Rarely Has a Midterm Election Offered Such a Stark Choice on Issues

Commentary The first midterm election after a presidential election is most often a referendum on the new president and his party along with a natural pendulum swing toward the other side. Rarely do individual issues dominate such races. The 2022 midterms, however, could well be different. The 2020 presidential election was, in significant part, the culmination of a five-year battle against Donald Trump. It started before his 2016 election and continued unabated throughout his term in office. The 2020 election of President Joe Biden was far less about him than it was about Trump. Despite the false Russia narrative, the Mueller investigation, and a host of other anti-Trump allegations, the Trump presidency was an economic success—even with COVID. Importantly, average weekly earnings for all workers were up 8.7 percent after inflation. An article published in The Hill states that at the end of Trump’s term, “real GDP was growing at 6.3 percent, inflation was 1.4 percent, [and] the price of gasoline was $2.39 a gallon.” Just over a year after Biden took office, the numbers are starkly different. Inflation is above 7 percent and rising, and gasoline prices have risen dramatically. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that real average hourly earnings decreased 2.4 percent from December 2020 to December 2021. Overall, government-induced inflation in 2022 may well cost individuals over $3,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. While the D.C. Democrats have attempted to blame Putin and his war for the rise in gas prices, Obama’s chief advisor, David Axelrod, disagreed and said, “You can’t blame everything in the economy on Putin.” Meanwhile, Deroy Murdock’s gas hike timeline makes it clear that inflation is the fault of Biden’s policies in keeping with his September 2019 campaign pledge: “I guarantee you … we’re going to end fossil fuels.” While the Russia war against Ukraine has made matters worse, it is the policy response to that war that may well define the 2022 midterm elections. Amidst those bad economic numbers, this Hill headline demonstrated the priority of the D.C. Democrats: “House Democrats Call On Biden to Renew Climate Push.” Leading Democratic Senator Dick Durbin stated on national TV on March 20, “I think it is completely wrong for us to blame President Biden.” He also stated: “We are fighting and waging a war against climate change. It is a war that will decide what America will look like and what the world will look like for the next generation.” In other words, in the face of historically high gas prices and high inflation, the priority of the D.C. Democrats isn’t Middle America’s pocketbook; it is their “war against climate change.” The problem for Democrats, of course, is that those policies are the reason gas price hikes and inflation are so bad. Their renewed push for even more of those policies promises more of the same. As for the politics of it, ABC News reported that 70 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Biden has handled gas prices. The same number fault him for inflation, while 58 percent overall fault him for the economy. As to Russia’s war on Ukraine, it has crystalized the issue for the 2022 midterms by adding to gas prices and, therefore, increased consumer prices. The responses of the Republican and Democratic Parties could easily define the November midterms. The Democrats, even though they are badly losing on the issue of gas prices and inflation, appear bound and determined to double down on their bad policies. Indeed, two high-profile moves by Biden defy American common sense. First, the Keystone pipeline appears to be an obvious solution to many. It is not even being considered by Biden. Second, voters are rightly questioning why Biden is sanctioning American oil companies, including by shutting down that Keystone pipeline, while he is going hat in hand to countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to produce more oil. Democrats also voted against a bill promoting American energy independence. Calls for American energy independence, a goal of the Trump administration, are resonating with voters. If Republicans are smart, they will rightfully tie high gas prices, inflation, risky foreign affairs, and Democrat policies to a lack of American energy independence. It is not a hard sell, and it is an issue Americans face virtually every day when they go to buy groceries or gas up their vehicles. Biden is making the case himself and branding the Democrats by continuing to deny the Keystone pipeline and by begging for oil from Venezuela and other unfriendly socialist/authoritarian states. By contrast and smartly, the Republicans are calling for American energy independence, oil production, and American jobs in Texas and Oklahoma and with the Keystone pipeline. The Republican National Committee has started registering people to vote at gas stations in Arizona. Republicans everywhere should do the same. That is a good start but not enough. Republicans coul

Rarely Has a Midterm Election Offered Such a Stark Choice on Issues

Commentary

The first midterm election after a presidential election is most often a referendum on the new president and his party along with a natural pendulum swing toward the other side. Rarely do individual issues dominate such races. The 2022 midterms, however, could well be different.

The 2020 presidential election was, in significant part, the culmination of a five-year battle against Donald Trump. It started before his 2016 election and continued unabated throughout his term in office. The 2020 election of President Joe Biden was far less about him than it was about Trump.

Despite the false Russia narrative, the Mueller investigation, and a host of other anti-Trump allegations, the Trump presidency was an economic success—even with COVID. Importantly, average weekly earnings for all workers were up 8.7 percent after inflation. An article published in The Hill states that at the end of Trump’s term, “real GDP was growing at 6.3 percent, inflation was 1.4 percent, [and] the price of gasoline was $2.39 a gallon.”

Just over a year after Biden took office, the numbers are starkly different. Inflation is above 7 percent and rising, and gasoline prices have risen dramatically. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that real average hourly earnings decreased 2.4 percent from December 2020 to December 2021. Overall, government-induced inflation in 2022 may well cost individuals over $3,000, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While the D.C. Democrats have attempted to blame Putin and his war for the rise in gas prices, Obama’s chief advisor, David Axelrod, disagreed and said, “You can’t blame everything in the economy on Putin.” Meanwhile, Deroy Murdock’s gas hike timeline makes it clear that inflation is the fault of Biden’s policies in keeping with his September 2019 campaign pledge: “I guarantee you … we’re going to end fossil fuels.”

While the Russia war against Ukraine has made matters worse, it is the policy response to that war that may well define the 2022 midterm elections.

Amidst those bad economic numbers, this Hill headline demonstrated the priority of the D.C. Democrats: “House Democrats Call On Biden to Renew Climate Push.”

Leading Democratic Senator Dick Durbin stated on national TV on March 20, “I think it is completely wrong for us to blame President Biden.” He also stated: “We are fighting and waging a war against climate change. It is a war that will decide what America will look like and what the world will look like for the next generation.”

In other words, in the face of historically high gas prices and high inflation, the priority of the D.C. Democrats isn’t Middle America’s pocketbook; it is their “war against climate change.”

The problem for Democrats, of course, is that those policies are the reason gas price hikes and inflation are so bad. Their renewed push for even more of those policies promises more of the same.

As for the politics of it, ABC News reported that 70 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Biden has handled gas prices. The same number fault him for inflation, while 58 percent overall fault him for the economy.

As to Russia’s war on Ukraine, it has crystalized the issue for the 2022 midterms by adding to gas prices and, therefore, increased consumer prices. The responses of the Republican and Democratic Parties could easily define the November midterms.

The Democrats, even though they are badly losing on the issue of gas prices and inflation, appear bound and determined to double down on their bad policies. Indeed, two high-profile moves by Biden defy American common sense. First, the Keystone pipeline appears to be an obvious solution to many. It is not even being considered by Biden.

Second, voters are rightly questioning why Biden is sanctioning American oil companies, including by shutting down that Keystone pipeline, while he is going hat in hand to countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to produce more oil. Democrats also voted against a bill promoting American energy independence.

Calls for American energy independence, a goal of the Trump administration, are resonating with voters. If Republicans are smart, they will rightfully tie high gas prices, inflation, risky foreign affairs, and Democrat policies to a lack of American energy independence.

It is not a hard sell, and it is an issue Americans face virtually every day when they go to buy groceries or gas up their vehicles. Biden is making the case himself and branding the Democrats by continuing to deny the Keystone pipeline and by begging for oil from Venezuela and other unfriendly socialist/authoritarian states.

By contrast and smartly, the Republicans are calling for American energy independence, oil production, and American jobs in Texas and Oklahoma and with the Keystone pipeline. The Republican National Committee has started registering people to vote at gas stations in Arizona. Republicans everywhere should do the same.

That is a good start but not enough. Republicans could cement their coming gains in the November midterms by branding themselves the party of American energy independence, the little guy, and common sense. In short, by making the 2020 midterms about an issue, not just the failures of Joe Biden.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Tom Del Beccaro is an acclaimed author, speaker, Fox News, Fox Business & Epoch Times opinion writer and the former Chairman of the California Republican Party. Tom is author of the historical perspectives The Divided Era and The New Conservative Paradigm 1st Ed. & 2Ed and is publisher of PoliticalVanguard.com, where he publishes daily commentaries.