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Editorial

A Different Joe Biden

Who can deny that Joe Biden’s State of the Union address to Congress was one of his best speeches of his presidency?

He gave the impression that he enjoyed himself. That he was reliving his 30-plus years in the Senate. That he was among friends, while not shying away from engaging in dialogue even with his detractors – (more on that below).

He was a different Biden. A Biden from the past. He had a voice. He was… alive.

So, in addition to everything else, he revived the hopes he seems to have – mistakenly, I think – for re-election.

And judging by both the tone of his voice and the topics he covered in his – long – speech, he seems to be serious about it.

He devoted most of his speech to domestic issues, especially economic ones. The ones that are of paramount concern to the voters, with particular emphasis on the “forgotten” middle class, and on creating jobs by transferring them from overseas – especially China – to America.

He also placed great emphasis on some of the favorite topics of the left wing of his party, the taxation of the colossal corporations, who don’t pay “a cent” in taxes, and the taxation of the super rich, saying “no billionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a school teacher or a firefighter.”

He also directed his indignation at the concerns of retirees, tossing them … the bait of the reduction of the cost of medicines, but also his guarantee that he would not allow anyone to tamper with Medicare.
Contrary to expectations, the issue of Ukraine was addressed superficially, despite the huge U.S. investment in money and war materiel and despite the threat that war there poses to the future of Europe, if not the world.

Why? Because the war is gradually losing popular support. Something similar happens every time wars drag on too long. The American people have no patience. They want to see quick results. And many, seeing endless billions going to Ukraine, wonder why it is being spent there instead of being used to rebuild a school, a bridge, or a road, and to provide free health care and build cheap housing, etc.

Of course, what will be most remembered are the shouts of disapproval – even insults – from some Republican congressmen and women, the cries of ‘liar’ and other words that should not be re-published.

It did them no political good. Nor did it benefit the Speaker of the House, who appeared to have lost control of his party. There were times when he stood and applauded at some parts of Biden’s speech, while they disapproved of him.

It does not stand. It’s not appropriate behavior towards a president, whoever he or she is.

And it conveys the image of a politically divided America to the ends of the earth.

That will be the point that Putin will be making today, but also Xi.

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