From cloying cliches to bizarre self-contradictions, the 78-year-old president’s speech was a master course in political inanity.
By Daniel Oliver
The American Conservative
February 1, 2021
Now that the fawning over President Biden’s inaugural address is over, we can take a serious look at it. It was, in a word, awful. Probably no one expected much from the 78-year-old failing politician, so no one was disappointed. But inaugural addresses are supposed to be defining moments, which is why they should be studied, if only briefly.
Who wrote the speech? Who reviewed it? The buck stops with Biden, of course, but who—or which faction, or factions—actually crafted it? And did Biden review it? How many times? Once? Once is not enough. Once is never enough. Is there anyone on board the Biden ship who can write a good speech? We don’t know yet.
There were the obligatory platitudes, of course, like: “This is a great nation and we are a good people.” They’re not objectionable. Paint a picture of the outdoors, of the great outdoors, of the great outdoors of this exceptional country, and there’ll be sky; of the beach, and there’ll be sand.
But all too soon we get to the serious stuff: “We can teach our children in safe schools.” What does that mean? Are schools dangerous? If so, why? Is Biden referring to once-in-a-blue-moon shootings in schools? Probably not—unless he’s just trying to jerk a few tears.
What is it that’s making schools unsafe? Biden doesn’t tell us. Does he expect us to know? Or perhaps to reference something or some people (Republicans? Conservatives? Other bogeymen?) that he leaves unstated, so we will think badly of them?
“We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors.” Why did he say that? The speechwriter probably wrote “enemies,” not “adversaries,” but that may have had too much bite for one of the probably dozen people through whose hands the speech passed on its way to Biden. We can, of course, be neighbors and adversaries.
“My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this.” Goodness! If the 78-year old Biden has any moxie left at all, he should find the miscreant who wrote that sentence and make him…study grammar. “Different” takes “from” not “with.” Bobby is different from Jane; he is stronger than Jane. Even if Biden makes Bobby and Jane shower together at school, they’re still different.
“Here we stand looking out to the great Mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream.” Invoking Dr. King’s name is shameless! The country celebrated King’s birthday just two days before the inauguration. What was King’s most memorable phrase? “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Is there anyone in the Biden group who believes that—and has the moxie to say it out loud (and lose his credentials to wokeness)? We’ll see.
“Many centuries ago, Saint Augustine, a saint of my church, wrote…” Please! Don’t cloak yourself in your religion. The single most awful thing America does today is abort babies, more than half a million a year, in direct contravention of the teaching of the Church whose authority, and holiness, Biden seeks to cloak himself with. Shameless.
Would any speech by a newly inaugurated Democrat be complete without an entry for the Teddy Sorenson Award? “We will lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.” The Kennedys had style, maybe, and sex. Lots of sex. Their hallmark was not sex with style, but style with sex. The word should go forth from this time and place that we’re not going to do any more of that stuff.
“And we must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.” But that’s good news coming from the Party of Impeachment. No more “Russia collusion!!” Or isn’t that one of the facts Biden had in mind—assuming he had anything in mind? How about a culture in which facts are suppressed, like the Hunter Biden laptop story? Those facts have been left all by themselves and by now are probably quite hungry and lonely.
“Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, and demonization have long torn us apart.”
Really, that just isn’t true. But it’s part of the new, woke Democratic Party’s DNA. Racism may be a problem, but so is original sin. And no American—no decent American—wants 26,000 troops in the Capitol to guard against original sin.
Anti-nativism is another strand of the new Democrats’ DNA. Biden is just trying to legitimize flooding the country with millions of aliens, legal or illegal. That’ll be great for African Americans: aliens, low-paid because they’re unskilled, will take the jobs of people at the bottom of the economic ladder, who are disproportionally black. Will the new woke Democrats chastise blacks when they discover that they too have become nativist?
All in all, the speech was about what you’d expect from a failing, elderly man who has surrounded himself with people who can’t wait for his successor to take charge—if she hasn’t already.