Did y’all watch the State of the Union?

As I’ve said about so many TV political extravaganzas in the last couple of years, I did not. I started to, but after a few minutes of waiting for him to enter the chamber, and listening to jabber about this or that other person entering the room, I switched to doing something else.

And then I did what I’ve done other times: Read about it the next morning. I listened to the NYT’s “The Daily” podcast, which contained about half an hour of clips and analysis. That gave me the gist. I copied the whole text from the NYT to a Word file — all 7,968 words of it — but haven’t read it all yet. Or even close to it.

I know the various topics covered, and it sounds like he addressed them well. But I expected that, because he has presided over our country well for the past three-plus years. He knows what he’s doing.

Of course, in reading about it a lot of my time has been wasted listening to bloviating about how important it was for this old man to demonstrate that he had the cognitive capacity and energy for the job. And of course everyone agrees he crushed that. Big deal. Of course he did. Joe Biden has more energy than I had when I was 30. He’s kind of phenomenal. But I find that a lot of people either don’t pay attention, or aren’t very perceptive. I don’t have much patience with them.

So we have two old men running for president? So what? Their age isn’t the critical thing. What matters is, in all the years they have lived, what kinds of men have they become?

Joe addressed this squarely. And as a voter, you don’t have to be very astute about world affairs, or domestic policy, or any of the other things Joe spoke about so well in his speech. All you have to know is that Joe is a profoundly decent, other-oriented human being, while life has twisted his opponent into a sort of parody of cupidity, stupidity and evil, a caricature of the worst of human nature.

It’s rather embarrassing — I mean it makes me embarrassed for the human race — that he has to point this out. But he did so, and he did it well. So I’ll just quote that, and stop:

I know I may not look like it, but I’ve been around awhile. When you get to my age, certain things become clearer than ever before.
I know the American story. Again and again I’ve seen the contest between competing forces in the battle for the soul of our nation. Between those who want to pull America back to the past and those who want to move America into the future.
My lifetime has taught me to embrace freedom and democracy. A future based on core values that have defined America. Honesty, decency, dignity, equality. To respect everyone. To give everyone a fair shot. To give hate no safe harbor.
Now other people my age see it differently.
The American story of resentment, revenge and retribution — that’s not me…

And we all know who that is

7 thoughts on “Did y’all watch the State of the Union?

  1. bud

    I watched it all. Then watched some of the rebuttal by Senator Katie Britt. Quite a contrast. Biden was fine. Not perfect but fine. Got Laken Riley’s name wrong. Called her Lincoln. Then called the immigrants illegals. Many liberals were not happy with that. I was glad to see him call out the Supremes for their horrendous Dobbs decision. Then he came down hard on Trump 13 times for his behavior and the House Republicans for their cult devotion toward the man. Enumerated his many accomplishments (infrastructure, CHIPS act etc.) His voice was mostly strong and confident. But his stuttering is obviously getting harder to control. All in all a pretty good night. I gave him an A-.

    Britt on the other hand was just plain weird. Given the problem the GOP is having with women why have her give a speech from her kitchen?? If she had been wearing an apron and pearls she could have passed for June Cleaver. I expected her to take a break to check on the tuna casserole. What a really tone deaf moment in American politics.

  2. Pat

    I did watch it and he checked all the boxes for me. I liked the way he responded to the republicans when they challenged his remarks. I watched the speaker behind him who eye rolled a number of times but also seemed to nod in agreement occasionally and even stood up once. I read they invited Navalney’s wife and Mrs. Zelenskyy, and both declined; the article intimated it was unacceptable when they learned they would be seated together. But it would have been good if they had come to help remind Congress and Americans that Putin is dangerous.
    I think President Biden did a good job covering all the topics, quoting stats, citing numbers etc. He stumbled over a few words but got it out, which only reminded me that he has a stuttering issue that is not much of a problem.

  3. Barry

    From the video clips I’ve seen, Fox News and right wingers- after a week of predicting Biden wouldn’t be able to get up to the podium, or put a coherent sentence together…..

    are now complaining that Joe was too energetic.

    Jake Tapper on CNN ripped Sean Hannity by playing clips of his predictions and then comments after the SOTU. Jake told Hannity to “pick a lane” and stay in it – an impossible feat for Sean Hannity.

    Hannity is infamous for switching his “heartfelt” beliefs depending on the political party of the person he’s talking about.

    I wonder how Hannity (The “catholic who takes his faith seriously as he has described himself) is doing with his live-in girlfriend- the former WLTX News employee, Ainsley Earhardt.

  4. Randlr

    I watched our excellent president deliver his excellent State of the Union address from start to finish, including his delightful, leisurely entrance and his equally delightful and leisurely exit. I watched closely for the behaviors that have been sending the media and various segments of voters and the political class into hysterics recently, but saw none. I especially enjoyed watching Marjorie Taylor Greene’s childish and rule-breaking attempt to throw the president off balance backfire spectacularly. I suppose she meant for her infantile prank to upset President Biden in some way, but he is a grownup and quite capable of handling misbehaving children.
    He started his speech with Ukraine, my No. 1 priority, calling out the despicable Putin-loving puppets who refuse to fund it, including the amazing shrinking speaker of the House, who seemed to grow even smaller as the speech continued.
    He was more than capable of shutting down the congressional hecklers who somehow thought booing the president for stating facts, such as their execrable sabotage of the border bill their members helped write, was an effective response. Sen. Lankford, the Republican who led the negotiations, mouthing “It’s true” while the GOP zoo behind him was howling in protest was a nice touch.
    And so the speech continued, with the president in command of the facts and the House, and the braying GOP looking more like incompetent and impotent jackals by the minute.
    I only watched a few minutes of that painful, breathy, whiny rebuttal before moving on. So I missed a U.S. senator blame President Biden for a woman who was the victim of human trafficking — outside of the US while George W. Bush was president. Such blatant lying. And our mainstream media, true to form, didn’t catch it. Kudos to the independent journalist who did.
    And kudos to our president, who skillfully handled that dreadful bunch in his audience while laying out his plans for the future — such as preserving and defending our democracy.
    As always, I felt we are lucky to have him.

  5. bud

    The real question is how these two speeches will impact the voters opinions of the two candidates. The GOP gifted Biden a great opportunity by choosing such a bizarre spokesperson for their response. My advice to the Biden campaign is to partner with strong, liberal organizations like Planned Parenthood, the LGBTQ+ community and the various Green initiatives to fire up the base. What the Dems are fighting is generations of poor parenting by conservatives that indoctrinate their children such that they are receptive to the cult messaging of someone like Trump. But with a well funded, focused campaign based on issues that the American people are receptive to we liberals should prevail.

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