TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE — For hour upon hour and multiple days before he gave his recent State of the Union speech, President Joe Biden repeated all 7,224 words over and over, thereby avoiding most of his usual verbal flubs.
Also, for 40 years as a senator, a vice president and a president, he learned what can be important in political oratory: avoiding the truth.
After all, politicians are not successful out of pure luck, and twisting facts in a big-time speech just might help induce public gullibility and keep supporters fooled in 2024 voting booths, if it comes to that.
Of course, even with Biden’s history of exceptional deceptions, some deny his misbehavior.
And, yes, there have been equally errant State of the Union speeches without his excellent moments.
That’s still no excuse.
And for America’s sake, he must remorsefully return to the pulpit with a second, self-correcting sermon, and — wait, look!
In my imagination, there he is!
Forget the TV set.
Just read my partially fake transcript.
“Hello my fellow Americans and even the MAGA Republicans I have atrociously attacked as anti-democratic semi-fascists while I pretended to be a unifier. Pernickety commentators having afflicted my conscience on such matters, I am here to discuss a few of the faults in my state of disunion onslaught.
“As you may have noticed, for instance, I blamed our inflation on the rest of the world. But I confess that I have been a powerful force in making some of you give up eggs for breakfast. Before I took office, a bipartisan Congress allotted sufficient funds for COVID-19 help, and I then allotted dollars enough to create excessive demand with too few supplies, a case of two plus two equaling price increases.
“I misled you by saying that ‘inflation is coming down’ when it is going up, just not as fast as it had been. If you don’t believe me, look it and some other assertions up in The New York Times fact-check. I also gave my administration credit for a historic $1.7 trillion deficit drop that happened chiefly because COVID programs were ending. Through my fiscal impropriety, the deficit is once more heading for outer space, however.
“Forever in search of adulation, I bragged about helping to create 12 million jobs in two years, something no other president has done even in a full four-year term. But it has been pointed out that if you consider the number of jobs as a percentage of the population, bunches of presidents have whupped me in four years, including Obama, Clinton, Reagan and Carter.
“A daily whiner, I couldn’t help insisting the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes. Actually, they pay a ton. We have the most progressive tax system out there, and our middle class median income is a lot higher than in Europe where the middle classes also pay higher taxes for more welfare. Based on seeming suppositions of a left wing outfit, I said 55 highly profitable corporations paid no taxes without observing that all corporations put together paid $370 billion in 2022, the highest amount in 15 years.
“I plead guilty to neglect of the Southern border. Because of inadequate security, a foremost horror has been Mexican cartels smuggling Chinese-made fentanyl into our country, killing 70,000 mostly young Americans a year. FDR went to war with Japan for killing some 2,400 Americans at Pearl Harbor, and I’ve been scratching my nose.
“I want to say, too, that it was hooey when I made it sound as if Republicans wanted to cut Social Security when they know we Democrats would whack them to pieces if they tried. We’ve played that game to the point where the program is becoming ever less sustainable without economic mayhem.
“Sorry, and so long for now.”
Thanks for an encouraging if unreal start, President Biden, although we also might have mentioned that, unlike Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after a Donald Trump speech, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy did not tear your previous speech apart.
Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2023 Tribune Content Agency.
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