Joe Biden delivered a heated, hyper-partisan political speech on Thursday night. He traveled to Philadelphia, his second trip to that state this week, to trash Republican voters. We were assured by the White House press secretary that it would not be a political speech (wink, wink) but a speech about healing the soul of America.
Earlier today Ed called the speech a “soulless screed” and that is an excellent description of it. To make matters worse, Biden’s backdrop is being described as looking like he was in the depths of Hell. There was also a clear view of two Marines standing in dress uniforms behind Biden. Critics are saying he used the Marines as political props.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Democrats have used the military incorrectly. Remember during the DNC’s roll call of states in 2020? Guam delegates stood with uniformed members of the military, a no-no. The roll call was actually good but not so much including the members of the military. The military is supposed to be nonpolitical. Biden, by the way, used the Marine Corps Band during a campaign event for Democrats in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania earlier this week. Reporting afterward claimed that some of the Marines were “unsettled” about discovering they were at a political event.
Today a veterans organization is slamming Biden for using the Marines as props during his partisan speech. It warns that doing so erodes trust in the military.
Concerned Veterans for America deputy director and U.S. Marine Corps veteran John Byrnes blasted Biden for having Marines visibly positioned behind him during his inflammatory speech on Thursday, in which he said that the influence of “MAGA Republicans” on the GOP “is a threat to this country.”
Byrnes said that American “men and women in uniform serve the country, not a party” and “take a solemn oath that should not be taken lightly or taken advantage of.”
“When elected officials use our troops as props in political and partisan messaging, it undermines the nonpartisan nature of our military and erodes trust in the institution,” Byrnes warned.
Some government watchdogs think Biden may have violated military code. The White House said that no, Marines weren’t props, it was Biden showing his respect for their service.
A White House official told Fox News Digital the “President gave an important speech last night about our democracy and our values, values that our men and women in uniform fight every day to protect.”
“The presence of Marines at the speech was intended to demonstrate the deep and abiding respect the President has for their service to these ideals and the unique role our independent military plays in defending our democracy, no matter which party is in power,” the official continued.
The official also pointed to the White House’s previous statements claiming Biden’s speech taking aim at “MAGA Republicans” and calling them a threat to democracy was not partisan or political.
I’m sorry, what? They are sticking with the opinion that the speech wasn’t a political one? Calling one segment of the Republican Party out and saying they are a threat to democracy isn’t partisan or political? C’mon, man.
When a CNN reporter (!) mentioned that the use of the Marine band was unusual, the usual whataboutism happened, especially with Trump. Biden supporters reminded him that previous presidents have used the presence of military troops as backdrop during speeches and Trump used General Mark Milley for a photo op when he was threatening to use the military to break up protests in D.C. during the Summer of Love.
Biden aimed to showcase his faith in the military apparatus and its ability to back the democratic order.
But while it’s true that the presence of military members was not unprecedented, it’s also not the norm. And it was intentional — stagecraft is a major part of political oratory. So it’s worth contending with why the administration chose to have Marines so prominently displayed.
The White House said in a statement on Friday that it was a gesture of “respect” for these service members. But that doesn’t really explain why they were at this specific event. The speech itself provides clues. Biden focused in his remarks on identifying Trump and his most hardcore supporters as a danger to the republic, with their disregard for democratic rule and their propensity for political violence. By placing Marines in his periphery, Biden aimed to showcase his faith in the military apparatus and its ability to back the democratic order — to defend against future attacks on the Capitol.
“For a long time, we’ve told ourselves that American democracy is guaranteed, but it’s not,” Biden said. “We have to defend it, protect it, stand up for it.” He implied those Marines, who stood with him in front of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was approved and where the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, are a key part of protecting democracy.
The point is that it isn’t standard procedure to use uniformed military as a part of a president’s backdrop. President Unity knows that, he just doesn’t care. He’s too busy saying how MAGA Republicans don’t value democracy and the rule of law. He called more than 74 million Trump voters “semi-fascists” in Wilkes-Barre. It’s the worst of politics. He’s ginning up the Democrat base as the November midterm elections approach. He is also sending the message that he is running for re-election. He filed the paperwork on Tuesday. He’ll be 81 years old then. Good Lord.
The reactions by the media about the ugliness of Biden’s speech that was billed as one that would speak about healing the soul of America is interesting. They are actually mentioning the partisan rancor that Biden delivered and the note of the Marines behind him, too. Usually it is only sunshine and unicorns from the media when reporting on Biden.
There’s nothing unusual or wrong with a President delivering a political speech — it’s inherent in the job description — but doing it against a backdrop of two Marines standing at attention and the Marine Band is a break with White House traditions. pic.twitter.com/s3TSYHtkcA
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) September 2, 2022
Whatever you think of this speech the military is supposed to be apolitical. Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech flies in the face of that. It’s wrong when Democrats do it. It’s wrong when Republicans do it.
— Brianna Keilar (@brikeilarcnn) September 2, 2022
Is CNN really starting to slowly turn a corner? Nah, don’t get your hopes up. Biden is embracing the Dark Brandon phase of his presidency. The media will be happy to placate him as elections grow closer.
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