Tone deaf.

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President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)

Paul GleiserTone deaf.

I was traveling Tuesday evening, so I watched the State of the Union address while waiting to change planes in St. Louis. It was about what I expected from this bumbling, doddering administration.

Of course, given the events of the preceding week, President Biden led the speech by talking about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He said all of the obligatory things about the courage and bravery of the Ukrainian people while condemning the actions of Russian president Vladimir Putin. He then commanded all in the House of Representatives chamber to stand up in a symbolic show of solidarity with Ukraine.

Fine.

But he said and did all of this against the backdrop of widespread recognition that it was Biden administration policy that did much to set the predicate for Putin to invade Ukraine in the first place. Only an idiot, or someone who is willfully blind, could look at Biden’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan and say that it didn’t embolden a thug like Vladimir Putin. Putin took the measure of Biden in that episode and found Biden wanting.

One need only have a rudimentary understanding of the Russian economy to understand that energy is Russia’s only source of hard currency. It was the late Sen. John McCain who quipped, “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country.” Representative Denny Heck of Washington state called Russia, “…a gas station with nukes.”

When Joe Biden, in his first executive acts as president, knee-capped the U.S. oil & gas industry, it served to reduce American oil output by about two million barrels a day. That ended America’s hard-won standing as the swing producer in the world energy market. Oil & gas prices have since more than doubled, serving to fatter the coffers of Vladimir Putin. The U.S. has gone from relative energy independence to buying oil on the world market, $70 million of which every day goes to Russia.

In addition to helping finance Putin’s adventure in Ukraine, those high oil prices are providing much of the impetus for inflation – the worst we’ve seen in a generation. Depending on whose figures you use, it is estimated that the average family is spending between $4,000 and $6,000 more this year than last just to buy the necessities of life.

Joe Biden took responsibility for none of it Tuesday and gave no sign that in light of current exigencies, he might pivot on energy policy. Instead, after his obligatory remarks on Ukraine, he mouthed platitudes and rehashed his big-spending legislative proposals that everybody knows have no chance of passing.

Taken all around, Biden’s State of the Union address was tone deaf and uninspiring, the gushing reaction from mainstream media outlets notwithstanding.

If Biden wants to save his presidency, he could start by saying, ‘We’re going to produce our own oil, we’re going to increase supply and lower prices so that the world stops financing Putin’s brutal war on the innocent people of Ukraine.’ The progressive Left would howl, of course.

But the country (and the world) would applaud.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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16 Responses

  1. Buddy+Saunders says:

    In August of last year, I suffered a serious stroke that initially paralyzed the right side of my body. In a matter of days, much function returned. At this point, I have everything back except full use of my right hand, which is gradually improving. My thanks to God and the many friends who rendered prayers on my behalf. I am happy to be back at Lone Star Comics, doing the work I love best!

    Paul, as soon as I was able, I resumed reading your columns. Now that I am at last able to type again, I’m eager to begin commenting as well. So here goes!

    On the whole, Biden state of union was, as you point out, little more than a disjointed jumble of Democrat talking points and pie in the sky promises. Biden will within a year will reduce the national debt by 50%. It may take him a bit longer to cure cancer. Citizens need only standstill and just breathe; Biden’s big government will do all the rest for you. So went the weft and weave of its whoppers.

    Biden listed no accomplishments. He had none to list.

    Of the several elephants in the room, Biden had nothing to say about his Afghanistan failure, and not much more to say about inflation and high gas prices. He may still believe inflation is temporary. As to gas prices, he imagines he can reduce prices by further reducing production, even as he imports more Russian oil than ever.

    Even Nancy Pelosi is saying we should not be buying Russian oil. And without waiting for Biden, American oil importers are now saying they want nothing to do with Russian crude.

    It’s heartening to see so many American corporations leading where Biden is not, a growing number say they will not do business with Russia. There is even a rumor circulating that Hunter is no longer willing to sell his paintings to Russian oligarchs!

    • Paul Gleiser says:

      Buddy, it is good to hear from you again and I’m sorry for your travails. I’m sending good thoughts your way about that hand. Thanks for weighing in.

      All the best.

      • Ron Eagleman says:

        Like Paul, I am sorry that you have been sidelined, but grateful that you are rebounding well with very well-stated opinions! This forum always benefits from your input, even if one hand is still on the mend.

  2. Rich says:

    Agree Completely!

    It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also what we do not do.
    —Moliere

  3. Matthew says:

    Quote:” Rendering an already tight oil market due to lack of investment” ( partial quote ); this said regarding the likely impact of “Big Oil ” pulling out of deals with Russia on oil imports which is what I certainly feel we need to do. Apparently there are thousands of already drilled wells that are capped,haven’t been brought in. This is not an uncommon practice. Wells can be completed when economically from a business standpoint its smarter to do so ( profit). So one has to wonder if they’re waiting for some Corp Socialism to come along in the form of ” Subsidies “.

  4. Ron Eagleman says:

    “Tone Deaf” is an excellent summary of how this serious situation has developed. If you were interested in expanding control of more territory whether in Eastern Europe or Asia, when would you pounce? Let me think now, would you make a move when the leadership of the free world is weak and compromised, or would you wait until there are adults in charge who might slap your hand and say no. This move by President Putin is a no-brainer; he has a window of opportunity to achieve his stated dream of reconstituting the Soviet Union, so he is making hay while the sun shines. Do not be surprised if President XI decides to take Taiwan through the same opening in the window.

    • Buddy+Saunders says:

      Ron, your are exactly on target with each of your points. You and I and like-minded observers saw the manifold dangers in electing an empty suit like Biden. Foolish voters got him close to the finish line in the last election, but it it was election fraud that put Biden in the White House. Given Biden’s track record thus far, those who still support him can now be seen as more than foolish–they are blithering idiots.

    • Bill Reynolds says:

      What does “slap your hand and so no” entail?

      • Ron Eagleman says:

        Let me be more specific: If Putin started assembling forces on the Ukrainian border, the adults would have made it clear that this type of activity is not acceptable behavior. The consequences of such behavior would be the sanctions which are now being instituted, but BEFORE the invasion, not afterward. I will credit the Biden administration and the European Union for being tough now, but it would have been more productive to be proactive. It would have also been helpful to make sure that Ukraine had a stockpile of defensive weapons months ago, rather than trying to make the transfer in the present conditions. No, I was not referring to bombing Moscow!

        • Ron Eagleman says:

          O.K. Ron, so you think that this administration is not acting like adults when it comes to our foreign policy? How about the morbidly obese Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff revealing their latest strategy for correcting the very harmful use of gender pronouns in the military, as well as approving the critical design of maternity jumpsuits for fighter pilots? You really need to get “woke”!

      • Mike says:

        Bill, just speculating here; but unleashing the American might of oil and gas production to capture Europe and whomever else we can that Russia sells to. Afterall we were energy independent under Trump and exporting. Now we are trying to make deals with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela for oil and gas for importing what we have at home. How stupid can one get? Never mind gas is at $3.79 and climbing here in East Texas. Plus a Trump Administration would have already strengthened the Ukraine with the weapons they would need to blunt an invasion and strengthened the NATO neighbors to a point invasion would be a disaster. The fact remains, we all know a strong, viable, well respected America means stablity across the globe. The Trump military did crush ISIS and let Iran know their military leaders were not safe anywhere in the world. He also blew the hell out of a bunch of Russian military personnel in Syria aiding ISIS. That is a pretty clear message in my humble opinion.

  5. Matthew says:

    The right obviously has no desire for Biden to save his presidency or so called succeed regardless. Looking back I don’t know if it was near this bad many years ago Im thinking not,in that regard, it seems regardless of party many folks at one time wanted things to work somehow to some degree,for the good of all. It’s just a big mess of misinformation, lies, and no more lines people won’t cross all in the name of votes and money. One thing for sure this sad destructive trend really took off at the start more or less at beginning of the last administration. The manipulation of people as never been so great,internet has been a great tool,has made all the difference, greed as well is great motivation. I recently passed by a set-up at an intersection on a road where they were selling flags, most appeared to be Trump flags, what kind of stupid Shi* is that , at some point its time to move on, really though, unbelievable!

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      Thanks Matthew, It has been dumbfounding to try to understand how President Biden could be polling at 37%, instead of 1%. Your comments have certainly enlightened me regarding how this could happen. “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored” Aldous Huxley

      • Matthew says:

        Doesn’t mean that all these folks are very bright. I seriously doubt there ever were a lot of genuine Biden fans regardless anyone should realize that, it was simply the alternative. There seems to be this need to assume if one dislikes Trump then they must like Biden,it becomes this tit for tat juvenile thing. Although the whole juvenile behavior seems to be popular these days for sure,I can only guess it’s relatable for many after all people seem quite entertained by it. I think some suggest it’s a sign of strength, showing the elites what for,it’s all bizarre to me. I doubt if our forefathers had this circus in mind when they determined eligibility for any one elected to Senate ,Congress and certainly President. I’m all for change despite how difficult or uncomfortable it can be but this current state of affairs with this infatuation is just ” DUMB ” it’s time to let go. Aldous Huxley is correct, and this applies to current energy crisis, unless all these big energy CEOs are lying in recent interviews. It’s far from the narrative pushed from the rights popular entertainers, since it’s been decided in court that’s where they stand,simply entertainment not to be taken seriously.

    • Mike says:

      So the “Trump Flag” I purchased for you to hang on your home is not welcome? Bummer.
      Believe me Matthew, if I had to wager a bet, no conservative wants Biden to leave really. Given
      the two in line after him is so much more frightening than Sleepy Joe. “I want to drive an electric bus Kamala” and THE Wicked Witch of the West as President of the USA!!! OMG where is that bucket of water and Dorothy.

      Come On Man! Whether you like it or not, Trump, at this moment would garner well over 50 million votes plus. Trump’s Presidency or a Green Energy Presidency? The choice is crystal clear.

      • Matthew says:

        Your last statement is possibly correct, I’m just baffled by the infatuation it seems with many still,strange times for sure. I’ve wondered just what people will do when he’s gone, but maybe he’s immortal. Many say we’re still dealing with a ” covid economy ” shortages and slow rebounds on many things,but according to some it has mysteriously nothing to do with energy shortages ,whether green or fossil. Politics at it’s finest and most absurd.

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