Shaving 20 years off his age, President Joe Biden came out with force and vigor in a sweeping State of the Union, the highlight of which was successfully baiting the MAGA Republican members, although he avoided use of the term.
About a half-hour in, he carefully said “some” Republicans would sunset Social Security and Medicare, which is a fact. Not “most,” but “some.”
But that bait was taken by the Freedom Caucus freaks, who started booing and heckling. The inimitable GOP congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was caught on camera shouting at the president.
Grinning, he said if that was the case, let’s stand up for seniors, which forced Republicans to their feet. He said, with a grin, he’d look forward to their support in protecting the entitlement programs. It was a trap well sprung.
His delivery had to throw a spike into the notion from the right that he is diminished and in a mental fog.
He sort of broke with tradition by delivering the State of the Union — “strong” — not at the beginning, but at the end.
In more than an hour, he struck the themes that America is characterized by progress and resilience.
He largely ignored or grinned at the rude heckling, and smiled when he got a huge laugh when he said, “We will need gas and oil for at least a decade.”
This may have rankled hard-core environmentalists, but it was a brush with reality, even though he said he planned 500,000 electric charging stations. We will need oil and gas for more than a while.
He did the expected and rattled off a laundry list of accomplishments, from gun control, to capping costs for insulin, to even ending junk fees, and noncompete clauses. Not exactly a burning issue.
Looking forward, there was the usual liberal wish list, plus a mention of the Memphis murder of Tyre Nichols, morphing to a statement supporting police. A neat double play that got the chamber on its feet.
China, Ukraine, immigration, LGBT got brief mentions.
After his speech, he lingered in the chamber, BSing with the Honorables.
If there was any doubt he will run again, it was removed Tuesday night.