Weird, Democrats Not Rolling Over Is Making Americans Like Them More!
Conventional wisdom is that the president's political party suffers major losses in the midterm elections. Barack Obama was shellacked in 2010, and 2018's Blue Wave soaked the one-term loser. Precedent would demand that Democrats lose ground in 2022. However, we live in unprecedented times.
A new Quinnipiac poll shows that 64 percent of Americans are “generally optimistic" about the next four years with a president who's not a rage-tweeting psychopath. Democrats and independents, who often decide elections, are ecstatic, and only 65 percent of Republicans are pessimistic.
President Joe Biden's approval ratings have already surpassed his scuzzy predecessor's best performance. Fifty-three percent of Americans approve of the job he's doing unfucking the country. Vice President Kamala Harris has 45 percent approval, but that's eight points higher than her disapproval.
Let's take a look at congressional numbers: Senate Minority (damn right) Leader Mitch McConnell has 21 percent approval, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is at 27 percent. COVID-19 is more popular. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is slightly better off with 37 approval. That leaves House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with 45 percent approval. That's right, the bad mama jama in charge, with her deluxe refrigerators in the sky, is the most popular leader in Congress.
You might assume we're getting ahead of ourselves. After all, Obama ended his first month in office with 67 percent approval, before everyone realized he was Muslim, Kenyan, and Black, but the GOP had a more united evil front in 2009. Currently, Republicans in Congress have 26 percent approval to Democrats 44 percent. Don't count on Marjorie Taylor Greene helping improve those numbers for the GOP. Even if people ignore Greene's daily Twitter tantrums, Republicans are losing the policy debate.
Take the president's big government, socialist takeover, blue-state giveaway COVID-19 relief bill:
Nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the Biden administration's proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus relief bill in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as 68 percent say they support it and 24 percent oppose it.
Democrats support it 97 - 3 percent, independents support it 68 - 25 percent and Republicans are opposed 47 - 37 percent, with 16 percent not offering an opinion.
Nearly 8 in 10 Americans are in favor of $1,400 stimulus payments to Americans with 78 percent supporting and 18 percent opposing.
What do you know? Americans don't want to starve, and they don't mind so much if Democrats exploit some obscure parliamentary procedure to get around that Jim Crow relic called the filibuster. Just send them money! More money is preferable to less money, if you can imagine that. Only Republicans in Congress fret about “deficits" while cashing their government paychecks. Every week is stimulus time for them.
Note that only a minority of Republicans polled oppose Biden's stimulus plan, and 37 percent support it. There's a good chance that number's even higher. The 16 percent “not offering an opinion" might refuse to go on the record, but they're probably hungry for that government cheese. Bottom line: We want that money!
Senate Majority Leader Schumer says he spoke to President Biden and Treasury Sec Yellen, and they are all in agreem… https://t.co/YC0s516xJI— The American Independent (@The American Independent)1612296137.0
It was encouraging to see Schumer say outright on Tuesday that Democrats aren't going to repeat the mistake of 2009 when they messed around with Republicans and delivered a teeny weeny polka dot stimulus that didn't help enough people quickly enough. Republicans didn't thank Obama and the Democrats for their bipartisanship. They danced on their political graves in 2010. Schumer's put his chump pants in the closet. He's done with that shit.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also agrees that the $600 billion proposal from the GOP's Gang of 10 Cheapskates is garbage.
"That's not strong enough to prevent scarring. Biden's plan will create enough jobs to get back faster. We're in a deep ditch and we need to get out quickly, not wait years and years."
Obama and Pelosi's big legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act, was also a different story. By July, Obama was polling at just 44 percent approval on healthcare, and once the ACA passed in 2010, the bill never enjoyed majority support until 2017 when it became a united GOP government's white whale. COVID-19 relief makes it harder for Republicans to lie about death panels. Big checks are much simpler to understand than the ACA exchange.
Before the GOP's electoral wipeout in 2018, the party failed to repeal the ACA but succeeded in passing an unpopular tax cut for rich people and confirming an even less popular Supreme Court justice. It's not unreasonable to think that Democrats could avoid the usual midterm losses by embracing bold policies that voters actually like. Two years is an eternity in politics but the past is not necessarily destiny. Regardless, it's always better to go big than go home with nothing, dressed up as “compromise."
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."