Budowsky: 2022 midterms: Biden vs. Trump, Round 2
The 2022 midterm elections will be one of the most important midterm elections in American history, and will be the equivalent of a second presidential campaign between President Biden and former President Trump.
Throughout 2018 I suggested the midterms that year were among the most important in our history, because they would determine whether Trump and the Republican House and Senate would go into the 2020 campaign continuing one party domination of the House, Senate and White House by Trump Republicans.
Had Republicans won in 2018, the threat to American democracy during the 2020 campaign would have reached extreme and catastrophic danger. Biden’s election, in a direct attack against American democracy, might well have been overturned by the Republican House which could have led to a political bloodbath across the nation.
Make no mistake: The same dangers exist in the 2022 midterm elections. The right to vote in America is under extreme threat and is pending before Congress in 2021. If voter suppression wins, the battle for democracy is underway in 2021. The dangers to democracy in 2022 and 2024 elections would be unparalleled in American history.
We have learned two major things since Biden defeated Trump in 2020.
We have learned that Biden leads a widely united Democratic Party and is pursuing a broadly progressive agenda that has won high approval from voters. The Biden way of doing political business is powerfully more popular than the Trump way of doing business that was disastrous for Republicans in 2020.
We have also learned that Trump is a) continuing his political style of waging war against those he treats like enemies in both major parties, b) is promoting a civil war in the Republican Party and threatening to destroy any Republicans who do not obey him, c) has added to his big lie that he won the 2020 election a second big lie that massive voter suppression would protect rather than destroy democracy in America, and d) he has achieved near total domination of what was once the party of Lincoln and is now the party of Trump.
The war against Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) by Trump and the other House Republican leaders, including more than half of whom voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election that a long list of conservative and Republican judges and justices firmly backed upholding, demonstrates how today’s GOP holds core democratic values in contempt.
That so many Republicans offer excuses, explanations and evasions about the anti-democratic attack against the Capitol on Jan. 6, often described as seditious, is a dark stain on the history of the GOP and an ominous sign about the future of American democracy if these Republicans gain power again.
The midterm election is shaping up as a rerun of Biden versus Trump. Biden’s way of doing business versus Trump’s way. Biden’s success in protecting America from COVID-19 versus Trump’s disastrous actions toward the deadly virus. Biden’s success in passing a COVID-19 relief bill that Republicans opposed, which dramatically powers a great economic recovery.
The midterm election will be a choice between Biden’s Democrats acting like a governing party versus Trump’s Republicans acting like a cult of personality repeating big lies, and rejecting the only House Republican leader who repeats big truths. And between Biden’s devotion to democracy for voting at home and democratic alliances in the world, versus Trump’s contempt for democracy that brings voter suppression and bitter national divisions at home, and praise for dictators abroad even while they attack our democracy.
The midterm election will be a choice between Biden’s politics of civility and decency versus Trump’s politics of treating political opponents, including Republicans, as enemies, which culminated in the dastardly attack on the Capitol at the very moment a majority of House Republicans defamed democracy by voting to overturn the election in Congress.
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.