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Joe Biden delivered this country’s first-ever State of Ukraine address last night. Biden spoke for a little more than an hour before a joint session of Congress. He talked far more about Ukraine and with much greater passion than about any other topic. If that sounds strange for an American president in a speech that’s supposed to be about America, it didn’t seem weird at all within the context of last night. Biden delivered exactly the speech his audience wanted to hear. Virtually every lawmaker in the room last night from both parties arrived wearing some version of the Ukrainian flag. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came with both a Ukrainian-themed pocket square and a Ukrainian flag lapel pin. That’s about as Ukrainian as you can get. Even the president of Ukraine doesn’t do that very often.
What McCarthy conspicuously didn’t do was don an American flag pin. No, not at all. And many others went without that, too, because within the context of last night, the American flag was literally irrelevant.
Lots of our leaders feel that way, all of a sudden. At this stage, the full force of America’s federal government, the White House, the Congress, the intelligence and defense and law enforcement agencies, all of it has been redirected to avenge the invasion of Ukraine.
Notice the verb – avenge, not defend. Now, ideally, you’d like to think there would be some way to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression that might be worth doing. But at this point, there isn’t. It’s too late. Joe Biden’s deterrence strategy failed. Putin already invaded the country. Short of destroying Ukraine, there is no way to liberate Ukraine by force. All we can do is punish the Russians for what they’ve already done, and that, Joe Biden told us last night, is exactly what he plans to do.
JOE BIDEN: The ruble has already lost 30% of its value. Russia’s stock market has lost 40% of its value, and trading remains suspended. The Russian economy is reeling and Putin alone is the one to blame.
So, the Russian economy is being destroyed, is destroyed, imagine living in a country where the currency drops 30 points in a single day, what would that feel like? Well, 143 million Russians now know. They’re much poorer than they were two days ago. Only a relative handful of those Russians had any role in the invasion of Ukraine. Many of them opposed it. But all of them are being hurt as their economy comes apart.
And that’s fine because they all deserve it. Michael McFaul, Barack Obama’s former ambassador to Moscow, who now teaches at Stanford University, announced today that every single person in Russia, every single one, bears the guilt of the Ukraine invasion. “There are no more innocent, neutral Russians anymore. Everyone has to make a choice, support or oppose this war.”
So to restate and be clear, there’s no such thing as an innocent Russian, one of our foremost Russia scholars has told us so. Putin may have given the orders to invade Ukraine, but six-year-old girls in St. Petersburg should pay the price for it because they deserve it. Their 80-year-old grandmothers deserve it, too.
In order to fight tyranny, the United States must embrace collective punishment, hurt the children to bring justice. These are our values because Vladimir Putin is a moral monster. Now, these are not traditional Western concepts of justice, but Joe Biden wholeheartedly endorses them, and so does a dominant bipartisan coalition in the United States Congress.
The question is: Is this a wise course? Now we can’t say. Far be it from us to suggest thinking through world-changing policies in any way before enacting them. Pausing to reflect, we have learned, is disloyal. Adult moral calculations are treason. Thinking about your own country is a crime. Act now or be denounced. So we’re going to withhold judgment on all of this.
But we did notice one question that Joe Biden failed to answer last night or even address. And that is: What’s the point of all of this? Putin is bad. No one in America is going to argue with that, but will destroying the entire Russian economy make Putin less bad? Will it force Russian troops to withdraw from Ukraine? And if it will, how exactly will that work? And how long will it take? Or is the plan bigger than that? Is the idea that we can force Vladimir Putin from office entirely? OK. Will that work? And if it does work, what happens to Russia after Vladimir Putin leaves? Would the next Russian president be an improvement over Putin? Or would Russia descend into barbarous chaos like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan did once we overthrew their governments?
Now, you may not care what happens to Russia, but you have to wonder what would become of Russia’s enormous nuclear stockpile under those circumstances. Take a moment and think. Are there potentially ways that thousands of unsecured Russian nukes might pose a long-term threat to the United States? Something to think about, not that anyone is.
The immediate goal, again, the bipartisan goal is to turn Russia into a pariah state. Now again, the question isn’t whether Vladimir Putin deserves that. It’s more than a moral question. The question is how will that work out for us and for the world? American citizens have a right to ask that question.
Start with history. How has that worked with Iran and North Korea? Now that those countries are cut off from the fraternity of civilized nations, are they more or less predictable? Are they more or less dangerous to the United States? Could it be possible that some of these steps in the end turned out to be counterproductive to our interests? That’s something to consider.
Keep in mind the very people proposing all of this are the very same people who defunded our police departments and destroyed our schools and tore down the Teddy Roosevelt statue in New York City. They’re the ones who armed the Taliban. They’re the ones who devalued the US dollar. They’re the ones who brought human slavery back to Libya. They’re very good at wrecking things. It’s what they do. They planned the Iraq War, and they never apologized for it.
So we might to make sure they don’t wreck anything else ever again, especially this country. But once again, Joe Biden didn’t address any of that last night, he was too deep in his World War II fantasies with himself playing FDR. For all of his moral outrage against Russia, well deserved, though it may be, Biden made no mention of China’s role in the invasion of Ukraine, and that’s weird.
More than any other country on Earth, China made this invasion possible. China is Russia’s most important ally in this war against Ukraine. So you have to ask yourself, as long as everyone’s culpable who was involved, why aren’t we tanking China’s currency? Why aren’t we banning Chinese planes from American airspace? Why aren’t we confiscating the yachts of Chinese oligarchs? Biden never told us. Maybe some more ask him.
Biden was off to other topics, but not the topics you would expect. Biden never mentioned the word equity a single time last night, we checked the transcript. That’s very strange. Equity was supposed to be the central focus of his entire administration. I was just 13 months ago. He told us that, and we still have the tape.
JOE BIDEN, JAN. 2021: We need to open the promise of America to every American, and that means we need to make the issue of racial equity, not just an issue for any one department of government. It has to be the business of the whole of government.
Well, that is a very abrupt change, and again, it’s worth marking these changes because no one seems to notice them. In the space of one year, equity went from quote the business of the whole government to something the president doesn’t even mention in a State of the Union address. What’s that about? Was equity not quite as popular as they expected?
And there were a number of moments like that in last night’s speech moments that left you scratching your head. At one point, Joe Biden said, we needed to fund police departments – the ones that his party defunded. And then, in case you hadn’t had enough beers by that point, Joe Biden said, we must secure the border.
Now, why is Joe Biden saying this? Far be it for us to suggest they were terrifying internal polls suggesting he has to say those things. But we’re starting to conclude that. Because just a few minutes after Joe Biden said we need to secure the border, he announced amnesty for millions of foreign nationals who snuck into our country.
JOE BIDEN: Provide a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, those with temporary status, farmworkers, essential workers. Revise our laws. So businesses have workers they need who families don’t wait decades to reunite. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s economically smart thing to do.
That’s the economically smart thing to do. Give your job to a foreigner, and if you don’t, you’re immoral. So that category just three status dreamers, those with temporary status, farmworkers and something called essential workers. Who do you think, who’s come across the border illegally, the millions in the last 13 months would be denied the classification, essential workers? Well, of course they’re all essential. Every single one of them.
So moments after telling us he’s going to secure the border, Joe Biden just announced that everyone who’s already snuck across the border gets to become a U.S. citizen and, needless to say, a Democratic voter immediately because it’s the right thing to do.
That was the portion of the speech where he talked about our country. So the first part was about how borders are sacrosanct and we should go to war to protect other people’s borders. And the second part was, everyone who’s already snuck in gets to become an American citizen. Does that apply to Russian soldiers in Ukraine? One of the principles here, exactly.
Then Biden went on to mention someone called Kentaji Brown Jackson, and that’s not a name most Americans know because Kentaji Brown Jackson has been an appellate judge for less than a year. But Joe Biden is sure that she is one of our “top legal minds.”
JOE BIDEN: We all know one of the most serious constitutional responsibility a president has is nominate someone to serve on the United States Supreme Court, as I did four days ago. I’ve nominated a Circuit Court of Appeals Ketanji Brown Jackson, one of our nation’s top legal minds.
So is Ketanji Brown Jackson, a name that even Joe Biden has trouble pronouncing, one of the top legal minds in the entire country? We certainly hope so. Biden is right. Appointing her is one of his gravest constitutional duties. So it might be time for Joe Biden to let us know what Kentaji Brown Jackson’s LSAT score was? What how’d you do in the LSAT? Why wouldn’t he tell us that? That would settle the question conclusively as to whether she’s a once in a generation legal talent, the next learned hand?
It would seem like Americans in a democracy have a right to know that and much more before giving her a lifetime appointment, but we didn’t hear that. And that was just one of many things that Joe Biden left unsaid last night. He alluded, for example, to rising crime, but not his role in it. He claimed instead that its gun companies, not prosecutors, funded by George Soros, not the celebrity funds which bails out murderers that have made this country more dangerous.
JOE BIDEN: Ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines 100 rounds. You think the deer wearing Kevlar vests? Look, repeal the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued. The only one.
Now, far be it for us to fact–check Joe Biden. Like questioning his foreign policy. That’s Russian disinformation is disloyal. It may be punishable under our treason laws, but we should point out that what he said was, what’s the word? A lie. Gun manufacturers, of course, can be sued. It happens all the time.
But now that Joe Biden mentioned it, there is in fact an industry in America that has total legal immunity from lawsuits. That immunity was granted that industry by Congress. In fact, here you have a president who single-handedly turned that industry’s corporate executives into billionaire oligarchs by forcing Americans to use their products. They had to.
But here’s the best part. If the Americans who were forced to use those products were killed or injured by those products, as many thousands have been over the last year, they have no legal recourse. They can’t sue the industry. They can’t even complain about it on television or mention it on social media. And neither can actual experts, physicians and nurses, for example, they’ve been silenced. You know this perfectly well, Biden knew this. He was flagging for these companies the minute he got to the podium, just looking flak for the credit card companies in Delaware, many people he was speaking to last night in the room are invested in that industry. But he never said a word about it.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the March 2, 2022 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”