William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE SPEECH – OVERNIGHT:  The president has delivered his State of the Union speech. The State of the Union is usually long, dull, boring, and egotistical, and Biden met those standards.  However, this year, because of the horror of Ukraine, the address did have a certain urgency.  What would the president say about Putin?  About our attempts to help the Ukranians? About our ultimate objective?  Would there be a nuclear war?

Despite all the "get tough" talk from the president, he actually said nothing much.  We have imposed sanctions.  There'll be others.  We're tough.  We'll get some weapons into Ukraine if we can.  We're tough.  We'll criticize Putin in public.  Tougher still.

But the fact is that the president did not predict success for our side, nor commit ourselves to that outcome.  He seemed at times to suggest that Ukraine is this week's fashion, with no real prospect of victory.  I was not exactly inspired to sign up.

The electric words were missing, words that would have instantly made Ukraine into a winning cause – words announcing that the president would reverse earlier decisions, and open up American oil and gas production.  We would instantly be transformed from an oil importing nation into what we were at the end of Donald Trump's administration –  energy independent, and ready to suck the wind out of Putin's greatest weapon, the fact that countries in Europe are dependent on Russian oil.   But not a word of it was mentioned.  The opportunity has been missed, no doubt to satisfy the environmental extremists who have the Democratic Party in a lock grip. From Michael Goodwin in the New York Post:

It takes a special sort of political cynicism to publicly thank the Ukrainian ambassador for her nation’s bravery — and stress in the next moment that we will do nothing to defend her country with our military.

But then President Biden’s State of the Union speech was nothing but bumbling hypocrisy.
Start with the fact that the mask mandate Nancy Pelosi lorded over her members for years was suddenly lifted the day before the speech, showing that “follow the science” was a bald-faced lie. Next up, Biden begging for unity, then accusing Republicans of only helping the rich.

It was quite the performance. After years of bashing Donald Trump, Biden stole his stump speech. He rebranded Build Back Better as Build a Better America, and got cheap applause for claiming he was going to get businesses to stay in the US. This after Democratic administrations have signed trade deal after trade deal that have taken industries to China and Mexico.

But you think companies will be happy to stay after Biden blamed them for inflation, claiming that rising costs in stores were because of gouging, not supply issues and his own reckless government spending? Or that he’s instituting a “crackdown” on prices?

Corporations will long for the friendlier shores of, we don’t know, Venezuela.

Turns out “buy American” was just a stalking horse for Biden’s real agenda — trying to get the massive social spending of Build Back Better passed. He’s nothing if not consistent in his futility. Even though Joe Manchin has shot him down again and again and again.

COMMENT:  Joe and those around him just can't break through their mediocre leftism.  There were no advances made during the State of the Union.  He could have skipped it.

March 1,  2022