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Budowsky: Biden, Dems and the potential miniature blue wave of 2024

U.S. Capitol
Greg Nash
The U.S. Capitol is seen from the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Friday, January 20, 2023.

President Biden has had many substantial achievements in office. He, along with Democrats in Congress and those Republicans who supported those achievements, deserve great credit. 

Despite this, various public opinion polls suggest that a majority of voters view major events in Washington unfavorably. Similarly, polls suggest that many of the high-profile proposals and actions of some House Republicans are highly unpopular.  

The state of the union is that America is the greatest country in the world, but we are bitterly divided. The repellent state of today’s GOP, embodied by the Republican House and certain highly visible senators and presidential candidates, repeats the darker impulses from America’s past and offers little appeal outside divisive GOP primaries. 

Congressional Democrats and Biden, who has pursued genuine bipartisanship throughout his career, have been making honest attempts to reach bipartisan agreements on matters such as passing the debt ceiling to avoid an economic crash — something a significant majority of voters want. They could campaign in 2024 as change candidates seeking unity against Republicans’ divisiveness, obstruction and negativity. 

In Congress, there is some chance of reaching important agreements in the Senate, and possibly with enough Republicans in the House, to occasionally pass important bills. 

In the 2024 elections, there is a real chance that Biden and Democrats can win what I would call a mini-blue wave. They could gain a handful of Republican seats in the House, especially from New York and districts that Biden carried in 2020, to gain control of the lower chamber. They could gain even one new seat in the Senate — harder to achieve but possible — to gain effective control of the Senate. 

Let’s briefly consider the case of the Chinese balloon. 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee who once saw himself worthy of running for the presidency, headed for the television cameras over the weekend to accuse President Biden of “dereliction of duty.” 

Would President Rubio have rejected the advice of military leaders about when and how to shoot down a Chinese balloon? Effectively, he did just this when he attacked Biden, who heard and accepted their advice. 

By contrast, as of Monday evening, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was making honest efforts to seek bipartisan support for a resolution. 

American voters in 2024 do not want the kind of unbridled partisanship that nowadays characterizes the Republican House. They don’t want more aggressive restrictions against abortion, the creation of a federal sales taxes, cuts in Medicare or Social Security, or crashing the economy through debt ceiling intransigence. They want Biden’s civil and enlightened politics, aiming to improve the lives of voters. 

Biden and Democrats can achieve the high and popular ground against former President Trump and other GOP candidates, including potential presidential contender and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who I believe are overrated by many commentators because they are campaigning as Trump imitators pursuing bitterly divisive rightist issues that would not be well received by general election voters.  

Biden could campaign alongside dynamic Democratic members of the House and Senate and dynamic Democratic governors to create a more youthful image and promote his achievements and theirs. With this, he can create a change agenda for common and popular goals. 

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. 

Tags Biden Lloyd Bentsen Marco Rubio

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