Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
The midterms are over a year-and-a-half away, which is a life-time in politics. But the Biden administration’s egregious incompetence and political tin ear are good omens for Republican chances of taking back the House and even the Senate.
Let’s start with the chaos at the border, and out-of-control and illegal immigration, one of the issues that helped Donald Trump win in 2016. The progressives want us to believe that the xenophobia and racism of the “deplorables” and “bitter clingers” accounted for Trump’s success. But quasi-open borders and sanctuary cities that protect felons and gangster are unpopular with most voters, including Latinos and blacks who bear the lethal cost of policies promoted by tony cognitive elites who don’t have to pay for their juvenile idealism.
Once the crisis exploded, Kamala Harris––or “Que mala” as she was called in El Paso––worsened the optics of the disorder: coyotes and cartel human traffickers getting rich; children penned up in “cages,” to use the Dems’ hyperbole; endless throngs in the hundreds of thousands streaming over the Rio Grande in broad delight, and being welcomed ashore by border agents. And her uncontrollable cackle and obvious lack of preparation reinforced the administration’s fecklessness.
And who can forget Kamala’s lame “root causes” rationalizations for conditions created by Biden’s reversal of all Trump’s policies that had the border under control? Guatemala’s president set the record straight when he fingered Biden’s irresponsible statement that the U.S. would “reunite families,” and his virtue-signaling rhetoric that accompanied his repudiation of Trump’s policies like the “Remain in Mexico” protocol for asylum seekers. If the Republicans are smart, the copious dramatic videos from this disaster will be broadcast 24/7.
Next, the Dems and the politicized DOJ have attacked states like Arizona and Georgia that are cleaning up their election laws to restore electoral integrity. Arizona’s reforms have been vindicated by the Supreme Court, which makes AG Merritt Garland’s witch-hunt pretty much DOA. The dishonest “voter suppression” rationale, one predicated on the insulting claim that blacks are too incompetence to secure photo I.D.s or find a polling place, is not convincing anybody beyond the hard-core Democrat constiuency of race-hustlers and electoral fraudsters. Most ordinary citizens outside the blue-state progressive silos want their votes to count, instead of being cancelled by fake ballots.
No more convincing are the desperate rationales for the steep increases in violent crime ever since George Floyd’s death while in police custody last May rationalized big-city mayors’ pull-back of their police forces, allowing BLM and their Antifa black-shirts to run wild for months. Worse, many Democrat mayors and politicians endorsed BLM’s “defund the police” demands, which created the Ferguson Effect on steroids. No surprise that cops have been retiring in droves, and gun-thugs are taking over public spaces. Finally, not content with their policy blunders, the Dems are trying to sell voters on the idea that Republicans’ have been defunding the police because they’re resisting Biden’s print-tax-and-spend bills. Voters aren’t going to fall for the old Marxist (Groucho and Karl) principle, “Who are you gonna believe, me or your own lying eyes?”
Non-elite voters, particularly black and Latino ones who are the main casualties of progressive lunacy, aren’t buying this transparent con. Law-and-order is a perennial voter concern, and the Dems are handing the Republican yet more graphic visuals showing why Democrats can’t be trusted with the government.
Those are just three domestic issues which, for now, give the Republicans a big advantage in 2022. If, as seems likely, inflation increases and we return to the Carter years of economic “stagflation,” the Dems will face a fate similar to what Barack Obama called a “shellacking” when in 2010 the Republicans gained 63 seats in the House. And given the Senate is split 50-50, they’ll have a very good chance of taking the Senate back too.
Abroad, the Biden administration has been just as bad. His debut on the global stage at the G7 and NATO summits was an embarrassing disaster. It highlighted his cognitive disabilities and clichéd foreign policy bromides about the “rules-based international” order that Donald Trump challenged. No wonder French President Emmanuel Macron was so jolly when he said to Biden, “Welcome back to the club!” Trump’s refusal to let the globalist cartel keep the kick-me sign on America’s back had rattled the Eurocrats and our peer rivals China and Russia. But Biden’s mere addled presence reassured them that the U.S. will again be the senile Uncle Sam whose geopolitical pockets they had become used to picking.
That change from Trump’s America-first realism was painfully clear in Alaska last March at a meeting between Chinese diplomats and our Secretary of State and National Security Advisor. The Chinese, as I wrote at the time, “unloaded on them with an absurd caricature of the United States straight out of Howard Zinn and Mother Jones,” including nonsense about our human rights violations. Our top foreign policy mavens “in response feebly confirmed the truth of the accusations, but rationalized that at least we don’t ‘ignore them’ or ‘pretend they don’t exist’ or ‘sweep them under the rug.’” The self-flagellating tone in response to a public scolding from the world’s leading violator of human rights, and a probable mass-murderer with an engineered bioweapon, evokes the Jimmy Carter days of national “malaise,” when we were paralyzed by the Vietnam Syndrome and stood by while Iran kidnapped our diplomats and held them hostage, while the Soviet Union went on a geopolitical rampage.
The most dangerous evidence of this malign foreign policy of globalist delusions, however, is the unseemly eagerness with which the Biden team is seeking to revive the nuclear deal Trump wisely pulled out of. Obama’s 2015 agreement was a Munich-class act of appeasement, in which Iran got everything it wanted, and all the West got was a photo-op, empty promises, and a decade delay in the mad mullahs’ acquisition of nuclear weapons. An adversary that for 40 years has announced its hatred of us, that has the blood of Americans on its hand, that finances terrorist gangs like Hezbollah and Hamas, and that threatens Israel, our most important ally in the region, with genocide––this adversary was larded with billions of dollars in cash and sanctions relief, which it used to continue developing missiles, spinning its centrifuges, and financing its Quds Force storm-troopers’ meddling in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
This is the regime Biden wants to do business with, at the cost of removing Trump’s punitive sanctions that have brought the regime to the brink of collapse. But with Trump gone, and Biden making conciliatory noises that the Iranians respond to with open defiance and contempt, China has sent Iran $400 billion, ensuring that our most powerful rival will have access to oil, and Iran will have a breathing space from Trump’s sanctions. Imagine what mischief will ensue if Biden caves and removes those sanctions.
Finally, there’s Biden himself, whom even his boss Barack Obama disdained and scorned. And for good reason: a mediocre machine pol and peddler of influence; a serial sniffer of women’s and girls’ hair; a fabulist and plagiarizer, and the enabler of his son’s and brother’s various schemes to monetize their connection to him. On top of those creepy and unseemly traits, he now is clearly cognitively impaired in ways obvious in every news video, where his gaffes, befuddlement, and temper are on display. If the well-liked, superficially affable, smooth-talking Barack Obama couldn’t keep from losing the House, what makes anybody think Joe can?
But anything can happen. Who would have thought that a candidate who never campaigned outside his basement, who gaffed incessantly, whose son was exposed as a grifter, who didn’t arouse a fraction of enthusiasm and excitement that Trump did in rallies all over the country, and whose party was implicated in excusing and even enabling months of violent rioting, looting, and vandalism––who could have believed that such a disaster of a candidate could become president? But all it took was a pandemic that blue-state governments, aided by a corrupt media, weaponized with lock-downs that brought a booming economy to a stop; and with hysterical exaggerations of risk and lethality buttressed by government “experts” carrying water for the Dems.
If that could happen, anything can.
Still, we can be encouraged by these signs of doom for the Dems. But the Republicans have to take advantage of the Democrats’ problems, and not throw them some “bipartisan” life-line like passing yet another extravagant vote-buying bill, or legitimizing the January 6 witch-hunt marketed as an “investigation,” as Rep. Liz Cheney has done by joining the effort. Now’s the time for Republicans to enter the fight with both guns blazing.