Wednesday, March 2, 2022

SOTU Follow-Up

I watched the last forty minutes of President Biden’s State of the Union speech, and while I don’t think he has the oratory skills of FDR, JFK, or even Ronald Reagan, it was pretty solid for a guy facing down fascism both home and abroad.

SOTU’s are usually wish-lists of the current administration’s agenda, not unlike the Queen’s speech at the opening of Parliament.  In this case, however, the president isn’t a constitutional figurehead reciting lines written by the government.  Last night, the president needed to make the case for our support for NATO and the people of Ukraine, putting it in terms that even the viewers of Fox News could grasp: Putin is bad and we should stop him.  Only the lackeys and lapdogs of authoritarians would object to that.

As for the domestic agenda, at least one conservative commentator dismissed it as a re-run of what President Biden and most of the Democratic Party have been pushing.  That’s because he wasn’t necessarily talking to the people in the room; he was shouting over their heads to the coal miners and their families in West Virginia who need prescription drug price controls for their black-lung disease treatment and child care subsidies for the working mothers.  As for inflation, it is one of those realities of economics that comes after every global interruption such as war, plagues, and Republicans cutting taxes to the bone and encouraging greed on the part of corporations who are showing record profits but still claim they need to raise prices.  Republicans are very good at setting the trap for inflation and then blaming someone else when it happens.  For example, gasoline prices are set by a series of factors: supply, transportation, corporate structure, and marketing.  Any change to any of those will effect the price of a gallon of gas at the pump, but notice that none of them are controlled by the President of the United States.  If you think they are, you’re thinking of the wrong president.  That would be Vladimir Putin, for one.

At any rate, I think what we heard last night was a forceful defense not only of an administration’s record and its plans, but a clearer picture of who and what this country could be.  Notice that Mr. Biden did not attack his predecessor nor his minions, nor the insurrectionists who tried to prevent him from being able to speak last night.  I think he knew what really matters isn’t the shouting because you really can’t get any work done if that’s all you’re doing.

2 barks and woofs on “SOTU Follow-Up

  1. I agree…a pretty good presentation overall.
    Now we have eight months for citizens to speak, for politicians to act, and then for votes to be cast.

    Given the pregnancy of the current world moment, it would be nice to see the democratic resistance to succeed, and spread, and even nicer to see the world nations be as open at their borders to refugees from North Africa, the Mediterranean basin, and other non ‘white European’ societies as they are to Ukrainians.

    I read an old print-out today, and if you’d care to look at it, maybe you could help spread it with a re-post?
    Thanks.
    “The Butterfly and the Boiling Point: Charting the Wild Winds of Change in 2011” By Rebecca Solnit. it was published eleven years ago, on 21 March 2011, by TomDispatch & HuffPost:
    https://tomdispatch.com/rebecca-solnit-hope-and-turmoil-in-2011/
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/middle-east-revolutions_b_838461

  2. It’s delightful to read you every day. And music? You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. Thanks

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