As we race toward this fall’s midterm elections, it’s obvious that Democrats are in for a shellacking. Both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have approval ratings underwater by double-digit margins. Even more ominous, the RealClearPolitics polling average for voters who have been recently asked about the direction of the country reveals an astonishing 37.5% margin in favor of the idea America is on the “wrong track.”
Put simply, voters can’t stand Biden, hate Harris even more and emphatically think the country is headed in the wrong direction. Also auguring poorly for Democrats is the near-ironclad rule of American politics that a sitting president’s political party will lose seats in the first post-inauguration midterm election.
In a desperate attempt to stave off, or at least mitigate, a veritable electoral bloodbath, Democrats have conveniently decided that now is the time to finally stop obsessive about COVID. Yes, now — right as other polling evinces a majority of Americans want to cease or seriously lessons COVID-induced lifestyle restrictions.
gov. Kathy Hochul just announced an end to the statewide masking requirement for businesses, though a mask mandate regrettably remains in place at schools and health care facilities. What’s more, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Oregon and California — all, like New York, Democratic-governed — announced this week their own plans to lift indoor mask mandates either later in February or in March.
These Democratic leaders have invariably pointed to receding caseloads, and perhaps “the science” more generally, to justify their obviously coordinated reversals on mask mandates. To be sure, mask mandates (for inefficacious masks) and vaccine mandates (for vaccines that do not stop transmission) are bad public policy. So, good for Democrats for finally catching up.
But Democrats cannot plausibly pretend that “the science” has changed in any meaningful way. All that has changed is their ever-plummeter polling and ever-sinking expected fortunes this fall. Hochul and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have not had some sort of grand epiphany.
There will be no “mea culpa,” no acknowledgment that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had it right on COVID all along. If Democrats could still politically get away with imposing their will, they would do so.
Democrats’ risible volte-face on COVID hysteria will not spare them the American people’s wrath at the ballot box this fall. For starters, even in terms of COVID, many blue-state parents still face the indignity of seeing their children masked up in school, and thus subject to all the attendant pedagogical and developmental harms wrought by forcing school-age youngsters to cover up in face diapers.
Voters also have a long enough memory to recall Biden’s imperious vaccinate-or-test workplace mandate, which was thankfully joined by the Supreme Court but which still amounted to a more brazen act of administrative overreach than anything even former President Barack Obama ever attempted.
But the Democrats’ impending electoral rebuke is far more encompassing. This week, the Consumer Price Index hit a 40-year high, reaching 7.5%. Inflation is regressive insofar as it disproportionately harms lower-income consumers, but it harms everyone. Over the past year, used car prices have shot up 40.5%, gasoline prices 40% and eggs 13%. These numbers are simply staggering, and suggest a comeuppance is due.
The Biden-Harris track record in any number of other core governance areas is also appalling. Customs and Border Protection data for 2021 reveal an astonishing 2 million illegal immigrants were apprehended or turned themselves in. The yearlong border crisis, seared in many Americans’ consciences due to the images that emerged last fall out of besieged Del Rio, Texas, was exacerbated by deliberate Biden-Harris decisions. The administration’s rescission of the highly effective Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy comes to mind.
On the foreign-policy front, Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal, though overdue and correct in theory, was so botched, humiliating and galling in its execution that it was impeachment-worthy. Meanwhile, thugs Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, who have Taiwan and Ukraine squarely in their respective crosshairs, scoff at the United States and openly propose a new world order. At the same time, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s No. 1 state sponsor of jihad, inches ever-closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon.
The American people historically punish political incompetence, and the doddering dolt who is our commander in chief is a case study in gross incompetence. Republicans are on track to win big this fall, and at this point there is nothing Democrats can do to prevent it.