Biden: Bull Connor's GOP Imperils Democracy
"The next few days ... will mark a turning point in this nation's history," said President Joe Biden in his Atlanta speech to reframe the debate in Congress on voting rights legislation and the filibuster.
He went on: "Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadows, justice over injustice? ... I know where I stand. ... I will defend ... our democracy against all enemies -- foreign and, yes, domestic."
And on this issue of light over shadows, good versus evil:
"Where will the institution of the United States Senate stand? ...
"Will you stand against voter suppression? Yes or no? ... Will you stand against election subversion? Yes or no? Will you stand for democracy? Yes or no?"
"I ask every elected official in America: How do you want to be remembered? ... Do you want to be ... on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?"
Reaction was swift. "So much for unifying the country and working across the aisle," said Sen. Mitt Romney.
"Pure demagoguery," said Sen. Mitch McConnell: "The world saw our sitting commander in chief propagandize against his own country to a degree that would have made Pravda blush."
"Perhaps the president went a little too far in his rhetoric," said the Democratic Whip Sen. Dick Durbin.
The Rev. Al Sharpton dissented, describing Biden's speech, which he had urged the president to make, as "monumental."