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Juan Williams: Biden flips the script

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Want to scare a Democrat? Tell them this:

President Clinton lost 54 seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate in his first midterm election in 1994.

President Obama lost 63 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate in his first midterm election in 2010.

Now it is President Biden’s turn on the hot seat.

{mosads}And if the GOP picks up just five House seats and one Senate seat, Biden loses all control of Congress.

Biden knows the history because he witnessed the Clinton and Obama midterm collapses as a senator and vice president, respectively.

Here is the wisdom he learned.

He can’t play Charlie Brown and let the GOP play Lucy.

For those of you unfamiliar with the comic strip, every time Charlie Brown trusted Lucy to hold the football for him so he could kick it, she yanked it away. He was left to look like a fool while falling flat on his back.

With that in mind, Biden has figured out that it is a waste of time to act as if Republicans in Congress are serious about holding the ball. In other words, they aren’t sincere about working with him on the COVID relief deal or anything else.

His experience tells him to assume the Republicans’ only goal is to make him look like a fool before voters go to the polls in the midterms.

That’s what happened with Clinton’s effort to work with Republicans on a plan to cut the deficit and grow the economy. For all his effort to work with the GOP, he got zero Republican votes in the House and Senate on his 1993 budget reconciliation plan.

Biden saw the sequel to this horror movie as vice president.

This time, Obama played Charlie Brown to the GOP’s Lucy on the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Obama negotiated with the Republicans. To please them, he cut the size of the bailout.

What did he get in return? Zero. They again yanked away the football.

Not a single Republican in the House voted for the Obama plan. Only three Republicans backed it in the Senate.

History tells us that both the Clinton and Obama plans succeeded in stimulating the economy and saving jobs.

History also tells us that Republicans succeeded in punishing Clinton and Obama by shouting about “big government” and “tax-and-spend liberals.” Clinton and Obama lost big in the next midterms.

And in Obama’s case, even as the economy came back to life, the Republicans shamelessly lashed out at him for the slow pace of the recovery — even though they had refused to spend the money for a faster rebound.

Now Biden has passed an economic stimulus plan without GOP support in the Senate or the House. Once again, the economy looks ready to take off.

And once again, Republicans are looking to punish the Democratic president in the midterms.

But there are some differences in this new version of the old story.

The biggest point of contrast is the overwhelming public support for the Biden plan.

Biden’s plan has support from 70 percent of Americans, including 41 percent of Republicans, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll.

Biden’s presidential approval rating last week was 54 percent, according to the polling average from data site fivethirtyeight.

Biden won that high level of public support despite the lack of help from congressional Republicans.

Part of the problem for the GOP is they’ve been busy with former President Trump’s false claim that the last election was stolen.

Another problem for Republicans is that their accusation that Biden’s plan is too expensive is not gaining traction. That argument lacks weight after the GOP’s recent support for a Trump tax cut that drove up the deficit.

{mossecondads}Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, representing the chief executives of the nation’s biggest companies, joined the public in backing the Biden plan.

The GOP is also losing public trust. A recent Morning Consult poll found registered voters trust Democrats more than Republicans to handle the economy (45 percent to 39 percent), as well as to produce jobs (46 percent to 37 percent). Republicans used to dominate on those issues.

So, looking ahead to the midterms, Republicans are quietly hoping the Biden plan fails. But they have also moved on to trying to pin blame on Biden for the broken immigration system.

They are counting on voters to forget surges of immigrants at the border while Trump was president. They don’t mention that Trump made the situation worse by separating children from their parents. They skip over Trump’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform while he controlled the House and Senate.

They speak of Trump’s much-trumpeted wall on the southern border as if it was a solution and Mexico paid for it.

The biggest change from the midterm doom that hit Clinton and Obama is that Biden is selling the public on the benefits of his COVID relief bill. From the $1400 checks to the expansion of the child tax credit, there is a lot of concrete help for Americans coming.

Just over halfway through his first 100 days, Biden is showing that he has no interest in a three-peat of the horror show that sank Clinton and Obama in their first midterms.

He is flipping the script on the Republicans.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.

Tags 2022 midterm elections covid relief bill COVID-19 Donald Trump Economic policy Joe Biden

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