state of oblivion

With the midterm elections just months away and prognosticators predicting disastrous outcomes for Democrats, President Biden tried to sound much more centrist in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

However, true beliefs do not sway with the prevailing political winds, and his mid-term change of horse was only a calculated move, not a real change of heart.

His non-mention of labels or policies that divide moderate independents was no kind of pushback, for example.

He certainly avoided mentioning “systemic racism” and “Black Lives Matter”, nor did he utter the words “race”, state-of-oblivion /“racist” or “racial”,“Black”, or “minority” at all, but there is no doubt that he is still supporting far-left positions on the issue. Ditto with “Green New Deal”,“Build Back Better” or the demonstration and the riot of January 6 at the Capitol of United States.

Likewise, his omission of the “national debt” was not accidental, and his self-praise as the only president to cut the deficit by more than $1 trillion was laughable. If he had had what he wanted, he would have increased the deficit.

Still, 2022 will see a larger deficit than any pre-pandemic year since 2009, and the Congressional Budget Office predicts that deficits will begin to rise again after 2024.

The most sensible remark of the evening came from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who said in Republicans’ official response that Americans are “tired of people pretending that the way to end racism is to categorize everyone according to their race”.

It’s a sign of those interesting times that Biden has on occasion even mimicked Trump’s rhetoric, despite never mentioning the previous president’s name. He embraced the semantics of the “America First” variety, championing a more national fabrication and claiming that more police on the streets would indeed reduce crime, while openly chastising “Defund the police” nonsense.

The silent tongue biting and hard swallowing among progressives right now was almost deafening. That is, until tweets of condemnation started popping up and Michigan’s hardline Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib offered her response to her own president’s SOTU speech.

There has been a growing trend in recent years for more than one response to the annual speech, but before that there were always multiples from the opposing side. This year, a trio of Democrats felt compelled to speak out formally on Biden’s message.

Tlaib led the highly unusual same-party response on behalf of the Working Family Party, and she was eager to try to keep alive the progressive agenda items that Biden ignored. She also criticized equal Senate representation as a distortion of democracy and called for the abolition of the filibuster, which she described as a “perfect tool for defending Jim Crow”.

She proposed that Biden use executive powers to eliminate student loan debt and ban permits for new fossil fuel drilling.

The inevitable blunders were fun, but mostly harmless. Biden actually inadvertently maintained a two-decade streak (Iran has been mentioned in every SOTU speech since Clinton in 2000) when he accidentally said “Iranians” instead of “Ukrainians.”

On the other hand, his intentional and false demagoguery about the responsibility of gun manufacturers was anything but benign.

“Repeal the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that cannot be sued,” Biden said, repeating for emphasis, “The only one.”

First, liability protection laws are not limited to the firearms industry. Congress has passed other laws protecting different industries from lawsuits under certain conditions.

Second, Biden must have somehow missed the news a few weeks ago that the families of nine Sandy Hook school shooting victims who sued Remington had settled their lawsuits.

Third, it is unthinkable for a career legislator not to know that the 2005 law he was referring to includes no less than six exceptions where civil suits against firearms manufacturers are permitted.

Another notable omission on Tuesday was the absence of any substantial reference to parents’ concerns about educational leadership, particularly school boards, which figured prominently in recent local and state elections in California and Virginia.

As part of his “unity agenda”, he eventually called for an end to school closures and agreed that children should be in class. But he failed to acknowledge that he held teachers’ unions responsible when, in the absence of scientific (and sometimes outright contrary) evidence, they refused to support returning to the classroom even though closed schools were causing a loss of education. obvious learning, distress and dangerous harm to students. .

Similarly, the only reference to “oil” was its promise to release 30 million barrels of US reserves, but that’s only about a day and a half of US consumption. He said nothing about increasing domestic production, such as restoring the Keystone pipeline he canceled, which would produce up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day.

For the majority of the middle mass of average Americans, faith and values ​​drive priorities, but both words have been obscured in Biden’s speech. His only mention of “God” (other than adjectives like god-awful and god-given) was the standard blessing request at the end.

Biden still seems oblivious to the fact that he hasn’t received a warrant. The state of the union under him, in terms of practical measures, is much worse than a year ago. The people’s response in November will be telling.

Dana D. Kelley is a freelance writer from Jonesboro.

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