IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13 January 2022
Today’s Events in Historical Perspective
America’s Longest-Running Column Founded 1932
A Democratic scenario
By Douglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift
WASHINGTON — Conventional wisdom says the Republicans will take back the House in the November midterm elections and have a better than even chance to win control of the Senate. If this happens, the January 6 Committee will be disbanded and a GOP gone berserk could move to impeach President Biden, if only to prove a point that the process is inherently partisan.
What could happen in 2022 to reverse this prediction and give Democrats a fair chance at holding the House and perhaps even gaining a seat or two in the Senate?
One, an improved economy. Democrats will never go wrong if they heed James Carville’s admonition, “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” Legislation is in place to spur growth and add millions of good-paying jobs.
Two, pass Build Back Better with whichever pieces Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., will accept. It doesn’t have to be the whole enchilada, a down payment on climate and some plugs for the safety net would be a win. Biden already got two major pieces of legislation passed: The American Rescue Plan and a bipartisan infrastructure bill that should be kicking in with visible benefits by Spring.
Three, Covid. We’re in the middle of an Omicron surge, a highly transmissible variant of Covid, and the disparity between unvaccinated and the vaccinated deaths is 10 to 1, proving the obvious, if you’re vaccinated, your chances of survival and avoiding serious illness are excellent. When Fox News host Tucker Carlson was asked if he was vaccinated, he wouldn’t say, calling it an invasion of his privacy. His non-answer is answer enough. Does anybody think he and his family are not vaccinated? Fox News employees aren’t allowed in the building without proof of vaccination. Still, many of their commentators discourage vaccinations, but then, hypocrisy is a mainstay of that propaganda company parading as a news station. But vaccines, tests, and high-quality masks are the key.
Four, pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act even if means altering the filibuster so that 60 votes are not required. The filibuster has been changed many times, most glaringly by Republican leader McConnell to seat three Trump justices on the Supreme Court with fewer than 60 votes. However, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., is on record opposing such a tactic. We will see.
Five, Russian President Putin backs down on Ukraine, and Japan steps in as a full military partner in Asia, tempering the rise of China and proving that Biden has global influence and diplomacy chops.
Six, inflation is quelled. The 7 percent jump is the highest since 1982, and it’s the direct result of pent-up demand from people staying home during two years of Pandemic. As it tapers off in 2022, the 2021 inflation will be seen as an aberration.
Some or any of these factors could change the calculus going into the November midterms.
When Biden delivered a passionate speech in Georgia on Wednesday calling for voting rights, Democratic activist Stacey Abrams did not attend the event, claiming she had a scheduling conflict. That may or may not be true, but if she thought appearing on stage with Biden would help her in her race to become the governor of Georgia, she would have been there. She read the poll numbers. But by summer, Biden’s poll numbers should be heading up, and in politics, it’s momentum that counts. The closer he can get to 50 percent approval, the better chance Democrats will have of holding on to their majorities in Congress.
Meanwhile, Biden can’t win for losing, but it’s never too late in politics where things can change on a dime for good or ill. The building blocks are in place for a turnaround, and the year ahead will make or break the Democratic Party’s hold on power.
Douglas Cohn’s latest books are The President’s First Year: The Only School for Presidents Is the Presidency and World War 4: Nine Scenarios (endorsed by seven flag officers).
© 2021 U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
Distributed by U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
END WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND
IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13 January 2022