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Can America survive two more Biden years?

As the dust settles in Georgia’s runoff election, another poorly chosen Donald Trump-backed candidate went down, and President Biden will feel he has been vindicated and will not change course. And yet, one version of political calculus suggests the Democrats might be better off jettisoning Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as quickly as possible.

Americans appear to be clear in their views and intent. They want urban crime dealt with by firm and responsible policing. They want homelessness addressed in a serious and effective way. They want to reverse rapid urban decay. They are fully supportive of advances in human rights and of LGBTQAI, but do not want a culture war pitting trans men and women against biological men and women. They want quality education and do not want their children used as pawns in an ideological struggle. They want American borders defended and the stream of illegal immigration (and associated crime and drugs) stopped.

Additionally, they expect the Justice Department to focus exclusively on professional and effective law enforcement and not political theater. They expect the Defense and Intelligence agencies to be the highest quality in the world at defense and intelligence, supported by foreign policy that protects and defends American interests. They expect the best infrastructure systems in the world. They are concerned about, and support, environmental protection, but also expect it to be balanced with a sensible energy policy that supports economic growth and prosperity, rather than crippling it. 

They expect policies that help the poor and most vulnerable, give them a fair chance to advance in America, and do not make them permanently dependent on the state. They expect economic policies to promote sustained economic growth and prosperity for all Americans. They think a woman should have a reasonable right to make decisions on family planning, to compete in fair sports programs, and to direct the education and intellectual development of their own children.

Biden has shown he stands for none of that. Any reasonable leader would shift their policies toward the center after this election. Bill Clinton did. Barack Obama did. Joe Biden and his team will not. Bolstered by the view that they “won” the midterms and the false security of slavish mainstream media support, and a mindless religious fervor to pursue their ideology at all costs — have they actually read AR6 or know what it is, or read the CREDO reports and the like? — they will double down and not change course at all.

The result will be a two-year stalemate, probably featuring inflation and recession; a global war expanded to Asia that America might lose or see a nuclear exchange; continued economic and cultural warfare on the poor and middle-class families; much higher taxes; American cultural decline; institutional corruption; and urban unrest.

The ultimate result may be a second Trump presidency. As with the 2016 election season, Trump, regardless of legal issues, likely will control a sufficiently large core constituency to win most state primaries in 2024, especially if the Republicans field a large number of candidates. This would leave Americans faced with another depressing choice between Trump’s erratic behavior and divisiveness and Biden’s extremism and failures.

How to head that off and give Americans truly attractive choices in 2024?

The House Republicans will put forward a set of proposals to counter much of what Biden enacted or mandated in his first two years. Although symbolically helpful, these proposals will be politically futile as they wither from Senate and White House rejection and Republican infighting. House Republicans also will hold hearings on alleged lawlessness and corruption in the Biden family, the administration’s policies, and whether the Justice Department has applied politicized law enforcement. This, too, will fail as the Democrats deflect it, the mainstream media ignore it or “debunk” it, and the public becomes confused and disinterested.

The only effective strategy may be to concentrate a maximum amount of political energy on removing Biden and Harris from office, quickly and decisively. The investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop may lead to revelations about what the president did or did not know about his son’s foreign business ventures in Ukraine and with China, and whether family business practices could compromise his foreign policy. Certainly, the administration’s lack of border protection may be proven to constitute a “high crime.” If so, both Biden and Harris, his “immigration czar,” would be culpable and the House could move to impeach them.

But why would 18 Democratic senators join with 49 Republicans to try to remove Biden and Harris? Yes, it would seem extremely unlikely, but a possible answer is that, without major change, the Democratic Party will continue to hemorrhage its traditional base of Black, Hispanic, women and middle-class voters. Most successful Democratic candidates in 2022 actually ran against White House positions on crime, COVID, immigration, energy and radical progressive ideology, and distanced themselves from Biden and radical left positions.

For the Democrats, removing Biden might open up the primary field and provide the opportunity for younger, more moderate (or even more liberal) candidates to have a voice and perhaps lead the party. For the Republicans, the House speaker would serve as a caretaker president — ideally selecting a moderate Democrat to serve as vice president, both to placate the 18 Democratic senators and further help them realign their party — but would remove Biden as the foil for Trump. And it might take the wind from Trump’s sails and open up the Republican primaries for new leadership.

America is at a critical cultural, national security and economic juncture. The next two years could be a disaster. It is a test to find bold, courageous leaders.

Grady Means is a writer (GradyMeans.com) and former corporate strategy consultant. He served in the White House as a policy assistant to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Follow him on Twitter @gradymeans1.

Tags 2022 midterms 2024 presidential election Biden White House Donald Trump Joe Biden Kamala Harris progressive Democrats Trump candidacy

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