Biden slams ‘dictator’ Putin, meets rare bipartisan approval in State of the Union address

President Joe Biden got a standing ovation Tuesday in a sensational State of the Union address that seeks to turn bipartisan support for confronting Russia into momentum for broader unity as the United States finally emerges from the Covid pandemic.

The entire first part of Biden’s hour-long speech at the joint session of Congress was devoted to Russia’s bloody invasion of pro-Western Ukraine.

As Biden called President Vladimir Putin a “Russian dictator,” vowed to help Ukraine’s guerrillas, and vowed to confiscate the yachts of Russia’s “poorly born” oligarchs, members of both parties stood applauding — a sight so rare in today’s Congress that it’s all forgotten.

After working for weeks to unite Western allies behind unprecedented economic sanctions against Russia and streams of military aid to non-NATO Ukraine, Biden painted a picture of what he said was renewed US global leadership.

“In the battle between democracy and authoritarianism,” he said, “democracies rise up to the moment.”

With many in Congress wearing yellow and blue in honor of the Ukrainian flag, that was the easy part of Biden’s speech.

But the 79-year-old, facing very low acceptance rates and fierce opposition from Republicans who remain enslaved to Donald Trump, was also hoping to try to ride the positive wave into more difficult domestic lands.

Acknowledging the pain of inflation

One year into his presidency, the Democrat is facing growing and often angry disappointment, in large part due to the highest inflation in four decades.

Things are set to get tougher for his administration with opinion polls pointing to a Republican victory in November’s congressional elections. By this time next year, chances are high that a Republican majority will face him when he takes the State of the Union podium.

“It’s as if President Biden and his party took us back in time to the late 1970s and early 1980s, when hyperinflation was hitting families, a wave of violent crime was hitting our cities, and the Soviet military was trying to redraw the map of the world,” Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said in an official response. of the republicans.

But after months of trying to convince Americans that inflation is about to recede, this time Biden extended a hand, emphasizing that he understood the voters’ pain.

“A lot of families are struggling to keep up with their bills,” Biden said. “That’s why my top priority is to control prices,” he said.

To do so, Biden relaunched his idea of ​​a “Make it in America” ​​policy that he said would solve global supply chain problems that drive up prices, while restoring US manufacturing power.

This is the kind of centrist thinking that Biden emphasized during his successful battle to defeat right-wing populist Trump in the 2020 election.

He returns to her in another section of the speech where he shoots leftists of his own party, saying that the solution to police violence is “not to disarm the police.”

It’s to fund the police,” Biden said in a message clearly addressed to halfway voters who are concerned about rising violent crime rates across American cities.

Then, referring to the left’s criticism of racism and abuse among the ranks, Biden said the secret lay in better training and tactics to “restore trust.”

victory over covid

Despite being cornered as he enters his second year in the White House, Biden came to State of the Union with two strong cards.

Last Friday, Judge Kitangi Brown nominated Jackson to be the first African-American woman in history to hold the position of the Supreme Court.

Amid low infection rates, Biden was able to use his rhetoric to try to turn the country into a more optimistic post-pandemic future.

Just days after the Centers for Disease Control eased mask recommendations for most Americans, Biden said the long nightmare is over.

“Thanks to the progress we made last year, Covid-19 no longer needs to control our lives,” he said in front of a room that was not only cramped, but completely unconvincing.

Biden said the United States would “never accept living with Covid.”

As he left the auditorium, the veteran former senator embraced post-Covid reality through one of his favorite activities – extended, lively handshakes and chatting with rallying politicians.


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