State of the Union 2022
Thoughts in advance of President Biden's speech
This is Robert Hubbell who writes a Monday through Friday Newsletter called Today’s Edition. He brings us observations of key events - often through a legal lens. He asks us to look at the impact of these events from the perspective of the average citizen. He calls us to action. I now follow Jessica Craven as result. “Chop Wood, Carry Water” is another substack letter that gives us suggestions for acting on our political concerns.
You can subscribe to Robert’s letter for free. You will not be sorry. If after time, you wish to help him out and/or you wish to make comments, consider a subscription. And that’s what I do. I comment. Please consider reading today’s letter from Robert. The comment I made today (below) will make more sense. Read “A Daughter of Ukraine” You may be wiping away tears after reading Jill's family story (Jill is Robert’s wife).
The first part of Today's Edition is an inspiration for those who worry about the press and their pathetic popularity polls. I have no idea what the presidential race will look like in 2024. Nobody does. My wild guess is that it will be a contest between two names we would never have predicted. After all, Joe Biden tried over and over again to get the job - his odds were tiny until SC. And would any of us have really believed that a con man hated by most of the residents of his city of choice would actually rise to win? Most Americans barely knew who James Garfield was, but he became president - without even asking for the job. Read this excellent book by Candice Millard.
So I will follow Robert's advice. The polls right now are meaningless and can change in a heartbeat. Ignore them and instead, I recommend sending letters of support to our White House. Biden has indeed been "masterful". I could be described as a rabid radical progressive social democrat, but I voted for him. For him to be a careful steward who shares the stage, who in a self deprecating way, steers the ship of state towards peace and justice.
Our disappointments need to find their proper targets. Biden has brought diversity to his administration in way never seen before. He has guided us through a pandemic with daily concern and by embracing science. He has sent money directly into the hands of those that have suffered - not the banks as in the Great Recession. He has passed an infrastructure bill that is epic in scale.
The failure of our government to pass the BBB act which would be a social reset - help for most citizens - and the failure to pass Voting Rights Bills - lies at the feet of the Republican obstructionists and two DINO Senators.
And a Supreme Court that is in the process of dismantling the Federal government's ability to protect us - that lies at the feet of the same - MCConnell is the Darth Vader of this film.
Every time there is a popularity poll published, there should be a parallel poll that shows that the vast majority of Americans want what is in the BBB act and want Voting Rights legislation, want Women's Reproductive Freedom. Blaming Biden for not delivering such when there are American Taliban forces embedded in our legislatures that block such is just stupid and ridiculous.
I will be applauding President Joe Biden tonight. No matter how many slips of the tongue, no matter how many times he stammers and despite the fact that I wish he were 20 or 30 years younger. And despite the fact that I voted for Warren in the primary and despite the fact that I think he made a couple of really big mistakes in his long political career (Hill/Thomas and the crime bill) - I will be standing and applauding him. He may be one of the finest humans to have ever occupied the White House. He makes me proud to be an American.
And now, I will write to him again and lend my support. I hope some of you will do the same. Often.
Here is just a piece of today’s newsletter from Robert Hubbell:
”Whatever Biden says in his State of the Union address, he will be criticized. But few commentators will note that the successes of Biden’s first year were achieved despite challenges that rival those faced by Lincoln and FDR. A reader (Stephen B.) sent me the following note, which is worth keeping in mind as Biden rightly lists his accomplishments on Tuesday and concludes that “the state of the union is sound.”
No one has clearly articulated the obstacles and challenges Biden has had to deal with in his first year in office. I cannot remember in my lifetime a President who in his first term faced as many challenges such as:
An attack on the legitimacy of his election victory.
An insurrection and attempted coup before his Inauguration.
A massive pandemic and the previous administration’s inadequate planning and a lack of an infrastructure to support and control the pandemic.
A consistent right-wing campaign of misinformation on social media platforms against vaccines and masks.
The withdrawal from Afghanistan and intense criticism of the method of the evacuation and the results.
Negative media coverage and reporting.
Severe supply chain issues due to the pandemic, availability of resources and poor supply chain management and planning.
High inflation due to pent up demand and consumer over-indulgence on products rather than services, and corporate greed.
Rising energy prices.
Uniform Republican opposition, with an assist from Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
Fierce partisan disputes over voting rights, the filibuster, and the Supreme Court.
That is quite a list. Few presidents would still be standing in the face of such headwinds. But as Biden finishes his first year, he has successfully resurrected NATO and re-established trust in U.S. leadership during the biggest crisis since WWII. That is saying something—despite whatever the pundits say tomorrow.”
A standing ovation is surely in order.
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