We were promised better. We were lied to.
On the day that senile president Joe Biden is slated to journey the short distance up to Congress to provide his take on the current state of the American union, it’s a good opportunity to look back and determine whether the Delawarean’s done as he promised during the 2020 campaign and restored the “soul of the nation” after four tumultuous (thanks to the sham Russia-Russia-Russia allegations and an establishment media that haunted his predecessor) years of Donald Trump.
Thanks in large part to several unfortunate capitulations from senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and a smattering of establishment Republicans from the last Congress, Biden actually has a few policy victories to tout this evening. The (then) minority party will receive little of the credit in Biden’s estimation, but all of the blame for the bad things, and Joe will comport himself as he always does – namely as a memory and truth-bending blowhard dressed up in a finely tailored suit.
Senile Joe will lie and lie and lie some more, there could be some boisterous reactions from principled Republicans (we can only hope!) and afterwards the media talkers will gloat about what a great presence Biden offered compared with the previous commander in chief. Will there be “civility” on Tuesday night? It depends on how deep below the surface you delve.
In a piece titled “State of Our Union: Not much civility or unity two years into Biden's presidency”, the always insightful W. James Antle III wrote at the Washington Examiner:
“As president, Biden called a Fox News reporter a ‘stupid son of a bitch’ at a White House event, which his staff dutifully captured in the official transcript. He was seen as also insulting a CNN reporter’s intelligence when he demanded in response to her question, ‘Where the hell — what do you do all the time?’ Biden apologized both times.
“Biden compared Georgia’s voting laws to Jim Crow. He then refused to apologize or clarify his remarks when those laws proved compatible with record turnout and an electoral victory for Georgia’s first black senator.
“The most controversial move Biden made on this front was delivering multiple pre-election speeches last year in which he cast his political opponents, ‘MAGA Republicans,’ as threats to democracy. ‘The extreme MAGA element of the Republican Party — which is a minority of that party, as I said earlier, but is its driving force — is trying to succeed where they failed in 2020 to suppress the rights of voters and subvert the electoral system itself,’ he said. At a political fundraiser, Biden described these Republicans as ‘semi-fascist.’”
As you might expect, this is only a partial list of senile Joe’s un-civil lowlights from the past two years. In 2020, anyone who’d semi-followed Biden’s political career (whether they wanted to or not) recognized his media-fashioned reputation as a “good guy” and “bipartisan healer” was a load of putridly aromatic bovine excrement. Sure, Joe has always had his award-worthy toothy grin and has been known to slap the backs of opponents and sniff their wives’ hairdos, but none of this makes him an ambassador of goodwill.
The real Joe Biden is an eternally moody old curmudgeon with a phony “good guy” act, one who’s never much more than a pointed – and truthful – question away from revealing his dark alter ego. Want to see what a great guy Biden really is? Try revisiting Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings and you’ll learn all you ever needed to know about a senator who eventually lied his way to the presidency after a lifetime spent pulling the wool over peoples’ eyes.
Besides, why should we care that Biden didn’t keep his promise to restore “civility” to the nation? I may be in the minority here – or not – but I couldn’t care less about civility. To the non-casual observer “civility” in American politics is about as valuable in today’s discourse as racial “diversity” is to a business environment. Say your business is selling cabinetry and your sales force is all of one race while the guys and gals behind the scenes in the shop with hammers, nails and caulk guns are all of a different race than the sales leaders.
Will the customer automatically assume that the folks making the product look and sound like the ones who sold it to you? If you’re the consumer and you’re happy as a hog in slop with the new cabinets in your house, would you give a hoot what the person or persons’ ethnic, religious or educational backgrounds were that combined to create the things?
Likewise, years ago when we needed internet and TV hooked up in our new house, the local provider’s sales personnel was all African-American but the technician who hooked up the services inside was a middle-aged white guy. The system worked, and that’s all we cared about.
These “diversity” examples are not exactly an identical match with comity in politics, but what has “civility” ever done for the American public? Nothing. If anything, when politicians like each other, only bad “compromises” result. How else would our country have piled up tens of trillions in debt other than to have forged some sort of ill-conceived political consensus to make it that way? It’s almost better when the politicians don’t get along.
It's safe to say Newt Gingrich and Big Bubba Bill Clinton didn’t hold each other in especially high regard in the mid-1990’s, but they did manage to agree – in the constitutional legal sense – on a package of bills that balanced the federal budget and generally brought prosperity to the country despite their enormous personal differences. Granted, Democrats were different back then – they weren’t quite as nutso as they are today – but “civility” had nothing to do with the gains in effective governance.
It was competition, advocacy and grit, not “civility” that did the trick.
Looking back through history, America’s “Era of Good Feelings” wasn’t really all that “good” and certainly didn’t last long, either. According to Wikipedia, “The Era of Good Feelings marked a period in the political history of the United States that reflected a sense of national purpose and a desire for unity among Americans in the aftermath of the War of 1812… During and after the 1824 presidential election, the Democratic-Republican Party split between supporters and opponents of Jacksonian Democracy, leading to the Second Party System.
“The designation of the period by historians as one of good feelings is often conveyed with irony or skepticism, as the history of the era was one in which the political atmosphere was strained and divisive, especially among factions within the Monroe administration and the Democratic-Republican Party.”
What, you mean one party rule doesn’t work? A closer look at the history of those years long ago reveals there was lots and lots of “bad” feelings as well, particularly concerning the founding and renewal of a National Bank. Just because you say everything’s “good” doesn’t make it that way. And there were the burgeoning north/south tensions as well, which led to the ill-fated Compromise of 1820, known today as “The Missouri Compromise”.
These events directly led to even further intense clashes over slavery in the ensuing decades, where “civility” in Congress was not exactly a staple item. These were politicians we’re talking about, and well over a century before the vaunted plea from L.A. riot catalyst Rodney King: “Can we all just get along?”
Liberals like Joe Biden love “getting along” when it equals conservatives rolling over and exposing their soft underbelly for the leftist-movers in this country to either pet or rip completely open. Take last week’s outburst by “The Squad” in the House of Representatives when brother-marrying, anti-American and anti-Semitic Democrat Ilhan Omar was voted out of her Foreign Affairs Committee position – for good cause, too.
There wasn’t a whole heck of a lot of “civility” as each “Squad” member took turns doing their best angry crackpot impression while staring across the chamber at any Republicans present and calling them “racists”, “bigots”, “misogynists” and “anti-Muslim” for their desire to remove the undeserving Omar from a position she was given by Nancy Pelosi in the last Congress.
Of course, there was no mention of Pelosi’s uncalled for action to remove Republicans from their committee posts for lesser reasons – and again, lies. What’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily right for the gander in Democrat-land. Democrats live by rules all their own. And they instinctively relate everything back to the events of January 6, like that will move anyone any longer.
Kevin McCarthy will be sitting next to Kamala Harris, the new Republican Speaker taking Nancy Pelosi’s former place for the State of the Union speech tonight. Chances are McCarthy won’t do much more than applaud occasionally, shake a few hands and try to control his facial expressions while listening politely to senile Joe’s lesser-veiled insults and jabs. What else would you expect?
As for the rest, don’t automatically assume it will be “civil”. Joe Biden made it that way.
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