The Dismal State of Joe Biden's Union

The Dismal State of Joe Biden's Union
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Tonight, Joe Biden will stand before Congress and America and deliver a State of the Union address that will attempt to paint the rosiest possible picture of America today. He will do all of this in spite of the evidence before him and the poll numbers that are currently guiding his policies.

To be blunt, he has now chosen to lead based on what the polling is telling him. His CDC has decided to drop mask mandates. His team has decided to chase the European Union’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rather than to be a leader on the world stage. They are reading the poll numbers and are terrified of what will happen in November. But voters will see through it.

Just like the voters will see through tonight’s speech. Biden will open by declaring victory over the pandemic. After all, his own polling firm is telling him to. He will tell Americans the worst is behind us and that things can go back to normal now that the pandemic is now endemic and much less dangerous. Nevermind that his administration prolonged the pandemic by continuing to pursue things like mask mandates while also giving confusing, conflicting rhetoric on vaccines. They tried punishing the unvaccinated unconstitutionally and for reason tried to claim that it was all to protect the vaccinated – who were supposed to be protected by the vaccine they were pushing.

Nevertheless, victory over COVID-19 is here. Thanks, Mr. President.

The President will stand before America and tell us exactly what he’s doing to stand up to Vladimir Putin. This is the guy, after all, who promised to go toe-to-toe with Putin during the 2020 campaign and, by God, he’s doing it now. From a distance. Safely behind the European Union’s sanctions and diplomatic maneuvers. He sat on his hands and did nothing until it was obvious that he had to, and even then they approached it through a lawyerly, overly-cautious lens. Not a lens that sought to display strength and hold tyrants accountable.

He will also paint the rosiest possible picture of the economy that he can. He will tell us about how he handed money out to us to get us through the toughest times, how we’re on the back end of this economic downturn, and how Americans will persevere. Never mind inflation, supply chain issues, struggles to find workers, and businesses that have had to shutter for good because of all this. We are recovering.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

But he will add that the way to make sure this recovery continues is to pass the Build Back Better plan that is currently dead in the water in the Senate. He will try again to convince his party that it’s necessary to help Americans and help them win in this year’s midterms. He will hint that Republicans are the ones who need to get on board, but really it’s Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (publicly) that are blocking it.

Yes, it’s his agenda that will get us out of this mess. The agenda that, so far, has gotten us deeper and deeper into this mess. He will try to convince us that more of the same will pull us through and that we’ll be better than we were before if we just go with his plans.

But, across the board, the polling shows Americans don’t trust Biden. The trends are consistent. His approval rating is down double digits to his disapproval rating. Americans consider his first year an absolute disaster and there is little chance he’ll be able recover before the midterm elections.

Biden is staring down poll numbers that are worse than 2010 and 2014, which were big wave years for Republicans. It’s still early in the year and something could happen to change things, but right now it’s absolutely cataclysmic for the Democrats. Tonight’s State of the Union address will attempt to paint a rosy picture. He will try to pull the wool over Americans’ eyes.

But it won’t work. Americans are actually smarter than that.

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