(Note: I am taking a break. This is my last blog until after Labor Day. Back at you then.)
History tells us that the odds of the party occupying the White House winning the mid-term elections are pretty slim. “Since the end of World War II, the president’s party has lost House seats in all but two midterms: 2002 and 1998…”
Until June 24th when the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade’s right to abortion, it appeared the conventional wisdom would prevail, and a Republican red-wave tsunami was gathering steam. In the last six weeks, however, the tide has turned purple, if not downright blue.
So much is now going the Democrats’ way, it’s hard to believe. No one thought that red state Kansas would support abortion rights by 18 percentage points. Nor did most people think that Sens. Manchin and Sinema would sign on to the Democrats’ climate, health care and tax legislation, assuring its passage in the next week or so. The renamed Inflation Reduction Act will bring the country close to its emission reduction goals of cutting carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030. It will also lower drug prices by permitting Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and extend the Affordable Care Act for three more years.
In addition, here’s what else has recently boosted the Democrats’ chances in November:
- Hiring surged in July with 528,000 new jobs indicating the economy is improving.
- Last week a U.S. drone strike (with no collateral damage) killed Al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who was largely responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack.
- The PACT Act passed with full Dem support, providing aid to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits while serving their country, after Republicans were forced to drop their opposition.
- Gas prices declined for the seventh straight week helping to ease the fear of rising inflation.
- The Dems passed the CHIPS Act with some Republicans support (See my blog, Manchin and Schumer to McConnell and the Republicans, “Gotcha!” at https://breakingbigmoneysgrip.com/my-blog/) to bolster the domestic semiconductor industry.
Nevertheless, the elections are still three months away. While the Democrats now have a much stronger record to run on then they did just a couple of months ago, they will need an enthusiastic voter turnout, like the one in the recent Kansas primary affirming abortion rights, to upset the GOP and hold onto their Congressional majorities.
What was just a pipedream not long ago is now a realistic goal. With much of the Republican Party seeking permanent one-party rule, the Democrats are finally giving voters good reason to stick with them by demonstrating that they can produce concrete results for the American people. Though it’s far short of the progressive ideal and not everything President Biden promised during the 2020 campaign, he and his party have made significant progress in the face of stiff Republican opposition. Just think what they could do if, we, the voters gave them greater majorities to work with in November. One can only hope. All of us working together to get out the vote can turn hope into reality this fall.
Bruce Berlin, J.D.
A retired, public sector ethics attorney, Berlin is the author of Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America (See breakingbigmoneysgrip.com.), the founder of New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics, a former U.S. Institute of Peace fellow, and the founder and former executive director of The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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