President Biden’s address to Congress connected only intermittently with reality.
On his telling, every good thing that has happened in America since he took office — from vaccination to job creation — is a tribute to his wisdom, rather than a continuation of a trajectory set beforehand. All presidents say such stuff, and they all get away with it, although Senator Tim Scott made a valiant attempt to correct the record. Worse was the dishonesty of Biden’s sales pitch for his policies.
He insinuated that the ten-year ban on assault weapons had reduced the murder rate in the U.S. — something neither careful studies nor a casual look at the trends supports. He pretended that the Trump administration had ended successful efforts to control migration across our southern border, a brazen inversion of the truth. He claimed that the country supports federal legislation that would, among other things, ban states from verifying voters are who they say they are. Poll after poll says otherwise. He promised that Medicare could save hundreds of billions of dollars by cracking down on drugmakers. Not according to the Congressional Budget Office, it can’t.
Biden conjured a world in which there was no danger from unprecedented deficit spending, no possible adverse consequences from raising taxes on corporations and rich people, no spike in violent crime that needs attending, and no foreign threats that demand of us more than platitudes about leadership.
Even as he proposed one of the most radically Left policy agendas in American history, he continued to feign an eagerness to work with Republicans.
The press, which has invested absurd importance in every president’s first 100 days, is hardly bothering to conceal its excitement at the low-fifties approval rating Biden has at this marker. It is simultaneously hyping his left-wing legislative agenda. Those same polls show, however, that a plurality of Americans disapproves of how he is handling taxes and spending — and that his numbers on guns and on border security are abysmal. The implication is that a COVID recovery he has done little to cause is buoying him, while his agenda threatens to pull him down. Biden is providing Republicans plenty of material to work with, and nothing to intimidate them.