During her last week as press officer, Jen Psaki sold the legend that Joe Biden coined the term “ultra-MAGA” because he wanted to put “a little more pop” on his burns. But new reports suggest it’s branding concocted by a committee over a period of months. Or just borrowed.
Like “Big Lie” or “Don’t Say Gay” over the past two years, the phrase “ultra-MAGA” – along with descriptors like “extreme MAGA” and more – has gone straight from the lips of Democrats to media ears and pens. It became ubiquitous seemingly overnight after President Biden first said it aloud on May 4.
“Let me tell you about this ultra-MAGA agenda. It’s extreme — as are most MAGA things,” Biden said in a fiery speech on the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion. “This MAGA mob is truly the most extreme political organization that has ever existed in American history – in recent American history.”
Biden repeated elements of those remarks multiple times that day in the days that followed, and messaging from Democrats and the White House, in general, embraces the use of MAGA in attacks on Republicans. And MAGA was immediately on board. donald trump and steve bannon quickly embraced and embraced as the right on social media alternated between calling it a new “Deplorables” moment and lauding it as a perfect sobriquet.
Jen Psaki has been asked about this more than once in the past week. She was pressed by several journalists Tuesday of this week after the term started popping up everywhere, and attributed its provenance to the president’s creativity.
ABC News White House Correspondent Mary Bruce asked, “Who came up with that phrase ‘Ultra-MAGA’? Why do you need to take it up a notch? MAGA was not enough? I mean, why use that phrase now? »
“I’ll tell you, that’s — that’s the president’s phrase, Psaki said, ‘And the president made those comments himself last week, as you know.’
She also said that “for him, to add a bit of ultra, to give him a bit more pop.”
Democrats like it. MGA likes this. The media like it. But was it really an improvised effort? Not so much, judging by new reports from Ashley Parker and Michael Scherer to Washington Post.
Biden’s attempt to appropriate the “MAGA” brand as a political attack was not accidental. It was born out of a six-month research project to find the best way to target Republicans, led by Biden’s adviser Anita Dunn and by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal group.
Polls and focus group research conducted by Hart Research and the Global Strategy Group found that “MAGA” was already viewed negatively by voters — more negatively than other phrases like “Trump Republicans.”
Barely an organic statement for added punch. It seems more like a calculated effort before the mid-terms, achieved after months of research on time.
the Washington Post further reports that he has been linked to the senator. Rick Scott:
Biden has repeatedly tied the term to Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of the Republican National Senate Committee, who released a controversial 11-point policy plan in February. His proposals include taxing many Americans who currently pay no taxes, as well as “sunset” all federal laws every five years, apparently including those authorizing Medicare and Social Security.
Although Scott’s plan has been disavowed by some Republican leaders, Biden regularly describes it as the “MAGA agenda” of the “MAGA Republicans.” Since the Republican leadership has offered no other plan, the White House argues, its Senate campaign leader’s public platform is fair game.
“I call it the ‘ultra-MAGA’ plan — the Make America Great Again plan,” Biden said Wednesday, speaking to Chicago electricians.
An interesting remark. Parker and Scherer later refer to “Biden’s decision to label Republicans ‘ultra MAGA'” in the article. This decision may have been the result of Anita Dunn’s six-month research project. But it could also have another influence.
In Biden’s May 4 speech, his first mention was not a quip, it was more of an attribution. Most of the articles quote the remark beginning, as typed above, with the words “let me tell you about this ultra-MAGA diary”.
But he actually said this: “Senator Rick Scott of Florida, a United States senator who heads the Republican National Senate Campaign Committee, released what he calls the ‘ultra-MAGA agenda.’ It is indeed a MAGA program. Let me tell you about this Ultra-MAGA Diary. It’s extreme, as most MAGA things are.
He attributes it to Rick Scott. And he’s not the first to use it this way. New York Magazine’s Intelligencer Blog title an entry on Scott’s diary with the term a month ago.
There’s probably something to all the sockets above. Biden may think the ultra prefix “jumps.” The use of MAGA in talking points and rhetoric as a means of categorizing and attacking naysayers is almost certainly the product of a concerted, market-tested branding effort, and the term is exactly the type of product. that these efforts typically offer. You know, not materially different from any angry tweeter.
And yes, it was used elsewhere before Joe Biden put it in a speech where he attributed it to Rick Scott. It’s politics.
But what it isn’t is something Biden came up with to add punch. This version, posted by Jen Psaki, is what you might call “ultra-fake”.
Or, you know, that other popular phrase that gets used so much these days: “Mostly wrong.”
This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author.