2024 Election

Biden’s State Of The Union: Depending On Hysterical Nonsense

Thursday night was Joe Biden’s big State of the Union address. The stakes were high because this is a very closely fought election. 

The president of the United States is ailing. He has been trailing in the polls to Donald Trump, his arch-nemesis. But all he really had to do was be alive and be normal.

He did the first thing, but he couldn’t do the second thing — at all. One wonders what exactly his team thought they were doing when they wrote his State of the Union address, which was extraordinarily divisive, polarizing, and quite nasty. Did they think the only way to make him energetic enough for the speech was to ramp him up so high that they could not ramp him back down?

Whatever cocktail they used to awaken him, it was too much.

The address was a disaster in the making, although Democrats are now pretending they loved it. But they were always going to pretend they loved it. Members of the media were always going to use words like “feisty,” “energetic,” and “combative”; that was a foregone conclusion.

But — if you were the median voter, the person who’s deciding between Joe Biden and Donald Trump and you watched Biden last night, did that make you think our country is in the best of hands? Or did it make you think, Angry old man screams at clouds, thinks many, many Americans are terrible people, and also has his priorities totally screwed up.

There are a lot of independents who are going to look at what Biden said and how he acted last night and say to themselves that if the Democrats were trying to offer a contrast between “crazy Trump” and “solid, stolid Joe,” they missed politically.

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Even before the address, a number of pro-Hamas crazies who were sitting out in the middle of the street blocked Biden’s motorcade. He has been catering to these people. He’s been suggesting the real problem is that they’re just too passionate. It’s not that they’re wrong and actively siding with the worst terror group in the region; rather, it is that they just believe too hard. They just want too much. So last night, he allowed his motorcade to be blocked for legitimately dozens of minutes on the most watched night of the presidential year by a bunch of nutjobs who were sitting in the middle of the street on behalf of terrorists who mass rape and murder people.

That was just the lead-up.

The trajectory of Biden’s speech was angry, energetic, coherent at the very beginning — very angry, very over-the-top, insulting — but coherent. Next, it went to angry incoherence, loud incoherence. Then, it went to whispering incoherence because he lost energy. The drugs started to wear off about 40 minutes into his address.

Normally, the president of the United States opens with some sort of broad peroration, such as, “The state of our union is strong.” They talk about the glories and wonders of America, and then they say the state of our union is wrong. That’s the formula.

I’ve never heard a president begin an address with, “The state of our union just sucks right now. I’ve got to tell you; it just blows, man.”

But Biden immediately launched into a harangue against Republicans about Ukraine. According to him, he is the halcyon apex of democracy, democracy embodied, and all of his opponents are fascists who side with Putin.

He compared himself to Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

In January 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt came to this chamber to speak to the nation. He said, “I address you in a moment, unprecedented in the history of the union.”

Hitler was on the march. War was raging in Europe. President Roosevelt’s purpose was to wake up Congress and alert the American people that this was no ordinary moment. Freedom and democracy were under assault in the world.

Tonight I come to the same chamber to address the nation. Now it is we who face an unprecedented moment in the history of the Union. And yes, my purpose tonight is to wake up this Congress, and alert the American people that this is no ordinary moment either. Not since President Lincoln and the Civil War have freedom and democracy been under assault at home as they are today.

So his excuse for being a terrible president is that he is facing the two most historic crises of the last two centuries in American life: World War II and the Civil War.

Now, let’s just be clear about where we are in American life right now. We are not killing each other by hundreds of thousands, which is what actually happened during the Civil War. We are not holding hundreds of thousands of people in abject servitude and bondage. We are not fighting a globalized world war against the Nazis, the Japanese, and their allies. That’s not happening right now.

It says something about his governance because we are living in a time where zero American troops are currently overly committed abroad in a war. Biden claimed there is a war on democracy for one reason: so he can get to what he says is an assault on democracy at home, which is about Donald Trump.

He started off with this long thing about Ukraine and Russia and I think most Americans were sitting home and thinking, We’ve got some problems at home. Why don’t we start with the border? Why don’t we start with inflation?

But he led with Ukraine because what he was attempting to do was label everyone who disagreed with him as being in league with and akin to Putin in terms of trying to overthrow democracy here at home.

He stated: 

My message to President Putin is simple. We will not walk away. We will not bow down. I will not bow down. History is watching. History is watching, just like history watched three years ago on January 6th. Insurrectionists stormed this very Capitol and placed a dagger to the throat of American democracy. …

But we must be honest the threat remains and democracy must be defended. My predecessor and some of you here seek to bury the truth about January 6th. I will not do that. This is a moment to speak the truth and bury the lies. And here’s the simple truth. You can’t love your country only when you win. 

What he was doing was disgusting.

Comparing January 6 to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is insulting to Ukrainians because hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and wounded in Ukraine. On January 6, one person, Ashli Babbitt, was tragically killed. January 6 was a small riot.

But Biden has to blow it up into something bigger than that. He has to say January 6 is emblematic of a threat to democracy akin to Vladimir Putin invading Ukraine and overthrowing the Republic.


I thought January 6 was terrible — but there’s one thing I know with certainty about that day: It was not a dagger at the throat of democracy. No one in their right mind thought that democracy in the United States was about to be overthrown on January 6.

We all watched the television and said, “That’s ugly and that’s bad, and some people were committing criminal acts to be arrested.” That’s what rational people thought. Only hysterics looked at that and said, “My God, Donald Trump is going to enshrine himself and his praetorian guard in the White House. He’s going to overthrow democracy, march himself down in a purple robe into the Senate chamber, and call for the execution of his political enemies.”

No one thought that was happening. It’s a stupid idea. Within two hours, the entire place was cleared and the Republican vice president was certifying the election, along with the Republican majority leader.

But Biden’s reelection depends on exactly that kind of hysterical nonsense. It depends on you — the moderate, the independent — believing the threat is that if Trump becomes president, democracy ends tomorrow in the same way that Vladimir Putin is an autocrat.

Donald Trump is an autocrat: That’s the argument Joe Biden was making last night.

His routine is so tiresome.

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