Biden’s Joint Address: Big Spending, Calls for Unity, Expected Responses from All Sides

Proposing $6 trillion in new spending and calling for transformational government intervention, President Biden appealed to bipartisanship and calls for unity. Those on the left don’t think it’s necessary and the right doesn’t believe it is genuine.


In his first address to Congress as President, Joe Biden highlighted his “fundamental belief in the power of government as a force for good”, pushing several multi-trillion legislative packages.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • CNN’s Chris Cillizza “analyzed” the speech by praising Sen. Chuck Schumer for his suit and “the Harris-Pelosi elbow bump” while criticizing Biden for being too detailed and brought Trump back in to the conversation, saying it was “nice to not have that (Trump’s reaction) in real time.”
  • Vox’s quick take highlighted Biden’s emphasis on “children and families”, saying his spending proposals “puts children, parents, and caregivers front and center” while acknowledging Trump’s prescience on international trade when Biden put China on notice.
  • The New York Times compared the Biden speech and its policy proposals favorably with FDR’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, and explicitly saying Biden has taken a completely different tack from what he sold himself as on the campaign trail.
  • Twitter scold and self-declared expert on expertise Tom Nichols wrote in USA Today what can only be described as a Never Trump fever dream, ignoring the reality of the harsh policies, sanctions, and confrontational tone the Trump administration took with both China and Russia when he praised Biden for declaring that the Sino-Russian “free ride is over.”



Author’s Take

  • The calls for bipartisanship should be viewed skeptically: Mainstream media framing a redefinition of bipartisanship is meant to isolate those opposed to Biden’s proposals but willing to negotiate and browbeat them into acquiescence.
  • When “negotiating” his American Rescue Plan legislation, Biden immediately dismissed Republican counteroffers and pushed forward on party-line votes, leading Republicans to be skeptical of any outreach in the future.
  • Brand new Captain America Sam Wilson gave an inspiring, if not slightly globalist and liberal, speech in the series finale of fictional show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and with a single line highlighted the problem of modern politics: “We can’t demand that people step up if we don’t meet them halfway.”

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© Dallas Gerber, 2021