It is hard to imagine a bigger waste of prime-time TV than President Biden’s address at 7 p.m. six days before Election Day. Once again, the president set out to alarm the nation that our democracy is in peril, even as reports roll in from all over the country that early voting is at record levels and numerous contests are tight as a drum.
Call me crazy, but that sounds like a pretty vibrant democracy.
Biden sought to draw a line between the heinous attack on Paul Pelosi, allegedly by a mentally disturbed illegal immigrant, and the doubts some Republicans have about the 2020 election. His politicization of the Pelosi drama was foolish; there have been unconscionable attacks on political leaders on the left and the right — all despicable. Our political rhetoric has become ever more dreadful and hateful, but both sides have fueled that decline.
As to “election deniers” — both parties have their fair share.
Biden’s anxiety is not that the mega MAGA Republicans are dragging down the republic, but rather that his party is self-destructing. Democrats have steadfastly stuck to their script, focused on abortion, climate and the purported ongoing “assault upon democracy” rather than address the top concerns of voters. Their mulish adherence to issues that have fallen way down the list of voter priorities has destroyed their prospects, causing them to belatedly talk about problems like crime and the economy, dishonestly.
One of the latest nonsensical gambits has seen Democrats in New York and other dangerous cities telling voters that crime is worse in red states. The message to voters is: Be grateful, and it’s not our fault. The claim is misleading, of course, reflecting the data for states like Missouri, where Democrat-run cities like St. Louis – with the highest murder rate in the U.S. – up the crime stats.
The “it could be worse” approach has also been used by Biden and others trying to calm voter anxieties about inflation. They have told Americans that inflation is a problem, sure, but it’s even worse in other nations. That is not accurate, but it is also misleading in that the inflation rate in some foreign countries has been boosted by our strong dollar.
Instead of railing about Jan. 6, President Biden could have given voters optimism that their lives were about to get better, inflation is waning and the jobs market, even with a recession looming, continues to be tight. He might have declared an all-out attack on the lawlessness gripping our nation or vowed to get our border crisis under control. He might even have deigned to explain his plan for Ukraine, if he has one.
He might have tried to inspire our country. Instead, he reverted to the sort of accusatory hand-wringing that President Carter expressed in his famous “malaise” speech, oft cited as a prime reason Carter went down to defeat in 1980.
When 56 percent of the country says inflation is causing their families “severe or moderate” hardship, drilling down on “insurrection” fears will not connect with voters. When Americans are having to cut back on their purchases of groceries, cancel family vacations and put off buying a home because prices are too high and their incomes have not kept pace, they don’t want to hear about the “continued battle for the soul of the nation.”
Polls show Republicans gathering steam in the closing days of this election cycle, and really, why wouldn’t they? Democrats have been in charge of Congress and the White House for two years, and what do we have to show for it?
Rampant inflation that a late-to-the-party Federal Reserve vows to extinguish by driving up unemployment and most likely throwing us into recession, increased hostilities around the world, including a full-blown war in Europe, a border that is overwhelmed, soaring crime in our once-great cities, schools teaching utter rubbish to our kids at the expense of helping them learn to read and write, a housing market in freefall, a stock market in retreat and a populace increasingly angry at those in charge.
Voters might be more sympathetic if it were not Biden’s policies driving this bus that is careening off into a ditch. We have inflation largely because Democrats’ $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan tossed too much money onto a fast-recovering economy.
Inflation has been compounded by a shortage of workers, which our crack economic team has failed to address or in any way acknowledge. More than 2 million people have entered the country illegally in the last year, in party because Biden made a great show of reversing President Trump’s measures that had slowed the flow of migrants.
Oil prices would not be so high had the Biden White House not discouraged investment in our oil and gas industries in some misbegotten effort to appease climate activists. Crime would not be soaring if our leftist legislators and law enforcement leaders hadn’t allowed wishful thinking to overwhelm reality and concluded that even violent felons deserved a second, third or fourth chance.
Just recently, the White House tweeted “Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their social security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership.” It is true that the required COLA adjustments to the retirement program’s payments are the highest since 1981, but that is the result of four-decade-high inflation, not Joe Biden’s generosity. After being widely mocked online, and receiving a welcome “warning note” from Twitter, the tweet was deleted.
The episode is significant. It reflects the utter haplessness and amateurism of Biden’s White House, and the smug conviction of those responsible that voters are too dumb to know better. Heads up, Mr. president: As Abraham Lincoln purportedly said, “You may fool people for a time; you can fool a part of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”
Published on The Hill