6 January 2022   1 comment

US President Biden delivered a speech today on the anniversary of the assault on the Capitol Building last year. It was a speech that should have been given a long time ago, but Biden has been overly scrupulous in avoiding overt political speeches in a bootless attempt to foster bipartisanship. Under most circumstances I would applaud Biden’s early strategy, but there is absolutely no evidence that most members of the Republican Party are interested in anything other than tax cuts. Indeed, there were only two Republicans present in the House of Representatives as Biden delivered the speech.

But the speech was not merely political; it was tailored to nettle the former President. Again, I really do not like personal attacks in politics, but I am clearly out of touch on that matter. And the former President made his living on personal insults so I am willing to let Karma rule in this case. I will admit that I found the barbs deeply satisfying. The best lines in the speech will endure in the annals of American politics:

“He’s not just a former president.  He’s a defeated former president — defeated by a margin of over 7 million of your votes in a full and free and fair election.”

Writing for The Guardian, David Smith penned a brilliant analysis of Biden’s approach:

“Biden could have used Thursday’s anniversary to offer olive branches, finding comfort in the traditional role as head of state as an excuse to rise above political battles of the day. His instinct may have been to be as apolitical and anodyne as a monarch.

“But this was the moment that the commander-in-chief realised the clear and present danger posed to American democracy by one of its major parties and former leader gone rogue. The alarmed voices of fellow Democrats, activists, journalists and historians about the state of emergency finally seemed to have got through to him.

“He understood that platitudes and prayers for a miraculous Kumbaya moment will no longer do. You cannot reason with extremists whose premise about a stolen election and the insurrection being the will of the people – wrapped up in the cult of Trump – is fundamentally irrational.

“You cannot debate Fox News or fascism-curious Facebook users. Instead, the threat must be looked squarely in the eye.”

I have no illusions about what effect the speech may have on members of the Republican Party, but I am long past believing that anything will change the minds of those who are unwilling to challenge the former President. President Biden said it best:

“To me, the true patriots were the more than 150 [million] Americans who peacefully expressed their vote at the ballot box, the election workers who protected the integrity of the vote, and the heroes who defended this Capitol.

“You can’t love your country only when you win.

“You can’t obey the law only when it’s convenient.

“You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies.

“Those who stormed this Capitol and those who instigated and incited and those who called on them to do so held a dagger at the throat of America — at American democracy.

“They didn’t come here out of patriotism or principle.  They came here in rage — not in service of America, but rather in service of one man.”

“My hate is general, I detest all men;
Some because they are wicked and do evil,
Others because they tolerate the wicked,
Refusing them the active vigorous scorn
Which vice should stimulate in virtuous minds.”
― Moliere, The Misanthrope

Posted January 6, 2022 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

One response to “6 January 2022

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  1. Pingback: 6 January 2022 – Wise king

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