Just a month before the 2020 election, radio host Rush Limbaugh commented that Democrats “resent the whole premise behind elections. Look, they don’t believe they should have to persuade anybody to agree with them … The modern-day Democrats have to go through the motions of campaigning, and they have to go through the motions of trying to win the hearts and minds of voters. But they resent the h-ll out of it. And in their world, it’s the one thing standing in their way: This need, this requirement to win elections. And I’m just telling you: As soon as they can figure out a way to eliminate elections, they will do it.”
Today, Democrats are engaged in a full-court press to pass legislation that would brush state election safeguards aside and codify the shenanigans of 2020 into federal law. They’ll nuke the filibuster if they can, a step never taken previously for high-priority legislation but pursued now for a bill that nobody is marching in the streets for. Anything to cement themselves into a permanent position of power.
As Joe Biden himself said, “It’s about election subversion, not just whether or not people get to vote. Who counts the vote? That’s what this is about, that’s what makes this so different from anything else we’ve ever done.” Indeed.
Voters Aren’t Clamoring for Democrat Priorities
It’s hard being a Democrat lately. Just ask Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. After promising to hold a vote to eliminate the filibuster and force through passage of their “voting rights” bill by Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 17), he had to push it back again.
This, of course, comes on the heels of a stinging defeat of the Biden administration’s Covid vaccine mandate by the Supreme Court. That failure was preceded by the “Build Back Better” bill being stalled in the Senate, perhaps for good.
Party leaders are upset, but the truth is that voters are not enthusiastic about much of this. There are no marches for mandates. Nor is there any grassroots demand for Build Back Better or the federalization of state elections. And a recent poll found that support for the filibuster has only grown since Democrats began their push to eliminate it (now by a 53 percent to 27 percent approval to disapproval margin).
Democrats Mistakenly Double Down
Democrats may fail at policy, but they’ve always been reliably competent at the game of politics, zeroing in on votes with great precision. Have you noticed they haven’t been themselves lately, though?
Even after taking a shellacking in statewide elections in Virginia and New Jersey last November, a moment when sane politicians typically learn from defeat, they instead doubled down. In her usual well-reasoned manner, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., commented after the electoral bloodbath that Democrats were beaten, not because of the president’s agenda, but because they hadn’t done enough to “excite, speak to, or energize a progressive base.”
Never mind that voters knew what was at stake — and clearly rejected it.
One would have thought that older and more seasoned politicians might have guided the young House member back to reality, but the ragin’ Cajun himself, James Carville, only sparked her outrage in saying that “stupid wokeness” had cost the Democrats. James comes from the era of old-school politics, one that abided by the cardinal rule: “Never piss off voters.” He’s surely aware of its corollary: “If you do, then turn back – ASAP.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should know better, but she responded, “no, no,” when asked if the election results in Virginia and New Jersey would cause Democrats to rethink their plans. Full steam ahead.
Democrats Out of Touch
The president lamented that his big ticket bills hadn’t been passed before Election Day, and then concluded, “but I’m not sure I would have been able to change the number of very conservative folks who turned out in red districts that were Trump voters.”
For a politician who’s been in public office for nigh 50 years, that kind of logic seems disturbingly unhinged. How exactly does one surmise both that the party’s losses were due to not passing the big agenda soon enough (AOC’s position), and that it would not have mattered anyway because, you know, the red wave was coming? Excuses, blindness, or something else? It’s hard to tell.
We’re left to ponder: Have Democrats lost the ability to navigate public opinion? Does it even matter to them anymore? With the midterm elections just 10 months away, and the polls moving away from Democrats, will they continue to walk off the electoral cliff or bring themselves back to reality?
President Bill Clinton, who also saw his party shellacked in a midterm, acted in the way that sensible politicians normally do. He called up the new Republican speaker of the House and asked how they could work together. The result was a Democrat president signing on to welfare reform and abandoning his unpopular quest for government-run universal health care. Voters rewarded him with re-election.
Nothing seems to faze Joe, though. No compromise ever seems possible. There are, of course, times it’s noble to dig the heels in. Faced with an approaching enemy, Winston Churchill proclaimed, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” So where is the honor and good sense in ignoring voters who now give this president an embarrassing 33 percent approval rating?
Instead of finding common values to unite the nation, Biden calls those who disagree with him a bunch of racists. “Do you want to be the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?,” Biden pontificated in a speech pushing his “voting rights” bill. “Do you want to be the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis? This is the moment to decide, to defend our elections, to defend our democracy.”
Churchill battled the Nazis. Biden battles half of the country who simply disagrees with his party on a matter of policy — that is, who should control state elections — and whether we should suddenly abandon a Senate rule that’s existed for more than 200 years.
Not the Will of the People
Instead of being the moderate voters thought he was and simply calling up Republicans to find common ground legislation, policies for which voters would reward him, Biden remains ideologically ensconced in a White House driven by leftist special interest groups — venturing out to speak only to his own party’s caucus.
Facing a headwind of opposition, he told the group of fellow Democrats on the Hill, “I don’t know that we can get this done … but I know one thing, as long as I have a breath in me … I’m going to be fighting to change the way these legislatures have moved.” Perhaps that’s the problem, Mr. President. You’re pushing a process rather than the will of the people.
Real Clear Politics notes that “it isn’t accidental that, in the generic ballot … the Democrats’ current vote share is 42.8%, nearly mimicking Biden’s.”
And “what does [RCP’s model] tell us about 2022? … a Republican-controlled Senate starts to come into the picture when Biden’s job approval falls to around 51% and becomes the most likely outcome at around 48%.” Biden is now at 42 percent approval in the RCP average, and that math should be clear to Democrats — but somehow, they seem unconcerned.
Maybe there’s a logical reason, a method to their madness. After pulling off the statistics-bending, six-fold swing-state wonder in the wee hours of election night 2020, perhaps Democrats now have reason to believe they’re no longer accountable to voters. Public opinion and polls become meaningless when you control the election process, when the courts turn a blind eye, and when the media blocks any honest inquiry.
Rush was right. Democrats are now working harder to change the election system than to change your mind because, as their actions demonstrate, they don’t care what you think. They just want to win.
Bob Anderson is a partner and CFO of a hotel development company and a former aerospace engineer who worked on the International Space Station and interned in Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) at the Pentagon. He is also a licensed commercial pilot.
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