by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The failures of President Joe Biden’s first year in office are obvious to all. Inflation is raging. COVID is raging. Crime is spiking in some big cities. The U.S.-Mexico border is a mess. The American withdrawal from Afghanistan was a mess. And with it all, the president and his party are obsessed, most of all, with passing a voting rules bill that would help ensure their future election by federalizing the voting system along lines favorable to Democrats.
It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Democrats, and the president, are spending too much time focusing on issues that are not top voter concerns. That has created a huge opportunity for Republicans. A recent Fox News poll, for example, found the GOP with big leads when voters were asked which party would do a better job handling the economy. The GOP also led on the same question on the issue of crime. And national security. And border security.
And Senate Democrats recently tied themselves into knots debating (and losing) a vote on the future of the legislative filibuster. What is a voter deeply worried about inflation supposed to think about that?
As President Biden approached his first anniversary in office recently, there was much talk of some sort of “reset” or “reboot” or “restart” for his flailing administration. But it turns out it’s just talk. As he pieces together an approach to governing in Year Two, Joe Biden is still Joe Biden. He’s not really planning to do anything differently.
Biden said so himself at his recent news conference. After pronouncing himself “satisfied” with his team’s performance in the first year, Biden said, “There’s three things I’m going to do differently” in the next year. The remarkable thing is that none of those three things was substantive. None involved Biden actually changing course from his unsuccessful first year.