Things Could Be Better
Gas prices are down some. That is the good news. The bad news is inflation is now at a 41-year high. After months of telling everyone that presidents have no ability to affect gas prices, President Joe Biden now wants credit for gas and no blame for inflation. Things really could be going better. But cynicism is driving American politics now. Instead of a positive vision of the future, both sides deliver visions of how much worse the other side will make it.
Democrats have tired of Biden. Over 60% of Democrats want a new leader in 2024. Over 90% of Democrats under 30 want a new leader. No one has stepped up to challenge Biden yet, but Gov. Gavin Newsom of California seems to be planning a run. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is too. He just moved his family to Michigan from Indiana and fired back up his political action committee to start making political donations.
According to Gallup, less than 20% of Americans think the nation is headed in the right direction. More than a third of Americans think the economy is the biggest issue. Around 5% think abortion is. Republicans are focused on the former and Democrats are focused on the latter.
Jan. 6 is right behind abortion in Democrats' minds. The media obsesses about it. Coverage is extension. A slight majority of Americans say they are paying attention, but the televised ratings keep slipping. Though Democrats claim it was the worst thing ever, Democrats are spending millions to promote Republican candidates who believe the election was stolen and who think Jan. 6 was fine. That level of cynicism has to be off-putting for many. Democrats claim no one who claims the election was stolen should hold office but are spending millions to promote such Republicans.
Democrats presume such candidates will be easier to beat in a general election. But they might just help some of them get elected. If these are the worst candidates ever, Democrats should not be running ads promoting those candidates. But, again, everything is now driven by cynicism.
Republicans do not have it much better. In Georgia, Republicans nominated Herschel Walker, the former football star, to be their senator. Walker's own staff members do not trust him and think he is a serial liar. Every day there is a startling new revelation about his life that turns off voters -- including previously unknown children. Polling in Georgia suggests independent voters are now breaking for the Democrat, Sen. Raphael Warnock, and for Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Walker would not have gotten into the race had former President Donald Trump not convinced him. Now Walker could cost the GOP its chance to take back the Senate. He could still win in this environment. But the newest data on independent voters makes it a tougher proposition.
In Missouri, the GOP needs to hold that seat. Former governor and current sociopath Eric Greitens is leading in the polling. Greitens had to resign the governor's mansion after a hairdresser revealed Greitens had tied her up in his basement. He has a history of sociopathic behavior. Trump, instead of saying Greitens should get out, has instead said he would never endorse Rep. Vicky Hartzler. Perhaps that will help state Attorney General Eric Schmitt, but it is bizarre Trump would be silent on the sociopath and attack the congresswoman who was pretty loyal to him. Now, however, perhaps Hartzler will get out of the race to do what Trump would not do -- stop Greitens.
Republicans have a string of terrible candidates for 2022. They will undoubtedly take back the House of Representatives. But their candidate recruitment strategy has given the Democrats a fighting chance of holding the Senate. Biden will remain in the White House. Gridlock will grow. That is about the only silver lining. The less Washington can do, the better we all will be.
It is time for everyone to remember states matter. A gridlocked Washington gives states an opportunity to solve local problems without the expansion of the federal government. Things could be better. Let the 50 laboratories of democracy compete to see which ideas might just make things better.
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate, Inc.