The Establishment is in a panic. As hard as it is to believe, they were convinced that Biden’s “achievements” and the fallout from the Dobbs decision on abortion would carry Democrats over the finish line.
I think they expected to lose the House narrowly, but holding the Senate looked like a lock to them. In other words, they believed that the Republicans would be essentially powerless for the next two years, as they have been since the 2020 elections.
It is rare that presidents accomplish much in domestic politics after the midterms because the Congress is usually more populated by members of the opposing party, so a divided Congress wasn’t ideal, but it was not a disaster. If Republicans had a small majority in the House and the Senate remained in Democrat hands it would be unpleasant, but hardly a disaster.
Now that the polls are showing a surge of support for Republicans the reality is sinking in that Congress will likely have Republican majorities in both houses, and the House one will be strong.
Personally I think the surge in support is mostly illusory–the voters most likely to show up at the polls had already made up their minds, and they decided the Democrats suck a long while back. That surge is mostly an artifact of moving the samples from registered voters to likely voters in the surveys. It had been clear to me for months that the Democrats were going to get swamped by a tsunami–the only question has been the scale of the destruction.
But Democrats apparently were blinded by hope and the reality is sinking in. They are facing disaster.
The Democrats’ messaging hasn’t been working, and even they know that. But they have to at least try, and their MSM toadies are helping bail out the boat before it sinks.
Doyle McManus at the Los Angeles Times is taking his shot at helping the Democrats push their new mantra: the Republicans are so extreme that our previous experience with the salutary benefits of divided government when Democrats are in charge won’t be repeated this time around.
Why? Because Republicans are under the sway of the evil Orange Man and might crash the economy, destroy democracy, and begin eating babies or torturing puppies.
With election day two weeks away, Republican prospects of taking control of the House of Representatives, already strong, appear to have solidified. Barring the unexpected, President Biden’s next two years will be shaped by challenges from a House led by some of his most zealous opponents.
That isn’t unusual; every president for the last four decades has contended with divided government. Sometimes, that has arguably been a good thing — a constructive check on executive power.
The House won’t merely be held by Republicans. It will be led by Republicans loyal to former President Trump, many of whom refuse to accept Biden’s legitimacy as president.
Most members of the new majority will have been elected with Trump’s endorsement. There will be almost no Trump critics in the House GOP — none who dare voice their qualms, at least. The caucus has been purged.
Of the 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching Trump after his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, eight retired or lost primary elections. Only two are still on the ballot.
Bad Orange Man will be the wizard behind the curtain, and Bad Orange Man wants to destroy democracy.
This is the sort of argument that Biden and his cronies have used to excuse violations of civil rights, show trials of political opponents, attacks on the Supreme Court’s legitimacy, and executive orders that vastly exceed the powers presidents normally exercise. Biden has taken actions he himself declared unconstitutional, such as the student loan forgiveness program while decrying Republicans for threatening democratic norms.
Of the likely members of the next majority, well more than half have questioned or denied the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. January’s incoming members will, not incidentally, be in the House when it considers the results of the presidential election of 2024.
Meanwhile, the ranks of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus are swelling. The group has been recruiting members among this year’s candidates and is on track to boast at least 46 next year, an all-time high.
The likely next House speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), is a Trump loyalist too. As Republican floor leader during the Trump administration, McCarthy worked to forge a relationship with the volatile president, who rewarded him with the slightly demeaning nickname “My Kevin.” McCarthy broke with Trump oh-so-briefly over the Jan. 6 riot but flew to Mar-a-Lago three weeks later to seek forgiveness.
Trump, Trump, Trump…Trump Trump.
This is just trotting out the same talking points that have failed to persuade voters, who according to the Harvard Harris poll would actually prefer a Trump presidency to a Biden one in any case. The same people who hated Trump then hate him now as well, but a number of Independents are reconsidering the wisdom of their vote for Biden.
That’s why the Democrats are now deploying their BOOM! argument: Republicans have a plan to crash the economy, so be very scared.
Their agenda begins with deep spending cuts in domestic programs, which they argue are needed to shrink the federal budget deficit and quell inflation.
Some members have already declared their willingness to shut down the federal government to get their way.
“Shut it down if necessary,” Rep. Bob Good of Virginia said last week. “Gridlock is a good thing compared to the alternative.”
Even worse, several have said they plan to block an increase in the federal debt ceiling — a move that would raise the specter of the government defaulting on its debts and risk a global financial crash.
As I wrote yesterday, this is the closing argument for the Democrats. I am not certain whether they believe this will work–it won’t, because voters trust Republicans more on the economy than the Democrats for obvious reasons–or whether this is just an attempt to provide them an “I told you so” when the economy does crash next year due to Biden’s mismanagement and the contraction that the Fed is engineering.
Nobody has figured out how to kill inflation without a pretty severe economic contraction, so that is what the Fed is going to give us. It will be painful, and unlikely to be mercifully short. They have to essentially contract the supply of money floating out there due to the government having dropped it out of helicopters, and it will suck.
The Democrats want to blame that nasty recession on the Republicans, and I suspect that is the real reason they are making this final pitch. They want to shout “I told you so” when the real pain hits. If you think it is bad now, just you wait. It is going to get much worse.
This is unlikely to work though because voters know who screwed up big time. My prediction is that the midterm blowout that comes in November will be followed by a decisive loss in the 2024 presidential election. This will be a repeat of the 1978 and 1980 elections.
History may not really repeat, but it rhymes.