Biden’s wasted speech and other commentary

Republican: Biden’s Wasted Speech

The president’s State of the Union address missed the chance “to reset and pivot,” gripes Scott Jennings at USA Today. “His message on Russia was perfectly fine . . . but there was nothing new, such as the idea that many Republicans are floating — banning all oil and gas imports from Russia.” Nor did he drop “his war on American domestic fossil fuel production to help supply our European allies.” He’s sticking to a “green energy agenda . . . that has no chance of passing this Congress or the next.” And “The rest of the speech was mostly a laundry list of ideas that appear in legislation already dead.”

COVID beat: Over for Congress, But Not Schools?

“When members of Congress, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court entered the U.S. House Chamber for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, they were almost entirely unmasked,” observes Reason’s Robby Soave. “Cursory attempts at social distancing were quickly abandoned — and after Biden finished his speech, the country’s highest elected officials shook hands and hugged and breathed in each other’s faces like it was 2019.” But “a key U.S. demographic” is still “languishing under strict mask mandates: school children in some cities controlled by Democrats.” It’s madness: “Unvaccinated kids and teens are safer from the disease than older Americans who are vaccinated.” So “if Biden’s State of the Union guests don’t have to mask indoors, why should kids?”

War watch: Long-Term, Russia Can’t Win

“Overwhelming numbers, coupled with indiscriminate carpet bombing in urban areas, mean that at some point, Russia will technically ‘control’ ” Ukraine’s cities, notes National Review’s Jim Geraghty, but Moscow “is setting itself up to experience a furious, bloody insurgency that will make Iraq look like an afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese.” Clearly, “Putin is willing to pay any price to possess Ukraine. The West, finally, is united and declaring, ‘Fine, we’ll make sure this aggression costs you everything.’ The question is: How many other Russians are willing to go along with this mad fantasy?”

Foreign desk: Ukraine Worsens China Challenge

“Russia’s war has done . . . grievous damage to the Biden administration’s overarching foreign-policy framework,” worries Jeremy Shapiro at Politico. “The administration had intended to use its political capital with European allies to get them on board with its Indo-Pacific policy,” an effort that has now “nearly completely collapsed” though “China and the threat that it poses have not disappeared.” The war is also “hardening . . . the Russia-China partnership,” as “a sanctioned Russia will rely ever more heavily on Chinese support, including on Chinese purchases of Russian energy and access to Chinese payment systems.” Worse yet, “to effectively counter Russia, NATO will now need to accept that Russia and China have become part of the same problem” and “ ‘globalize’ the alliance to include Asian democracies, coordinating policy and even force dispositions across both regions.” All this “will soon have NATO statesmen longing for the halcyon days of alliance bickering.”

Conservative: The Wrong SCOTUS Standard

Race should be irrelevant in evaluating Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, Ken Masugi writes at American Greatness. “Why would Judge Jackson add anything substantive to the court based on her mere appearance? Because she has experienced racial discrimination? Why not overweight or remarkably tall or short justices, or, to introduce character, shy or garrulous ones? This emphasis on appearance overlooks what is at the core of the black experience in America.” President Joe Biden’s “shameless (and stupid) appeal to race” in nominating Jackson “insults” her “remarkable academic record.” What she does represent is “black Americans’ entry into the elite professional class of the administrative state. But will she make a good justice?”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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