President Biden in Maui, screengrab via Hawaii News Now

Actual Locals Praise President Biden’s Visit to Maui as Republicans Attack

President Biden’s visit to Maui, Hawai’i was well-received and appreciated by the folks who actually live there. You might not know that, though, if you listen to wailing conservatives gnashing their teeth in rage against his compassion. Let’s take a look at what actually happened first.

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“The entire country is here for you,” President Biden told the group. He reiterated that the government would provide as much as they need for a long as they need, to rebuild, and to rebuild as they want to rebuild, with respect for their land. The government will “get it done the way you want it done,” Biden said, which drew a loud applause.

Biden shared the agony of awaiting word about the fate of his entire family when he lost his wife and child in a car accident, as he sought to comfort those hundreds who are are still searching for their family members. “I got a phone call from my fire department saying I had to come home immediately. There had been an accident. A tractor-trailer had broadsided my wife Christmas shopping with my three children. She was killed. My baby was killed. And my two boys were thought not to make it, initially,” the President said. “So, I have a little bit of a sense of what it’s like driving from Washington to Wilmington, 150 miles, wondering what in God’s name is it going to be like when I get to the hospital.”

Biden’s visit was really well-received, as thoughtful presidential visits tend to be after a disaster or tragedy, when they are centered on what the people need. It wasn’t just talk, either, as the disaster request was approved in a mere 63 minutes.

Some headlines:

Front page news of President Biden's visit to Maui

Front page news of President Biden’s visit to Maui

The Maui News spoke with residents and first responders about the President’s visit. “‘I’m glad he is here to see firsthand what has happened to our town,’ said Lori Koyama, who lost her Wahikuli house in the fire. ‘It shows he cares.’”

More: “I just told him, thank you very much for the support and presented him with a coin on behalf of the men and women of MPD who have been tirelessly working day in and day out to make sure they are doing right by the community and everything they can,” Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said.

Pelletier said “he and his wife could not been more kinder” and that the president told him “that he was with us and that we’d get everything we needed.”

Maui Fire Chief Brad Ventura, who also met the president, echoed the need for support. “I’m just grateful that he made the trip and showed immense support for our community and that we are a hurting community right now and are going to need the support from everywhere around the world, so we appreciate all the efforts,” Ventura said.

The Mayor’s praise, which will come up below as Fox News’ The Five couldn’t bear it, “Hope. I think that’s the main thing. I think that’s what the president brings when he comes to any community,” Mayor Richard Bissen said, also commending the quickness of the Biden administration’s response.

Here’s a few video clips from the ground:

The dog incident that absolutely sent conservatives over the edge:

Here’s how they’re taking it at Fox:

Conservatives can’t stand the fact that Biden is a warm human being who cares about people. It really makes them even more irrational and hyperbolic than usual. During the visit, they were falsely claiming he only cared about almost losing his 67 Corvette after a lightning strike hit an electrical wire to their home, a story he shared to relate about losing a home and possessions that matter to people as well as to praise the work of firefighters.

What he actually said: “I was in Washington doing ‘Meet the Press.’ It was a sunny Sunday, and lightning struck at home on a little lake that’s outside of our home — not a lake, a big pond — and hit a wire and came up underneath our home into the heating ducts — the air conditioning ducts.To make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ‘67 Corvette, and my cat. But all kidding aside, I watched the firefighters, the way they responded. You know, there’s an old expression — I grew up right across the street from a fire hall in Claymont, Delaware. And the expression is, ‘God made man, and then he made a few firefighters.’ You’re all crazy, thank God. The only people who run into flames to help other people. And they ran into flames to save my wife and save my family.”

There are a lot of right wing articles about the Corvette, it was trending all day during the visit and after. Then they attacked him for caring about a dog’s paws getting hot. There was no discussion about the actual help he made happen in a remarkably fast and competent manner. There was no mention of his Comforter-in-Chief role.

It might look like mindless hatred, but what this really is, I suspect, is the knowledge that if Biden is seen for his compassion, there is no Republican candidate who can compete. Just watch the debate stage tonight and ask yourself, which of these people can rival Biden’s humanity?

If catastrophe struck, who would you find most comforting?

And of course, it’s not just Biden’s humanity. Many successful politicians have glib charisma that is not backed up with competence. Biden is actually competent and then some. He showed up for these folks with real help, coordinated to the nines and executed with eviscerated red tape (per his demands, it seems, and yes, he is a demanding boss), while managing to also show up and pre-position supplies for other potential disasters. No one is perfect, but on this issue, there is nothing to criticize and a lot to be thankful for with this president.

As of Tuesday, the Biden-Harris administration has deployed more than 1,000 federal personnel on Maui assisting residents, which includes more than 400 search and rescue team members and 40 canines. The FBI is there as well, assisting with forensics. The administration has approved more than $10 million in assistance to over 3,000 households.

Republicans are attacking Biden for his empathy because they can’t compete with it on any level. Not only are most of their presidential candidates supporting an attack against the United States itself, but also they support the violent and deadly attempted theft of the majority of Americans’ votes. These are not warm and fuzzy people.

They are, at best, cold-hearted wannabe authoritarians who might appear aspirational to the gullible. They are robot Governor Ron DeSantis lecturing a young girl about the sugar in her ice cream and Vivek Ramaswamy’s forced, Elon-style laughter that is more mocking and mean than humor. The warmest person on that stage will be former Governor Chris Christie.

The Republican knee-jerk hatred for their fictional version of President Biden is becoming increasingly hard to ignore. This is a man who has faced tragedy and knows how to show up for people who are suffering. There is absolutely nothing to criticize for rational people in petting a dog and sharing stories trying to connect with people are gutted.

The Maui wildfires were absolutely tragic. In the aftermath, it would have been the perfect time for Republicans to for once stop seething in rage about Biden petting dogs and being kind to people. Where are the calls for bipartisanship now, when the people of Maui need them?



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