A President Spoke Last Night
Well, the reviews are in, and we guess Joe Biden doesn't get to be president anymore because noted interpreter of all things Kayleigh McEnany was bored by his first joint address to Congress last night:
Underwhelming. Uninspiring. This is difficult to watch...— Kayleigh McEnany (@Kayleigh McEnany)1619660657.0
McEnany is one of the biggest assholes, liars and morons in the entire country, which means that based on her review, it was probably a pretty dang good speech!
And it was! (Click here for Wonkette's liveblog, because we had to watch it, we mean GOT to watch it!)
Congress was much more empty than usual, obviously, because of COVID, which gave camera operators a lot more chances to really zero in on the people who were there — who was clapping, who sat on their hands and scowled, who spent most of the event dreaming, perhaps about leaving their dogs all alone while they went to Cancun. (Wake up, Ted Cruz.) And that was the crowd the president, the first legitimate president of the United States since the beginning of 2017, addressed.
Biden's speech went for about 65 minutes, and his prepared text, off of which he ad libbed a lot, was reportedly over 6,000 words, which is much longer than this post will be. (Here's a New York Times transcript of what he actually said.)
At the beginning, as President Biden made his customary greetings, he said, "Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President — no president has ever said those words from this podium, and it's about time." And there were many big cheers. After that he introduced the first lady, by saying "I'm her husband," which is a thing he always says because he clearly thinks his wife is way cooler than he is.
Today is the 100th day of Biden's presidency, and last night, on the 99th, he bragged, because he's done a lot of shit. "Now, after just 100 days, I can report to the nation, America is on the move again," said the president, and it was kind of the theme of the entire night.
BIDEN: After 100 days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for a takeoff, in my view. We're working again, dreaming again, discovering again and leading the world again. We have shown each other and the world that there's no quit in America. None.
In case we had all forgotten what it was like 100 days ago, Biden added, "One hundred days ago, America's house was on fire." He didn't say Trump's name, though. It wasn't necessary.
Biden bragged that his original goal was 100 million COVID shots in 100 days, but actually he hit 220 million. He bragged that 90 percent of Americans now live within five miles of a vaccination site. He bragged that 70 percent of seniors are fully vaccinated now, up from one percent when he became president. He bragged that senior deaths have gone down 80 percent since January.
And that was just on treating the actual coronavirus. He bragged about his COVID relief package, noting that he'd also jabbed $1,400 into everybody's checking accounts, though NPR gave him ONE-HUNDRED DIRTY PINOCCHIOS for even suggesting that Republicans might have helped with that in some way. He bragged about America adding 1.3 million new jobs in his first 100 days. He bragged that "we're on track to cut child poverty in America in half this year."
After ticking off what he had done, it was time for him to talk about what he wants to do next, and it was wildly progressive, and it was JOBS. Wonkette will have another post (update! right here!) detailing specific policy proposals Biden laid out, so we won't spend a bunch of time on it. But people are saying this morning that it was the most progressive vision they've heard from a Democratic president since Jesus. He openly said trickle-down economics was absolute bullshit.
Here is some stuff about JOBS, and his American JOBS Plan:
BIDEN: It creates jobs to upgrade our transportation infrastructure. Jobs modernizing our roads, bridges, highways. Jobs building ports and airports, rail corridors, transit lines. It's clean water. And today, up to 10 million homes in America and more than 400,000 schools and child care centers have pipes with lead in them, including drinking water, a clear and present danger to our children's health. The American Jobs Plan creates jobs replacing 100 percent of the nation's lead pipes and service lines so every American can drink clean water.
And many more! He pointed out that the majority of the JOBS he wants to create won't even require an associates degree, calling it a "blue-collar blueprint to build America."
He talked about education and his American Families Plan, noting that his wife Dr. Jill Biden is always telling him that "any nation that out-educates us is going to outcompete us." He talked about China a lot, and how he's already talking tough to Chinese President Xi Jinping. He talked about how tough he's already been with Vladimir Putin, who made the former president drool in his presence.
He told Congress to actually fix shit on immigration, and on guns. He talked about racial justice and said "white supremacy is terrorism" and that "we've all seen uneven justice on the neck of Black Americans." He told the Senate to give him the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to sign by next month. He told the Senate to pass the goddamn For The People Act to protect the vote, and the Equality Act, and also too please reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which he reminded everyone he wrote.
Oh yeah, and there was this moment, when he looked directly at transgender Americans and told them how brave they were and that he had their backs. From the reactions of trans folks we follow on Twitter, that was an emotional moment, and a big fuckin' deal.
An historic moment: Pres. Biden: "For all transgender Americans watching at home, especially young people—you’re s… https://t.co/dQ8DqUDu1Z— Evan McMurry (@Evan McMurry)1619661893.0
He talked about a lot of fuckin' things, is the point. Did we completely skip some in this recap? Yes. That's why you should READ THE TRANSCRITPSW!111!
As he closed, he reminded us that he was speaking to us from the site of a domestic terrorist attack that happened in January, incited by the former president, who was trying to destroy American democracy. That gave his closing quotes more than a little bit of a "standing on the smoking rubble" quality.
We'll give you a long block quote from the end of Biden's speech to close out this post:
BIDEN: [T]he struggle is far from over. The question of whether our democracy will long endure is both ancient and urgent, as old as our republic, still vital today. Can our democracy deliver on its promise that all of us — created equal in the image of God — have a chance to lead lives of dignity, respect and possibility? Can our democracy deliver on the most pressing needs of our people? Can our democracy overcome the lies, anger, hate and fears that have pulled us apart?
America's adversaries, the autocrats of the world, are betting we can't. And I promise you, they're betting we can't. They believe we are too full of anger and division and rage. They look at the images of the mob that assaulted this Capitol as proof that the sun is setting on American democracy. But they are wrong. You know it, I know it. But we have to prove them wrong. We have to prove democracy still works, that our government still works, and we can deliver for our people. [...]
In another era when our democracy was tested, Franklin Roosevelt reminded us, in America, we do our part. We all do our part. That's all I'm asking. That we do our part, all of us. If we do that, we'll meet the central challenge of the age by proving that democracy is durable and strong. Autocrats will not win the future. We will. America will. And the future belongs to America.
As I stand here tonight before you in a new and vital hour of life in democracy of our nation, I can say with absolute confidence: I have never been more confident or optimistic about America. Not because I am president. Because of what's happening with the American people. We've stared into the abyss of insurrection and autocracy, pandemic and pain, and "We the people" did not flinch.
Yeah, we heard a president speak last night.
It had been a long time.
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