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Tipsheet

Only an Act of God Can Spare Democrats of Their 2022 Misery

AP Photo/David Goldman

I feel like Democrats are the Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima or Okinawa. There's no hope of victory. There's no place to retreat. There's no chance that they will be able to overcome the righteous fury that will be directed their way in the next few months. Misery is pervasive among Democratic rank-and-file. They want Biden to be more assertive and feistier on key issues. The problem is he can't. He physically and mentally cannot keep up anymore. It's becoming increasingly clear that Joe Biden is no QB1 for the Democrats in this election cycle or any cycle for that matter. The Democrats are stuck with him. It's not a good look to attack the leader of your party, but if things get worse, they might—they may be left with little choice but to deliver some jabs. Some Democrats are already doing that, but the chorus could grow louder, especially if the midterms end up being a total dumpster fire. 

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To make the situation even more dismal, Democrats really have nowhere to go. Sure, the legislative agenda of the Biden White House was pretty much derailed by Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, but that doesn't mean this administration hasn't done damage. Americans' wallets have been torched. Filling up your car is potentially a budget-busting event. Inflation is through the roof. The latter part is owned by Democrats. It's unavoidable. Jim Geraghty of National Review has more on this "bitter pill" Democrats have to swallow because it's what they wanted. They got it done. Some Democrats warned them about the potential inflation bomb that could go off, but these people were ignored (via NRO): 

Biden is doing a lousy job for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is that the U.S. inflation rate is currently at 8.6 percent, has been high since last fall, and isn’t likely to dramatically improve anytime soon. Even worse, Biden spent much of 2021 publicly insisting that inflation would be “temporary” or “transitory.” Inflation is high for several reasons, but a major factor was that the Biden administration and the Democratic Congress agreed to spend an additional $1.9 trillion on “Covid relief” in March 2021, as the vaccines were arriving and the economy was already recovering.

A small handful of Democrats warned — loudly — that throwing a ton of money into the economy as it was getting back to normal would light the fuse on inflation. In a February 4, 2021, Washington Post op-ed, former treasury secretary Larry Summers warned that, “There is a chance that macroeconomic stimulus on a scale closer to World War II levels than normal recession levels will set off inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation, with consequences for the value of the dollar and financial stability” (emphasis added). Then he declared shortly after the bill’s passage that, “I think this is the least responsible macroeconomic policy we’ve had in the last 40 years.” As The Hill noted at the time, “Summers’s remarks are notable because Biden has received almost no pushback from Democrats in pursuit of his legislation.”

Just about the entire Democratic Party rejected Summers’s warnings. All 220 House Democrats voted to pass the massive spending package; all 210 Republicans voted against it. Every Senate Democrat voted to pass it; every Senate Republican voted against it. Rarely do you see such a stark and clear partisan divide on a piece of legislation.

In other words, the country is in brutally rough shape right now, in large part because of legislation that the entire Democratic Party, except for Representative Jared Golden of Maine, voted to enact. And this was legislation that just about every self-identified Democrat supported, too; a CNN poll from March 2021 found that 94 percent of self-identified Democrats favored it.

[…]

Of course Democrats are depressed right now. They should feel depressed right now. It turns out that the world does not work the way they thought it did. Hard truths are metaphorically punching Democrats in the face, every time they go to fill up their tank, shop for groceries, and see the new monthly inflation numbers come out. The government cannot spend money and throw trillions upon trillions into the economy without setting off inflationary pressures. This means that Build Back Better would only make things worse, as would the Green New Deal or any other trillion-dollar spending spree.

Democrats could confront the hard truth that their preferred economic agenda has serious drawbacks and go back to the drawing board, accounting for this reality. But that’s unpleasant, so they’ll choose to fantasize about Gavin Newsom running in 2024 and “going on the attack.”

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You're just wrong, liberal America. That's what Democrats need to hear. Geraghty is right. The moral superiority complex of the Democratic Party doesn't allow for self-reflection. It's all about the feelings. On some issues, Democrats have become post-fact-based to the point where it's fantasyland. The aversion to accepting defeat was evident in 2016. Besides being a terrible candidate, it was clear that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 due to her inability to cobble together enough white working-class voters like her boss Barack Obama did twice before. She lost these voters by a three-to-one margin. If it had been two-to-one, Hillary would have won. It just shows you how critical this voting bloc is and how minimal changes can lead to upsets. Democrats were in the throes of going woke, however, so the party doubled down on winning urban areas, which is not a sustainable way to win elections, especially if the suburbs begin to float back into the GOP camp as they are right now. 

The only thing that can save Democrats this year is Republican stupidity. And they didn't do any favors by caving to the Democrats on gun control. 

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