In a feverish op-ed printed in The Hill on Monday, former US Senator and New Hampshire Governor Judd Gregg said the recent mass uprisings against racism have emboldened progressives such that if Joe Biden wins in the November elections, they will attempt to overthrow him and replace him with “one of their own.”
The recent mass uprisings prompted by a slew of police-linked killings of Black people in the US have seen symbols, names and monuments to racist figures in American history come tumbling down, both literally and metaphorically. However, for one Republican, the real fear is that progressives’ next target will be Joe Biden, the politically moderate Democratic nominee for president.
Gregg’s logic is this: emboldened by their success at tearing down statues of Confederate leaders, and by the “lawlessness, looting, riots and declarations of autonomy” that have swept the nation for the last six weeks, the far-left wing of the Democratic Party will pressure Biden into accepting one of the progressive candidates he defeated in the primary elections, such as Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), as his vice president. Then, using the 25th Amendment’s provisions for removing a president from office if they are mentally unfit to perform their duties, the progressives will overthrow Biden and place their socialist champion in the White House.
“It will be a coup,” Gregg wrote in the Hill opinion piece.
“The pilgrims of the progressive cause countenance no dissent as they rope and spray-paint the statues of people who once led the nation,” Gregg writes.
“They are a fanatical group. Biden is suspect to them, of course. He defeated their patron saints, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Warren, and thus they demand that he have as his cohort an acceptable socialist/progressive who is fervent about the cause.”
“This is about power. All major elections are. The socialist/progressives understand this as well as any political movement does. But the difference is that the socialist/progressive movers who now control the board in the game of Democratic Party politics have no ethical tether,” Gregg frets.
“They will not tolerate for long not being in total control. They will have their vice president, but not their president. And they are a very impatient people and movement,” he notes. “Since their goal is power and their purpose pure, why should they wait? The path to total control is clearly there once they have the vice presidency. It is the 25th Amendment.”
“Power will be fully in the hands of the statue-removers, the social justice police and those who see America’s political history as basically evil. Socialist/progressive excess will govern. It will be a coup. Look over your shoulder, Joe. Watch your back. Donald Trump is not your most threatening problem.”
Fretting over the imminent onset of a radical socialist agenda is nothing new for Republicans, of course. From Franklin Delano Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, Democratic presidents have drawn the ire of their conservative colleagues for decades for implementing programs that favored people over profits, although none of them ever dreamed of overthrowing the capitalist system or even called themselves socialists. Folks have also worried about a socialist or communist revolution or uprising, as exemplified by the proposal last month by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) to send in the US military to quell protests ostensibly led by the antifascist group and new favorite Republican bugbear Antifa.
However, sounding the alarm over an impending socialist coup d’etat from within the Democratic Party is something new.
Since long before protesters took to the streets after George Floyd was killed on May 25, US President Donald Trump has raged against socialism, promising in his 2019 State of the Union address that the US “will never be a socialist country” and in his 2020 address that he would never “let socialism destroy American health care,” the latter being a jab against the Democratic “Medicare for All” rallying cry. However, Biden has notably distanced himself from that proposal.