President Biden Puts The Smackdown

Finishing his first year as President, War Time President Joe Biden stood resolutely and confidently reaffirmed America’s standing in the world to the nation and to all Americans – even those under the spell of Russian President (Ras) Putin.

It is a fact that “every” American president is a war-time president, and as a result, the State of The Union address always addresses American security, the strength of international relations with allies and trade partners, and reaffirm America’s commitment to a strong military presence all over the world.

The SOTU tradition also and of course is an opportunity for the President to highlight prior year accomplishments, and President Joe Biden’s cup of accomplishments runneth over:

Some highlights of the Biden Boom:

Strong economy and financial controls

Powerful response to Covid-19 and the pandemic

Free covid-19 test sites and test kits distribution

Jobs, Jobs, and more Jobs

Significant reduction in childhood poverty

Higher wages

Rebuilding fractured and misused relationships with allies

Border security and stability

The record-setting pace of confirming judges & the most

And his dedication to addressing systemic racism in law enforcement, government contracts, military, Native communities, and with Black Farmers.

The President was flaked by two powerful women who are instrumental in re-shaping American domestic and international politics and relations.

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address to Congress in the Capitol on Tuesday night. (Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times/Pool)

The most powerful and effective Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and the first Black and Asian and first woman Vice President, Kamala Harris – both from the Bay Area / California – stood resplendent behind and aside the progressive President, reflecting a never before seen view of America that shows who and what we could be from now on… if only.

The two leaders applauded frequently as did the democrats who were in attendance. And they also deserve every applause since every accomplishment President Biden recounted reflect the deft and timely work of one or the other or both of the acclaimed women.

You can find the speech here. Please watch/read because after four years of a barely literate buffoon screaming nonsense from his greasy orange mouth, seeing an actual accomplished, empathetic, intelligent, and in-control leader at the top of his abilities addressing America and the world.

After the initial celebratory accomplishments, the President turned his focus to specific callouts directed at thug Russian dictator, Vladimir (Ras) Putin who is orchestrating the invasion and war crimes against neighboring country Ukraine.

President Biden was clear and forceful: “The US will defend NATO members and will not cede any territory from any NATO member to Russia.”

President Biden went on to tell Russia: “We will defend NATO allies with American forces on the ground and in the air and in cooperation with European NATO allies.”

President Joseph Robinette Biden put the whole smackdown so there can be no mistake and no confusion in Moscowor with the supporters of Russia within the GOP.

It is the strongest statements directed at Russia and Putin since President Obama was in office, and certainly way more than TFG (The Former Guy) who was, as candidate Hilary Clinton said of him “You are Putin’s Puppet.”

The President didn’t just call out Putin, he called out the Russian billionaires/oligarchs who have long propped up Putin’s regime while they live lavishly in America and other wealthy enclaves from France, Great Britain, Germany, and in billion-dollar yachts anchored in exclusive ports around the world.

He froze their money, locked them out of international and domestic banks and financial institutions and, working with allies, secured the same agreements from NATO members and other nations, such as Switzerland. Perhaps most shocking was the condemnation from China who called out Russia in an unexpected but welcome agreement from the world’s other super power and frequent tactic supporter of Russian aggression.

VP Kamala Harris’s successful European visits with multiple head’s of state set that stage for the unified responses the European and global allies and alliances, and no doubt showed China and others that US diplomacy and leadership can again be counted on to lead when called upon.

The smackdown turned inward as the President called out price gouging by drug-makers, especially insulin, unfair taxes and corporate malfeasance, and the absurdity of the wealthy not paying their fair share of taxes.

The session was full of details, facts, honestly, and displayed the right amount of concern for regular Americans, in regular jobs, with common problems, and with shared and basic expectations of what we should all expect from our elected guardians of democracy.

His speech was refreshing in its detail and impressive in its broadness. Calling back to President Obama and President Clinton, President Biden dug into the details and showed the fearlessness needed to call the nation to higher purpose and shared concern.

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, acknowledges President Joe Biden as first lady Jill Biden applauds during his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP/Pool)

He ignored the division, name-calling, and lack of details that shaped TFG speeches, and instead brought America back to decency, adult disagreements and debates, and the needed understanding that we can “Put the bickering aside and stop seeing each other as enemies, but see each other as Americans.”

Of all the challenges, that last one may be the toughest.

The divide in the country is real, it is pervasive, and it continues to be fueled by the scourge of supremacy, racism, antisemitism, disregard for Native communities, and structural weaknesses for the LGBTQI community.

We have challenges that remain: voting rights, healthcare, infrastructure, debt relief, law enforcement fairness, gun violence, abortion security, voting rights, voting access, vote counting, and …. voting rights.

It was a speech America needed.

And it was a speech President Biden delivered.

The next year will be full of challenges as the President and Vice President navigate the pandemic, war in Europe and the impact that war has on lives, historical Jewish sites, security of our allies, and the standard challenges the nation always has.

President Biden is the president for the moment and his words last night and actions over the past year, are a good predictor of what we can expect over the coming year. His stated optimism has been earned and it is welcome.

The State of the Union is Strong.

And the State of the Presidency is as strong.

© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton.

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Myron J. Clifton is slightly older than fifty, lives in Sacramento, California, and is an avid Bay Area sports fan. He likes comic books, telling stories about his late mom to his beloved daughter Leah, and talking to his friends.  

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