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Jay Ambrose: Biden acting too much like Trump

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Jay Ambrose

President Joe Biden, who preached unifying moderation before practicing wild-and-woolly extremism, recently emerged as a boorish, demagogic firebrand.

He said Republicans not supporting him on voting legislation are racists on the side of George Wallace, Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis. In this time of divisiveness, a gentler response is to say that he’s the new Donald Trump, not least on the issue of discovering voter fraud where there isn’t any.

That’s what Trump has been mainly about since losing the presidential election to Biden in November of 2020: the phony contention that he really won no matter what the facts are or what his own attorney general and bunches of judges have said.

Yes, it was a highly confusing election and he has hurt feelings, a mountainous ego to contend with, sycophants backing him up, millions of followers and a Republican Party that is largely going along to get along. 

Biden was of course the real winner in the race against Trump. He got a major COVID bill and a bipartisan infrastructure bill enacted, but he has been pretty much a loser himself otherwise. He has spent like crazy, thereby fattening inflation as people become poorer even with wage hikes. The supply chain still isn’t supplying. His Afghanistan bungle is threatening millions of lives. The border tsunami is widely hurtful. Russia, Iran and China have him in a corner.

Not least, he seems to have had this idea of becoming the greatest president in history by sticking years’ worth of Democratic ambitions in the most expensive bill Congress has ever dreamed of. But -- good for us, the people, if not for him -- a majority of 50 Republicans and two Democrats in the Senate have saved us from the calamity.

Lately, our leader who does not lead has hoped to change the cautionary Senate filibuster to allow voting on federal legislation dictating to states how to manage federal elections to save democracy, or maybe just to keep Democrats in power. The Senate majority again said go away, and the polls are disclosing that Americans out there are not seeing Biden or the Democrats as all that endearing anymore.

With the 2022 midterm and 2024 presidential elections obviously in mind, it was therefore clearly time for Biden to say that Republican states were banning Black American votes and destroying democracy with their changes to voting laws. He was joined in this concoction by all kinds of progressives being as pseudo-sophisticated as necessary to deceive themselves and others into believing that efforts to restrict cheating would instead restrict voting. A chief target was Georgia, which apparently was tying Black Americans' hands by having just 17 days of pre-election voting, when 2020 was the first time that New York state allowed any early in-person voting at all in a presidential election.

There are a host of blue states far more restrictive than Georgia and other Republican states, including Biden’s home state of Delaware.

Both Black and white Americans have favored photo IDs as making the process more trustworthy, and the voter turnout of Black Americans has generally gone up after voter ID laws have been enacted, according to some studies. The Democrats particularly want officials to close their eyes by telling voters they can turn their mail-in ballots over to strangers for delivery. No danger there, right? And there is surely no worry about New York City recently deciding along with some 14 other municipalities that non-citizens can vote in local elections. What the heck does citizenship matter, anyway?

While Biden has said the issue is not just about voting rules but who gets to count the vote, he does not seem particularly interested in a bipartisan effort in Congress to consider improved checks on the counting processes.

Here is a chance for Biden to be a winner again, not another Donald Trump.

Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service.


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