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Biden’s Warning, Trump’s Ranting

And the F-word hanging over our politics.
September 8, 2022
A Raid, A Rally, A Warning | Not My Party with Tim Miller

[Editor’s note: Watch Not My Party every week on Snapchat.]

Tim Miller: A raid, a warning, a rally. The semi-fascist insanity never stops.

Charles Xavier (James McAvoy in X-Men: Days of Future Past): Think I’d like to wake up now.

Miller: This is “Not My Party,” brought to you by The Bulwark. Well, Donald Trump did some more criming.

Stewie Griffin (on Family Guy): Whaaat?

Miller: By now I’m sure you know the basics of the Mar-a-Lago raid. The former fella had some highly classified documents in his drawing room, next to a few passports, some framed magazines, a gaudy carpet, and a painting that haunts my dream. So the feds asked him to send all the classified material back and he said He did, and, well, that was a lie.

Claire Underwood (Robin Wright on House of Cards): Shocking.

Miller: If this was any normal person lying about classified documents in their possession, they’d have a one-way ticket to the slammer.

Raul de Morana (Fred Armisen on Parks and Recreation): Right to jail, right away.

Miller: But the overcooked Hamburglar has dodged the law for decades. Whether it’s delay and obfuscation, payoffs, or throwing subordinates under the bus, he’s consistently conned the legal process. And in this case, he’s the ex-president, which makes s*** even more complicated. The icing on the kerfuffle cupcake is that all the GOP cuckolds circled the wagons for him again. Despite the fact that they once pretended to really, really, care about keeping government documents secure.

Jon Scott: Mrs. Clinton finally addressed her use of a personal email account.

Cable news commentator: The email scandal.

Cable news commentator 2: The Clintons think that they’re above the law.

Cable news commentator 3: She in fact, deleted 32,000 emails.

Agent H (Chris Hemsworth in Men in Black: International): Looks like the tables have turned.

Miller: And now they’re continuing to run cover for Trump, even though people like “Turd Blossom” Karl Rove and Droopy Dog Bill Barr went on Fox to say—well, just watch.

Karl Rove: None of these government documents are his to have taken. . . . I agree with the deputy director who said that a lot of the former president’s problems are of his own creation.

William Barr: If in fact, he sort of stood over the scores of boxes and said, I hereby declassify everything . . . it’s almost worse than taking the documents.

Miller: But as the legal part of this trudges along, the bigger question hanging over our politics is the F-word.

Kyle Broflovski (on South Park): What’s that?

Miranda Cosgrove: Probably f***.

Miller: No, fascism.

Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie in The Suicide Squad): Oh wow.

Miller: Last week Dark Brandon turned on the red light for a big speech arguing—

Joe Biden: MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people.

Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg on Brooklyn Nine-Nine): Damn son.

Miller: He further warned about the dangers of MAGA fanaticism at a private fundraiser.

Biden (his words, read in voiceover by Bret Baier): What we’re seeing now is the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy. It’s not just Trump. It’s the entire philosophy that underpins the—I’m gonna say something it’s like semi-fascism.

Biden: And that is a threat to this country.

Jay Bilzerian (on Big Mouth): Oh wow.

Sheik Ilderim (Morgan Freeman in Ben Hur): That’s a serious charge.

Miller: Well, I don’t know, is it? Republicans call Democrats “commies” and “Marxists” and even “fascists” all the time.

Donald Trump: There is a new, far-left fascism.

Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride): You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

Miller: But this rhetoric was a big step for Joe. And as a result, some of the pundits were clutching their pearls.

Allison Jaslow: We need to make sure that our military is as removed from politics as possible. It’s not right. None of our politicians or elected leaders should do that.

Luke Ball: You know, we went from the Mister Rogers president to the Dr. Evil president in just one speech. . . . The sledgehammer that drove that wedge into the heart of America, and it’s just disgusting.

Natalie El-Khoury: Okay, well, you seem upset.

Miller: As for me, I didn’t particularly care for the president’s line targeting MAGA Americans rather than their leaders. But he did clarify that the next day:

Biden: I don’t consider any Trump supporter to be a threat. Anyone who calls for the use of violence, fails to condemn violence when it’s used, refuses to acknowledge when an election has been won, insists upon changing the way in which the rules—you count votes—that is a threat to democracy.

Miller: Here’s the thing. The rhetoric might be a little overheated, but have a look at the action on the ground at the latest Trump rally in Pennsylvania.

Trump: I won Pennsylvania by a lot. . . . The 2020 election was rigged and sold. . . . And President Xi’s smart, he rules with an iron fist. . . . One point five billion people, yeah I’d say he’s smart. . . . Our biggest threat remains the sick, sinister, and evil people from within our own country. . . . Vicious monsters.

Pam Beesley (Jenna Fischer on The Office): Wow, that was—wow.

Miller: So the dude stashing classified docs is telling his mob that the Justice Department is made up of vicious monsters; that our elections are a fraud and he should be reinstated; that there are evil people in our midst; and that the Chinese despot is awesome. What word would you use for all that? Whether you call it semi-fascist, stupid fascist, or none of the above, as long as he is allowed to continue stoking that mob and leading the Republican party the danger for all of us remains hot.

James Forester (J.K. Simmons in The Tomorrow War): Dangerous.

Miller: Swipe up to tell us what you’d call Trump and the MAGA American political leaders. We’ll see you next week, for more “Not My Party.”

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and the author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump and communications director for Jeb Bush 2016.