truth-telling, Biden changed the direction of his presidency by setting his face against a denialism that has distorted our nation’s debate since the day he was inaugurated. He insisted that Republicans could not be treated as a normal opposition as long as most of them — in their leadership and in their ranks — refuse to break unreservedly with an odious, democracy-wrecking liar.

Meanwhile, the Right continues to crack. An accused insurrectionist in prison awaiting trial named Edward Jacob Lang may be starting to realize he was used.

“There should be a hundred thousand people in DC tomorrow at the very minimum,” Edward Jacob Lang, 26, told “The Stew Peters Show” in a Wednesday phone interview from jail. He continued, “I am so disappointed with Trump and with the American people at large that just do not get behind the January 6 political prisoners.”

“I feel like I’ve been completely abandoned by the political hierarchy here. Where are our leaders standing up, our congressmen, our senators, our president?” he said. “President Trump, where are you?”

Lang then addressed Trump directly, saying: “January 6 you better do a press conference, man. We are rotting in jail because we stood up for what you told us to stand up for.”

Lang, from New York, has been charged with 11 counts, including assaulting a police officer with a bat and a protective shield, court documents said.

Of course, Trump is never going to do anything for Lang or any of the other insurrectionists. He has no more use for them, and most of the Republican hierarchy is pretending they don’t exist. They are an embarassment now, an inconvenience.

January 6 was a day that will live infamy, although the perpetrators need a little more time to realize that.

Clio, muse of history, in the Capitol rotunda

12 thoughts on “President Biden Gives a Significant Speech

  1. Along with this, Dick Cheney shows up in Congress, supporting his daughter Liz, who is brilliantly going directly after Trump in the Jan 6 committee – and Dick is welcomed by the Democrats. Not a single cowardly Republican dared to show up.

    What's gotta happen next is indictments and convictions. Not the stupid disposable small fry who are slowly realizing they were used, but some important names. Once people see the wheels of justice grinding for real, that's when the R's might being to peel away from the Orange Tweeto, and the fascist movement begins to lose energy. Otherwise, I'm sorry but Joe's speech, however good, won't cut it alone.

  2. Great speech!!!!!

    But why not deliver it in prime-time?

    Every other POTUS had TV speeches at 8pm or 9pm EST.

    Doesn't anyone on the Democratic side know how to play this here politics game?!?!?

    • My guess as to the early morning delivery was an expectation that it would then dominate the entire news cycle for the day. Which it did!

    • Not to be snarky, but that's rather quaint thinking. Even I, just days away from turning 70, know that the audience is online, not television. And the largest TV audience left is composed of seniors, not his crowd anymore.


  3. My guess – and I have no information – is that the networks refused the idea when it was floated. They also refused to carry ANY of Trump's planned event. Which resulted in it being canceled. 

    I understand the Republicans want to amend the law that Trunp wanted to exploit on J6. No one else has said it but, what if  VP Harris tosses out the state(s) in 2024 who engaged in voter suppression? I'm not sure the Democrats can't leverage the reform into a prohibition of the slow-moving coup in place. The GOP at the state level want to be able to throw out the popular vote and let the legislature decide the outcome. The reform SHOULD include a restriction that the popular vote MUST be honored and can not be set aside except by fraud proven in court and allowed to proceed through the court system. 

  4. A good speech at the proper time. I believe it's the opening volley in an effort to knock Trump out of the political arena. Biden has left no room for Trump supporters to counter Biden's speech without defending the assertion that the election was stolen. I doubt that many, if any, are going to take up that challenge. Considering that Biden's speech is being followed up by a more robust and open chorus describing Trump's coup attempt as the "Big Lie". Also that the January 6 commission is set to expose the methods and workings of Trump's failed coup.

     To my mind, Trump is on the ropes having already spent his wad. Now he's moving into the boy who cried wolf territory. I don't believe he's going to get away unscathed. I also think his Congressional minions are going to be forced to recalculate their allegiance to Trump to save their political hides when he becomes a political liability.

    • Biden has left no room for Trump supporters to counter Biden's speech without defending the assertion that the election was stolen. I doubt that many, if any, are going to take up that challenge.

      Well, looks like I'm going to have to eat my words on that one. Gaetz and Greene have proved me wrong. I should have known better.

  5. Is Biden's speech, combined with remarks by Garland, a shot across the bow demanding Trump stand down?  The offer won't be made overtly but would criminal investigations be closed if Trump announced he isn't running in 2024? 

    Why? The cult of personality will fragment if Trump withdraws, All the ambitious hangers-on will vie for the favor of the cultists and complete fragmentation of the GOP is the possible (likely) outcome. 

    Is the GOP (some factions) maneuvering in the background at the federal level to prevent Trump's illicit rise to power through election fraud. (I mean putting in place the people to throw the election even if Trump loses the popular vote in the General Election in 2024?) 

    I'm not suggesting any kind of principle to guard democracy. Both parties are protecting big money. Under the system Wall Street wants (and has) government serves to feed the bottom line of the connected few. Under an autocracy, business would do well until/unless it fell out of favor with the dictator. So business has to serve the dictator instead of government serving big business. 

  6. A very good speech at the right time.

    Now, where are the voting reforms needed to ensure that all can vote and removes the rights of certain states (you know who you are) to purge voting registrations at whim (i.e. skin color) and reduce access to polls and modern voting methods? 

    And, flushing the electoral college and electing presidents with a national election. By law.

    It won't stop the wingnuts and kool-aid drinkers, but may give a little more life to our democracy.

  7. It was a great speech, but he did not mention the big reason for holding Jan 6 sacred,


  8. This speech will go down in history as a turning of the tide, not just against Trump, but the right wing conservative, anti democratic forces embraced and assisted by the GOP that have gone all in on the Big Lie.  By not calling out Trump by name, but mentioning the republican party's culpability (he could have gone further in that regard, IMO) and cowardice, he put the spotlight on them, and we're starting to see a heading for the exits.

    The cracks and fissures forming in the edifice of lies are causing some to start backing away from it.  Karl Rove wrote a piece condemning 1/6, and although his handwringng cries in the the piece are probably crocodile tears, Rove at least knows when the jig is up politically.  Which is why that odious Fox toady Kilmeade bent over backwards in his interview with Rove to say Rove was right, even though Kilmeade's been one of the Fox purveyors of the Big Lie.

    Biden and Harris have an opportunity to deliver the coup de gras in Atlanta, by linking the Big Lie to voter suppression, and if we're really going to repudiate the Big Lie we have to protect what it sought to destroy, democracy, by passing the Voting Rights bills.  And were it me, I'd give a shout out to Manchin and Sinema, and warn them, that they don't want to end up in history like Wallace, remembered for standing in the schoolhouse door of democracy,


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