I am adding these thoughts to Scott’s review of last night’s State of the Union, posted below.
The only suspense last night was about whether Biden could remain upright long enough to complete the speech. After four days of rest, he made it through the hour, although by the last third he was slurring, omitting and mangling words on the Teleprompter. Relieved Democrats will hail this as a masterful performance.
As to content, it was mostly the same spending wish list that is familiar from past SOTUs by Democratic presidents. Since money is free in Democrat Land, why not pass out a few trillion more dollars? I doubt that anyone’s opinions were swayed by Biden’s legislative litany.
To me, the most striking aspect of the speech was how often Biden seemed to be echoing Donald Trump. Thus, Biden has suddenly become the America First president:
There’s been a law on the books for almost a century to make sure taxpayers’ dollars support American jobs and businesses.
Every administration, Democrat and Republican, says they’ll do it, but we are actually doing it.
We will buy American to make sure everything from the deck of an aircraft carrier to the steel on highway guardrails is made in America from beginning to end. All of it. All of it.
There’s something happening in America.
Just look around, and you’ll see an amazing story.
The rebirth of pride that comes from stamping products “Made in America.” The revitalization of American manufacturing.
Companies are choosing to build new factories here, when just a few years ago, they would have gone overseas.
No mention, of course, of anything Donald Trump may have had to do with this.
And after two years of accusing the Trump administration of being soft on COVID–Biden, to his everlasting disgrace, claimed that every American death from COVID was President Trump’s fault–the masks are coming off just in time. Just in time for the SOTU, to start with; I noticed a total of three people still wearing masks. And, more important, just in time for the midterms. Suddenly Biden echoes Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis and other formerly-excoriated Republicans: it’s time to get back to normal!
Because of the progress we’ve made, because of your resilience and the tools that we have been provided by this Congress, tonight I can say we are moving forward safely, back to more normal routines.
Just a few days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new mask guidelines.
Under these new guidelines, most Americans in most of the country can now go mask free.
Thanks to the progress we have made in the past year, Covid-19 no longer need control our lives.
Biden paid tribute to the importance of COVID vaccines:
We know how incredibly effective vaccines are. …
We will never give up on vaccinating more Americans. Now, I know parents with kids under 5 are eager to see their vaccines authorized for their children.
Actually, the vaccines have not proved to be “incredibly effective.” But for this purpose, the salient point is that Biden never mentioned Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration, or the manner in which the vaccines were developed in record time before he took office. Biden must hold some kind of record for mean-spiritedness.
Is this Donald Trump talking? Or maybe Ron DeSantis:
It’s time for America to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again with people. People working from home can feel safe and begin to return to their offices.
We’re doing that here in the federal government. The vast majority of federal workers will once again work in person.
Our schools are open. Let’s keep it that way. Our kids need to be in school.
The science has changed, don’t you know. And it will continue changing between now and November.
Remember when defunding the police was the order of the day? Living in a metro area where that actually happened, it is hard to forget. But once again, Biden channels the pro-law and order Trump:
We should all agree: The answer is not to defund the police. It’s to fund the police. Fund them. Fund them. Fund them with resources and training. Resources and training they need to protect their communities.
At this point, I said to my companions: the only thing we are missing is border security! But we didn’t have to wait long:
Folks, if we are to advance liberty and justice, we need to secure our border and fix the immigration system.
And as you might guess, I think we can do both. At our border, we’ve installed new technology like cutting-edge scanners to better detect drug smuggling.
We’ve set up joint patrols with Mexico and Guatemala to catch more human traffickers.
We’re putting in place dedicated immigration judges in significant larger number so families fleeing persecution and violence can have their cases heard faster and those who don’t legitimately here can be sent back.
No mention of how and why the border became insecure on January 20, 2021.
Of course, Biden didn’t mean a word of it: America First, stand up to China, advance the interests of the middle class, support law enforcement, secure the border. The Democrats are, and will remain, the party of globalists and tech oligarchs. But the fact that Biden felt obliged to invoke these themes testifies to the power of the populist Trump agenda.