Patrick Lawrence: Old Man Shouting

In his State of the Union address, Biden was the face of the U.S. imperium as it insists on prolonging itself. This is not a role with any originality or vision.

U.S. President Joe Biden giving State of the Union speech on March 7. Vice President Kamala Harris, left; Mike Johnson, House speaker, right. (C-Span screenshot)

By Patrick Lawrence

Democratic elites and the reporters who clerk for them were effusively approving of Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech Thursday evening — not so much for what he said, which came nothing new, as for the demeanor of the enfeebled president.

Never mind that Biden reduced an occasion intended to address all Americans as to the condition of their nation to a cheap stump speech. He avoided falling down for his hour at the podium while stringing coherent sentences (mostly) together in the cause of his political survival. That is what counted.

“This was not Old Man Joe,” Peter Baker fairly ejaculated in Friday morning’s New York Times. “This was Forceful Joe. This was Angry Joe. This was Loud Joe. This was Game–On Joe.”

Wow. I seemed to have missed that, Joe.  

I saw Joe who trades in hollow appearances. This was Joe urging both houses of Congress and 32 million television viewers to join in making believe we still live in the 20th century.

This was Joe pretending America’s global primacy is intact. This was Joe refusing to recognize the emergence of new poles of power and the high cost this refusal exacts.  

“A nation that stands as a beacon to the world. A nation in a new age of possibilities”: You wouldn’t believe an American public figure, to say nothing of a president, would still trade in this kind of exhausted pabulum. Denial of this kind, we must not fail to remind ourselves, does not come cheap.

You have to wonder who is driving the bus after listening to a speech as vapid as Biden’s, and I will attempt an answer to this question in due course.    

Here is the passage in Biden’s speech that most aroused all the Peter Baker liberals eager to see him reelected in November: 

“My fellow Americans, the issue facing our nation isn’t how old we are, it’s how old are our ideas …. [Y]ou can’t lead America with ancient ideas that only take us back. To lead America, the land of possibilities, you need a vision for the future and what can and should be done.”

These remarks — Biden rehearsed them severally in preceding days — bring us to some very difficult recognitions, even if Biden’s speechwriters intended them otherwise. No recent president I can think of has proven more abjectly bereft of new ideas than Joe Biden.

The reckless support of “the Jewish state,” the proxy war in Ukraine, the obsessive Russophobia, the provocations across the Taiwan Strait, the covert operations in Syria and elsewhere, the sanction regimes imposed on too many nations to count, the vassalization of Europe: There is no new thinking in any of this.

These are ideas so old they leave the U.S. in a state of ever more extreme isolation in a world eager to get on with the 21st century. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., is the face of the American imperium as it insists on prolonging itself. This is not a role with any originality or vision to it.

Biden gave the houses of Congress and the millions who watched him on television a performance Thursday evening, just as Peter Baker and numerous others celebrated it. And his speech was performative in precise proportion to its vacancy.

Presentation has always been important in politics. But those purporting to lead us, having nothing new to say and much to obscure as to America’s conduct, lead us into what we may as well call a culture of appearances. These are all that matter as the imperium gets on with its frequently criminal business.  

We come to one of several disturbing recognitions now facing us. The nation’s leaders, and the West’s altogether, have succumbed to a state of paralysis that leaves them incapable of the one thing our moment requires most of leadership. This is the capacity to make the bold decisions that are necessary if we are to set ourselves on a new course and do well in a century of historic transformations.

Who was the last president to prove unafraid of new thinking and decisive action?

John F. Kennedy as he resolved the Bay of Pigs crisis? Or when he called for a new global order and world peace — “a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is too rarely perceived yet it is the most important topic on earth” — in his famous speech at American University in the spring of 1963?

Richard Nixon when he opened to China?

Put this next to Biden’s response to the savagery in Gaza, to take a single example of many.

Instead of declaring the new policy toward apartheid Israel these atrocities require, he sends more than 100 weapons shipments to Israel since Oct. 7 — covertly to avoid asking for congressional approval, as The Washington Post reported last week, while airlifting virtue-signaling pallets of “prepared dinners” to a starving population of 2.3 million.

Using its typical cotton-wool language, in its Sunday editions the Times termed this “the delicate position the United States has found itself in.”

“Rank hypocrisy” would have been shorter and better. There is no change in Biden’s stone solid support for a regime whose conduct more than casually resembles that of the Reich — only another performance in the service of facile appearances.

Costs of Denial 

U.S. support for the genocide in Gaza, the proxy war it spent many years provoking in Ukraine: These disasters reflect the Biden regime’s mistaken assumption that America lives in an unchanged world.

These policies have profoundly alienated the vast majority of the world’s people — this as measured by population or a count of nations. This majority is no longer with America as it once might have been.

The “international community,” that ever-hollower phrase, now comes down to the Group of 7 and a few clients and G–7 hangers-on. This is what I mean by the costs of denial.

There are many other miscalculations to note in this line. The Iraq invasion, Afghanistan, the ongoing covert ops in Syria, the destruction of Libya — all failures reflecting an overestimation of U.S. power in the 21st century and an underestimation of its accumulating weaknesses.

The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines two summers ago counts a success as a well-planned covert operation. As an expression of American foreign policy it is a measure either of Washington’s bankruptcy in the way of new thinking or of its desperation, if not both.

Economic vitality is essential to the conduct of empire, as history shows plainly enough. Those purporting to lead the U.S. appear lost as to how to address this matter as it grows too evident to ignore.

There is no need to elaborate on the increasing desperation of many working Americans in direct consequence of America’s imperial overstretch. The national debt, now at $34.5 trillion, is 129 percent of gross domestic product.

This compares very unfavorably with China, Brazil, Egypt, Sierra Leone and numerous other developing and middle-income  nations. As a measure of America’s decline, its debt-to-GDP ratio averaged half its current level from 1940 to 2022 and compares with a low of 32 percent as recently as 1981.

You don’t hear much about globalization anymore, do you? This is because America can no longer compete in numerous cutting-edge sectors. Economic nationalism and straight-out protection is the new economic ideology.

The Biden regime is midway in erecting export controls and other barriers intended to damage China’s high-technology industries. Late last month it announced that it intends to block Chinese-made electric vehicles from the American market — this on the pretext that they represent a security threat.

Pitiful all around.

It is not difficult to explain this (very partial) list of political, diplomatic, military, and economic policy misjudgments. One need look no further than President Biden’s SOTU performance, wherein the fundamental impediment is plain.

He is unwilling to acknowledge the emergence of non–Western powers, notably but not only those forming the BRICS group. And in consequence he is unable to act sensibly, wisely, imaginatively to 21st century realities, the two most evident of which are the rise of the non–West and America’s relative if not absolute decline.

Think once more about that speech and all the cheerleaders who shouted into megaphones afterward. These people are no more than nostalgists, and I have long considered nostalgia a form of depression that grips those unable to face the present.

As denialists they are directly responsible for inhibiting any chance America may have of genuinely altering course to find a new direction forward. 

U.S. House chamber during Biden’s State of the Union speech. (C-Span still)

America is not, to put this point another way, incessantly creating and recreating its world in the fashion of a vibrant civilization.  The U.S. is a diminished world devoid of that élan vital Henri Bergson thought essential to any dynamic society: There is no forward movement in the  present circumstances.

U.S. leaders instead enforce an eternal present, a “what is” from which there is no escape because there is no one to lead us out of it into a dynamic new future. We had better be careful as these failings lead us to conclude there is no one driving the bus.

Biden’s ineptitude certainly encourages the thought, but this  obscures a larger reality that seems yet more daunting than these others. Joe Biden is symptom, not cause, in the final analysis.

Many presidents before Biden were guilty of selling American foreign policy to those who proposed to buy it. In the case of Israel, this derives from a lobby that has grown grotesquely powerful and thinks nothing of using its wealth to destroy America’s political process, silence critics of the Zionist state, and so dismantle altogether what remains of U.S. democracy.

As to Ukraine, it is merely the latest in a long line of conflicts waged, like money-laundering schemes, to benefit the military-industrial complex.

Capital, to finish the thought, drives our bus. And of all the things that must not come in for criticism in the nation America has made of itself, the power of capital is surely near the top of the list.

Josep Borrell in Munich 

 Borrell in 2022. (European Parliament, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Josep Borrell, the plain-speaking Spaniard currently serving as the European Union’s foreign minister, made some observations late last month that are singular for their unvarnished honesty. These appeared Feb. 25 on the E.U.’s foreign affairs website, External Action, where Borrell reprised for the general public his presentation at the just-concluded Munich Security Conference.

In his Munich speech and subsequently in his External Action essay, Borrell identified “the four main tasks on E.U.’s geopolitical agenda.” Three of these are easily anticipated: support for Ukraine, ending the Gaza crisis, “strengthening our defense and security.”

Any European technocrat could have ticked off this list. It was the remaining “task” facing Europeans — the third as Borrell ordered them — that catches the eye. This concerns “our relations with the so-called ‘Global South’ countries.”

Here is the forthright Borrell on this topic:

“If the current global geopolitical tensions continue to evolve in the direction of ‘the West against the Rest,’ Europe’s future risks to be bleak. The era of Western dominance has indeed definitively ended. While this has been theoretically understood, we have not always drawn all practical conclusions from this new reality.

… Many in the ‘Global South’ accuse us of ‘double standards.’ … We need to push back on this narrative but also to address this issue not only with words: In the coming months, we must make a massive effort to win back the trust of our partners.”

Borrell has been all over the place on the question of the West’s evolving relations with the non–West since assuming his E.U. duties five years ago this coming July. Addressing an audience in Bruges two years ago, he famously blundered into an indiscretion the match of any Joe Biden gaffe: 

“Europe is a garden. We have built a garden. Everything works. It is the best combination of political freedom, economic prosperity and social cohesion that the [sic] humankind has been able to build — the three things together.

The rest of the world is not exactly a garden. Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden.”

Borrell quickly apologized for his remarks and seems to have come a considerable distance in the intervening years if we are to go by his speech in Munich and the essay he wrote afterward.

And for all his inconstancy, he is one of the few in positions of influence — the few Western leaders, I mean — who understands that the Atlantic world has reached an inflection point, a moment of historical magnitude. And he is right about what brought the West to this point.

Post–Gaza and post–Ukraine, it is already becoming clear, the West will find that it has redefined its relations with the wider world. But to set a new course requires a certain surrender Western leaders — all of them, not just Biden — cannot yet accept.

Presumption of Superiority

Bust of Vasco da Gama in S. Pedro de Alcântara garden, Lisbon. (Bosc d’Anjou, flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

When the U.S. finally succeeded in provoking Russia to intervene in Ukraine two years ago last month, when the Biden regime led the whole of the Atlantic alliance into unqualified support for Israel as it began — or resumed, better put — its siege of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank, the West still rested on a presumption of global superiority that we can date to 1498, when Vasco da Gama arrived on the Indian coast.

This has been construed ever since as material superiority, certainly, but it has also extended to the cultural, moral, and institutional spheres. There is the West and the rest, as Borrell noted, the garden and the jungle, the lawful and the lawless, the first world and the third. To become modern requires becoming Western.

It has been some years since this paradigm began losing credibility. We might date this to the liberation struggles of those post–World War II decades known as the Independence Era.

Being cautious, the West’s claim to superiority in all things has certainly looked ever emptier since the Berlin Wall fell and people and nations were freed from the Cold War binary the U.S. imposed on the planet. Unless you are given to primitive charlatans such as Robert Kagan, you must count this a very excellent turn in the human story.

The Atlantic alliance’s dramatic failure in Ukraine and its craven support for Israel’s Old Testament barbarities in Gaza (see, e.g., Numbers 31: 1–54) have together shredded whatever remained of the West’s pretenses.

No claim to superior morality or the rule of Western law is any longer possible. All that remains is material superiority, primarily by way of the weaponry of war, just as it was when da Gama got to southern India.  

As many have remarked, there is no coming back from this for Israel and no coming back for the U.S. I would add there is no coming back for the West altogether.

We are in consequence face to face with many realities from which most of us in the West have long flinched. This has many implications. High among them, I would say, is whether the beleaguered West can continue to cohere.

At this point Europe exhibits two contending impulses. One is to make the Atlantic wider, so reclaiming some of the independence it gave up in the early postwar decades. There is no assumption among Europeans that America’s turn from globalization to economic nationalism will not bear consequences for them as well as others.

The Nord Stream operation was in large measure driven by geopolitics, but the U.S. also had an economic motive not lost on Europe. There are, conversely, many Europeans — Borrell among them — who advocate drawing yet closer to the U.S., so continuing the Continent’s long, unfortunate habit of sheltering under the “American security umbrella” at the cost of its sovereignty and sense of self-worth.

One question that is shared on both sides of the Atlantic implies the greatest task the Western world has faced in a long time — maybe centuries, depending on how one counts. I have already suggested it. It is the task of surrendering those claims to superiority from which the Western consciousness has drawn its identity for the past half a millennium.

To do this would be an immense positive for the West and everyone living in it. It would mean not defeat but an immense unburdening; it would open up many true possibilities — these as against that “land of possibilities” Biden conjured of thin air Thursday evening.

But the West’s leaders, America’s above all, have no clue of the surrender this moment asks of them. To surrender, as I mean this term, will require leadership of a kind Western nations have rarely before seen, and there is none in sight.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, lecturer and author, most recently of Journalists and Their Shadows, available from Clarity Press or via Amazon.  Other books include Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored. 

TO MY READERS. Independent publications and those who write for them reach a moment that is difficult and full of promise all at once. On one hand, we assume ever greater responsibilities in the face of mainstream media’s mounting derelictions. On the other, we have found no sustaining revenue model and so must turn directly to our readers for support. I am committed to independent journalism for the duration: I see no other future for American media. But the path grows steeper, and as it does I need your help. This grows urgent now. In  recognition of the commitment to independent journalism, please subscribe to The Floutist, or via my Patreon account.

This article is from ScheerPost.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

28 comments for “Patrick Lawrence: Old Man Shouting

  1. March 13, 2024 at 02:53

    A few months ago the political writer and former Labor secretary Robert Reich wrote a very disgusting puff piece about Joe Biden, that he was almost the only “real adult” in the room, both in the domestic scene and on the global scene.


    Robert Reich was somebody I used to like and respect; I had liked the way he would explain difficult or controversial topics in a manner which made them easy to understand.

    I unsubscribed to emails from him which I had been receiving.

    I have to wonder what the hell planet is he living on???

  2. Robert McCurdy
    March 12, 2024 at 20:06

    “These people are no more than nostalgists, and I have long considered nostalgia a form of depression that grips those unable to face the present.”
    Wow, that just sums it up perfectly.
    “These people,” paranoid by nostalgic delusions, are also manning the Ship of State, from helm to boiler room, the whole ship. The rest of us summarily chucked off the stern but getting pulled along in the slipstream, with no greater hope than that the deck officers grow old and die before we’re sucked into the propellers.

    Yet there is a solution, and you and the Pope know what it is:

    “…the strongest one is the one who looks at the situation, thinks about the people and has the courage of the white flag, and negotiates.”

    Patrick Lawrence:
    “…surrendering those claims to superiority… To do this would be an immense positive for the West and everyone living in it. It would mean not defeat but an immense unburdening.”

    I trust in the goodness and clarity of vision, that the majority of the rest of the world will welcome us aboard as fellow shipmates on the inevitable day our ship founders on the reef of our own making.

  3. LeoSun
    March 12, 2024 at 09:31

    W/o a doubt, Patrick Lawrence’s “Old Man Shouting,” is spot flipp’n On! Patrick Lawrence hits every nail, precisely, on the each head!!! TY, Patrick Lawrence. You are absolutely tuned in & brilliant!!

    No doubt about it, “the old man shouts;” &, complicity, abounds, “POTUS does the yapp’n. Congress does the clapp’n.” AND, everybody, knows “a calabash with holes cannot be filled.”

    The wolves are at our door. “We,” the people, need to be prepared to confront them. Ward off the “ick!”

    TODAY, 3.12.24, the WH’s Number One (1) MISSION IS, “Shielding, POTUS, Biden-Harris, from the public!!”

    Specifically, CODE Pink, DSA, Jews for Justice + hundreds of “protesters.” All those, hundreds of beautiful people, who shut down Pennsylvania Avenue the night of POTUS’ SOTU!!! Obviously, the frail, feeble, miserably aged, elder, Joey R. Biden, Jr., just can’t handle the heat! The colossal crowds yelling “Ceasefire, Now!” And/Or, “Genocide, Joe has got to go!” AND, ““Biden, Biden you can’t hide, we charge you w/genocide.”

    Those truths toss the old POTUS into a frenzy. POTUS totally freezes. The consequence, is that POTUS “blank stare.” The “Commandeer-N-Headlights,” zones out!…. “Earth to Biden?” …. Nobody’s home! POTUS, the candidate, is done & dusted!

    …. IMO, it’s POTUS’ “Charlottesville!” aka Flashbacks of Charlottesville. “Charlottesville,” is the fire that lit Joey R. Biden’s mission to “restore the soul of the nation.” The chant heard round the world, about who & whom will “Not Replace Us!” The tiki torches, the chanting freaked-out the old, perverted Joey R. Biden.

    That was the then. This is NOW, the wolves, POTUS & his Handlers, are back @ the door, gaslighting the universe! The wolves aka POTUS’ Handlers speculate there will be blood in the streets. The fox, POTUS, Biden-Harris, knows, they got blood on their hands.

    Consequently, the wolves, @ the door say, “Mums” da word on when, where, who, will be @ “POTUS’ next stumper. The old, f.u.b.a.r., POTUS been asked, over & over, by the People, for a permanent ceasefire. POTUS is not complicit in and for a ceasefire or peace. POTUS is all about forever f/wars. Therefore, POTUS’ Handlers, propose to:

    1) “SHIELD!” shield POTUS from protests!!!
    2). Hold small events. Biden-Harris draw about 75 people, tops. The majority is The Press. The events will be smaller.
    3) The City & Venue of POTUS’ campaign stumpers will not be announced until an hour before the day of the campaign event;
    4) At all costs, AVOID the public! POTUS gets freaked out by the Signage, the People. The chanting.
    5). POTUS’ fear of the public’s rejection of his dementia addled, truth challenged, political corpse embalmed w/aderall & a stick up his a….., yapp’n’ & yell’n into the I-Cloud, THEREFORE, POTUS’ handlers will,
    6) Minimize disruptions.
    7) VET all attendees.
    8) Jack-Up the ticket costs. VET the Democrats’ Jack-asses that buy the tickets. Biden’s Donor Class.
    9) The Bottom Line, “SHIELD,” the jacked-up POTUS shuffle’n to Re-$election, 2024.

    Concluding, The State of the Union is f/f.u.b.a.r!!! Source: the duck @ Biden’s Campaign Events, 2024, the findings, abound!!! Ciao.

    “Keep It Lit!”

    • Rafi Simonton
      March 12, 2024 at 22:24

      To “restore the soul of the nation” requires having one. Or a conscience, anyway. Let’s hope there’s enough left in that cranial cavity to respond like LBJ did to the protests–deciding not to run for re-election.
      LBJ never was entirely convinced by the Best and the Brightest, those superior Ivy League products. I remember (and chanted at more than a few protests) “Hey hey LBJ–how many kids did you kill today?” which apparently really disturbed him. “Biden, Biden you can’t hide. We charge you with genocide.” Keep it up!
      It’s fun reading the MSM’s accounts of Trump’s verbal atrocities as signs of dementia. While ignoring or explaining away Biden’s as the bravery of overcoming a youthful stutter. Anyone with half a brain can see neither party cares what we lessers think whatsoever or neither of those dinosaurs would be candidates. The financial parasites ripping apart what’s left of the Real Economy picked them for us. Can’t make this stuff up. What a show! What else is on?

      • LeoSun
        March 14, 2024 at 09:05

        “To “restore the soul of the nation” requires having one. Or a conscience, anyway.” Rafi Simonton

        …… 110%!!! IF, the political corpse, posing as POTUS masquerading as human, had a “soul,” they woulda, coulda, shoulda, 1) Protected; &, 2) FREED, Julian Assange, in a f/heartbeat! Years, ago. However, as you say, “a parasite cannot live alone.” Afterall, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, year after year, the same “team,” the USG, proves to be, the existential threat to the planet. Consequently, “We,” the people, are still looking for a Leader.

        Imo, the BEST ‘read,’ & Artist’s depiction of “How” we got here, a f.u.b.a.r. 2024; AND, DJTrump, taking up all the oxygen, “front page news,” got heads spin’n @ Cable Networks, the MSM complicit in, IMO, “Keeping America Dumb.” The servitude, abounds. The who, how, why, when, where, “we” the people got chloroformed, is here, JANUARY 28, 2018, “ The Useful Idiocy of Donald Trump,” Chris Hedges & Mr. Fish @ hxxps://

        …….. “Trump, who has no inclination or ability to govern, has handed the machinery of government over to the bankers, corporate executives, right-wing think tanks, intelligence chiefs and generals. They are eradicating the few regulations and laws that inhibited a naked kleptocracy. They are dynamiting the institutions, including the State Department, that served interests other than corporate profit and are stacking the courts with right-wing, corporate-controlled ideologues. Trump provides the daily entertainment; the elites handle the business of looting, exploiting and destroying.” CHRIS HEDGES 1.28.18

        January 3, 2024, Joe Lauria, Consortium News, put it out there, in black & white, “The New Year,” ‘Can 2024 be any worse?’ hxxps://

        The take away, “Great people have big hearts.” As well, “generosity has no regrets.” L O N G Live, Consortium News!!!

        TY, Rafi Simonton. “Keep It Lit!”

  4. Dave E
    March 12, 2024 at 08:58

    “…will require leadership of a kind Western Nations have rarely before seen, and there is none in sight.”

    This really depends on how you see leadership. If, by “leadership,” you mean that there must be a massive following, then our sight of the leadership is going to be warped by the two-party system.

    In a TYPICAL year, the 3rd party cannot win BECAUSE the 2nd party can. “Lesser evil” 2nd party votes are based on the appearance of a chance at winning. This year that appearance appears as of it may not be appearing. If you look at battleground state polls it already seems clear that Biden will lose. Most Biden voters are just there for the appearance of a chance at winning. What happens when they realize that such an appearance appears to not be appearing this year?

    De La Cruz, West, Stein… there are already leaders who are very willing to take the US off of its misguided path as the hegemonic power, to accept a multi-polar world. The reason they don’t have massive followings is because they are 3rd party in a two-party system. But, in US history, the rare occasions when a 3rd party bumps a 2nd party come at just such a time as this when the 2nd party cannot win. The force that keeps the two parties of the 2 party system in place, the typical rough equilibrium that they normally have, seems to be dissipating this year.

    The problem is not that the leaders are not in sight. It is that we cannot yet see the followers because they haven’t yet become aware that the 2nd party cannot win this year.

    When the prime motivation for “lesser evil” voting, the appearance of a chance at winning, does not appear as it usually does, millions of voters will have the opportunity to question themselves, “if we are just here because he can win, but he can’t, why don’t we line up with someone we agree with?”

    Polling on issues such as Israel-Palestine show that the potential followers are there. We have leaders and potential followers, all that stands in the way are the mechanics of the first-past-the-post, two-party system, which seem like they’re undergoing a rare dissolution this year.

    • LeoSun
      March 14, 2024 at 10:01

      Dave E,

      “We,” the people, are still looking for a Leader. Therefore, w/candles lit, fingers crossed, chanting mantras, “May the healing forces of the Universe, ripen the fruit of “Dave E’s”, imo, ‘Tree of Enlightenment,’ “ i.e., 1) “we cannot yet see the followers because they haven’t yet become aware that the 2nd party cannot win this year,”

      … @ FULL context, “The problem is not that the leaders are not in sight. It is that we cannot yet see the followers because they haven’t yet become aware that the 2nd party cannot win this year.”

      2) “De La Cruz, West, Stein… there are already leaders who are very willing to take the US off of its misguided path as the hegemonic power, to accept a multi-polar world. The reason they don’t have massive followings is because they are 3rd party in a two-party system.” Welcome, to the 21st Century, “A Multi-Polar” World. Word! EUREKA!!!”

      …. Admittedly, I’ve no clue who De La Cruz is. Dr. West, “I’ve been lovin’ him too long, to stop now!!” AND, Dr. Stein, The “Doctor” who shoulda, coulda, woulda been President, IF, people woulda, coulda, shoulda taken the Smart Risk.

      The take away, ‘Never Say Die,’ “if we are just here because he can win, but he can’t, why don’t we line up with someone we agree with?” Dave E

      Which begs the question, “Why would anyone vote for a president & vice president whose WH, Executive Board of Executioners, MIC, and Congress are complicit in genocide?

      A best practice, “CANCEL, Biden-Harris, 2024;” AND, a Message to The Candidates, “the Alternative,” to The War Party, “Come Out! Come Out! Come Out!” Spring has Sprung, Please, “Bring It!!!”

      TY, Dave E. Onward & Upwards! Ciao

  5. March 12, 2024 at 08:52

    Excellent analysis of the Biden State of the Union from the real left, as well as an honest look at the realities confronting the West in it’s role of the “driving dead”, zombies who refuse to realize that they’ve passed on but insist on continuing to drive, menacing everyone around them.

  6. J Anthony
    March 12, 2024 at 07:26

    Good piece, and the most relevant point here is the absolute lack of vision or new ideas for this century among the political class and their donors. These people live in a privileged bubble where the status quo is a-ok. “Ossified” is an understatement. This disturbing lack of vision or real leadership has created a vacuum, and there is no shortage of intelligent, creative people with the talent and drive to fill it.

  7. Rafi Simonton
    March 12, 2024 at 00:27

    Let’s explore that “jungle.”
    Contrast to the cream of the Atlantic Euro ethnicities. Cultural inferiors like the indigenes of the Americas, Australia, and Africa. You know–dark, unenlightened, and tribal. The unwashed working class of the crowded and polluted cities during Euro industrialization and their descendants in North America little better.
    Social Darwinism neo Robber Barons still assert as “survival of the fittest.” Not only an illogical tautology, but biologically false. For example, most plants, and in particular trees, grow in obligate symbiosis with fungus on their roots, which alone makes cooperation the dominant mode of existence on Earth. And there are many symbioses, like the mitochondria and gut bacteria we humans have. But that’s not the story the econ elites want told. They want a world of certainty and control–despite 100 years of physics showing the reality of uncertainty and relativity. Never mind the evidence. Natural resources and human resources are things to be used to produce profits, remnants tossed aside as irrelevant externalities.
    I’ve been reading about finance, assuming the arguments would be about interpretations of data and to what degree an econ system should be democratic. I was shocked to discover no sound reasoning behind what the Austrian and Chicago schools assert. It’s simply the wishful thinking of an elite that believes it has the right to rule, the right to determine the economic and political systems of the entire world.
    Most aggravating is how the Democratic and Labour parties have bought into (or been bought by) this ridiculous story. In the U.S., what did the Dems do for the Rust Belt? What did they do to the Wall St. vultures who caused the ’08 crash? Nothing! Financial deregulation happened under a D admin. A few gushing claims by the MSM that Biden is an FDR are not convincing. The Rs will kill everything, so the Ds aren’t in any danger of upsetting their corporate donors by actually having to do something for what used to be the D rank and file. When I hear strong criticisms of the financial parasites destroying the real economy, a call for regulation of finance and an end to the neo Gilded Age, industrialization other than for military destruction, and specific, practical New Deal type programs, I may reconsider.
    But what do I know–I’m just an old blue collar worker. But I sure like what the writer Kim Stanley Robinson said: “the problem with the Invisible Hand is that it never picks up the check.”

  8. WillD
    March 11, 2024 at 23:27

    Does anyone anyhwere in any country take Biden seriously or even believe a fraction of what he says? Anyone?

  9. wildthange
    March 11, 2024 at 20:00

    A multi-polar world is a false concept this is one planet that has to outgrow military dominance and excessive military technological spending for it wasting world resources and now an imminent threat to civilization survival. A dual household means wasted duplicate resources.
    For the west it is the Roman occupation of the holy land and taking a monotheistic religion hostage and an imaginary son then using it as a weapon to defame the resistance to occupation. This problem has once again been handed to them as a new self defamation of misplaced aggression from their defamers.
    The west has excelled in permanent war for military empires wedded to a religious empire. One creating a s-hole world of economic plunder and genocide. This unholy alliance now fears losing its military technological and economic advantages blessed by our god.

    In addition the destructiveness of war beginning with WWI gave birth to another fear, the fear of the military industrial complex of losing its ungodly profits if war is declared illegal so permanent war is being resold as plowshares are turned into corporate shares.

    Ir is rightly exposed here an there as the imminent threat to human civilization that is is. Male dominance has to give way to feminine wiles willing to share the world for the better good.

  10. Michael G
    March 11, 2024 at 19:00

    “But the West’s leaders, America’s above all, have no clue of the surrender this moment asks of them.”

    Acknowledging the emergence of a Multipolar World would ask the corporations who run this country and the politicians who do their bidding to take a financial hit.
    That’s against the Constitution.

    “By this time the Supreme Court had accepted the argument that corporations were “persons” and their money was protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
    -Howard Zinn “A People’s History of the United States”

    “If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
    -Frederick Douglass, 1857

  11. Steve
    March 11, 2024 at 18:21

    “Who was the last president to prove unafraid of new thinking and decisive action? ”

    You forgot a pretty big one …. Donald Trump.

    No president in recent memory has had less respect or use for the ‘established wisdom’ of professional Washington. You may have hated the new thinking that he brought to the table, but there is no denying he had no fear of introducing new ideas and approaches to the executive branch. From the tariffs of his trade war with China, to the Wall and Stay in Mexico, to meeting with Kim Jong Un, to the Abraham Accords, to getting the ball rolling on pulling out of Afghanistan, he wasn’t afraid to abandon ossified old ideas that didn’t work and try something different.

    Whether those changes worked or not is another story. Some succeeded, some failed, and most never came off because he lacked the temperament, organization and political support to get things done in Washington DC. Running the swamp is different from running a corporate board or running a reality TV show. The Donald staffed his administration with Quislings who hated him because he didn’t know anyone else with the requisite skills/connections for the job, and he couldn’t herd cats on Capitol Hill because the Republican leadership on the Hill (Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell) despised the Trumpist agenda and pursued their own agenda (tax cuts for Ryan, judicial appointments for McConnell).

    • Judy Dyer
      March 12, 2024 at 00:49

      Gee, my cat has no respect or use for the ‘established wisdom’ of professional Washington. Should I write in his name for President?

      • Piotr Berman
        March 13, 2024 at 11:35

        I have reservations to a cat candidacy. Ecologically, Washington is a huge wetland (swamp is a politically incorrect terminology), and most cats have hard time in aquatic/semi-aquatic environment. Labrador are good waterfowl dogs, but too meek in my opinion. I also have seen a video about a cat with a habit of swimming across a stream next to his house to roam on the other side, so one should not generalize… I would need to see resume of your cat.

    • Piotr Berman
      March 13, 2024 at 11:26

      Trump ” wasn’t afraid to abandon ossified old ideas that didn’t work and try something different.” Currently, we are watching ineptitude Olympics where contestants have abilities that we, mere common people, could not dream about.

      I grew up in a capital city with a neat center and rough “suburbs”, and I had a high school friend from such a suburbs. Apparently, any time local police would get a new man, members of the local “power structure” would beat him up to build the awareness of the local realities. Trump definitely got this treatment, and for all verbal defiance, he yielded. If he could not find anyone with proper vision and skills, one reason was that he had a very vague idea about the vision and skills. In particular, he never worked with paleo-cons who have education, experience and vision, not progressive to be sure, but “realism”, for all its limitations, would be clear improvement from status quo. A road not taken.

    • Andrew
      March 13, 2024 at 12:53

      Trump was not a visionary. Tariffs and trade war with China were continuing Obama’s pivot to Asia. The Wall and Stay in Mexico, building on the policies of “deporter-in-chief” Obama. Meeting with Kim Jong-un, I will give him some credit for that. The Abraham Accords are part of the longstanding US project to integrate Israel into the Middle East. The Afghanistan withdraw, both Obama and Trump sent in and pulled out troops throughout their terms (and both were to a degree, rolled by the MIC), but the defeat there was becoming increasingly obvious and US withdraw was inevitable. All in all, hardly examples of “New Thinking.”

  12. Carolyn/Cookie out west
    March 11, 2024 at 17:10

    On going thanks to you Patrick, voice in the wilderness. Yesterday via YouTube I found an interview with Pope Francis regarding the war in Ukraine (I think interview via The Guardian! that’s a surprise…However, no mention of this interview in MSM at all. Instead, NPR San Francisco radio interviewed a priest rep. of Pope regarding his Climate Change encyclical. Again via YouTube a clip by Zelensky expressing his fury at the pope to suggest surrender. Compared the situation to the Vatican and WW II. Totally unfair.
    Patrick, please write a piece on this interview with Pope Francis. Meanwhile, a bow of thanks YouTube headline below:
    “Pope says Ukraine should ‘raise white flag’ and end war with Russia”

  13. Litchfield
    March 11, 2024 at 16:21

    The main problem with this essay is the continued underlyingn premise that Biden is actually running anything;

    Also, it is disturbing that Biden’s demeanor was anything but presidential.

    It was not the lack of ideas and the presentation of boilerplate as if it actually meant or stood for anything.

    It is the image of a vulgar old man whose dementia shouts out his angry vulgarity to the whole world.

    Do Americans not see this grossness? How can Peter Baker or anyone stand to even witness it?

    Have any of our pundits ever watched a Putin speech or presser?

    I guess not, because if they had they would completely deflate in embarrassed anguish at the bonkers barking of the “leader of the free world.”

    Who is obviously being managed by Obama or someone.

  14. Caliman
    March 11, 2024 at 15:50

    Another excellent and thoughtful article. Many gems throughout. I especially appreciate:

    “As to Ukraine, it is merely the latest in a long line of conflicts waged, like money-laundering schemes, to benefit the military-industrial complex.”

    The absolute racket that is American foreign policy cannot be exposed enough.

    In a future article, it would be interesting for the author to explore the “old man shouting” phenomenon … I have been puzzled by my fellow citizens’ tolerance of the old cretin’s loutish and obnoxious shouting and hectoring of the populace. It seems a unique style in American presidency. Gone is the intelligent and fatherly tones of a Kennedy or a Reagan, or the older brotherly tones of a Clinton or an Obama … the conqueror of Corn Pop wants us to know he’s an angry dude for some reason. Why?

  15. JonnyJames
    March 11, 2024 at 15:08

    Nicely written article that covers a lot. The fact that an octogenarian with obvious symptoms of dementia is going to run against another geriatric with serious mental problems is quite symbolic. As I say, US politics has been reduced to a freak show – Rod Serling is going to show up and tell us “You have entered the Twilight Zone”.

    The US empire has reached the kakistocracy and oligarchy stages. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers is inevitable and the US is on the decline, and it has been for some time.

    One point that few understand;

    “…The national debt, now at $34.5 trillion, is 129 percent of gross domestic product. This compares very unfavorably with China, Brazil, Egypt, Sierra Leone and numerous other developing and middle-income nations….”

    This is factually true, yet makes no difference to the domestic economy because the USD is still the reserve currency of world central banks, and all internationally-traded commodities are denominated in USD. (for more on US financial imperialism, see: prof. Michael Hudson) Most of this deficit comes from trillions spent on bailing out and subsidizing Wall St. financial parasites, the DoD, wars, Ukraine, Israel etc. Most of that deficit ends up in foreign central banks, and ironically, those dollars are recycled back into US stocks, bonds, treasuries etc. The US exacts financial tribute from this financial imperialism. In this way, the Fed deficit actually benefits US dominance and hegemony. The IMF, World Bank operate solely in USD, and they are also instruments of financial imperialism.

    Contrary to the End of History linear nonsense, we have a cyclical history that rhymes: like the late Roman Empire, we have freakish puppet-emperors, declining empire, oligarchy, institutional corruption, decaying infrastructure, desperate attempts to maintain dominance abroad and a decline in critical thinking and literacy.

    • Chris G
      March 11, 2024 at 21:20

      You forgot to mention declining life expectancy.

      It is a wonder that this fact is not discussed incessantly in the media. When any nation experiences declining life expectancy among its populace that is a desperate sign of decline, much less when that nation is the richest and the most technologically advanced on the planet. All our riches, all our technology, all our research universities, and all our healthcare institutions can’t seem to arrest this downward curve. They’re all profiting from it.

      Americans, who pay double what other developed countries spend on healthcare, and get back horrible results, still cannot seem to recognize that our for-profit healthcare system is simply a wealth extraction racket like our Wall Street casinos and our military industrial complex.

      I just hope I live long enough to see the day when Americans finally say: We’ve had enough!

      • JonnyJames
        March 12, 2024 at 12:09

        Good points, the MassMediaCartel do a great job of misinforming and distracting the public, but it seems like more people see through the miasma cloud.

  16. Carolyn L Zaremba
    March 11, 2024 at 15:03

    Thank you, Patrick!

  17. Peter Loeb
    March 11, 2024 at 14:27

    March 12, 1947

    On that date President Harry Truman addressed Congress and presented “The Truman Doctrine”. The concepts of
    the Truman doctrine were not originated by him but, as Joyce and Gabriel Kolko pointed out (“Limits of Power”) he
    reenforced them. That mindset is still the mindset of Joe Biden. It was the mindset of my Dad. It is as
    we see the mindset of those advisors who shape US foreign policy today.

    And, of course, the attitudes to Israel reflect those of Senator Joe Biden. (See bl a Thomas Suarez, “State of Terror”).

    Thanks for your article. We must find ways to survive whether our next president is Biden or Trump.

  18. Kathryn McClain
    March 11, 2024 at 14:26

    This is brilliant on every count. Thank you so very much. I wasn’t and am not crazy after all!

    • Marika Czaja
      March 11, 2024 at 20:57

      I love your comment, Kathryn!!!

Comments are closed.