Democrats’ criticisms of Biden are actually a reminder of why the GOP is such a danger to our democracy

Joe biden
President Joe Biden. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Democrats have taken Joe Biden to task for his handling of COVID and the Afghanistan withdrawl.
  • On the other hand, Republicans refuse to call out Donald Trump’s lies and mistakes.
  • The difference underlines just how much of a threat the GOP is to America’s democracy.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
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The past two months have brought a dramatic change to the Biden presidency.

COVID-19 numbers have skyrocketed. The Afghanistan withdrawal was mired by the deaths of US soldiers and chaos at the Kabul airport. The recent revelation that a US drone strike in the country killed 10 civilians only added to the fallout.

For a President who came into office with decades of experience at the highest levels of government, August and September have shown that experience can’t always prepare you for the most difficult moments.

Biden’s critics, both Republican and Democrat alike, have noticed. But only one team has shown integrity in holding the President’s feet to the fire.

Criticizing your own

The right’s criticisms of Biden have been as predictable as they are ridiculous, such as the suggestion that Biden resign over Afghanistan.

But criticism from his own party has been more substantive. Democratic senators from every wing of the party criticized the administration’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Just this week, many Democrats have been up in arms about the Biden administration’s treatment of Haitian migrants at the southern border. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer “urge[d] President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas to immediately put a stop to these expulsions” while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the situation “a stain on our country.”

As surprising as it may sound, this criticism is a good thing. Healthy democracy is built on politicians and pundits willing to criticize their own party’s leaders when they make a mistake. It also beats the alternative: fawning over a dear leader with no critical eye or pushback to their decisions.

That is how the Republicans live. That is how democracies die.

Fear of your own

The need for serious intra-party criticism to foster a healthy democracy is why it’s so worrying that Republicans are completely unwilling to criticize their leaders, or more specifically, their leader. Even months removed from office, Donald Trump and the political movement that he represents are beyond reproach by Republicans.

Those who do speak out, like Rep. Liz Cheney, are ousted from leadership, while others, like Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, are forced into an early retirement.

Republican cable pundits like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are the major drivers. Not only do they spread dangerous misinformation on a daily basis, but when it comes to mistakes and missteps by Trump and other Republicans, they are silent.

This week, it was revealed that Trump’s lawyer had given Mike Pence a six-point plan to steal the 2020 election. If Biden were to propose such an undemocratic idea today, Democrats in the media and in the Capitol would call for his impeachment. But Republicans refuse to hold their own to account, even when it means pushing a lie.

Over the past year, the GOP has proven that they don’t care about maintaining our democratic system of government. They care about power. Integrity and doing what’s right is meaningless if it won’t help them entrench their minority rule over the United States.

It helps when Fox News and other right-wing media are completely in their pocket, rather than traditional media which largely tries to hold the country’s leadership in check, regardless of who’s in charge.

This is just the latest example of how the GOP is better at politicking in our democratic system than the Democrats – and the latest example of how the GOP’s skill at exploiting that system is going to be the very thing that crushes it.