Biden’s “Affirmative Vision” at State of the Union Address Offers Hope and Progress
On February 7th, 2023, President Joe Biden delivered a State of the Union address that offered an affirmative vision for the future of the United States, while also showing the stark contrast between his own demeanor and that of the House Republicans who heckled and shouted throughout the 73-minute speech. The result? Biden came off as confident, optimistic, and normal, by comparison.
At one particularly tense moment, GOP lawmakers booed the president when he claimed Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset. Biden went off-script to clarify “I don’t think it is a majority of you” and finally saying, “So folks, as we all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare, off the books now, right?”
Biden also promised to veto any national abortion ban, and discussed his plan to cap the cost of insulin for all Americans at $35 a month, as well as his plans to replace lead pipes in 10 million homes and 400,000 schools and childcare centers. He also noted that the US has sunk to 13th in the world in infrastructure, and that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was the most significant investment ever in climate change.
The president also spoke to the need to protect seniors and people with disabilities, as well as to support the workers providing home care services, and the need to stand up for Social Security and Medicare, saying “I’m not going to allow them to be taken away, not today, not tomorrow, not ever.”
Biden’s speech was attended by former Afghan Ambassador Roya Rahmani, who served from 2018 to 2021, as well as by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who famously yelled “Liar!” during the address.
The president’s message was one of progress, resilience, and hope, as he spoke of creating 12 million new jobs, reducing the deficit, lowering inflation and utility bills, and creating American jobs. In a time of political tumult, Biden’s words were a reminder of the shared belief that the United States can, and will, lead the world in manufacturing and other areas.
0. “Biden proposal to cap all insulin prices at $35 a month has little chance of passing Congress” CNBC, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/09/biden-proposal-to-cap-all-insulin-prices-at-35-a-month-has-little-chance-of-passing-congress.html
1. “No One With a Brain Sees the GOP as the ‘Party of Normal'” The Daily Beast, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/no-one-with-a-brain-sees-the-gop-as-the-party-of-normal
2. “‘He rope-a-doped them': Democrats celebrate GOP jeers at SOTU” POLITICO, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/02/08/dems-stick-up-for-biden-after-republican-jeering-at-sotu-00081790
3. “11 Good and Normal Things Republicans Refused to Clap for During Biden's State of the Union” The New Republic, 8 Feb. 2023, https://newrepublic.com/post/170466/11-good-things-republicans-refused-applaud-biden-state-union-address
4. “FactChecking the State of the Union” FactCheck.org, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.factcheck.org/2023/02/factchecking-the-state-of-the-union-4/