March 01, 2022

Feehery: The end of innocence | TheHill - The Hill

As President Biden climbs stiffly up the podium to deliver his State of the Union address, I will be thinking of the lyrics Don Henley first penned about former President Reagan:

O’ Beautiful, for spacious skies/But now those skies are threatening/They’re beating plowshares into swords/For this tired old man that we elected king/Armchair warriors often fail/And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales.

Biden was elected for two reasons. Voters were tired of former President Trump’s mean tweets and they thought Biden wouldn’t screw things up too badly.

What they didn’t sign up for is worldwide war brought on by Western weakness, sky-high inflation brought on by a domestic assault on our energy supply and reckless government spending, incompetence at managing a pandemic, and a loss of American prestige globally.

Biden’s State of the Union address, no matter what his words say, will not likely inspire a polarized and depressed American audience to magically come together. Perhaps Russian President Vladimir Putin’s folly will get the people’s attention. Elections have consequences. Policies matter. Twitter conversations are no substitute for real leadership and strong leaders.

Biden might try to say that the State of the Union is strong. But voters know better. They can see it in the body language of a cranky president who often gets lost in his own thoughts. Is this the best that we can do? Is this what American leadership is all about these days?

Reagan, for all of his faults, knew what he believed. And what he believed, firmly and without reservation, that America’s best days were still in the future as long as the American people didn’t lose faith in our imperfect democracy.

Biden doesn’t really know what he believes and so we don’t really know where he is taking us. Is he the moderate who often praised Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and liked to brag about how he could work with Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.)? Or is he the radical liberal who thinks America needs a great reset?

Biden didn’t cause the Putin incursion into Ukraine, but he didn’t help things either. He hinted early on that he was fine with the Russian dictator taking a little bit of the sovereign state and he made clear that America wasn’t in the business of bailing out the Ukrainians with troops on the ground.

Strategic ambiguity sometime serves its purposes. But not in this case. Biden basically begged Putin to walk in the open door, raising the stakes and making it impossible for the ex-KGB...

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