As ABC News reported, President Joe Biden delivered what was billed as a “Christmas address” last week in which he called for kindness and national unity, but in the estimation of numerous prominent observers, those words rang rather hollow given his own role in stoking division over the past two years.
Commentators seemed to find Biden's tone rather curious given the effort expended by the White House in recent months to highlight political rifts to maximize partisan political outcomes.
Speaking on Thursday afternoon, Biden expressed his wish that “this holiday season will drain the poison that has infected our politics and set us against one another.”
He also said he hopes for a “fresh start for our nation,” saying “there's so much that unites us as Americans; so much more than unites us than divides us.”
The president continued along in a similar vein, stating, “Our politics has gotten so angry, so mean, so partisan, and too often we see each other as enemies, not as neighbors, as Democrats or Republicans, not as fellow Americans.”
Seeming to decry the ideological anger in which members of his own party so regularly engage, Biden mused, “So, my hope this Christmas season is that we take a few moments of quiet reflection, find that stillness in the heart of Christmas, that's at the heart of Christmas, and look really look at each other not as Democrats or Republicans, not as members of Team Red or Team Blue, but as who we really are.”
As Fox News noted, however, it did not take long for critics and pundits alike to point out the curious contradictions between the president's words and his conduct.
Referencing Biden's pre-midterm attacks on those to whom he derisively referred as “MAGA Republicans” and “extreme MAGA,” Mia Cathell of Townhall tweeted, “Unite, you stupid sons of b*itches! And Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!”
Chad Gilmartin, spokesman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) commented, “How does Joe Biden get away with this phony unity rhetoric after he smeared half the country as domestic terrorists and compared anyone who opposes his radical agenda to segregationists?”
Jeremy Redfern, press secretary to Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wryly observed, “I guess last year's Christmas message wasn't much of a hit,” referencing the fact that this time last year, Biden scolded unvaccinated fellow citizens and suggested they would face a “winter of severe illness and death.”
Townhall.com's Spencer Brown was even more pointed in his critique of the speech, adding, “Says the guy who tried to turn Americans against each other over a vaccine and often yells about ~half the country being fascists. Spare us, you old grinch.”
Despite the aforementioned clangers uttered by Biden during his holiday address, the president did manage to touch on certain themes to which just about everyone can relate.
The commander in chief noted that the traditionally festive period can sometimes be a time of “great pain and terrible loneliness” for our fellow citizens, adding, “[n]o one can ever know what someone else is going through.”
Hitting a laudable note with which it is impossible to disagree, Biden mercifully asserted, “That's why sometimes the smallest act of kindness can mean so much. A simple smile. A hug. An unexpected phone call. A quiet cup of coffee. Simple acts of kindness that can lift a spirit, provide comfort, and perhaps, maybe even save a life.”