Progressive leaders are claiming that the results of the mid-term elections give them a mandate for their left-wing agenda. They are way out in left field.
The Senate will either be evenly divided again (with Vice President Harris casting the tie-breaking vote), or the Senate Democrats will have a 51-49 advantage if Senator Raphael Warnock beats Herschel Walker in the Georgia Senate run-off on December 6th. The Republicans are poised to take over the majority in the House of Representatives by a razor-thin margin.
Democrats, much less their progressive wing, did not achieve a mandate for the next two years. Nor did the Republicans pull off the red wave they were anticipating.
The voters have delivered a message that they prefer a divided Congress to one-party rule in Washington, D.C. while expecting compromises as necessary to achieve positive results that benefit the American people.
Nevertheless, the House Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is pointing to the election of about a dozen new House members who ran as progressives as a mandate to be even more aggressive in pushing forward with their left-wing agenda.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the CPC chair, said that these additional progressives will help form “the most progressive Democratic caucus in decades.” She added that her caucus will be able to “double down on delivering real transformative change for working people in this country.”
Not so, Rep. Jayapal. With a Republican majority in the House and the enhanced influence of the conservative Freedom Caucus, the progressive agenda for “transformative” change will be dead on arrival.
Democrat Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren hailed the Democrats’ victories as proof of voters’ recognition that “progressive policies helped Americans counter high costs and created well-paying jobs.”
Wrong, Senator Warren. Americans are still suffering from high prices brought about by a four-decade high inflation rate that progressive spending programs helped to trigger. As for Senator Warren’s boast of “well-paying jobs,” workers whose wages have failed to keep up with inflation are not feeling the senator’s enthusiasm.
A national exit poll conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research showed that voters were unhappy with the state of the nation, and the economy in particular, under President Biden’s leadership. Inflation was rated the top issue by approximately 31 percent of the voters surveyed. Voters trusted Republicans more than Democrats to successfully manage the inflation problem. That is hardly a ringing endorsement of progressive spending programs.
Non-kitchen table issues were also very much on voters’ minds, which worked in the Democrats’ favor. A sizable number of voters who were angry at the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade’s constitutional protections for abortion voted for Democrat candidates who made abortion a top issue.
Moreover, the exit poll showed that candidate quality, experience, and perceived ideological extremism were significant factors in various races. Some voters bought President Biden’s pitch demonizing so-called extremist MAGA Republicans as a threat to democracy, which persuaded them to send a thumbs down to some of the Republican candidates whom Mr. Trump endorsed and, by proxy, to Mr. Trump himself.
In short, while it is true that Republicans did not achieve a decisive repudiation of President Biden and the Democrat-controlled Congress, the Democrats and their progressive base have no mandate at all for their progressive “transformative” agenda.
Indeed, a comparison of the 2018 and 2022 mid-term elections shows that the Democrats lost ground in the intervening four years with key constituencies who had helped them take over the House of Representatives in 2018.
According to CNN 2022 exit polls, Democrats’ advantage with women voters in 2022 was cut by more than half as compared with 2018. Democrats support among Latino voters also dropped, especially among Latino men.
Democrats’ support among younger voters between 18 and 29 years old dropped by 20 percent in 2022 from the Democrats’ showing in 2018. Moreover, the overall turnout among voters under 30 dropped in 2022 from their turnout in 2018, despite President Biden’s gift of student debt cancellation to younger voters.
Republicans increased their support among suburban and rural voters, which is not surprising. However, in urban areas where Democrats have their strongest and often most liberal base of support, Democrats’ advantage over Republicans among voters declined by nearly half in 2022 as compared with 2018.
With all that being said, power in Congress will be divided starting in January of 2023. The Democrat-controlled Senate will be able to continue confirming President Biden’s nominees, including judges to fill open seats. That could include filling one or more Supreme Court vacancies opening up during the balance of President Biden’s term in office.
The Democrats will also be able to pass symbolic bills in the Senate on such issues as abortion, voting rights, and more give-away programs, assuming they can overcome filibusters. However, with Republicans in control of the House, such bills will die in the House and not reach President Biden’s desk for signing. Conversely, certain bills that the Republican-controlled House passes, such as repealing all or portions of the Inflation Reduction Act, will also be doomed to fail.
The difference between the parties is that the Democrats are celebrating with a more unified front while the Republicans are risking turning themselves into a circular firing squad. They need to stay laser focused, especially in the House, on the constructive things they can accomplish and present to the voters in 2024.
To begin with, the Republican majority will need to play defense and stop the appropriation of money for the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents as well as for all spend-thrift progressive programs. The last thing the American people need during these stressful economic times is more IRS agents looking over their shoulders with intrusive audits or reckless spending that again ignites more inflation.
The Republican majority could also appropriate money for much tighter border security, including for the resumption of border wall construction, as part of a larger appropriations package that includes items the Democrats want and which the Republicans can accept. If the Democrat-controlled Senate refuses to consider this appropriations package, let them try to explain their obstructionism to the American people.
One of the first orders of business should be to withdraw any outstanding subpoenas issued by the political circus known as the January 6th Committee, including the one Donald Trump is dealing with. Also, Democrats who abused their committee assignments should lose those assignments. For example, Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both of California, should be stripped of their committee assignments on the House Intelligence Committee. Squad member Ilhan Omar of Minnesota should be kicked off the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
House Republicans will also be in a position to conduct investigative hearings into misconduct by the Biden administration that has hurt the American people. The Biden administration’s opening of the southern border with Mexico allowing the entry of millions of illegal immigrants and massive amounts of deadly fentanyl into the United States should be at the top of the list.
Too many Americans have died or lost loved ones from fentanyl overdoses. Nearly 100 suspected terrorists that we know of have entered the country illegally on President Biden’s watch. If investigations lead to credible evidence of dishonesty and recklessness at the Department of Homeland Security’s upper echelons, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas should resign or be dismissed immediately. The resignation of Chris Magnus as Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection is insufficient. Magnus is just a scapegoat. If President Biden digs in and keeps Mayorkas in office, impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas would be justified even if they go nowhere in the Senate.
Another priority for a House investigation is the extent to which the Biden family’s business connections with the Chinese government and Chinese business entities pose national security counterintelligence and extortion concerns. There is also the question of how such connections may have influenced the Biden administration’s soft approach towards China.
Why, for example, did the Biden administration permit the sale of nearly 1 million barrels of oil released from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Unipec America, an arm of the Chinese oil and gas company Sinopec. Could it have something to do with the business connections that President Biden’s son Hunter has had with the Chinese energy company? The Biden administration has not been forthcoming with information relating to this business connection and the president’s involvement or awareness of the connection, if any. A House investigation can expose any possible wrongdoing that helped America’s leading adversary and hurt Americans paying high gas prices while the U.S. is facing domestic energy supply shortages due to President Biden’s war on fossil fuels.
Moreover, it is hard to explain why President Biden studiously avoids confronting the Chinese regime about its continuing coverup of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic in China. The pandemic reportedly did not even come up as a topic of discussion between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Biden during their three-hour summit meeting in Bali, Indonesia on November 14th. Neither was the fentanyl crisis to which China has contributed mentioned as a topic of discussion.
Everyday Americans are paying the price for the Biden administration’s kids glove approach towards the Chinese regime. They deserve answers, including as to whether the Chinese regime has any hold over President Biden because of his son’s business dealings.
A third area for the Republican-controlled House to investigate is the extent to which major high-tech companies have colluded with the Biden administration and the Democratic Party. For example, did Biden administration officials and congressional Democrats choose to look away as financial shenanigans went on at Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto-currency exchange business while Bankman-Fried was pumping $40 million into the Democratic Party’s coffers during this election cycle? Is it just a coincidence that Bankman-Fried’s crypto-currency exchange business filed for bankruptcy shortly after the mid-term elections were over? Investors in crypto companies who were lured by TV ads with celebrities and are now losing their shirts have a right to learn what really transpired in the shadows.
Alleged collusion between the Biden administration and social media platform companies to censor material distasteful to the Biden administration should also be investigated. As reported by the Washington Examiner, e-mails have surfaced documenting that the “White House and other federal agencies regularly communicated with social media companies such as Facebook about content moderation and censorship decisions.” The American people should know whether their government is conspiring to block their access to information they have a right to see and assess for themselves regarding COVID-19, election fraud, and other controversial matters.
The next two years will provide Republicans with an opportunity in the House not only to block any more dangerous progressive initiatives but also to expose how the progressives steering the Democratic Party today are hurting everyday Americans in multiple ways. Voters will judge Republican candidates on how well they accomplish these tasks.