The American State of the Union: It can do better! – The Courier of the Americas


Joe Biden’s speech on the state of the union (March 1) marked the war in Ukraine, which had just begun six days ago.

Hard to grasp international context

Biden very often used a firm tone in his speeches, it was expected in turn, because for many (including his own camp) he has only a firm tone. The departure of troops from Afghanistan, at that time the first sanctions imposed against Russia, ie its first year in office, did not give a firm impression, on the contrary.

However, appearances can be deceptive and the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan was necessary in order to face more serious threats, as everyone now realizes. The withdrawal maneuver was also initiated by Trump, not Biden. From April 15, 2021 Le Courrier des Amériques mentioned the likelihood that NATO (and Biden) will be test tested ’by Russia in Ukraine (what we explained again in this interview at the end of November).

So the Courier team seems to think that the United States is in the process of changing the rules of the international game and that it is clearly not doing so to its detriment. A multipolar world has emerged in recent years (1) and no one has been able to do anything about it. From the end of February 2022, nations were called upon to choose between the rules of the Russian world and the rules of the American Pole. The selection seems to be quite quick.

The Russo-Ukrainian War will increase the military budgets of NATO forces. Germany also promises to start. Finally, the increase in NATO membership that Trump has asked Europe for is Biden, who is in the process of acquiring it…

If we add various arms contracts for European countries, such as the contract for the F35 fighter, which Germany decided to sign with the US (at the expense of its partners in European countries), or the contract for the construction of Australian submarines, which the United States expropriates France … we say on closer inspection, the United States has both “butter … and money for butter” in this matter.

The world is engulfed in violent convulsions, but the raised dust must not blind us to reality. Of course, these are just impressions of the main geopolitical lines that are taking shape: we are not guessing (but we can still guess that tomorrow Putin will implement his law only in a number of very limited countries and few on this side of the Atlantic).

It should be noted that the American political class unanimously supports Joe Biden’s sanctions against Russia.

For the rest, the White House action is more mixed. Another important topic so far has been Covid-19. If Mr. Biden was chosen mainly by mocking speeches on the (very real (2)) nonchalance of Trump’s statements about Covid … on the action side, on the other hand, Joe Biden will enter the history books as he was very uncreative on the subject compared to his predecessor. Indeed, Donald Trump was president of Operation Warp Speed, which focused on the emergency completion and local and global distribution of Covid vaccines. Joe Biden, for his part, has tried everything to ensure that Americans are re-vaccinated, and can be fortunate that the pandemic is now becoming less deadly and the media is masked by the war in Ukraine … because in mid-March 2022 only 29% Americans received the third dose and it is difficult to think that those who were vaccinated in December 2020 (ie for Trump) are still vaccinated today…

Rising inflation

From an economic point of view, inflation was already appalling before the March 1 speech … and continues to rise; the war in Ukraine does not help things. If, as noted above, international tensions could be – ultimately – favorable to the United States, a large number of Americans are not yet aware of this, and Joe Biden’s popularity rating is declining as a result. regularly: trust is not there at all (3). It is true that on November 5, Congress voted in favor of its 1,200 billion investment plan in transport (roads, railways, ports), with all the benefits that this will bring. This investment will not revolutionize the US economy, but at least it is a good point for Biden compared to his predecessor, who promised to renovate the infrastructure without succeeding. As we say “only God knows” how much America needs a job!

As of March 1, Joe Biden’s big problem is that the investment plan is only a small part of his “Build Back Better” political program. Another $ 2.3 billion component, the Build Back Better Act, has still not been voted on by the Senate. It includes everything that is social (and Americans would need it last year during the Covid crisis) and more than 559 billion in favor of climate and clean energy. Remember that November 8 will be a mid-term election. If Joe Biden doesn’t do enough by this date … then he will be able to act even less, because as a result he should logically lose a majority that is – let’s recall – very relative (50-50 in the Senate, Vice President Harris himself makes up the majority) .

Biden is part of a sad constant, clearly visible from Obama: American presidents know how to write very strong speeches … but in reality, they seem to be increasingly paralyzed in their actions.

The State of the Union address in 2022 therefore disappointed rather than reassured. Americans are generally relatively quickly disappointed with their new president. But it went very fast there. The six-month period will show whether Democrats are still motivated or whether Republicans (still very trumpistic) will regain dominance. Nothing seems written in advance.

1 – This was already relatively well expected by Samuel Huntington in 1996 in his “Clash of Civilizations”.

2 – The comparisons to bleach are quite memorable.

3 – Since the beginning of his term, his popularity rating is the worst in US history (because surveys still exist). Only Donald Trump did worse than he did … but Biden is coming.

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