During this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, Joe Biden traveled to the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, where the president shared a stage with pastor and Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock. In his speech honoring Dr. King, President Biden said, in “what would’ve been Dr. King’s 94th birthday, we gather to contemplate his moral vision and to commit ourselves to his path” — before taking some barely veiled swipes at MAGA “insurrection” and the current Trumpified state of the Republican Party.

“Some of my colleagues are tired of hearing me saying [this], but we’re at what we call an ‘inflection point,’ one of those points in world history where what happens in the last few years and will happen in the next six or eight years, they’re going to determine what the world looks like the next 30 to 40 years,” Biden said Sunday, at the church where the slain civil-rights icon once served as a pastor. Biden is now the first sitting American president to give a Sunday sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

“Are we a people who will choose democracy over autocracy? Couldn’t ask that question 15 years ago,” he continued. “Everyone thought democracy was settled. Not for African Americans. But democracy, as an institutional structure, was settled. But it’s not … We have to choose a community over chaos … I believe Dr. King’s life and legacy show us the way we should pay attention.”

Moments later, Biden made his most direct reference in the speech to his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, and modern conservatism — without explicitly name-checking the GOP or (in Biden’s preferred terminology) “MAGA Republicans.”

“The battle for the soul of this nation is perennial … It’s a constant struggle between hope and fear, kindness, and cruelty, justice and injustice against those who traffic in racism, extremism, and insurrection; a battle fought on battlefields and bridges, from courthouses and ballot boxes, to pulpits and protests,” Biden added.

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The president’s Atlanta speech comes just over a week after he marked the two-year anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C., a mob attack instigated by then-President Trump as he tried to cling to power and thwart the transfer of power to Biden. On Sunday, former president Trump spent part of his day blasting out mass-emails with links to conservative-media articles, largely concerning the classified papers found at his successor’s Delaware residence, and Biden’s son Hunter. 

Today, on MLK Day itself, Trump and his political messaging operation continued on a similar pattern, this time marking the occasion with things like “Donald Trump’s Accomplishments as President” (in a three-part series), as well as a four-day-old Fox News item titled, “Golden Globes ratings collapse continues, NBC sheds nearly 70% of 2020 viewership.” Biden, meanwhile, is delivering the keynote speech at the National Action Network’s annual MLK Day breakfast in D.C.

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