State of the mid-terms
A month ago the upcoming election seemed likely to go very badly for the Democrats, with a large loss of seats in the House, and an uphill battle to hold the Senate as well. Today things look somewhat brighter for the Democrats, for several reasons:
The Republican nominating process has produced some pretty weak general election candidates in competitive Senate races and may produce more.
The death of Roe seems to be shifting the public towards the Democrats. Nate Silver shows a 3 point shift towards the Democrats in the generic congressional ballot comparing results from pollsters who reported results both pre- and post-Dobbs.
The January 6th committee hearings have been disciplined and likely somewhat damaging for Republicans; they will motivate Democrats and keep some cross-pressured anti-MAGA voters in the Democratic fold.
Public support for Ukraine is holding steady, which bodes well for both justice and for the election. I continue to think that Biden should emphasize the heroism of the Ukrainians and appeal to the patriotism of Americans much more than he is currently doing. He should make it clear that the Ukrainians are winning (which is not obvious from superficial news reports of Russian advances in the Donbas) and highlight Russian atrocities. This will shore up support for Ukraine and put isolationist and pro-Putin Republicans on the back foot.
The endless and painful string of mass shootings will continue, and may help the Democrats, although McConnell shrewdly encouraged bipartisan gun control legislation after the Uvalde tragedy which will likely obscure the differences between the parties on this issue.
Gas prices are coming down, and it seems at least plausible that inflation will moderate considerably in the next few months. The main risk here seems to be that the Fed is overreacting and will tip the country into recession. Biden should consider speaking out against excessive tightening, if only to be able to blame Republican inflation hawks for any rise in unemployment.
At this point Biden and the Democrats own COVID, and not in a good way. It may not be a big negative for the Democrats, which is the best that we can hope for (other than a highly effective pan-coronavirus vaccine). On the other hand, a fall surge and especially a vaccine-escaping mutation could be a big problem for the Democrats.
Trump may well enter the 2024 presidential race before the 2022 election, to deter rivals, grift his supporters, and make it more difficult for the feds to prosecute him. Making the election about Trump will hurt the Republicans.
The Democrats still face long odds to hold the House, but with a bit of luck they can hold the Senate, keep the House close, and do reasonably well in critical state races.
I am continuously shocked how the people of this nation after reading and watching the actions of the GQP for the past few years (decades really) they are still willing to vote these people into office like they are a viable alternative to Democrats.
I understand not being satisfied with the actions of Democrats but to actually believe the GQP will do any better is ludicrous.
Well, a NYT poll says
Congressional Democrats have spent much of the past year bickering, with a small number of moderates blocking legislation that would reduce drug prices, address climate change and take other popular steps. Many Democrats — both politicians and voters, especially on the party’s left flank — also seem more focused on divisive cultural issues than on most Americans’ everyday concerns, like inflation.
“The left has a set of priorities that is just different from the rest of the country’s,” Nate said. “Liberals care more about abortion and guns than about the economy. Conservative concerns are much more in line with the rest of the country.”
First, I want to say that I don’t believe in governing by polls. Second, I do not agree with “the people’s” ideas (knowledge?) about the economy.
But I do believe in winning elections, And, much to your annoyance, I keep trying to point out to Angry Bears that we keep losing elections by making unnecessary enemies on “social issues” and we keep failing to explain economic issues in a way the people can understand.
So, while the polls shoudn’t tell us how to govern, they might tell us how to campaign, or even argue on a blog. Or put up with someone trying to tell us this.
Half of GOP Voters Ready to Leave Trump Behind, Poll Finds
NY Times – July 12
Democrats need to emphasize the economic aspects of some of those social issues.
Some people will avoid work in red states and others in blue states because of things like abortion or school prayer or all the other social issues. What the effect will be is unknown as yet.
Women will be harmed and drop out of the workforce because of the abortion decision. Not all of them will be pregnant women, however. Already many women are being refused medications they take for other disabling conditions because they can cause abortions too. Some of them will be unable to work in a few months or less.
There will be an economic cost to thousands of women dropping out of the workforce, even if it is only temporary. Look for businesses to start discriminating against women in hiring for “responsible” positions where they don’t want the disruption of maternity leaves.
And if contraception is next, women and careers will be an even harder proposition. Discrimination laws won’t matter, it is a legitimate business demand that someone be available to work.
Are you suggesting that there are enough employers that have expected pregnant employees to abort so as to handle responsible positions in firms that Dobbs is going to make a serious impact on female job offerings? Seems implausible, but in any case, why would a woman even want to work at a firm under such conditions?
i thinki heard a story about a well known goernor who did just that. in any case nt all women have such high level jobs that their employer would even stop to think before aletting a pegnant woman go. i think it used to be quie common for schoolteachers to have to hide their pregnancy so children wouldn’t ask questions about things they weren’t supposed to know anything about. don’t underestimate the stupidity or inhumanity of man (inclusive word, turns out to mean women as well).
Bad practices, for sure, but not really the same as predicating a job offer on a commitment to abort, which is a pretty clear implication of the initial comment. “Dobbs makes it very hard for you to get that abortion that you agreed would be a condition of employment if you get pregnant, so I can’t offer you the job.”
Interesting you think voters will blame Democrats for Covid. It’s not clear to me why they would do that.
if i had to guess, i’d say it’s because the voters are completely irrational, as one might conclude from the rest of kramer’s list. they blame “the current occupant” for everything they don’t like. no point it trying to tell them, for example, that we have Covid now because we didn’t do anything about it while we still could. “it will be gone…like a miracle. no good pointing out the economy suffers from some problems that were caused…inso far as they are caused by anyone… by the previous occupant. it’s enough that R’s blame the covid bailout of working people for the inflation. no good trying to explain anything to the Trupists…
and once they are mad at you about anything, it’s easy for them to believe reasons to be mad at you about everything.
IOW, politics as usual.
…and also a testimony of the great job being done by our public schools.
yes. and yes.
I thought aboutt he school ting when Dobbs said elsewhere here today something about college educated Trump supporters. College educated Trump supporters? of course that is not necessarily “public” schools. Harvard seems to turn out more than you might expect.
I would not exactly “blame” the schools (Harvard excepted) however. They are what they are because of the material they have to work with, including the politicians who tell them what to do , and the mini-politicians who do the micromanagement within the schools themselves, and the shortage of genius teachers who probably save more children that we usually think of when we think of “the schools.”
article i read the other day about a teachers strike somewhere in the northeast that illustrates the mini-politician problem. sorry i can’t remember the details, but it amounts to the local “management” unwilling to give up any of their largely imaginary power (well, they have power to make people miserable, and that seems to make them feel good).
My wife’s family is mostly Episcopalian and entirely Republican, save a few distant cousins. All of her siblings attended college for at least two years and two actually graduated. Both her parents graduated college and were Republicans as well as Episcopal. I dropped out of college middle of first semester, drank until I ran out of money and then got job. My best surviving friend has a few degrees, but my best dead friend was self-educated after high school. My next best surviving friend has a PhD, is a LCSW, and a Trump voter same as my wife’s family.
All that I can make of this from my own experience and friends is that higher education may be more devastating to the formation of real intelligence (i.e., can make and fix things and solve real world problems rather than just quote the dead and wallow in abstractions) than our K-12 public school system. IOW, the more school one gets, then they less they can do.
I agree with this. I was probably the least intelligent of my friends in high school. I am the only one who graduated from college. Along the way I have met many people without much education to speak of who do very intelligent things at their own work.
what schools do, at their best, is provide exposure to ideas most people would never have heard of without schools, and a framework to build personal research and thinking on for those who find those things interesting. It’s too bad they then turn around and do their best to stamp out any real thinking or even interest in the subjects they introduce. There have been occasional grand trys to “improve” schools. All have fallen back into the chaos they arose out of due to the fact that it is difficult to educate and inspire the subjects of the cattle drive necessary to bring them to market.
and…let us be honest… i am not sure, even in my own case, that very many people would accomplish anything at all…even ordinary chores…without the cattle drive.
it might be a little like what i suspect about GMO’s: the “powers” know that GMO’s are dangerous, but in the meanwhile they stave off starvation in a world already living beyond its means.
Yes sir, ‘fraid so. Since I could not be Gil Favor, then I would rather be Rowdy Yates than Wishbone. Head ’em up – move ’em out….
My thinking here is pretty straightfoward – incumbents get blamed for problems whether they cause them or not. And they don’t always get credit when things go well. So something like COVID is basically neutral at best, especially now that Dems have been in power for a while. Plus Biden overpromised early in his presidency. But the big problem is just that the national mood around COVID is sour.
what was the national mood in 2016? the people have themselves to blame if Covid is still with us. Trump only played on their stupidity. Biden is not a whole lot better, but by now Covid …and the popular reaction to it…is just part of the great “what is,” there isn’t much any politician can do about it. And Biden is doing exactly what the people want. They want a magician to make covid go away without their practicing masking or social distancing, or vaccination…or having practiced those things when they still might have made a difference.
Many Democrats spent a good deal of energy in 2020 convincing people that COVID could be a valid federal political issue and the illness and deaths continued at high levels since they assumed federal authority in January 2021. I don’t think COVID will be a big issue this time around, though. People can be pretty hard and after 2 years they are used to this situation. I look at the amazingly low response to the recent vaccine approvals for the very youngest as an indication that COVID is not a huge concern at this time. Maybe it ought to be, but it’s not.
The midterms may be the country’s last best chance to survive as a democracy. I think the Dems have an excellent chance to expand on the tie in the Senate and while the cards are stacked against them in the House, the fact remains that 143 GOP House members voted for a coup on the evening of January 6 and early morning of January 7. If Americans do not want the right to elect their representatives than they do not deserve any other “ rights” and they will not have them— once the Taliban or the Communist Chinese take over the people no longer argue about social issues or any other issues. Today’s GOP is no different and the gullible schmucks who think otherwise are in for the same rude awakening that women have recently experienced.
the Fed is overreacting and will tip the country into recession. Biden should consider speaking out against excessive tightening,
here’s how works
Fed governors can weaken the Dollar by increasing the money supply or they can strengthen the dollar by decreasing the money supply
When our stronger dollar buys more of everything we call the dollar deflationary but when the weaker dollar buys less of everything we call the Dollar inflationary. the inflated dollar buys less of subsistence items, buys less equities; but the dollar denominated equity buys more of the dollars the equity has a higher price.
conversely the deflationary strong dollar buys more equities which in turn buy less dollars, stock prices fall. since November the strong deflationary dollar buys more equities which buy less dollars. stocks now have lower prices because of deflation since November.
when the Fed chair announced that he would probably raise rates and sell off the balance sheet, this announcement in November created deflationary expectations.
as deflation loomed ahead in the near future owners of unfinished commodities, finished commodities, and equities attempted to dump their equities and commodities before the price fall. To accelerate the dump, sellers dropped prices. The price fall was the result of deflationary expectations. simultaneously vendors of commodities dropped prices to dump their inventories. as inventories shrank extra workers were hired to produce more, replace inventory. Thus M2 money Velocity increased and the economy accelerated. Job openings increased as prosperity settled over the nation. Earnings rose and P/E ratios fell. Lower P/E should now cause the mother of all market rallies. Let the good times roll, and thrill your soul. Got soul? Get it!
Fed gals and guys
It’s the economy, stupid
“The economy, stupid” is a phrase that was coined by James Carville in 1992. It is often quoted from a televised quip by Carville as “It’s the economy, stupid.” Carville was a strategist in Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign against incumbent George H. W. Bush. … (Wikipedia)
It could be that Dems have to put the blame (for inflation) on Trump for mishandling Covid, for cozying up to Russia & empowering them to do what they did in Ukraine.
The GOP just has to put it all on Biden. Insist that the Insurrection was ‘no big deal’ and that the Big Lie was anything but, just part of the MAGA process. Trump just brings out the patriotism in people.