May 19, 2024

On Thursday evening, after arriving 20 minutes late, Joe Biden took the podium to deliver what many hope will be his last State of the Union address. In a fit of amphetamine-fueled anger, the president spent the first part of the speech shouting uncontrollably and speaking with the pacing of an experienced auctioneer. 

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READ: Joe Biden’s State of the Union Was the Most Unhinged and Angry in History


As I wrote in my reaction piece, the entire spectacle came across as completely unhinged. To the extent that it appealed it anyone, Biden’s speech was meant to rally his fractured base and give them confidence that he can handle the coming campaign season. He wanted to quiet the calls for him to step aside for someone younger and decidedly less senile.

Did it work? There’s ample evidence to say it didn’t, but does it matter when reporters are going to rush to say it did no matter what? Here was my prediction before the State of the Union. 

Shock of shocks, that’s exactly what they are doing. Biden didn’t leave the press much to work with, but amid all the flying spittle, they settled on a talking point rather quickly. According to journalists at the nation’s largest outlets, the president’s speech was “fiery.” 

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“Fiery” is a term you use when someone comes across as deranged but you want to make it sound like a good thing. I guess you could describe Biden’s screaming and podium banging as that, but I also guess that normal people saw it and thought it was an embarrassing overcorrection. The plan was to make Biden look capable and collected, not like he can’t handle the effects of a Red Bull. A dog on speech has “energy.” That doesn’t mean they should be President of the United States. 

You almost have to respect the level of shamelessness demonstrated by the press. When faced with a speech that even in the best terms could be described as “weird,” they managed to debase themselves in new and astonishing ways. 

Of course, left unmentioned by them was that Biden called Laken Riley, a college student brutally murdered by an illegal immigrant, “Lincoln Riley.” Also unmentioned were the numerous mental breakdowns in which he described women as having “electrical power” and proclaimed that threats to democracy must be “defended.” All told, there were about a dozen moments where the president managed to fail at reading the giant font in front of him, and that’s when he wasn’t stopping to heckle Republicans in one of the oddest moments of the night.

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To put it more succinctly, had Donald Trump given that speech, it would have been reported as the darkest, angriest, most improper State of the Union in history. It wouldn’t be described as “fiery.” It’d be described as a threat to the very foundation of the nation. Biden delivered it, though, so it’s all fine. Everything is fine. Don’t believe your lying eyes.

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