October 19, 2022

Abortion Won’t Stop the GOP Wave

After a brief post-Dobbs boomlet for Joe Biden and the Democrats, the attitude of the electorate has swung back hard against them.

For a while there, the Democrats and their media trucklings were crowing about a resurgent Joe Biden and the party’s renewed fortunes for the upcoming midterm elections. They were ginning up their pro-abortion base, puffing out their chests, and sniffing about how that vaunted Republican “red wave” was looking more like a stream or a trickle.

But listen closely now, and you won’t hear any of that talk. Nothing like it. Not anymore. That’s because after a small and, well, transitory Biden boomlet, the talk of a red wave is back on again. A recent piece in Vanity Fair was emblematic:

Over the summer, amid the ongoing fallout of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision and a successful legislative stretch for Joe Biden and his party, a sense of midterm optimism took hold among Democrats: Perhaps November wouldn’t be as ugly as some had forecasted? But as the election has neared, their previous doom and gloom has begun to seep in once more. The latest bad omen? A New York Times/Siena poll out Monday that has suggested Republicans are entering the final weeks of the race with an edge over Democrats, as economic fears surge to the top of voters’ minds. Most concerning for Democrats in the poll is the huge swing over the past month among women who identify as independents. The same poll in September found them favoring Democrats by 14 points; in Monday’s poll, though, they preferred Republicans by 18 points, even though the GOP remains out of step with most Americans on abortion rights.

That “out of step” charge is utterly false, first of all, and second, if you’re keeping score at home, that’s a 32-point swing among a crucial and telltale voting bloc.

And that’s why a desperate Biden went once more to the abortion well yesterday, announcing in a DC speech that his top legislative priority after the midterms would be codifying a national right to the killing of unborn babies. “Here is the promise I make to you and the American people,” he said. “The first bill I’ll send to Congress is to codify Roe v. Wade.”

Of course, that pathetic promise isn’t even worth the word of a Biden, given the Democrats’ dwindling electoral fortunes. Still, while everyone’s worried about inflation and the economy, ol’ Joe is steadfastly selling abortion. It’s great to see a Democrat with his priorities in order.

Other signs of desperation are everywhere — long faces and backbiting among them. And if you’re a Democrat, you know you’re in deep doo-doo when soon-to-be-former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi starts locking horns with friendly journalists, praising Joe Biden as if he were FDR and dismissing reliably left-leaning midterm polls as right-leaning “outliers.”

And that’s exactly what she did yesterday.

Does anyone out there really believe Joe Biden has done “a spectacular job”? Because that’s what Pelosi said of our cognitively diminished president. “He’s had a better two years than most presidents you can name, certainly in the recent generations,” she said. Pelosi then went on to list two ridiculously named pieces of legislation — the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act — as if these abominations were somehow to Biden’s credit, somehow reason for voting Democrat.

To refresh everyone’s memory, Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan last year against the advice of intelligent economists everywhere, and it proceeded to fire-hose $1.9 trillion of newly printed money into a $300 billion hole. The result was predictable, even to Democrats such as former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers: rampant inflation. Every American now feels it.

As for that other piece of legislation, the one that was supposed to alleviate this inflationary mess of Joe Biden’s making: “The Inflation Reduction Act is not.”

That was the terse assessment of Fox News anchor Bret Baier during his panel discussion yesterday. He could’ve tacked a couple more explanatory words onto the end of that sentence, but his point was simple: The prospects for this election have ebbed and flowed a bit, but they’ve reverted back to the issue that, barring some unique and powerful news story, such as a fake Russia-collusion scandal, tends to decide elections: the economy.

Columnist Byron York says this year’s midterms are a tale of three phases. The first phase began on June 10 of last year, when the first of a steady stream of bad inflation reports began to put grim numbers to the pain that Americans were beginning to feel at the gas pump and in the grocery store. This was when talk of a Republican “wave” election began to take hold.

The second phase began on June 24 of this year — the date of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade. As York points out: “Democratic strategists hoped that abortion would displace inflation as the voters’ No. 1 concern, increasing the party’s chances in November. That never came close to happening, but abortion did rise on the list of voters’ top issues, and the midterm races suddenly seemed much closer.”

The third phase, York says, began last month, on September 13, when the government released statistics that (again) told us inflation wasn’t as “transitory” as Biden and his economic team had been telling us — that in fact it was here for the long haul. Ever since then, the attitude of the electorate has soured on Democrats, and rightly so.

As York concludes: “The economy, including inflation, is the most important issue in the midterm race. It always has been. Barring some enormous, world-historical catastrophe in the next three weeks, it will remain so on Election Day. There is no game-changing good economic news on deck for the near future. That kills the chances of the party in power, and the Democrats are the party in power.”

On November 8, Donald Trump won’t be on the ballot, and the events of January 6, 2021, will be a distant memory for the overwhelming majority of voters. If Democrats thought abortion might save them, they’d best think again. And they’d best don their life vests.

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