AMAC Exclusive – By Barry Casselman
Nothing seems to be lifting Joe Biden from declining poll numbers, even as his Democratic Party and its funders try every tactic they can think of to reverse the growing red wave approaching them only three-plus months from now on election day in November.
The wave is not an abstraction — it’s a force of nature taking up more and more voters into its expanding volume.
In most instances, a president cannot be blamed for an economic downturn or recession. But Biden has adopted policies and made executive decisions which crushed the post-pandemic economic recovery which he inherited, provoking energy shortages, supply chain crises, and inflation. Mr. Biden routinely attempts to blame former President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin for these circumstances, but the public intuitively isn’t buying any alibis.
The various stock and bond markets, which provide most Americans with much of their net worth through IRAs, pension funds, and personal investments are now in bear market territory, which foreshadows many months of recession beginning in late summer/early autumn. Some observers assert a recession has indeed already begun.
With a natural economic upturn gathering speed after the pandemic period waned, and tremendous amounts of cash being held because of low interest rates, it was not easy to reverse the economic recovery. But Mr. Biden managed to do so anyhow by relentlessly pursuing restrictive energy policies in oil, gas and coal production; excess government social spending; imposing roadblocks to entrepreneurs and small businesses through executive orders; arbitrary regulations; higher taxes; and impulsive massive foreign aid — the sheer volume of which put a brake on the natural economic recovery. Resulting inflation has led the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates that will dampen real estate activity, and begin to draw away cash reserves that had been fueling rising stock markets.
No one is seriously buying the Biden argument that the earlier actions of his predecessor and current actions of Vladimir Putin in Ukraine are the causes of the economic downturn now in progress.
President Biden’s sinking standing with the public is complicated by a factor he cannot control — his age. In 2024 he will be 82, and unlike others at his age, he is obviously undergoing noticeable physical decline. This has even led the New York Times, the Democrats’ media flagship, recently to begin publishing negative articles about Biden, including a poll with all-time low favorables at 33%, and quotes from Democratic voters asserting he is too old. The Times is no longer a serious newspaper, but it is a bellwether of partisan liberal left-wing opinion, and it is now clearly pushing for Mr. Biden to stand down in 2024.
As recent times have proven, politics can often change directions, but no matter how hard Biden tries, he will never grow any younger.
With Republicans overwhelmingly now opposed to Biden’s presidency, a majority of independents now opposed, and a notable percentage of Democrats saying they want a new nominee in 2024, it would seem close to a certainty that Joe Biden is destined to be a one-term president. It would seem very likely that, at some interval following the 2022 mid-term elections, probably in early 2023, Joe Biden will announce he is not running for a second term.
Then the question becomes: Who will the Democrats nominate for president in 2024?
Unlike their Republican Party opponents, Democrats have a very small and limited “bench” to run for president. That is why, although the 2022 midterm elections appear problematic for Democrats, and likely will see the loss of their control of the U.S. House and Senate, there is the possibility that a new figure who wins a governorship or a Senate seat against an otherwise GOP tide could provide them with a 2024 nominee. Lest that seems improbable, it need only be remembered that in 2008, Barack Obama did just that.
Meanwhile, the spectacle of the remainder of Joe Biden’s first term is still to be played out. There are elements of comedy and tragedy to be staged, and no doubt, a few surprises.