Last week, Americans saw the “unconditional surrender by President Biden to the unconditional demands of his own party.”
President Biden will set the “bipartisan” infrastructure bill aside until Sen. Bernie Sanders ’ $5.5 trillion welfare state expansion is signed into law.”(The usual estimate of $3.5 trillion assumes its programs will be allowed to expire, which they won’t.)
Karl Rove in the WSJ outlines Biden’s unnecessary capitulation:
He vanquished the Democratic left in the 2020 South Carolina primary, with 49% to Mr. Sanders’s 20% and won a majority of the convention delegates by June 5, even before the last eight states and three territories held primaries.
Promising to heal America’s “soul” (certainly not by a radical agenda), Joe Biden went forward to win the general election. His message was straightforward, simple: Beat Donald Trump. And make Washington “normal” again.
Bernie’s supporters negotiated more than 100 pages of policy recommendations with Biden in July. Although lauding Team Bernie’s work and praising party unity, Mr. Biden’s campaign pointedly promised they’d be “reviewing” Bernie’s suggestions.
So What Happened?
As Henry Olsen (Ethics and Public Policy Center) pointed out recently, despite winning independent voters by double digits in November, Mr. Biden is underwater.
How Much Is Biden Underwater?
- 13 points with independents
- 52% of those who disapprove of Biden’s performance.
If Mr. Sanders’s proposals were so popular, notes Karl Rove, this wouldn’t be the case among independents. Independents are the ones who will decide the 2022 midterms.
Does the Biden White House really believe the democratic socialist line that Americans will cheer the “$5.5 trillion bill’s passage, because it polls well when the proposals are framed as abstractions with no costs”?
Voters don’t consider sections of legislation in a vacuum or by slogans only, Mr. Rove reminds readers.
As with the Affordable Care Act, they’ll reach their conclusions after examining the bill’s pluses and minuses, with their views influenced by their own attitudes and values. There’s the problem for Democrats: Mr. Sanders’s mega-spending bill strikes many voters as too radical, too expensive, and being sold on slick promises too good to trust.
With no substantial margins in Congress and only some bipartisan support, why does President Biden persist?
3 Suggestions as to Why
- The Democratic establishment is spent. After the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the traditional leadership of Democrats may have run out of ideas, energy and self-confidence.
- The president is bowing to what he believes is inevitable—a party led by Mr. Sanders and the Squad, with him as the frontman. If you aren’t sure where this will end, look at what Jeremy Corbyn’s rise did to the British Labour Party.
Many traditional Democrats fear their rowdy left-wing base, which is big enough to win primaries and deep-blue congressional districts, but not purple or red territory. This may help explain the large number of Democrats in swing districts retiring from Congress.
- After eight years in the Obama White House being marginalized, ignored and treated as a kindly, lovable goofus, Mr. Biden likes being cheered by Democrats and media as potentially the most transformational president since FDR.
Dems Set for Defeat in 2022?
Mr. Rove suggests that it might be all three. Will Joe Biden regret striking his colors when he grasps that “he could have won a victory on the infrastructure bill, then fought for whatever elements of Mr. Sanders’ monstrosity he wanted?”
Instead, Mr. Biden may end up with no bills.
Even if Congress passes both, (Biden’s) fumbling manner and unilateral surrender have set his party up for defeat in 2022.
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