The GOP invents phony issues to attack Biden

Boy, did I get that one wrong.

Last night I opined Republicans would have to attack Biden’s programs and plans, because “they lost the narrative that Biden is an incompetent shell.” I said that because the speech was delivered with lust, power, passion, and harsh political intent.

President Joe Biden says her name, but wrongly

After posting my column, I switched over to the Fox News Channel for analysis, because CNN was too balanced. At Fox I heard that the speech I had just heard was “bizarre,” and was delivered by an angry, shouting man.

Wow! What a strange world we live in when supporters of Donald J. Trump have the chutzpah to call another candidate “angry.” Trump’s entire persona is built on anger, grievance, and distrust.

Republicans must have the ears of their party’s symbol, the elephant, when they claimed they were nearly deafened by the volume of Biden’s words, which did rise to occasional crescendos — as they should when making a point. The volume gave the speech a greater power, and you know if he had been conversational, the GOP stooges would be pointing to a lack of energy. Perhaps everyone in the front ranks of Republicans wear hearing aids.

Let’s go crazy here and give the tender-eared Republicans the benefit of the doubt. Many studies have proven that eyewitnesses to crimes are often unreliable. It could be they were so conditioned to the idea of seeing a man waving a cane and shouting at the clouds, that their minds created one, even if it went against their usual narrative — that the man can’t string together two coherent sentences, which Biden clearly did, and ad-libbed, too. Remaining cogent and clear-eyed for more than an hour was most of the game plan, and he pulled it off.

I write this as an objective observer of Biden, a man I barely like, and for whom I did not vote in 2020. I see his mountains and valleys. His critics see only the valleys.

The GOP instant attack team came up with two buzzwords — “loud” and “bizarre,” the latter being so subjective as to practically defy honest definition.

One example of “bizarre” was Biden’s plan to create a port in Gaza to pour in relief aid to avoid mass starvation. That is “bizarre?” The only “bizarre” part to me is that is will take 4-6 weeks. Under pressure and with American ingenuity, I believe the Army Corps of Engineers could do it in less than a week, assuming we did not want to use Higgins Boats, such as were used to supply Normandy in World War II.

Back to the “Loud” issue, Sen. Marco Rubio managed the astonishing trick of claiming Biden shouted his own speech and yet mumbled at the same time. The definition of “mumble” is something said quietly. Marco ought to lay off the mai tais while doing analysis.

The volume claims will only convince those willing to ignore what their own eyes see, and their ears hear. Biden did not stumble on the blue carpet, nor on the stage and delivered a strong, coherent speech, fighting hard without losing energy at the end. That would have enough to “win” the night, but he was better than just the delivery. Most of the pitches were strikes.

One commentator talked about Biden’s constant coughing. Well, it was not constant, and his doctor says it is a combination of seasonal allergies, and acid reflux.

The more the Republicans howled, the more effective the speech seemed to me.

When they booed Biden’s claim that Republican’s wanted to cut Social Security to fund a $2 trillion tax cut, he feigned surprise and said, “I kind of thought that’s what your plan was.” He said he was happy the GOP would not cut benefits. He pulled the same stunt successfully last year. Grandpa made a fool of those booing.

He tweaked Republicans who opposed the recent bi-partisan border bill, written by a conservative, and endorsed by the Border Patrol union. “Oh, you don’t like that bill, huh?,” he teased, with a big smile on his face. “What are you against?”

For me, the most satisfying moment was when Biden responded to a shouted challenge to “say the name” of Laken Riley, the Georgia nursing student allegedly killed by an illegal. Biden was prepared, pulling out a Laken Rikey button from beneath the lectern and saying her name, although mispronouncing her first name.

”Lincoln Riley,” he said, holding the button up to the camera, “killed by an illegal.”

Wow! I’ve been admonished for decades by Open Border groups saying, “No person is illegal.” I’ve been called a racist, too. Biden admitted if the illegals get in, they know it would take 6-8 years to get a hearing and by then there’s little chance they would be deported. He did not say that is his fault because he invited them to come here.

I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.

29 thoughts on “The GOP invents phony issues to attack Biden”

  1. Good try, Stu, but you cannot win with people who do not have the intellect to understand the differences between facts, lies, and opinions. Biden’s speech will CLEARLY win over those thinking people who might have been on the fence. The Trump supports? They are too far gone to redeem. Fortunately, they are very much in the minority in this country, and that minority will wane as the years move on.

    1. I’m no fan of Biden’s but he did a great job last night while the Republicans made total asses of themselves, including the facial shenanigans of MAGA Mike and MTG’s classy outburst and the rebuttal from the kitchen (seriously???). I don’t know how many people the speech will win over. The deluded will continue to claim he is ruining the country without any facts to back up their ill-informed, half-baked, Fox influenced opinions.

  2. Makes me glad I followed my decades long tradition of not watching SOTU speeches by any president. They are campaign speeches and are not truly intended to inform the public about the state of the union.

    1. I think the “metadata” was more important here, i.e., that he is not a drooling, walking corpse who has completely lost his faculties. This claim had been repeated so many times that it had become close to accepted fact. (As you’d expect, some of the usual suspects are clinging to this narrative by claiming he was drugged up. So I guess that’s great news–we’ve got a secret cure for senility! Also, if we’ve got “smart drugs” like that, where can I get me some?)

  3. Stu, Biden’s speech was neither as fabulous as you describe nor as horrible as his critics, I among them, believe. His ghoulish love of abortion and his refusal to take any responsibility for the immigration debacle is not the sign of a man who deserves respect. He’s not a doddering fool. He is not a man of substance. He’s a squishy, petulant man who has never held a job in the private sector and preaches to those who disagree with him. Trump is repellent. So, however, is Biden. Sadly, only one of them is described accurately by the mainstream

    1. I did not say the speech was fabulous. I dealt less with content than with his ability to read coherently for 67 minutes — AND spar with those jeering. Despite what MAGA thinks, this put a HUGE dent into the narrative that He is a fumbling, bumbling, mumbling cipher.
      The GOP made the mistake of believing its own bullsh—.
      And I am NOT a Biden fan.

    2. Respect him or not, here’s what I think is the key to Biden. Throughout his long political career, he always positioned himself as smack dab in the middle of the Democratic Party. It’s true that the party has moved left over the years (partly because many of its more conservative members switched parties), and he’s moved as the center moved over.

      Abortion is an example. In 1973 he said the Supreme Court “went too far” in its ruling in Roe v, Wade. He voted for the Hyde Amendment, which prohibited federal dollars from being used for abortion. He voted for the constitutional amendment that would have allowed abortion to be outlawed on a state-by-state basis–in other words, overturn Roe v. Wade, in 1981. This is hardly the history of a person with a “ghoulish love” for abortion.

      The fact is, abortion rights a/k/a “reproductive freedom” are now supported by not just a majority of democrats, but a majority of the country. This is why Trump isn’t replaying his anti-abortion policy in this campaign. Instead, he promises a compromise that will make “everybody happy.” (What in the world do you think that could possibly be?)

      Another example is his past anti-busing stance that Harris, his VP, used to bash him as a racist in the primary debates. With regard to that, it also seems to me that naming her as his VP is the opposite of “petulant.” To me a petulant person is someone who places petty personal feelings over bigger issues, such as trying to unite the party in anticipation of an election. (Reagan chose H.W. Bush as VP, although Bush called his plans “voodoo economics”) A petulant person will burn bridges instead of mending fences. I just don’t see Biden being that way.

      And, to me a “squish” is someone who rolls over at the slightest opposition. It may sometimes be hard to tell the difference, but I think that is not the same as someone who adjusts their position in response to reality, new information, and, yes, the preferences of their constituents. In other words, I don’t think someone who has an open mind, and is willing to listen to the arguments of “the other side”–and even concede once in a while that the opposition has a point is rightly labeled a “squish.” Similarly, I don’t think someone who is willing to compromise and accept half a loaf instead of none, is a squish either. Politics, as they say, is the art of the possible. Heck, so is life.

      Yes, there has long been a tension between “principles” and listening to the public. (“It would be easy to do the ‘popular thing’ but I…) But, in a democracy, listening to the public IS a principle. People can complain all they want that Biden took too long to do something on the border, but the fact is, he did try to adjust his policy on the border and compromise with the GOP. And, he did it in the face of howling from his left (who also are screaming about his saying “illegal” instead of “undocumented” in his speech), not to mention their howling about his support for Israel. Neither position seems “squishy” to me.

      Biden did work in the private sector as an attorney for a couple years, which I agree ain’t much. On the other hand, he wasn’t born rich. I prefer politicians who weren’t born with a silver spoon (although this is not crucial) because it gives folks an idea of what the majority experiences. And, while experience in the private sector is a plus for similar reasons, experience in government, as with any other occupation, is useful as well. Just as being a great marketing or procurement manager doesn’t necessarily mean you should head up HR or accounting, private sector experience doesn’t necessarily mean you’d be great in government. We often talk about “career politicians” as if some random ordinary person could do a better job. I don’t think that is true.

      All in all, while I am not an enthusiastic fan, I certainly do not find him repellent. I don’t find him particularly impressive either. But I do think that, as the special counsel’s report said, he is, at bottom “well-meaning.” In my view, that alone beats the heck out of the alternative.

      1. Just came across this:

        Petulant & vindictive: “Anybody that makes a ‘Contribution’ to Birdbrain [Nikki Haley], from this moment forth, will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp.” –Donald Trump

        Not Petulant: “Donald Trump made it clear he doesn’t want Nikki Haley’s supporters. I want to be clear: There is a place for them in my campaign.” –Joe Biden

  4. The speech was a winner on many levels. I wish it was not so partisan and a campaign speech, but that is where we are. Biden’s energy and calling out Trump and the GOP House on their lack of action on issues from Ukraine to Immigration was effective. He silenced (at least for today), the questions about his age as well as to whether he should step aside. If some feel Biden talks too much about Womens Health and Reproductive rights, it is because the issue is a winner for him and the GOP has put themselves in a Dobbs box. So a good night for Biden, but such a long way to go.

  5. He could have told the country he was wrong about the border and he could bring back Trumps stay in Mexico policy . He is causing the country a lot of heart ache with the murder of our citizens,crimes and billions of dollars. He could end it today but he won’t. Wake up Stu he’s ruining the country.

    1. He can’t bring back remain in Mexico, because Mexico says it won’t agree to it again. So Trump wouldn’t be able to do it either. Biden’s responsibility ended when Trump killed the border security bill. Biden works with, and compromises with the GOP. Trump won’t work with the Dems. He wants only “retribution” and “revenge.” His words, not mine. Heck, he won’t even compromise with members of his own party. Anyone who won’t swear fealty to him personally is slated for freeze-out, and more revenge. He said it, not me. Trump doesn’t want to be the leader of the GOP or this country, he wants to be the boss. That doesn’t work for me.

      1. Tom,

        I always enjoy reading your posts. Great analysis always based on fact.

      2. Mexico will do whatever we tell them if you put pressure on them. That’s what Trump did before. Trump knew how to use the might of America to get our way. Biden does not no how to use the leverage of our power to get our way.

        1. Oh. You mean how Mexico paid for the wall that he wasn’t able to build? And what? He’s going to invade Mexico if it won’t accept? Besides, “Remain in Mexico” kept only about 70,000 migrants out, a drop in the bucket of border crossings. The really effective means of returning border-crossers was Title 42 (which the Biden administration continued to enforce over progressive objections): 2.28 million!

          Title 42 authority expired because it was based on the COVID emergency. With that off the table, a president just doesn’t have the legal authority to do it any more.

          As Trump said (pre-COVID/Title 42 and post-Remain in Mexico and family-separation) back in 2019: “This [border] crisis is only worsening…We do not have the resources needed to hold them, and legal loopholes and… court rulings prevent authorities from promptly returning them…Immigration courts are overwhelmed…” If all he needed was executive authority, why did he go begging to Congress? Why didn’t he just fix it?

          So, is he lying now, or was he lying then? (Or is Biden supposed introduce another pandemic to get more border security? Is that Trump’s plan?) Plus, the GOP conference was all in on conditioning aid for Ukraine and Israel on increasing border security.

          Then, just when the GOP was going to pop the champagne and declare victory, Trump comes in and literally says, “Don’t give the democrats a win” and they fall in line. Why did they even bother fighting for the bill if it wouldn’t have helped security? Are they morons? But Trump’s 2019 position and the GOP’s 2022 position get shoved down the memory hole at a moment’s notice. Talk about Orwellian.

          So I have no confidence that you would stick to your guns if Trump is elected and asks Congress (again) for additional authority and funds to secure the border. Are you going to say “He’s got all the authority he needs” and oppose Trump? My best guess is that you’d just shove your last position down the memory hole. Correct me if I am wrong. Promise me you will be a vociferous opponent of granting Trump any additional border authority if he is elected. Accept no excuses he puts forward that he “needs” it to shut down the border.

          Me, I reserve the right to support what I think is good policy for America regardless of who proposes it. And, I will oppose anyone who puts themselves or partisanship ahead of America and Americans. That ain’t “America First” It’s “America Last.”

  6. Stu,

    I feel the need to jump in here, but will break some unwritten rules in my post.

    I did not watch the speech last night as I enjoy the recaps more than the theatrics and distortions and empty promises that that the speeches generally contain. How many DemocraticPresidents have promised to raise taxes on the wealthy? Never mind the reality of delivering those promises given the divisive nature of congress. Why promise something that you know you will not be able to deliver.

    How about the constant drum beat of fixing prescription drugs, but only addressing some drugs, as opposed to opening up competition and allowing the citizens to buy from other countries such as Canada. That type of competition would drive down costs, without the government picking winners and losers in prescription game.

    I am not looking to argue these points, just pointing out some of the many empty promises, our politicians deliver to attract specific segments of the population.

    This brings me to the economy. Booming? Or out of control inflation?
    You note the economic statistics, all relevant to the overall economy except the fact that gas and groceries are not included. For much of the population they are the biggest weekly expenditures.

    I also question the unemployment numbers and what they are based on.If you are self employed and work as slowed or dried up, you are not part of the unemployment numbers.

    After all of my rant, sounds like Biden had a decent night. Thanks for the recap.

  7. I don’t know, even a bad actor can have a decent night. Seems like a lot about the State of the Nation was left out. Both parties seemed to notice.

  8. The difference between Biden & Trump is: Biden is aging (normal) while Trump is becoming increasingly demented. Biden is more physically & mentally fit than obese Trump. The media ought to pay more attention to Trump’s speeches, especially when he goes off script.

    1. To be precise, our choice then is to vote for a man going senile or one already there. Right?

      1. Biden is aging, not going senile. There’s a difference. My father lived to 91 & he still had his wits about him. Trump suffers from dementia.

      2. My mom used to say that as people get older, they become more like themselves. My observations suggest that is correct.

        Biden has always been a go-along, get-along with other democrats, talk across the aisle kind of guy. Buddies with folks like Lindsey Graham and willing to work with the Dixiecrats that once inhabited the Senate.

        Trump has always been volatile, touchy, mercurial, and walk-out of the meeting if I don’t get my way kind of guy. (For example, Trump walked out of infra-structure negotiations with Pelosi because Congress was investigating him. Cross him, and America will pay for it. Compare that to Bill Clinton who cut deals with Gingrich for legislation while he was being impeached. Or Reagan working with Tip O’Neil, or, for that matter Biden working with the GOP for the border bill while the GOP was investigating him and agitating to put his son in jail).

        Since whoever is elected is going to be faced with a highly partisan aftermath, I think Biden’s “habit of mind” if you will, is safer than Trump’s, especially if we posit that they’ve each lost a step or three. Me, I’ll never forget how Trump literally stabbed our longtime allies, the Kurds, in the back, virtually over night, because Erdogan had a wonderful phone conversation with Trump, and asked him nicely to do it.

        Which brings me to my second thought. The Biden administration would be a much more a traditional administration. The White House would be filled with technocrats and run by a chief of staff, policy briefings and the like. There’d be consultation with the DNC and Congressional democratic leadership. There is a process for making policy and making policy decisions. If he’s unable to “follow along” Biden would be likely to defer the policy “pros” and trusted aides studying the issues and providing him options. Experienced staff that have operated together, and under Biden for years, would be in place.

        The Trump administration was, especially a second Trump administration, would be much more of a one-man, top-down show. Most of his first term was spent purging his administration of folks who had any disagreement with him–especially experienced staff from prior GOP administrations, longtime GOP policy wonks and the like. For a second term, everybody in the White House, the Cabinet, the Attorney General etc. will have full MAGA credentials, which means you don’t question Trump. It will be yes-men- flatter-the-boss central. If he gets angry and barks an order, or wants to impress a dictator, there will be less of a process to filter stuff out, and few, if any, folks to point out that it may not be a great idea, or steer him back to the “big picture.”

        If both are out of it, I’ll take the guy who’s less likely to be allowed to be a loose cannon.

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