Don’t Bury The Democrats Just Yet

The theme of 2022 in the world of politics has been how much trouble the Democrats are in regarding the upcoming midterms and the 2024 presidential election.

Despite the batshit insanity coming out of the Republican Party this year (and, well, for a lot of years), the Democratic Party was believed to be in a bunch of trouble for various reasons. These included inflation, gas prices, supply chain issues including a baby formula shortage, the southern border, the war in Ukraine, and the traditional “midterms are always disasters for the party of the sitting president.”

However, recent events point to things that seem to be looking up for Democrats regarding political prospects. I want to be sensitive to people directly affected by some of those events, and divide them into bad things and good things.

The Bad Things

The Big Kahuna of bad things is the transformation of the Supreme Court into The Ruling Council of High Priests, which they cemented by killing Roe v. Wade. This was a shock to a fair amount of people, including the people who were assuring us up until this year that Roe was safe. The stories about suffering laid upon women due to this decision are already out there, and will only increase. And this decision is deeply unpopular.

There are even Democratic candidates in vulnerable seats seeing that fighting the end of Roe is a winning campaign theme. Not to mention the fact that Clarence Thomas could not help himself and blurted out that the court should go after same-sex marriage and contraceptives as well, and Samuel Alito told everyone he thinks controlling female bodies is hilarious.

Then there is the recent overturn of a bill to help sick veterans, where 25 Republicans reversed course and turned a filibuster-proof 84-14 vote in June on the bill into another proof-that-the-filibuster-sucks 55-42 vote that fell short of the 60 votes needed to overcome said filibuster. So the bill is delayed and Very Visible Advocate for Veterans Jon Stewart is pissed. Why would they do such a thing?

Apparently, they were pouting over another bill, regarding climate change legislation, becoming closer to being passed. This included complaining about gamesmanship. That’s pretty rich given the games TurtleHuman Mitch McConnell has played in recent years, such as blocking Merrick Garland from the Supreme Court. What’s good for the good is good for the gander, and all that. But “we tanked a bill to help veterans over spite” is not a good look.

The Good Stuff

Gas prices are falling rapidly, despite breathless predictions of national averages over $6 a gallon by August. Predictions are hard, as is evidenced by the fact that the national average is down for the 47th straight day. As per, it stands at $4.172 per gallon today, down 66 cents from a month ago and 86 cents lower than the peak in mid-June.

Supply chain issues are showing signs of improvement, and the passing of the long-anticipated CHIPS Act points to a brighter future for the all-important semiconductor supply chain, including our ability to be more competitive with China in this market.

While headlines last month screamed that inflation grew at a high pace, there are positive signs about inflation. Now, as anyone from an economist to a regular schmoe like me can tell you, inflation is difficult to predict. But it does appear that the Fed’s actions are bringing it under control to the point where pretty smart people are now worried they are overdoing it and will cause a recession.

In addition, the threat of Obscene Ring Enthusiast Krysten Sinema tanking it all notwithstanding, the Democrats seem to be close to passing a modified version of Build Back Better with Joe Manchin on board. This is not only good news for the planet, as the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent points out, this also gives Democrats a great selling point for climate policy.

Given some of the other bills that passed during Biden’s term, including bills related to COVID aid, infrastructure, and manufacturing, and bills that are close to passing, including those on climate, gun reform, prescription drug pricing, marriage equality, and energy, a case could be made that the Democrats are the Get Things Done party.

I haven’t even covered the January 6 hearings, but our Blog Leader Peter did it for me. Hard to say how much the public is swayed by that, but a drumbeat of revelations about Trump and the GOP’s actions during that time, plus the Department of Justice making some real moves to prosecute the ring leaders, cannot be good for the Republican Party.

These new developments are helping the picture for Democrats to become rosier than it was just a month ago.

Forecasts for Dems for the midterms are not as dire. The Republicans’ insistence on running a slate of lunatics, idiots, and crooks such as Dr. Oz, Hershel Walker, J.D. Vance, Blake Masters, and Kari Lake very well could torpedo their chances of taking back the Senate. In governor’s races, Michigan and Pennsylvania are not the easy pickings for Republicans that pundits believed them to be just a few weeks ago for the same reasons.

None of this is to say things are great for Democrats. While polling averages show a slight improvement for Joe Biden over the last week or so, it is still around 40 percent. Everything Blog Leader Peter wrote last week still applies, such as too many low-information voters, gerrymandering, and the giant task of cleaning up the mess Trump left. But there is a little bit of hope we can hold onto at the moment.

The last word goes to these rowdy Irish lads. No, not U2.