Things just keep getting worse and worse for Joe Biden, and his poll numbers are starting to take a hit. Both the RealClearPolitics average and the FiveThirtyEight average have his job approval below 50 percent—and that’s before all polls have taken into account what’s happened in Afghanistan. Polls trickling in since the fall of Afghanistan and Biden’s shameful speech show Biden’s approval is sliding downward. The media isn’t even denying how bad things are for Biden and, by extension, the Democrats, whose majority in the House, which was already at risk, is even more threatened by recent events.
“The early indicators that showed Democrats poised to make big gains in Congress four years ago now point the other direction, suggesting that the narrow 220-212 Democratic House majority is in serious danger,” writes Alex Settz-Wald at NBC News.
“Based on all factors, you’d have to consider Republicans the early favorites for the House majority in 2022,” David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report told NBC News. “Democrats’ best hope is that Biden’s approval rating stays above 50 percent and that Republicans have a tougher time turning out their voters without Trump on the ballot.”
So much for that plan.
Historically speaking, the party in power typically loses seats in the midterm elections, and Biden’s missteps aren’t helping Democrat prospects. But the embarrassing debacle in Afghanistan seems poised to hurt the Democrats even more, and one Democrat strategist thinks it’s time for the Democrats to steamroll their agenda through Congress while they still have a majority.
“Given both polarization and the trickiness of today’s issue environment, which has been made insanely unpredictable by COVID, it’s not a very good bet that Biden will get the kind of approval bump he would need to put him in the territory of past midterm winners,” writes Democrat strategist Ed Kilgore at New York magazine. “Maybe he’ll be smart and lucky, and maybe the opposition [thanks to its identification with a 45th president who will not go away] will help Biden make 2022 the rare midterm that isn’t a referendum on the sitting president. But all in all, the 46th president and his allies should probably stop worrying about his approval ratings and just get as much done as they possibly can while they still control Congress.”
Fixing the problems Biden has created is not nearly as important, apparently, as ramming through as much of the Democrats’ radical left-wing agenda as possible. Kilgore certainly sounds like he’s not confident that Biden and the Democratic Party are capable of fixing the problems they’ve created and earning the trust and support of the American people again. This is hardly surprising. Barack Obama wasn’t elected because he had proven experience. Hillary Clinton’s support wasn’t because of a proven record of success. Heck, Joe Biden’s years of experience in government had less to do with the support he had than just the virtue of him not being Trump.
And that’s exactly how Biden has governed. Despite having more experience in government than any of his recent predecessors, Biden’s short time in office has been the epitome of incompetence. America was promised that electing Joe Biden would fix America’s problems, not create new ones. But, of course, Democrats excel at creating problems, which is how Donald Trump got elected.
But Kilgore’s idea that Democrats should read the writing on the wall and ram their agenda through while they still have the chance is a flawed strategy. If it were that easy, they’d have done so already. They have razor-thin majorities in both Houses, and there are a small number of red state Democrats who aren’t about to support the Democrats’ most radical agenda items and risk losing their next election. This means that their best strategy is to actually focus on fixing the problems, not act like lame ducks. And with Biden’s popularity on the decline, getting these swingable Democrats on board with the Democrats’ radical agenda most certainly got a lot more difficult.