A gradual bloodbath has simply been delayed
For all their cautious optimism yesterday, a slight midterm victory may turn out to be the last thing Democrats need. Had they performed as expected, Democrats and their media aides would now be busy dissecting their defeat. But what must be seen as a lost Republican opportunity – earning little in a country where the lifetimes are now down – also means that Democrats will be slower to address their weaknesses and may be forced to accept the unpopular Joe Biden as their leader in 2024.
With no sign of a Republican resurgence, Democrats will likely be tricked into thinking that Biden’s polarizing agenda is a vote winner, the same way the GOP’s conspiracy-minded MAGA wing refuses to move on from 2020. Until he’s resoundingly refuted at the polls, stridency tends to stoke your base: Trump supporters have become, as the president has hinted, “semi-fascists,” while his political mentor, South Carolinian James Clyburn, goes further, decrying the GOP as the architects of a Nazi state.
When Democrats have performed poorly in the past, they have been forced to rethink their policy. After Walter Mondale suffered a crushing defeat by Reagan in 1984, the Democratic Leadership Council was created to steer the ship to the center – and eventually backed both a young Bill Clinton and, to some extent, Biden to him. -same. In turn, the DLC was inspired by the Moderate Coalition for a Democratic Majority, founded after Nixon crushed McGovern in 1972. Today, however, it’s hard to say the time has come to embrace a new political vision as virtually every high-profile Blue State Democrat won, sometimes by wider margins than expected.
So rather than using the next two years to regroup and craft a political agenda that can win the next election, Democrats now seem stuck with a weak leader who seems unfit to handle the global challenges that will define America in the coming decade. Internally, too, the Democrats seem increasingly unstable. A stronger-than-expected midterm performance does not mask the fact that the Progressives remain a dominant faction in the party – with an associated agenda that, outside of college towns and deep blue downtowns, commands remarkably low levels of supportas barack obama and others have warned.
Sticking to such a program threatens the party’s already weakening grip working class voters, especially those threatened by climate policies. Over time, the economic implications of Biden’s green agenda may be obvious, but for now they’re hidden amid massive deficits and rising transfer payments. However, as Democratic strategist Ruy Teixeira noted, in the longer term, the party’s emphasis on “decayand austerity is unlikely to appeal to middle-class and especially working-class voters. Already, the political implications of climate policy have ruined the Democrats’ best chance of taking the GOP seat in Ohio. Their candidate Tim Ryan may have claimed to support fracking, but his support for Pelosi’s congressional agenda has proven disastrous in a state whose economy is fueled by natural gas production and hopes to attract new investment, including a possible new $20 billion Intel chip factory in suburban Columbus. In Florida, meanwhile, Ron DeSantis won big in the historically Democratic Latino regions.
To appeal to those alienated by the climate and cultural agenda of the left, socialists like Bernie Sanders are proposing a more economically redistributive policy. It clearly worked in California where last year’s surplus was funneled into subsidies for working-class voters who are forced to pay the high rents and energy prices caused by the policies dreamed up in Sacramento. . To win, Sanders noted, Democrats need to focus more on core economic concerns, such as pensions, health care, job creation and rising wages. What is needed is a giant American welfare state, a supercharged Sweden on steroids.
The big issue for Democrats, now that this appears to be acceptable policy, is who will pay for it. Biden’s 2020 election victory was largely funded and marketed by the corporate and tech elite. Today, however, many of these moguls are shifting to the right as their mega fortunes, especially in Silicon Valley, become less mega. Most remain pro-Democrats, although the biggest player, Elon Musk, has arguably moved his support at the GOP. Meanwhile, once reliable lenders such as JP Morgan Jamie Dimon and Steve Ratnerharshly criticized Biden’s economic policies and worried about the expansion of antitrust regulations. And as Democrats push their draconian climate policy, the ranks of its wealthy detractors are likely to swell. The nationalization of the energy industry would deprive them, for example, of the manna of an energy “transition” towards solar and wind power. Wall Street and the Valley can still see that their alliance with climate activists will end in tears.
As their wealthy backers grow increasingly alienated, Democrats can’t afford to be happy with their midterm performance. Any sense of victory must be accompanied by a recognition that the best way forward is to adopt a moderate strategy that incorporates the best parts of Sanders’ agenda, such as aggressive relocation of industry and strong policies against China, with a less intrusive cultural agenda. . Democrats must embrace the potential of America’s productive economy, from agriculture and energy to manufacturing, to create jobs; they should be the ones to determine how ordinary people can benefit from the country’s vast natural resources and creative advantages.
It is possible, although elements of his progressive wing will no doubt oppose any move towards middle ground. In Great Britain, Work largely learned its lesson and extinguished much of Jeremy Corbyn’s far-left anti-Semitic faction, setting the stage for a likely reversal in his political fortunes. Here too, Democrats must find ways to circumvent, and sometimes reject, its unpopular fringes. If they seek to become a truly national majority party, they must rediscover something of the spirit of Harry Truman or John Kennedy, or perhaps even Joe Manchin – a party that could win support not only in the blue zones, but across the country.
Joel Kotkin is Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director of the Urban Reform Institute. His new book, The advent of neo-feudalismis now Exit from Encounter. Reproduced with kind permission from Unherd.com. View the original file at The Fake Democrat Victory – UnHerdNovember 10, 2022