AMAC Exclusive – By Barry Casselman
Many Republicans and independents are puzzled, after the off-year elections of 2021, continuous polling showing President Biden and many national Democratic policy goals increasingly unpopular, and a notable erosion of the Democratic base of Hispanic, Black, and Jewish voters, why the leaders of the liberal-progressive party are not changing their course as the important 2022 national mid-term elections approach, now less than 10 months away.
It isn’t only the conservative opposition and the constant polling that appears to be sending a message, but also many older liberal campaign operatives, commentators, and pollsters who are sounding alarms.
Nevertheless, President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer appear to be doubling down in the new year with a “progressive agenda” that includes passing the stalled multi-trillion dollar “Build Back Better” bill, possibly packing the U.S. Supreme Court, more pandemic restrictions, anti-fossil fuel initiatives, secondary school lockdowns, open-door immigration policies, and political correctness.
Although the Democratic Party is led by older and pragmatic figures, the “squeaky wheels” — the activist and vocal party base mostly made up of younger and more ideologically radical men and women — are those who now, at least temporarily, control the party agenda. This takeover, which has been brewing for a number of years, was finalized by the 2020 election, which put Democrats back in the White House and in control of Congress.
Older progressive figures such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren had been promoting a more radical agenda for at least a decade but could not persuade the voters to support them — and had to settle for Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden as their presidential nominees in 2016 and 2020.
Meanwhile, younger progressive figures such as the congresswomen known as “The Squad” emerged, and with the help of a partisan so-called “mainstream” media, were able to dominate political news coverage as “squeaky wheels” who crowded out more moderate voices in their party.
The historical reality, however, is that U.S. voters are inherently not inclined to embrace radical agendas from either the left or the right, and all available evidence indicates this remains valid. Even in larger cities where few or no Republicans hold elective office, voter backlash is occurring as crime rates soar and inflation hits the limited pocketbooks of the poor and middle class.
What is particularly revealing about voter attitudes is that this rejection is occurring while the stock market is high, unemployment is relatively low, and nominal wages are rising. Normally, such an economic environment would be good news for a party in power. But stock speculative “bubbles,” government pandemic income subsidies ending, and inflation pressures suggest that the apparent robust economy might be a mirage.
As if voters’ domestic anxieties were not enough, the Biden administration’s foreign policy has had setbacks and challenges which could, if not resolved, worsen already bad news for Democrats in 2022 and 2024. In particular, this appears in what has become a more serious border crisis exacerbated by President Biden’s explicit invitation to refugees during his presidential campaign, an invitation that was reinforced by his border policies after taking office. It took a federal court, and heavy pressure from Texas and nearby southwestern states for the Biden administration to reinstate President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” agreement to at least partially stem the flow of undocumented immigrants at the southern border. But the Democrats’ policy for what amounts to unlimited immigration is not only unpopular with most voters; it is not, according to all polls, even favored by most Hispanic voters.
Nor do the president’s views on Iran and the Middle East coincide with the views of most Americans.
Although the specific circumstances are different in 2022, there is a similar political aroma to the mid-term of 2010 when the Obama administration (which included then-Vice President Joe Biden) was determined to push through Obamacare despite its unpopularity — and suffered massive defeats at the polls as a result.
To be fair, two years later, Barack Obama won re-election because Republicans failed to appeal to enough disgruntled voters and capitalize on their 2010 gains. It was not until 2016 that Republicans successfully reached out to “deplorables” — and won the presidency and control of Congress.
But to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, Joe Biden is no Barack Obama, and, it might be added, the two parties have been transformed. The Democratic Party is now the party of the super-rich and upper-middle-class elites, and the Republican Party now appeals to the working class and middle-class pragmatists.
This transformation and the deeply held values of the two new political bases are the keys to what is likely to happen in the midterms of 2022.
Just do the numbers.
We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...
Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.Donate Now