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President Biden uses State of the Union to make his case for four more years

Chris Graham
joe biden
(© Luca Perra – Shutterstock)

President Biden didn’t have a high bar to have to clear, thanks to Republicans prattling on and on about his supposed cognitive impairment.

If what we saw from the fiery president in his State of the Union address on Thursday night is cognitive impairment, sign me up for some of that cognitive impairment.

“Not since President Lincoln and the Civil War have freedom and democracy been under assault here at home as they are today,” Biden said, starting his 66-minute speech by getting right to the point. “What makes our moment rare is that freedom and democracy are under attack, both at home and overseas, at the very same time. Overseas, Putin of Russia is on the march, invading Ukraine and sowing chaos throughout Europe and beyond.

“If anybody in this room thinks Putin will stop at Ukraine, I assure you, he will not,” Biden said. “But Ukraine can stop Putin if we stand with Ukraine and provide the weapons it needs to defend itself. That is all Ukraine is asking. They are not asking for American soldiers. In fact, there are no American soldiers at war in Ukraine. And I am determined to keep it that way.

“But now assistance for Ukraine is being blocked by those who want us to walk away from our leadership in the world. It wasn’t that long ago when a Republican President, Ronald Reagan, thundered, ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’ Now, my predecessor, a former Republican President, tells Putin, ‘Do whatever the hell you want.’

“A former American President actually said that, bowing down to a Russian leader. It’s outrageous. It’s dangerous. It’s unacceptable,” Biden said.

That reference to “my predecessor” was one of 13 that Biden offered of the disgraced, multiple-times indicted ex-president Donald Trump, who Biden also castigated for holding up a bipartisan immigration-reform measure, because Trump has convinced congressional Republicans that it would be better for them politically to not try to solve the border-security crisis.

“That bipartisan deal would hire 1,500 more border security agents and officers, 100 more immigration judges to help tackle a backload of 2 million cases, 4,300 more asylum officers and new policies so they can resolve cases in six months instead of six years, 100 more high-tech drug detection machines to significantly increase the ability to screen and stop vehicles from smuggling fentanyl into America. This bill would save lives and bring order to the border. It would also give me as President new emergency authority to temporarily shut down the border when the number of migrants at the border is overwhelming,” Biden said.

“The Border Patrol Union endorsed the bill. The Chamber of Commerce endorsed the bill. I believe that given the opportunity, a majority of the House and Senate would endorse it as well. But unfortunately, politics have derailed it so far,” Biden said.

“I’m told my predecessor called Republicans in Congress and demanded they block the bill. He feels it would be a political win for me and a political loser for him. It’s not about him or me. It’d be a winner for America! My Republican friends you owe it to the American people to get this bill done. We need to act. And if my predecessor is watching, instead of playing politics and pressuring members of Congress to block this bill, join me in telling Congress to pass it,” Biden said.

Virginia Republicans, give them credit for staying on message in an election year, were not chastened.

“One of the greatest presidents in this country, Ronald Reagan, painted America as a shining city on a hill, and we all have hope for a brighter future. But right now what we have is really dark days for this country. Under Joe Biden’s leadership, or the lack thereof, we have open borders, we have high inflation, we have crime in our cities. We have government, big government run amok, targeting citizens. It’s something that’s got to change,” said Sixth District Republican Ben Cline, a back-bencher in his third term in Congress.

“But we didn’t hear unfortunately, much from this president tonight about his solutions. We only saw him cast blame for the problems that this country is facing,” said Cline, who unfortunately for him, and his constituents, obviously wasn’t listening.

“I’m going to keep pushing this president for answers. I’m going to keep pushing this president for solutions. And in the process, we’re going to make this country the brighter, shining city on a hill that Reagan said it could be,” Cline said.

Cline, at least, will be running for a fourth term in a safe Republican district.

Rob Wittman, who represents Virginia’s First District, which covers a slice of Central Virginia and the Northern Neck, has been winning re-election more in the mid-50s the past few cycles, so it may serve him better to be a little more bipartisan.

“President Biden has enabled the worst border crisis in American history,” Wittman said after the State of the Union.

Wittman clearly wasn’t listening.

“Because of his open border policies and refusal to enforce existing U.S. immigration law, illegal border crossings are at an all-time high, fentanyl deaths are rising across the nation, and crime has skyrocketed in our communities,” said Wittman, who, like Cline, has supported the effort of House Speaker Mike Johnson, kowtowing to Trump and his MAGA sycophants in the House, to block the bipartisan Senate immigration bill from even getting a vote.

This is somehow Biden’s fault?

“President Biden’s policies have weakened U.S. national security and emboldened our adversaries. Afghanistan fell to the Taliban following Biden’s disastrous withdrawal, Russia began the largest land war in Europe since World War II, the Chinese Communist Party continues its military buildup, and Iran has accelerated its support for terror groups like Hamas,” said Wittman, who, again, like Cline, has backed Johnson’s effort, again at the behest of Trump and House MAGAs, to block additional aid to Ukraine, which is making it hard for the Ukrainians to defend their homeland from that large Russian land war.

“I will continue to push back against the Biden administration’s policies that harm Virginians, change the culture in Washington, and advocate for the families, law enforcement officers, veterans, and brave U.S. service members of Virginia’s First District,” Wittman said.

He’s not doing a good job at that.

I’ll highlight one other SOTU response here – the one from Abigail Spanberger, the Democrat representing the Seventh District, which covers Central Virginia and the Northern Virginia exurbs.

Spanberger is not running for re-election this fall, because she is gearing up for a run at the Democratic Party nomination for governor in 2025.

The former CIA officer and UVA alum has unfinished business in Congress to focus on first.

“In the weeks ahead, we must pass a national security package that continues America’s support for the people of Ukraine in their fight against Putin’s army,” Spanberger said. “We must deliver humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza and security assistance to Israel. We must tackle the security crisis at our southern border — one that would be addressed through the bipartisan border deal. We must pass a Farm Bill that prevents hunger and delivers for Virginia’s farmers and producers. And we must preserve the basic functions of our government by avoiding a reckless government shutdown, which would devastate Virginia’s economy and workforce.

“This Congress has a long to-do list,” Spanberger said. “Going forward, I will respectfully remind Speaker Johnson about the President’s overarching message tonight: one of unity during a moment of nationwide and global uncertainty. We should be united in our desire to get things done for the people we serve – and the Virginians I serve expect us to govern, not to dither.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].