Doing the dirty work of Joe Biden, MSNBC vilified half the country on three separate shows, comparing the Democrat to Abraham Lincoln’s fight to save the union or Franklin Roosevelt’s rhetorical fight in 1940 against fascism.
NBC News historian Michael Beschloss on Thursday night and Friday morning linked political disputes in 2022 to the most perilous moments of 19th and 20th century. Appearing on Thursday’s Last Word, he told host Lawrence O’Donnell: “Joe Biden is saying, ‘Here we are, I am president, but the democracy is in peril, like 1860, like 1940.’ We are in a situation where few things go the wrong way, we could lose our system, our rule of law, our free and fair elections.”
Regarding Biden’s very angry speech, Beschloss echoed the attempt to slime anyone who disagrees with Biden: “And I think one thing that makes presidents look very good in history is when they stand up to that moment and say, you know, ‘This is what it is. Fish or cut bait, maybe all lose as a result.’”
In other words: MSNBC thinks Biden is Abraham Lincoln and FDR combined. The network analyst’s tone was apocalyptic, hinting that the country doesn’t have much time left: According to Beschloss, “There is an issue like whether democracy is going to survive or not.”
Earlier, on All In With Chris Hayes, Beschloss linked the fight against Confederates trying to destroy the Union during the Civil War, as well as fascists trying to take over the planet in World War II, to a Democratic president’s political opponents:
And just as, as Lincoln gave the House Divided speech, just as Roosevelt gave a speech on the State of the Union about the Four Freedoms as you well know, 1941, here is the time when President Biden has chosen.
On Friday’s Morning Joe, Beschloss was back again. The liberal historian pretended he wasn’t suggesting 2022 is 1860 or 1940, but he couldn’t help himself:
I’m not suggesting that this year is the equivalent, except for in one respect, and that is if, you know, a historian from 50 years from now were to go back and visit America in 2022, the overwhelming question is, are we going to have a democracy in a year or two?
The new theme from the parrots in the liberal media: Democracy is ending and America is doomed. (Unless the Democrats win the 2022 midterms.)
Partial transcripts are below. Click “expand” to read more.
MSNBC’s The Last Word
10:53 p.m. Eastern
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL:: On August 4th, President Biden privately met with a group of historians and scholars. The Washington Post reports the conversation during a ferocious a lightning storm on August 4th unfolded as a sort of Socratic dialogue between the commander and chief and a select group of scholars, who painted the current moment as among the most perilous in modern history for democratic governance.
Comparisons were made to the years before the 1860 election when Abraham Lincoln warns that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and the lead up to the 1940 election when FDR Franklin Roosevelt battled rising domestic sympathy for European fascism and resistance to the United States joining World War II.
Joining us now is one of the people who was in the room with the president that day, NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss. His latest book is Presidents of War. Michael, this has been a week in a Florida courtroom, we had to have a former president told through federal prosecutors that he is no longer president. And we just saw the president of the United States go to Philadelphia, where this democracy was born, to fight for the continuing life of the democracy.
MICHAEL BESCHLOSS (NBC News historian): Joe Biden is saying, ‘Here we are, I am president, but the democracy is in peril, like 1860, like 1940.” We are in a situation where few things go the wrong way, we could lose our system, our rule of law, our free and fair elections. And I think one thing that makes presidents look very good in history is when they stand up to that moment and say, you know, “This is what it is. Fish or cut bait, maybe all lose as a result.”
1860 Lincoln was running through election, said country can`t last half slave and half free. Roosevelt in 1940 was saying, “I know a lot of people are terrified of losing their sons, but we may have to stand up against Hitler.” I`m saying this even though I might lose.
O`DONNELL: Yes. In 1940 – – I was struck by in your conversation with the president, is that Franklin Roosevelt was deeply concerned about the strength of and the rise of fascism in America.
BESCHLOSS: He was.
O`DONNELL: But we know that that concern basically ended on December 7th, 1941, a year later, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. And the country just had this unanimously, virtually unanimously unifying event which was joining together for World War II. But that is not the way it was just a few years before that.
BESCHLOSS: No, that’s exactly right, even one year before that as you know from studying history just as well as I do, 1940, Roosevelt was saying, “I hope to stay out of war against Hitler and the Japanese, but I’m not sure. Let`s make sure we have enough defense.”
His opponent Wendell Willkie was at least pretending to be very anti war and saying you vote for Roosevelt, your children are going to be underground. He actually said things like that. And Willkie was making a lot of headway in October if that election had been held a month earlier, Willkie could have gotten elected.
O’DONNELL: And as we go forward in this, what are the lessons that Joe Biden has to keep in mind?
BESCHLOSS: That when there is an issue like whether democracy is going to survive or not, you can’t say, although these are important issues but the most important issue is minimum wage, very important issue. But if there is no democracy, we can’t get any satisfaction on minimum wage or on abortion, or health care, or some of these other issues. And a president who does not recognize that is a small president. Lincoln and Roosevelt did in their time, no one is arguing that Joe Biden is the equal of Lincoln or Roosevelt, but it`s a very good historical lesson for every president to know.
MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes
8:49 p.m. Eastern
BESCHLOSS: What we talked about was just as you just mentioned, Chris 1860. And someone who’s an historian, like you, you know all this. 1860, this country was in big jeopardy. It was splitting apart, House divided, slavery or non-slavery. And Lincoln cast the election of 1860 by saying, the House can`t stand half slavery and half free. We`ve got to choose.
1940 when Franklin Roosevelt was running for a third term, just as you just mentioned, Roosevelt didn’t say the paramount issue this year is the minimum wage, although that was pretty important, or you know, whether Texans get an oil depletion allowance or something like this. He said, look, “These are all important. But what is really at stake at this moment is whether our children are going to get to live in an American democracy, especially with Hitler and the fascists looming in Europe and marching.
So, I said, and the other said, I’m happy to be transparent about it to President Biden in the Map Room, “This is like 1860, this is like 1940. You know, you have to talk about the large issue in the room. And just as, as Lincoln gave the House Divided speech, just as Roosevelt gave a speech on the State of the Union about the four freedoms as you well know, 1941, here is the time when President Biden has chosen.
And by the way, we didn’t help him write this speech. I don’t give political advice, nor did any of the rest of us. And good thing it would be pretty sad because we`re not equipped to do that. But the point is that he realized that this is an historic moment. And what you — what you heard, I think comes out of that.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe
8:28 a.m. Eastern
BESCHLOSS: We’re talking about historical parallels. In 1860, we were on the precipice of civil war. Very different from where we are in 2022. But this specter of looming violence. 1940, world violence, would the United States enter World War II to oppose Adolph Hitler and Mussolini and the imperial Japanese? I’m not suggesting that this year is the equivalent, except for in one respect, and that is if, you know, a historian from 50 years from now were to go back and visit America in 2022, the overwhelming question is, are we going to have a democracy in a year or two? Are we going to have free and fair elections with all those state officials and state legislatures threatening to say, we’re going to just name the winner whoever we feel like. Are we going to have rule of law?