Feehery: Seizing the radical middle

Feehery: Seizing the radical middle
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Joe BidenJoe BidenFighter jet escorts aircraft that entered restricted airspace during UN gathering Julian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy FBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp MORE has abandoned the radical middle to embrace the radical Left. Republicans should seize the ground Biden left behind.

The president campaigned as the moderate in the middle. He explicitly told voters that since he beat Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDon't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs MORE (I-Vt.) during the primary campaign, his views would carry the day when it came to implementing his agenda.

But Sanders seems pretty content with how the Biden administration is governing. It’s Bernie’s $3.5 trillion budget plan that now constitutes the bulk of the president’s agenda. I can’t see how a Sanders administration would have been substantively different from the Biden administration from a tax and spend perspective.

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But it isn’t just on fiscal matters where Joe Biden has gone truly radical. His policies on the Southern border, where he has commanded ICE to basically stop enforcing the law, have opened the spigots to allow an influx of new migrants of uncertain origin, undetermined motivations and unverified health status. That makes the ICE defunders happy but it has put Texas moderate Democrats in a truly untenable political position.

For the ideologues who run the Biden administration, the whole critical race thing is not just a theory, it’s an action plan. The now woke Department of Defense is focused less on defending the nation and more focused on achieving the goals of equity, inclusion and diversity. That’s all fine in theory, but we live in a dangerous world, and Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — The Quad confab Top State Dept. official overseeing 'Havana syndrome' response leaving post Pentagon 'aware' of reports Wisconsin military base's struggle to feed, heat Afghan refugees MORE is not only seriously undermining the morale of the once most fearsome military apparatus ever assembled, he is undermining our nation’s security.

Some conservatives look at what is happening with Joe Biden and then assume that Republicans need to be equally radical on the right, that they have to burn down the village in order to save it, that they have to embrace crazy conspiracy theories that seem to be all the rage on Twitter and Reddit.

Actually, what Republicans need to be is normal.

They have to push for normal things. 

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The thirst for normalcy among swing voters is strong and getting stronger. It was the reason that Joe Biden won the White House and why Democrats were able to narrowly keep control of the Congress.

But Joe Biden hasn’t delivered normalcy. He has delivered incompetence, incoherence, and indecision.  He has lived up to the prescient analysis once given by former Defense Secretary Bob Gates:  He has been wrong on just about every big decision he has made as president

The Democrats and the president have abandoned the middle, but I am not talking about the moderate middle, who are largely now aligned with the mainstream media and the Washington establishment.   

There are few, if any, moderates anymore. This is not the age of moderation. 

I am talking about the radical middle, the folks who have strong opinions but also dislike both political parties. 

The radical middle hates Washington spending and wants Washington to keep its hands off its Social Security benefits.

The radical middle is in favor of free enterprise but strongly dislikes the woke culture that currently suffuses corporate America. 

The radical middle doesn’t want to pay higher taxes, but wouldn’t mind it if Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosWhy Democrats opposing Biden's tax plan have it wrong Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Climate change turning US into coffee country Foundations pledge billion in record funding for biodiversity MORE, Bill Gates and Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskElon Musk, Grimes split after three years together  UN secretary-general blasts space tourism Elon Musk promises upgraded toilets, Wi-Fi on next SpaceX flight MORE paid their fair share. 

The radical middle doesn’t want any more foreign wars, but can’t believe how stupid Biden was in pulling out our troops and leaving Americans behind in Afghanistan.

The radical middle wants their kids to go back to school, but wants them to learn reading, writing and arithmetic, not critical race theory and gender-bender nonsense.

The radical middle gave us Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTop nuclear policy appointee removed from Pentagon post: report Prosecutors face legal challenges over obstruction charge in Capitol riot cases Biden makes early gains eroding Trump's environmental legacy MORE, Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE and narrowly gave us Joe Biden. 

But they are turning hard against Biden, against Pelosi, against their local school boards and against the left-wingers who believed, wrongly, that they had a huge mandate from the last election to move the country far to the left.

All Republicans have needed to do to get these folks in the radical middle back in their camp is to act normal.

Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis HastertJohn (Dennis) Dennis HastertFeehery: The confidence game Settlement reached in hush money case involving ex-Speaker Feehery: Not this way MORE (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).