Joe Biden Calls on the People Who Attacked Democracy to Help Him Protect It

Andrew Harnik/AP/Pool

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In a speech to a socially distanced joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden, on the eve of his 100th day in office, called on legislators to “prove that democracy still works.” He flattered his audience, saying that “we” all dealt with “insurrection and autocracy,” an allusion to the storming of the very building in which he was delivering his speech. “We came together,” he continued. “We united.”

The “we” was more aspirational than descriptive, a very Jon Meacham sort of touch. Ted Cruz was in the room, after all, dozing. Cruz and many of his Republican colleagues helped foment the January 6 insurrection with their caterwauling about voter fraud and paid almost no consequences for having done so. They did not repent. They did not come together or unite with Democrats. Even now, Republicans on the state level are juicing the lies about the election for autocratic ends, pushing through state voting laws that curb the franchise

Biden’s “we” was a neat trick, if basically dishonest. He was turning the raid on the Capitol into a story about a domestic terror threat from without instead of an indictment of any of the actors within.

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