Dear Commons Community,
I watched Joe Biden deliver his State of the Union Address last night (see video above) and most of the high points where in the first 15-20 minutes when he talked about the situation in Ukraine. It was a pleasure to see that throughout this part of the address that there was clear partisanship support for him as most members (Republicans and Democrats) of the House and Senate stood and clapped.
The most touching moment of his address was when he hailed the heroism of the Ukrainian resistance and introduced Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, who was joined by Jill Biden in the first lady’s box holding a small Ukrainian flag. In a show of bipartisan solidarity, just about everybody in the entire chamber, some of them wearing blue and yellow and many of them waving Ukrainian flags, leapt to their feet in an ovation to her and her country that lasted several minutes. Ms. Markova put her hands on her heart and said thank you several times. There were tears in her eyes!
Mr. Biden also announced that he would ban Russian planes from American airspace and agreed with foreign counterparts to release a cumulative 60 million barrels of oil from their strategic petroleum reserves to try to curtail gasoline price increases stemming from the war.
He said Mr. Putin and his cronies should not go unpunished. “Throughout our history, we’ve learned this lesson — when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos,” Mr. Biden said. “They keep moving. And the costs, the threats to America, and America to the world, keeps rising.”
Mr. Biden directly threatened the moneyed moguls who prop up Mr. Putin while keeping their money and enjoying life in the West. “Tonight, I say to the Russian oligarchs and the corrupt leaders who bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime: No more,” he said, adding, “We’re joining with European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets.”
For the remainder of his address, Biden focused on domestic issues. However, he offered few new initiatives other than promising to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate fraud involving pandemic relief funds.
I rated the Address an A for the first part and a B/C for the remainder.