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President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech presented a rare opportunity for conservative pundits. It was one of the first political events in recent memory free from Donald Trump. No mention of the 2020 election, no allusion to January 6. The address centered on a subject the conservative commentariat found agreeable: Ukraine. They all gushed over a foreign flag filling up America’s chamber of power. They applauded as the president acted as if Vladimir Putin is the greatest enemy to our nation.

Ukraine dominated Biden’s speech. Much of the speech sounded like Marco Rubio’s pseudo-populist turn, with paeans to paid family leave, buy American, and foreign policy hawkishness. The only real differences were the mentions of gender issues (“To our younger transgender Americans, I will always have your back as your president”), COVID, and climate policy. But conservatives didn’t really throw a fit over the transgender stuff. That would’ve been a bit too “bigoted.” They instead opted to have a fit over Biden’s Covid hypocrisy, his energy policy, and random gaffes.

It was a return to pre-Trump form for Conservative Inc. They could now agree with Democrats on the big issues like Ukraine and get back to their true passion: arguing over minutiae. They can now obsess over Biden saying “Iranian” people instead of “Ukrainian” people while agreeing with Biden’s basic point: that Putin is a global menace. They believe America has moved on from the orange racist president. They stand in unison with liberals and declare that America is a nation of immigrants, January 6 was a terrorist attack, there are austere norms we must respect, and we must stand with the Globalist American Empire. Read more…