JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Biden’s Absurd Philadelphia Speech Shows The Regime Is Really Scared
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[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through]

I find it harder and harder to watch passing events without Mike Judge's 2006 movie Idiocracy coming to mind.

That's especially the case with politics. Politicians have always said dumb things, of course; but in between the dumb things they generally, once in a while, said sensible, interesting, or thought-provoking things, too—occasionally even memorable things. Today it seems to be all dumb, wall-to-wall dumb, sea-to-shining-sea stupidity.

Case in point: Joe Biden's speech about voting rights in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 13. Here’s the CNBC video:

I listened to all nineteen minutes of it, with the idea to do a thorough tossing and goring. However, Pat Buchanan has beat me to it. He wrote:

Republicans seek to deny "full and free and fair elections" and are engaged in "the most un-American thing that any of us can imagine, the most undemocratic, the most unpatriotic."

Un-American? Undemocratic? Unpatriotic?

When Sen. Joseph McCarthy challenged the patriotism of Truman Democrats in such terms in the 1950s, he was censured by the Senate.

Is Biden really saying that minor alterations in election laws, all of which would have to pass muster with federal courts and the Supreme Court, represent an existential threat to our republic?

This is beyond hyperbole. It is ridiculous. It is absurd.

Such hype is a measure of just how far out of touch with the real world the rhetoric of our reigning elites has drifted.

I'm not going to compete with the master. I'll just throw out a few random comments.

  • Joe plumbed the deepest depths of idiocracy at 16m19s:
The assault on free and fair elections is just such a threat—literally. I've said it before. We're facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That's not hyperbole: since the Civil War.

In fact, as even some institutional never-Trump Republicans were moved to point out, that is a textbook instance of hyperbole [Sorry, Mr. President: The ‘fight’ for voter rights is nothing like the Civil War, by Rich Lowry, NY Post, July 16, 2021].

In saying, "That's not hyperbole," the President said a really dumb, stupid thing, inviting mockery from any literate person.

  • Perhaps Biden, or whoever writes his speeches, just learned the word "hyperbole" and has taken a fancy to it. He actually used it twice in this speech, the first time at 52s in, quote:
Twenty-twenty election … It's not hyperbole to say the most examined and fullest expression of the will of the people in the history of this nation.

Well, again, it is hyperbole to say that. Last November's election was a ramshackle affair, mainly because of disruptions due to the covid pandemic. We've had much better-run and more credible elections. Does anyone not think so?

That bit of the speech doesn't attain quite the lightless depths of dumbassery as the previous one, but it's pretty darn stupid.

  • When he wasn't saying dumb things, the President was telling lies.

He said, for example, that women were denied the vote until the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.

Not true: women got the vote in Wyoming fifty-one years before that, in 1869, closely followed by Utah, then Colorado and Idaho. Every smart high-schooler knows this stuff.

  • What wasn't dumb or false was just embarrassing: fake indignation, descents into inaudible mumblings, threadbare clichés. Biden Who-We-Ared us twice (14m26s, 15m31s).
  • It wasn't hard to see what psychologists call projection, too:
We're going to face a new test in 2022, a new wave of unprecedented voter suppression and raw and sustained election subversion …

Translation: We in the Regime are really, really worried that voters will vote the wrong way next year.

We all know what this is about. It's not about 2022 or 2020, it's about 2016. That election was a terrific psychic shock to the Ruling Class, a nine on the political Richter Scale.

The Regime was smug; they were confident; they had one of their own on the Democratic ticket, a reliable bot for the academic-military-technocratic-intelligence-media-financial elites. The 2016 election was lined up nicely, all according to plan…then suddenly, from out of right field, came this wild man, this maverick, destroying all the Ruling Class plans.

Everything out of the Deep State since November 2016—everything from the big federal power centers, the universities and law schools and military staff colleges, the broadsheet newspapers and TV channels, Hollywood and the big internet companies, the FBI and the CIA and the NSA and the so-called Justice Department—everything has been said, done, written and broadcast with the sole aim of making sure that 2016 never happens again.

And that's not hyperbole.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire's writings at can do so here.

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