Autocrats and Democrats

Joe Biden during his speech Wednesday night. (Photo by Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency /Getty Images.)

What’s a president to do when his party faces an imminent electoral wipeout driven by high inflation, high crime, and the near-certainty of a recession?

Clearly, he should deliver a primetime address to the nation that … doesn’t touch on any of that.

This week Joe Biden gave his second speech in two months on the subject of democracy, a topic unlikely to move any vote that wasn’t already firmly committed to the Democratic Party. With the polls turning dark down the stretch, Biden’s decision to revisit an argument that didn’t help his candidates the first time he made it seemed baffling, almost a non sequitur.

And not just to conservatives. Ahead of the speech a well-known progressive operative all but rolled his eyes at the news that Biden would be yammering about democracy again on television.

Try Full Access
Get every newsletter and all of The Dispatch. Support quality, fact-based journalism. Start Your Free Trial ALREADY A PAID SUBSCRIBER? SIGN IN