It was supposed to be Joe Biden’s night.
Sure, it came in a House Chamber that seemed empty when compared with the joint addresses of his predecessors, but that’s the price he and his party willingly paid by politicizing a pandemic.
Never mind that the success the president claimed against COVID-19 was negated by the extreme social distancing that scattered his sparse audience and the masks that they were forced to wear.
Those in attendance — all vaccinated — were following the edicts of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who prefers political science to sound science.
And yet, there was President Biden squinting directly into the television camera, invoking the irritated tone of a senior citizen who discovers kids playing on his lawn, and shouting, “Go get vaccinated, America!”
Of course, there is no vaccination for “presidential fever,” and it’s obvious that the strain of the fever that has gripped Biden for most of his political life is especially virulent.
In 1988, Joe’s first run for the White House was pink slipped for plagiarism. Biden “borrowed” most of the comments that British Labour Party Leader Neil Kinnock used on the stump as his own. When American TV Networks ran “split screen” comparisons of the two politicians, Biden decided it was time to “split” from his campaign.
In his first joint address, 33 years later, President Biden seemed to follow a similar course, but the words Joe echoed were not from a far-removed foreign leader; instead it seemed that the 46th president was channeling the 45th.
Returning to a theme that Donald Trump championed and acted upon, incurring the wrath of “Big Pharma,” Biden set aside the derision he employed during last year’s campaign and embraced the same stance.
“Let’s lower prescription drug costs. … We pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world right here in America — nearly three times as much as other countries. We can change that,” said the president, using language seemingly unchanged from that of his immediate predecessor.
To pretend the Biden policy prescription for prescription drugs is new or novel requires a form of “indulgent amnesia.”
Fortunately for the president, most media elites are willing participants in accepting “the world according to Joe.”
The American people, on the other hand, present a much greater challenge to the president and the partisan press agents who share his political sensibilities. While John and Jane Q. Public may have encountered “information overload” in these first 100 days of the Biden administration, they are also acutely aware of what is not being reported.
Americans are increasingly skeptical of why there are fences and troops around the Capitol and White House but not on our southern border; they are troubled by the Pentagon’s introduction of ideological evaluations for our fighting forces and the specter of discharge for those who don’t share the political preferences of the commander-in-chief; but most of all, they simply don’t trust the mathematics or the methods of the left.
If the “First 100 Days” come attached with a bill totaling $6 trillion, how can we accept the president’s promise that taxes will only increase for those who make in excess of $400,000 annually?
That’s right, we can’t.
No wonder Joe delivered most of his speech in whispered admonitions, trying to sound as if those whispers conveyed some deeper grandfatherly wisdom.
A little over an hour after President Biden began his speech, it mercifully ended. Words he intended as soaring were delivered with a snarl.
Perhaps Joe realized it just wasn’t his night after all.