MSNBC presidential historian Michael Beschloss completely melted down on television earlier in the week when discussing the potential of Republicans winning the midterms next Tuesday. His rant only proves that Joe Biden’s wild speeches about “defending democracy” and “semi-fascism” have broken some people on the left, including sparking some calls for foreign monitors of our election.
Like the rabid conspiracy theorists so many liberals have become, the historian told Chris Hayes that democracy in the United States would be destroyed, our free press could end, and even historians like him might be exiled as the nation slips into. “authoritarianism.”
On Wednesday, the president doubled down on ignoring problems facing Americans and chose once again to focus on small sliver of the population who are “election deniers,” at least election deniers who aren’t Stacey Abrams.
The Washington Post noted, “Speaking at Washington’s Union Station — steps from the U.S. Capitol, which was attacked by a pro-Trump mob in the wake of the nation’s last major election — Biden warned of an ongoing assault on American democracy. The president spoke as a growing number of major Republican candidates have said they may follow in former president Donald Trump’s footsteps and refuse to concede should they lose.”
He said, “It’s unprecedented. It’s unlawful. And it is un-American,” Biden said. “As I’ve said before, you can’t love your country only when you win.”
Beschloss apparently bought the speech hook, line, and sinker, comparing Biden to Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Fox News wrote, The historian warned that ‘six nights from now, we could all be discussing violence all over this country. There’s signs that may happen, may God forbid, that losers will be declared winners by fraudulent election officers, or secretary of state candidates, or governors, or state legislatures.’
‘We could be six days away from losing our rule of law, and losing a situation where we have elections that we all can rely on. You know, those are the foundation stones of a democracy,’ he claimed.
“Joe Biden is saying the same thing tonight, and a historian 50 years from now – if historians are allowed to write in this country and if they are still free publishing houses and a free press – which I’m not certain of – but if that is true, a historian will say what was at stake tonight and this week was the fact whether we will be a democracy in the future, whether our children will be arrested and conceivably killed,” Beschloss claimed.”
RealClearPolitics.com transcribed the insane rant: “Well, [Biden] was absolutely candid and he was absolutely right, because, as you know, Chris, six nights from now, we could all be discussing violence all over this country. There are signs that that may happen. May God forbid. That losers will be declared winners by fraudulent election officers or secretary of state candidates or governors or state legislatures.
We could be six days away from losing our rule of law and losing a situation where we have elections that we all can rely on. You know, those are the foundation stones of a democracy.
So if Biden had gone on the air tonight and said, biggest thing we have to worry about is, you know, marginal tax rate or something like that. Well, it is important. But what significant presidents do — I think you will agree, we both we write history, you and I.
1868, Lincoln didn’t say, biggest issue is land grant colleges, although he felt strongly, he said the country can’t survive half-slave or half-free.
1940, Franklin Roosevelt didn’t say, you know, the biggest thing I’m worried about is farm policy. Farm policy was important to him, but what he did say was never before, since Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, has America been in such danger.
Joe Biden is saying the same thing tonight. And a historian 50 years from now, if historians are allowed to write in this country and if there are still free publishing houses and a free press, which I’m not certain of. But if that is true, a historian will say, what was at stake tonight and this week was the fact whether we will be a democracy in the future, whether our children will be arrested and conceivably killed. We’re on the edge of a brutal authoritarian system, and it could be a week away.”
Reacting to Biden's speech, a presidential historian tells MSNBC that we "could be six days away from losing our rule of law" and that we "are on the edge of a brutal authoritarian system" where children will be "arrested and conceivably killed." pic.twitter.com/zJXe7Odrbl
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) November 3, 2022
Beschloss’ rant was roundly mocked. Lawyer Jonathan Turley commented, “At the same time, Democrats and the J6 Committee are pursuing those who engaged in similar inflammatory rhetoric leading up to the January 6th riot. The airways are also now filled with warnings from leaders such as Hillary Clinton that the midterm elections are about to be “stolen.” Likewise, many are campaigning to ban books by figures like Justice Barrett in the name of protecting free speech.
The alarm raised over many of these GOP candidates is particularly ironic since Democrats spent millions to support the most conservative candidates in Republican primaries. Those candidates (now denounced as election deniers) prevailed in their primaries with Democratic campaign support and could now win in states like New Hampshire.
It is all perfectly Orwellian, but it is not particularly effective. With the over-the-top rhetoric and open bias in the media, the public is tuning out many in the press (which is at record lows in trust). This is becoming a type of primal scream session among friends, cathartic but confined.
Zaid Jilani was more succinct:
What is the difference between this and Alex Jones’s broadcast? Just fewer lizard people? https://t.co/Rodc7WfN3x
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) November 3, 2022
Although Beschloss downplayed economic concerns, he’s completely out of step with most Americans. Throughout the past year, Americans have said that the economy and inflation had them the most concerned. Earlier in the week Quinnipiac University wrote, “One week before Election Day, an increasing number of Americans say inflation (36 percent) is the most urgent issue facing the country today, up 9 percentage points since late August.”
A recent New York Times/Siena College poll asked voters if democracy is under threat, with Democrats, Republicans, and independents all in general agreement that it is. However, when asked who was the main driver of the the threat, no Republican or Democrat topped the list. Instead, “mainstream media” ranked first with 59 percent, followed by Donald Trump at 45 percent, and President Biden at 38 percent.
Someone might want to let Michael Beschloss know that television historians didn’t even make the list, so he can probably sleep soundly in bed at night without being paranoid.
[Read More: Are You Better Off Than Two Years Ago?]