But what did you really expect?
And who can forget Nancy Pelosi’s theatrics?
But alas, that was then, and this is a very boring now.
Biden’s 2023 SOTU will likely go down just like every other State of the Union – largely forgotten to history.
And while I could pick it apart for many clear and obvious partisan reasons, the one that jumps out is pretty clear: why the hell did he not make a big deal about that Chinese spy balloon, and what about his larger plan to take on China overall?
Heck, he did not mention China until 10:07 PM. What?
While I have been clear, I don’t think this is America’s ‘Sputnik‘ moment when it comes to the Chinese Communist Party; it seems obvious the American people want answers and a plan for how Washington will take on what is clearly a growing threat from Beijing.
Biden knows that the GOP will attack him hard for being so lax about this issue. Why give them that political ammo to attack with?
While I am very worried that the Chinese military is gaining a clear advantage over the U.S. and its allies in Asia, Americans are surely even more worried that China can now violate our sovereignty at will.
And we should be clear; we have a real problem with protecting our borders from what seems like many different threats these days.
As my colleague Michael Rubin just noted in these very digital pages:
“Democrats and Republicans have become so distracted by point-scoring, virtue signaling, and battling over social issues that they have collectively dropped the ball on the fundamental purpose of the federal government: to protect American sovereignty.
There is little difference between tolerance for balloon overflights and illegal immigration. Both represent government failure, in the first case to defend airspace, and in the second to secure borders. In both cases, there is also a troubling pattern in which the government circles the wagons and seeks to impose a cloak of secrecy in order to avoid meaningful action. Only when residents of Montana noticed and publicly photographed an object that appeared almost like a second moon in the sky did the White House react.
Arguments that the Pentagon needed to wait until the balloon traversed the country to safeguard the public fall flat: After all, the balloon entered American airspace off the coast of Alaska. If protecting Americans from falling debris is the issue, the United States might have intercepted the balloon off Alaska’s 12 miles of territorial waters. If that would have interfered with recovery — it is unclear whether the U.S. Navy has succeeded in recovering much balloon debris from the Atlantic — then there was always the land option. Vast swaths of not only Alaska but also Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska are sparsely populated.”
You can read his full piece here. Joe Biden missed a big opportunity tonight. It will come back to haunt him.
Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz and in a similar task force in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.