After 98 days at the White House, President Joe Biden gave his first speech at a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. Editorial page deputy editor David Masteo and commentary editor Jill Lawrence viewed the 65-minute speech and had strikingly different reactions to what the president said.
David: Donald Trump is gone, but Washington is still caught up in the unnatural. Joe Biden has brought back low efficiency and a sense of calm, yet I can’t get around a speech at a joint session of Congress focusing on plans to spend $ 6 trillion and change in addition to the regular budget.
Biden’s speech tonight made it seem natural and logical. His accent was popular and calm. He has repeated only one lie from the Washington Post list The first 100 days of Biden’s misleading claims. But in essence, Biden proposed the birthplace of dangerous and shocking liberalism in its ambition. From preschoolers for 3 to 4 year olds to grandma’s home care, every stage of life can be improved with a little bit of federal generosity. And we can afford it all without sacrifice. We just need the big corporations and the wealthy to pay their “fair share” and stop cheating on their taxes.
These are Looney Tunes. The US bailout, the US jobs plan, and the American families plan are bound to come with costs, unintended consequences, and flaws. Federal money always comes with conditions. If Biden gets what he wants, we’ll be sorting out the wreckage for decades.
generation: I have experienced the same asymmetry in style and substance as you, but when you see a shockingly ambitious liberal agenda, I see a popular correction of decades of neglect. Decades of starving government and enriching the rich while ignoring structural racism, gun violence, immigration problems and income inequality to such an extent that they undermine our ownership of advancement and the American dream.
If Biden gets half of this, and I hope he gets it all, he will have steady decades of wreckage.
It’s totally refreshing to hear a Democrat go to him, making the argument for why each component is plausible and necessary for the future of our families and the country in general. Just like the Republicans did when they kept talking about repealing the Affordable Care Act when Barack Obama was president.
I realize Biden’s plans are expensive, but much of it can be paid for by restoring a fairer tax system. Of course, the economic growth Republicans always promise but rarely achieve. Biden’s plans must function better than a graded economy. They are helping the people who need help, not the really wealthy ones and they usually forget to waste anything.
David: Decades of neglect? Eight of the past 12 years have been under the rule of a Democratic president of whom Joe Biden is his running mate. Was Obama neglecting America when he reshaped nearly a fifth of the American economy with the Affordable Care Act?
What you see as decades of neglect I see as decades of political defeats for Democrats. The Republicans did not ignore gun violence. They refused to keep up with the Democrats ’agenda to curtail gun rights. Republicans did not ignore immigration, but rather dealt with it from a radically different perspective than the Democrats. In the Trump era, this was certainly the wrong approach, but it was nothing but neglect. Biden’s victory was insignificant and he did not shirk the Republicans on their core issues.
Biden speech challenge: Sell America on your plans, and define your legacy
I fear Biden took office based on the votes of Americans who believed he was the moderate and modest choice in the Democratic field. Now they discover that he has gone far to the left where the Democrats were under the rule of two previous Democratic presidents. This would reunify the right, which remains under the control of Donald Trump, and stop support for Biden in the center leading to democratic catastrophe in the House and Senate elections of 2022.
The reason I voted for Biden was to hope the far left would keep the Democrats in control long enough to unify the country through two elections and help purge the Republican Party of Trumpism. After this speech, I see that I am unlucky.
generation: Republicans have thwarted Democrats’ attempts to deal with neglect while they do their best to ensure that people who tend to vote for Democrats are punished as closely as possible under a system of government that places them at a structural disadvantage from the start.
The two weren’t always at odds over immigration reform and gun measures like global background checks. They weren’t always at odds with healthcare. The ACA relied on conservative ideas such as personal liability, competition and the maintenance of private health insurance. But Obama has not tried to make concessions, and Democrats may be loath to spend a lot of time trying with people who won’t tell the truth about Biden’s fair and square victory for 2020 or condemn the fatal catastrophic attack of January 6. Capital. They are understandably ready to accomplish as much as possible as quickly as possible.
I see this as compensation for lost ground. You see it as ruin for America. At this point, I think all we can agree on is that Biden clearly feels comfortable in the job and is qualified to do so. At the age of seventy-eight, he showed vigor, care, and, finally, normality. I know that’s a small consolation for conservatives. Now you know how the liberals felt in the years since the Republicans decided that politics was a zero-sum game and named Donald Trump their leader.