Biden’s speech had four main sections, by my count. The opening necessarily focused on the Russian Federation’s inhumane and inexcusable war in Ukraine. Biden, and most everyone (especially Ukraine itself) have done a good job in the face of a stupid and malicious Putin-patented war of conquest. Exceptions need not be mentioned. They know who and what they are.
Biden spoke of solidarity, and of attacking Putin’s regime with all measures short of violence. Heavy sanctions to drag on the Russian economy. Arms and aid to the victims. He reiterated the commitments to our NATO allies. But while the war in Europe took priority, it wasn’t the focus of the speech as Biden will have plenty more to say about it.
(The sanctions will quickly devastate the Russian Federation’s economy. When Americans urge the GOP to quit their insanity, both the atrocities of Russian aggression and the reaction of the world are what Americans fear the GOP will bring. The propaganda tactics, the calls for revoking media licenses or cracking down on social media that seeks to filter out malicious disinformation, the banning of books and harassment of librarians and school teachers, are all things that the GOP has emulated and supported in recent years. Americans must reject the Putin model.)
The bulk of the speech was a domestic one with three parts: patching the economy, the state of the pandemic, and building a healthier nation. It wasn’t big and bold. It was common sense. Addressing the problems we face, from climate to child care to cancer. It certainly wasn’t a laundry list of leftist wanna-ponies.
And the critics’ responses bear that out. They each focus on what they want done, while lying about Biden’s agenda. They want more defense spending, or Biden’s to blame for the border issues. Skip it. Biden mentioned those things and more. If the Republicans want to pass bills, the White House is open to doing business. Republicans only have to negotiate in good faith, if they’re so able. (They would prefer to take back control of either or both chambers of Congress first, so that what little gets by them will better enrich their donors. The fact that their party is scatterbrained on most issues doesn’t help make their case.)
America is a country in transition. We are moving away from the worst days of the pandemic, and the president’s agenda and popularity remain in question. The opponents only seek to block any solutions, while lying about damn near everything. The media continues to plague us with bad narratives, pointless fact checks, and appeasement for the GOP that has protected and has worshiped Donald John Trump. But if none of that changes, America will get nowhere.
Biden’s agenda can’t fix the broken record of the Republican party. He didn’t speak to that key issue at all. The Republicans sure as shit don’t acknowledge it outside of a few marginalized (nearly-cancelled) members. If we cannot have a Republican party that works with Democrats on things like drug pricing or climate change, and if a Brand New Party doesn’t come along to displace the GOP, then America will surely end up going down the same ruinous road that Putin has taken the Russian Federation on for a couple decades. And that’s scary.