Budowsky: Biden rises, GOP feuds, Dem prospects brighten

One of the underreported stories in politics, which will soon be more widely acknowledged, is that President Biden’s prospects are rising as COVID-19 cases are dramatically falling under his leadership. His skill as commander in chief is widely respected, he is poised to win bipartisan confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice and Democrats are largely united. 

One of the most increasingly reported stories, which will be a major story throughout the midterm elections, is that former President Trump faces multiple investigations. There is increasing alarm in important Republican circles that he will hurt GOP prospects in the midterms. There is growing backlash against his leadership from important Republicans, including the Senate minority leader. The Supreme Court’s hard right majority is poised to make dramatic decisions that will infuriate and mobilize critical constituencies, such as women, across America.

The net effect of these two megatrends in politics is that the prospects for the Biden presidency and Democrats in the midterm elections are brightening, which accounts for the escalating feuds of Republican versus Republican, which will make many midterm GOP primaries a bitterly divisive intraparty bloodbath.

Make no mistake — Democrats still face uphill battles in the midterms, but the playing field is becoming more favorable to them on multiple levels.

In one of the most important developments, for example, while Republicans are exploiting their gerrymandering advantage in states they control by protecting GOP incumbents, Democrats are exploiting their advantages (see New York as just one example). They are aggressively moving to win more congressional seats.

The Republican advantage on redistricting will be much less than analysts (myself included) originally thought.

Let’s consider the improving prospects for the Biden presidency and then how this juxtaposes against the increasingly aggressive and bitter intraparty GOP feuding.

President Biden has done a superb job battling COVID-19, far better than his GOP predecessor. The number of cases is collapsing. The number of hospitalizations is significantly falling. These trends will almost certainly continue. Words cannot express the degree this will lift national morale and public favorability for Biden as this unfolds.

Biden’s success against COVID-19 was a stunning achievement, while those on the right opposing vaccine mandates did nothing more than cause hospitalizations and deaths of unvaccinated Americans who Biden strove to keep protected and alive. 

Biden has been an extremely successful commander in chief. He built a historic unity for NATO. He gave powerful support to the Ukrainian democracy. He organized massive sanctions that pose a significant deterrent to Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin. 

In the face of a potential Russian invasion into Ukraine, Biden mobilized so much American and allied military backing that if Putin does choose to invade, Russia would have to station hundreds of thousands of troops for years, facing a well-armed Ukrainian resistance, alongside powerful sanctions, that would impose a heavy cost to Russian invaders.

While Biden’s predecessor was anathema to leaders of the democratic alliance, Biden has won great respect from them and many military leaders, troops and military families.

Having created historic numbers of high-paying jobs, many by Democrats alone, some with bipartisan support, Biden and Democrats can pass new laws to lower prescription drug prices, provide greater support for young children and their moms and dads, offer relief from student loans, and take other actions to help countless millions of Americans.

By contrast, Republican feuding is taking epic proportions. A recent CNN poll found virtually half of Republican voters do not want Trump to be renominated in 2024. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) more or less supports Trump, but obviously wants to run. If Trump dines with him (and some other Republicans), he might want to bring a food tester to dinner.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), former President George W. Bush and a growing number of prominent Republicans are battling against Trump over critical GOP primary races and other important matters. 

While Biden is leading the nation and democratic alliance as president and commander in chief, Republicans face bitter and divisive internal feuding that only helps Democrats.

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 administration covid-19 case decline Democrats Donald Trump economy Joe Biden Mitch McConnell republican intraparty feud Ron DeSantis Vladimir Putin

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