Joe Biden really stepped in it last Thursday night when he accused “MAGA Republicans” of attacking the constitutional order and democracy itself. Perhaps realizing he forgot that there were 75 million loyal, patriotic Americans who voted for the “MAGA candidate” in 2020, almost immediately the president walked back his harsh, generalized attack on the Republican Party. He didn’t mean “all Republicans,” his sheepish spokesmen told us — just the bad ones.

Therein lies Biden’s problem. How do we figure out who’s bad and who’s just a regular old racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic Republican?

Biden tried to delineate the differences in a speech on Monday in Wisconsin.

Fox News:

“I want to be very clear up front, not every Republican is a MAGA Republican. Not every Republican embraces that extreme ideology,” Biden said at a rally in Milwaukee. “I know because I’ve been able to work with mainstream Republicans in my whole career.”

Biden added: “But the extreme MAGA Republicans in Congress have chosen to go backwards, full of anger, violence, hate and division.”

He wasn’t so careful about drawing a distinction between “MAGA Republicans” and “Republicans” on August 25 when he accused the entire Republican Party of turning to “semi-fascism.” And in his speech last Thursday, Biden said “not even a majority of Republicans are MAGA Republicans.” But, he said, the GOP overall is “dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans.”

I’m glad Joe Biden is such an excellent mind reader and can tell the difference between “belief” and “intimidation.” And Republicans today — MAGA or otherwise — are “dominated and driven” by the outrageous incompetence of Joe Biden, not some magic spell Donald Trump holds his supporters with.

In scathing remarks Biden labeled Johnson as one of the “MAGA Republicans, the far right, the Trumpies,” tying him to some Republicans’ false claims the 2020 election was stolen and to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“Extreme MAGA Republicans don’t just threaten our personal rights and our economic security. They embrace political violence,” Biden said.

“Sen. Johnson said it was a by and large a peaceful protest,” Biden added of Jan. 6. “Have you seen the video of what happened that day? Listened to the stories of the members from both parties of Congress and the jeopardy they were put in? Cops attacked and assaulted, speared with flag poles, sprayed with mace, stomped down, dragged, brutalized.”

It wasn’t Republicans who are standing outside the private homes of Supreme Court Justices threatening their families with violence. It’s not Republicans threatening the lives of anti-abortion activists.

And the 50,000 supporters of Donald Trump on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, 2021, did not threaten anyone with violence. The extremely small number of nitwits and idiots who crashed the Capitol building and threatened members of Congress are not representative of “MAGA Republicans” any more than the Black Lives Matter street thugs are representative of the modern civil rights movement. Extremists of any kind are not welcome in America, and almost every Republican has made that clear.

Related: Why Republicans Shouldn’t Take the Bait and Make the Midterms a Referendum on Trump

But Biden had to find a way to divide Republicans between good and evil.

“The biggest contrast between these MAGA Republicans, the extreme right, the Trumpies. … These MAGA Republicans in Congress are coming for your Social Security,” Biden said, calling out Johnson and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, chair of the Senate Republican campaign committee.

Oh, sit down and shut up, old man. Republicans are not “coming for your Social Security.” That’s an outright lie. No Republican in their right mind would “go after” anyone’s Social Security in an election year. It’s nuts, and Biden knows it. But for 75 years, Democrats have been warning senior citizens that Republicans want to take their Social Security away from them. Funny how they always trot that old saw out right about election time. The lie just never dies.

Biden should give up trying to draw meaningless distinctions between Republican factions. If there’s one thing that unites all Republicans, it’s the desire to stop Joe Biden and the Democrats from doing any more damage to the country’s economy.

They don’t even need Trump to tell them that.

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