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November 10, 2022

Joe Biden’s ‘Good Day for Democracy’

In a rare press conference, the divider-in-chief gloated about his party not having lost too badly.

“Nothing.” Zip, zilch, nada.

That was Joe Biden’s response yesterday when asked during a rare press conference what he planned to do differently during the final two years of his one and only term. If Biden’s response doesn’t already seem arrogant enough, consider the exact question that was asked: “Seventy-five percent of people say the country is heading in the wrong direction. What do you intend to do differently?”

“Nothing”? Really?

Biden then explained: “Because they’re just finding out what we’re doing. The more they know about what we’re doing, the more support there is.”

That can’t be so — not unless soaring inflation, a looming recession, a surge in violent crime, a wide-open southern border, a failing educational system, a war on American energy, and a weaker military are more popular than we’d thought. Nevertheless, by doubling down on his ruinous policies, Biden reaffirms H.L. Mencken’s well-worn quip about democracy being the belief that the people know what they want, and that they deserve to get it good and hard.

Asked specifically about the midterm elections, whose votes are still, maddeningly, being counted in close races across the land, Biden said: “We’ve lost very few seats for certain. It was a good day for democracy.”

He continued: “While the press and pundits were predicting a giant red wave, it didn’t happen. I felt good during the whole process. While any seat lost is painful, we lost fewer seats in the House of Representatives than any president’s first term in last 40 years.”

He’s right about that, but mostly because the continual gerrymandering of congressional districts by both political parties has left fewer and fewer seats up for grabs. On top of that, the Republicans were starting from a high floor in the House to begin with — meaning that they were already just five seats from being in the majority — so the wild predictions of a 30- to 40-seat bloodbath were, in retrospect, idiotic. (Here, we’ll admit to being swept up in the moment, and we’ll vow to be better going forward.)

As for yesterday being “a good day for democracy,” Biden clearly meant “a bad day for Republicans,” who couldn’t seem to convince enough voters that myriad other issues were a graver threat to their way of life than overturning Roe v. Wade’s incorrectly adjudicated federal guarantee of abortion on demand.

But November 8 might not end up having been such a bad day for Republicans, except in terms of poorly managed expectations. How so? In Nevada, Adam Laxalt is hanging on to a narrow 1.8% lead with 83% of the votes counted in his bid to unseat incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. If Laxalt wins, control of the Senate will come down to a December 6 runoff in Georgia between Republican Herschel Walker and Democrat incumbent Raphael Warnock.

Thus, the Republican hopes of wresting control of both houses of Congress aren’t yet dead — far from it. Under-promise and over-deliver, as they say — not the other way around.

The other blessing that Republicans might draw from Tuesday’s middling results is a slightly strengthened Joe Biden, who didn’t lose as badly as was expected. We say this because it might make him even harder to usher off the stage between now and 2024.

Unlike just about everyone else on both sides of the aisle, Biden hasn’t ruled out a potential 2024 reelection bid. We can dream, of course. We can root for him to run because we don’t see how an octogenarian whose approval rating is stubbornly stuck in the low-40s can possibly win reelection.

Then again, we didn’t see how nearly three million Pennsylvanians could vote to send John Fetterman to the U.S. Senate, so we should probably shut our lousy soup cooler.

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