The Democratic Party is in a panic after the big losses it suffered in this week’s elections. People are particularly disturbed by the loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race, a state that Biden had won by a margin of 10%.
So today, some Democratic voters seem to be leaving their party – or, if they remain in the party, they are holding the President responsible for the losses.
There is no question that the results were disappointing, and they are due in large part to the low popularity of the President. My view, however, is that it is too early to write him off. He has enough time ahead of him to recover in the polls and to be able to implement much of his agenda.
But let’s start from the beginning.
First, on the positive side: Biden was not elected president in the hope that he would become another Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but to get Donald Trump out of office. And on this point, Biden succeeded. He has brought a different style and ethos to power. The White House has ceased to be the source of almost daily crises. The engine of government is running smoothly, silently doing its job. Foreigners’ confidence in the country’s leadership is beginning to be restored.
From the daily turmoil of the Trump White House, we have passed into the calmness of the Biden era. Maybe more calm than some are looking for. Maybe we went from one extreme to the other, but for now at least, we need it.
It is also just a matter of time before it is widely accepted that one of Biden’s major decisions, the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, despite the chaotic manner in which it was conducted, was the right decision and in America’s interest.
The downside comes up strongly in more mundane matters – and people are rightly intolerant of problems in their daily lives.
While COVID-19 seems to be coming under control, a number of new, serious problems have arisen which seem to be moving… out of control.
The issue of rising inflation is a major problem that the government does not seem to be addressing. It is not enough to say it is a temporary phenomenon that is a result of the stimulus needed to keep the economy from collapsing under the weight of the pandemic and other COVID-caused situations – people need to see that the President is doing something about it, not waiting for the problem to go away. The same thing is the case with the problem of supply chain disruption – where no one can see light at the end of the tunnel.
And the issue of shortages of workers is becoming more acute – for small businesses in particular. Again, with no resolution in sight.
Added to those matters, and particularly troubling, is the fact that Democrats in Congress are divided, with the result that they are unable to work together to pass Biden’s trillion-dollar bill aimed at upgrading infrastructure and the even bigger bill aimed at alleviating middle and lower-income economic pressures.
But these problems are temporary. One by one each will find its solution – although the issue of inflation is probably more problematic.
It is not certain that Biden will seek re-election, mainly due to his age. But perhaps this is also his strongest asset. Because that way he can focus on doing the right thing for the country, instead of deciding based on what will help him win a second term.