The Perfect Democratic Backdrop to a ‘Hail Mary’ Pass

 

The trend lines are unmistakable. Democratic voters appear headed to a walloping in this election. I can’t refer to it as “Election Day” anymore. Thanks to the early and mail-in voting, it’s “Election Season.” It began in late September in some states. And we won’t know the results in many states, especially Pennsylvania, thanks to the malign, confusing manner they handle mail-in ballots.

President Joe Biden delivered his “closing message” last night for this year’s midterm election. Because his last brazenly political speech did so well. As for me, I watched the World Series even out at two games apiece as Houston Astros pitchers combined for a no-hitter over my former hometown Phillies. Even the reliably Democratic Washington Post gave the speech scant coverage, referring almost as much to his previous disaster, using Philadelphia’s Independence Hall and two US Marines as a deeply inappropriate backdrop. Dark Brandon, indeed.


Washington’s Union Station not long after it opened in 1907.

Of interest to me, as a former Amtrak customer, is his use of Washington’s Union Station as a backdrop to talk about “threats to democracy,” and his hideous, senseless, even stupid attempts to tie the tragic attack on the House Speaker’s husband to Republican rhetoric. Biden and I have that in common – we were both frequent Amtrak customers, he more so than I over his 40-plus years in Washington.

Union Station is a grand neoclassical building located just a couple of blocks away from the US Capitol. During my nearly two decades as a lobbyist based in the Philadelphia area, I shuttled some 15,000 miles per year from Wilmington’s equally historic station to DC and back. I used its Acela Club as my home away from home and to get early boarding for trains headed back to Wilmington, DE.

When I first moved to Washington 44 years ago, I commuted briefly to and from Gaithersburg, MD, via commuter rails. The popular Columbia Club inside hosts conferences and receptions. The Grand Hall is (was) sometimes closed off for events. I recall attending a black tie event or two there, including an inaugural ball. After its restoration in the 1980s and 1990s, it was a stunning, vibrant building. The downstairs food court was popular with tourists and nearby workers alike. Some 5.2 million people traipse through the building annually.

I’m told it has become a ghost town. Commuters shuttle in and out as quickly as possible. And if you park your vehicle at Union Station, expect to be accosted by panhandlers and scam artists.

But over the past two years, during the failed administration of DC’s incompetent Mayor, Muriel Bowser, the front of the building has become a homeless encampment. Shootings have occurred. Starbucks, one of the station’s busiest businesses, is pulling out. Entering the station, the stench of urine is unmistakable, along with the distinct possibility of being accosted. Use the public restrooms at your own risk. A large and busy homeless shelter named after the late activist, Mitch Snyder, is four blocks away, but no matter.

At least the building will be cleaned up, and its homeless encampment forcibly relocated so Biden could give his speech. Not quite a Potemkin Village, but you get the idea.

In that sense, it is the perfect backdrop for a Joe Biden speech.

Amber Athey of Spectator World:

It was major news when a shooting occurred in the food court area at Union Station in 2015. Comparatively, a person was shot near the Shake Shack in late September of this year; another was shot in 2020 near the bus depot. Hardly anyone covered either shooting besides a few local news outlets. Why? Because it was no longer surprising.

For years, the neoclassical building’s exterior has been marred by the ever-growing tent city situated in Columbus Circle. In an astounding twist of fate, the encampment was finally cleared out this week before Biden’s speech. It’s very likely it will return with force after the election, unless the nation’s capital starts taking the safety of its citizens — and the beauty of its public spaces — seriously.

Sadly, Union Station is merely a representation of the decline of our cities under the Democratic regime: Washington, DC, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and more have fallen into depravity. A big thank you to Joe Biden for using your pre-midterm address to remind the nation’s citizens of the economic and social destruction you have caused our beautiful country.

As for Biden’s speech, Issues and Insight’s Editors have a solid response to Biden’s largely ignored speech:

In contrast to the left’s campaign of disinformation, we present some facts:

Fascists don’t cut taxes, deregulate, and shrink government. Republicans, even “MAGA Republicans,” run on those issues, and are devoted to the principles, even if too often the policy agenda fails (because of Democratic and media opposition).

Fascists are socialists, and it’s the Democrats who are wed to socialist policies. They constantly agitate for higher taxes, more government control of the means of production, ever-deeper government intrusion into private affairs, and incontestable political power. They don’t want voters to know that fascism’s father Benito Mussolini said that “socialism is in my blood,” or that the Nazis were national socialists.

Politicians and media figures hungry for raw power will call those who question an election that they won “deniers” while themselves denying that they did exactly that in previous elections.

A party that wishes to destroy America would, as Walter Russel Mead wrote a month after Donald Trump took office, limit fracking as much as possible, block oil and gas pipelines, and try to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran. The GOP has done none of that. The Democrats are guilty of all three.

A party that would abolish democracy would crush dissenting voices and opinions, and constantly smear its opponents – which is what the Democrats have done. (And yet again we have to reiterate that the U.S. is not a democracy. That is an infantile construction used to deceive. We are a republic.)

White supremacists don’t appoint minorities to their Cabinet. Trump had one black Cabinet member, two Asians and one Native American. George Bush had four black Americans in his Cabinet. Neither do white supremacists brag that during their administration, black unemployment reached a record low. Trump did.

Democrats and the media are aware of these facts, yet they continue to mislead the country. It’s like watching a child continue to lie even when he knows everyone knows he’s lying. They are doing their best to gaslight an entire nation, make it believe things that aren’t true. The culprits are also projecting, ascribing to the political opposition the very offenses and corruption they are guilty of.

Democrats are closing on “threats to democracy” because nothing else they’ve tried – Donald Trump, January 6, cutting Social Security, etc. – has worked. It is a classic political “Hail Mary.” And “threats to democracy” does show up in polling, but not the way they think. Most Americans, including a third of Democrats, blame the media for it. And as usual, most Americans, most of the time, get it right.

And when American voters course correct next week, they will intercept Biden’s Hail Mary with a reaffirmation of our democracy. Then, we’ll see who the “election deniers” really are.

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There are 10 comments.

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  1. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Kelly D Johnston: And when American voters course correct next week, they will intercept Biden’s Hail Mary with a reaffirmation of our democracy. Then, we’ll see who the “election deniers” really are.

    From your lips…

    • #1
  2. Henry Racette Moderator
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Another fine post, Kelly.

    • #2
  3. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    Stellar.

    • #3
  4. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Kelly D Johnston:

    And we won’t know the results in many states, especially Pennsylvania, thanks the malign, confusing  CORRUPT manner they handle mail-in ballots.

     

    FIFY

    • #4
  5. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    Kelly D Johnston: After its restoration in the 1980s and 1990s, it was a stunning, vibrant building. The downstairs food court was popular with tourists and nearby workers alike.

    It was one of my favorite places to go when I worked in Washington along with the Old Post Office. Daniel Burnham, the architect, also designed the Pennsylvania Railway Depot in my hometown, not near the achievement, but a connection I certainly thought well of.

    Architect Daniel Burnham, ca. 1902, and recently restored.

    I didn’t see the speech, but have been paying attention to what has been happening in and around Union Station. It’s a travesty that Biden managed to further soil its grandeur.

    • #5
  6. Susan in Seattle Member
    Susan in Seattle
    @SusaninSeattle

    Excellent post. Thank you.

    • #6
  7. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I’m a little surprised @jameslileks hasn’t weighed in on the architecture, it’s an interest of his.

    • #7
  8. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

     

    Kelly D Johnston: And when American voters course correct next week, they will intercept Biden’s Hail Mary with a reaffirmation of our democracy. Then, we’ll see who the “election deniers” really are.

    I am hoping for a pick 6. 

    • #8
  9. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    I am old enough to remember how dirty and scary the area around Union Station was in the 1970s and 80s…in the 2000s, the building and its environs improved dramatically… on annual visits to DC, beginning in 2009, I’ve watched, as if in time-lapsed photos, the relapse. 

    Why doesn’t this embarrass people? How do they explain it to themselves? Maybe I’ll ask some of my Dem relatives. (I suppose the answer will be: “Evil MAGA-Fascist Republicans cut funding for X…”

     

     

    • #9
  10. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    I remember when they dug a huge pit in the floor and called it the National Visitor Center.

    • #10
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