NBC News presidential historian and best-selling author Michael Beschloss went off the rails Wednesday night while reacting to President Biden’s speech claiming “MAGA Republicans” were threatening democracy — warning that if so-called GOP “election deniers” were successful in next week’s midterms “our children will be arrested and conceivably killed.”
Beschloss, who appears routinely on MSNBC, was a guest on the cable network’s “All in with Chris Hayes” to analyze the president’s address earlier in the evening at Washington’s Union Station.
Hayes said the Nov. 8 elections will determine whether the country is embarking on a “path to chaos.”
“We could be six days away from losing our rule of law and losing a situation where we have elections that we all can rely on. You know, those are the foundation stones of a democracy,” concurred Beschloss, the author of nine books on the American presidency.
Biden in the speech recalled the scene on Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump ransacked the US Capitol in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and said “democracy is on the ballot this year.”
“Extreme MAGA Republicans aim to question not only the legitimacy of past elections, but elections being held now and into the future,” Biden charged. “The extreme MAGA element of the Republican Party — which is a minority of that party, as I said earlier, but is its driving force — is trying to succeed where they failed in 2020.”
Beschloss said the president was “absolutely right” and predicted what historians will say about the speech in the future.
“Fifty years from now, if historians are allowed to write in this country and if there are still free publishing houses and a free press — which I’m not certain of, but if that is true — a historian will say, what was at stake tonight and this week was the fact whether we will be a democracy in the future, whether our children will be arrested and conceivably killed,” he said.
“We’re on the edge of a brutal authoritarian system, and it could be a week away,” he added.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, reacted to the unhinged rant by deadpanning on Twitter, “so much for gas prices.”
“The choice is now voting Democratic or lining up your children in front of a firing squad…,” Turley added on social media.
”Michael Beschloss needs to consider decaf!,” posted Rebecca Henry Hatton.
“Michael BeschLOSS,” said Tommie Huang on Twitter.
“From ‘historian’ to hack in 1 easy lesson. What a fraud!,” said Top O’ Mind.
“This rhetoric is so far over the line I’m just glad nobody’s putting him on cable tv wait what,” wrote Washington Examiner magazine executive editor Seth Mandel.
“Really curious what these guys will say in a week after the world doesn’t fall apart. How many times can you scream wolf before even MSNBC viewers stop paying attention?” asked pseudonymous Twitter critic A.G. Hamilton, who took issue with Beschloss’ apocalyptic rhetoric in the wake of attacks on Paul Pelosi and New Hampshire GOP Senate candidate Don Bolduc.
[W]hat do you think happens if some crazy person believes this rhetoric? If they think that GOP winning a midterm = end of the country and their kids being locked up?” Hamilton asked in a subsequent tweet. “[This is] The exact type of rhetoric that can justify violence for someone that is unwell, but it’s met w silence.”
Beschloss had no response to the outrage on Twitter, spending much of Thursday posting pictures of past presidents voting in elections.