The GOP's sweep of Virginia's top-ticket races along with Republican wins in other state level contests around the country on Tuesday (Read Guy's piece for more on those) were an unwelcome welcome for President Biden as he landed back on U.S. soil in the early hours of Wednesday morning at the same time Youngkin addressed supporters after his win.
Despite Biden's previous meetings on Capitol Hill to try and get his legislative agenda moving — including one last week just before he flew to Europe for meetings with world leaders and a U.N. climate summit — he came home to a Congress seemingly no closer to passing his infrastructure and stripped-down budget bill.
Tuesday's results, especially in Virginia, only proved moderate Democrats' worries — namely those of Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) — to be well-founded. At the same time, the woke principles that underlie Biden's legislative agenda were rejected by voters in what seems to be a referendum on the Biden presidency.
"Moderate Democrats are fired up this morning after the losses in Virginia," reported Fox News' Chad Pergram Wednesday morning. "That's why they may hold firm on their demand to decouple a House vote on the infrastructure bill from the broader, social spending bill."
C) “Hopefully progressives will get the wake-up call,” said one moderate Democratic source who noted that liberal members won’t have trouble getting re-elected. But it’s moderate Democrats, which propel the Democrats into the majority, who have to fight for their political lives.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 3, 2021
"Hopefully progressives will get the wake-up call," added Pergram, quoting an unnamed Democratic source. But if the reaction on CNN and MSNBC last night is any indication, those on the left are not taking their foot off the gas. As Politico reported Wednesday morning, "Dems vow to plow forward on Biden agenda, even after election faceplants."
According to Politico's sources within the Biden administration, "The White House is expected to turn up the salesmanship of its plans, arguing that the results in Virginia and New Jersey, where things remained too close to call, are in part a reflection that voters want to see Congress get things done, a person close to the White House said."
Apparently missing the point of Tuesday's losses for Democrats, Biden will double-down on his massive spending plans because he thinks the GOP's success was a reaction to him not going far enough? Even if he stays the course and continues hyping up his infrastructure and budget plans — despite failing so far to get enough support to bring either to a vote in Congress — it doesn't seem like Tuesday's results put his party in a united position ready to get something in its win column.
Pergram predicted "internecine sniping today on Capitol Hill between moderate and liberal Democrats over the election outcomes and the failure by lawmakers" to reach a deal while Biden was abroad.
As for what happens next, Pergram predicts two potential outcomes:
7) The internal recriminations are so intense that this slows down passage of the infrastructure bill and the social spending bill.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 3, 2021
This is all reminiscent of 1993. Democrats approved major components of President Clinton’s economic agenda in his first year in office.
In any case, he explains, "Democrats will also do serious soul searching about how a left-wing agenda cost the party the suburbs. The big winners this morning among Democrats: Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema."
As the impression of Democrats in disarray ramps up yet again, what remains to be seen is whether their soul searching yields any shift in priorities as the midterm elections loom. Now 370 days away, the narrow Democratic majorities in the House and Senate will face even more Americans as they register their opinion of the Democrat agenda at the ballot box in 2022.