Saturday, March 09, 2024

(update 2) Biden’s Partisan State of Disunion, The State of the Union is Angry. The worst State of the Union in history.

Biden’s Partisan State of Disunion

The Democratic pep rally had not a single bipartisan grace note.

By The Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2024 - State of the Union speeches are eminently forgettable, but President Biden’s address on Thursday was memorable for all the wrong reasons. His address was one long, divisive pep rally for Democrats, goading Republicans throughout the speech, and targeting multiple and various villains for partisan attacks. It really was extraordinary.

Most such speeches make at least an attempt at reaching across the aisle, if only as a gesture. This one had none, not even on the issue of aid to Ukraine where he most needs Republican support. He made a good if incomplete argument for supporting Ukraine, and we agree with its substance.

But he made the dreadful political mistake of comparing Russia’s threat to democracy with the threat to democracy at home. There is no comparison between Vladimir Putin’s invasion and partisan, even raucous debates in the U.S., and many supporters of Ukraine will resent the linkage. We regret to say it, but this speech may have made it harder for GOP Members of Congress to resist Donald Trump and vote to send weapons to Ukraine. Was the short-term partisan adrenaline rush worth that risk? (read more)

 The State of the Union is Angry

The Dispatch, March 8, 2024- The tone of last night’s State of the Union address was set perhaps even before President Joe Biden delivered a word of his speech. Protesters, pushing for a ceasefire in the war in Gaza, blocked a portion of Pennsylvania Avenue leading to the Capitol Building. GOP firebrands like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado signaled early on Thursday that they would not heed Speaker Mike Johnson’s calls for decorum. And as Biden proceeded to the dais, Greene pulled on a MAGA hat—against Congressional rules—and handed him a button embossed with the name of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student killed last month in Georgia by an illegal immigrant. 

The annual speech was delivered with just 243 days until November’s presidential election, and the specter of the campaign hung over the room as the president and congressional Republicans traded barbs throughout the night. Biden referenced his predecessor—and once-again political rival—more than a dozen times over the course of the night, using the address to make his reelection pitch (read more)

The worst State of the Union in history

A speech that will go down in infamy

by Ben Domenech, The Spectator, March 8, 2024 - ... We all know what the best version of Joe Biden sounds like — a throwback to images of old Irish bipartisan politicking, itself an act of role-play for a senator who has more often than not been an angry partisan and constant fabulist both away from the cameras and in front of them. But at least there’s something respectable about that caricature, when given the Jon Meacham veneer of gestures toward the other side of the partisan aisle, framed by misquotes of Saint Augustine, half-remembered fables and snatches from the worst entries in the Catholic hymn book.

There was no such respectability to be found in Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech last night. It is without question the most divisive, vindictive and downright vile expression of American partisanship ever given from that honored stage. It marks a legacy-defining moment eradicating forever the idea of Biden as the deal maker, defender of norms and champion of some vague idea of bipartisan unity — this was Biden unhinged, spewing invective at half the country. He lied about them. He called them racists and bigots. And he used the most prominent speech he will give this year to promise even more division and vengeance against his foes.

Biden even went so far as to attack, to their faces, the Supreme Court that has endured assassination attempts, harassment of their families and near constant illegal protests at their homes in recent years. ... State of the Unions are not off-the-cuff remarks to shouted questions ... this speech sounded like the talk of an angry partisan loser, bitter at not being appreciated enough, desperately in need of a nap — not a triumphant, hopeful, optimistic incumbent ready to run on his record. (read more)

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