There’s so much celebration and analysis of the 2021 election, especially in Virginia, that it has become hard to separate one from the other.
Some Republican congressman are reportedly already calling House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “Mr. Speaker.” That’s a huge mistake because, to paraphrase what the late Abba Eban said about the Palestinians, Republicans never miss the opportunity to miss an opportunity to win. They have an enormous talent for doing just that.
There’s a slim chance that the Democrats can save their thin majorities in the House and the Senate if, as they usually do, Republicans play into their hands by not making national issues local.
Start with the obvious. Glenn Youngkin’s win in Virginia carried the lieutenant governor and attorney general candidates to victory with him. But Youngkin won by 50.7 percent to 48.6 percent, which was hardly a landslide and is about one percent less than Biden’s victory over Trump in 2020. (Biden carried Virginia over Trump by ten points, which means Biden isn’t popular in the state.)
National leaders and former leaders had nothing to do with who won or lost. Terry McAuliffe brought in Obama, Biden, and Harris to campaign for him, which apparently had no positive effect on voters.
Concomitantly, it’s absurd to say that Glenn Youngkin won because Trump endorsed him or because “Trump voters” voted for him. Youngkin kept Trump at arm’s length and, as a result, Trump didn’t campaign for Youngkin at all. McAuliffe blamed his loss on “Trump voters.” But to say that someone who voted for both Trump and Youngkin is a Trumpkin ignores the fact that many conservatives and Republicans voted more against Biden than for Trump. The best thing Trump did for Youngkin was to stay out of the state.
One Democratic pundit said that, for 2022, Dems have to make sure that the Republicans don’t become the “Mom and Dad” party. James Carville said that the Dems’ “wokeness” was the reason they lost. In those comments is wisdom that could bring about Republican majorities in the House and Senate in 2022.
One of the so far unmentioned elements in Republicans’ successes in Virginia, the near-miss in New Jersey, and the rejection of defunding the cops in Minneapolis, was that Americans were rebelling against Biden’s continued interference in our daily lives.
Biden’s interference can be seen in the inflated prices we’re all paying for gasoline and food. Bidenflation is a tax on all of us, rich, middle class, and poor alike. It’s seen in the vaccine mandates, his administration causing huge increases in the price of fuel and killing American jobs by canceling permits for pipelines and offshore and Alaska drilling. In less than a year, Biden has turned away from energy independence and made us again dependent on foreign oil.
It can be seen in Biden’s (still not passed) socialist transformation of our economy and in his administration’s forcing wokeness on the military and in foreign policy. The LGBTQWhatever flag often flies on our embassies abroad. That’s just wrong.
It can be seen in the open border policy Biden has created. At least two million illegal aliens have been admitted already this year. That number is certainly too low, considering that all the people the Border Patrol has intercepted are counted but not those who got away. Tens of thousands of illegals have been flown and bused around America, leaving the towns they are dropped off in to absorb the costs they impose.
Biden’s actions have made local politics national and vice-versa. Republicans need to remember the late Tip O’Neill’s maxim that all politics are local. Voters have to be energized by Republican campaigns to oppose all these things. Hanging inflation, the border crisis, and wokeness around Biden’s neck is the way to win in 2022.
Carville is right to some extent. Republicans need to campaign insistently against all of the Biden policies that impose wokeness and weakness on our country.
What went right this year in Virginia, Minnesota, and even New Jersey was that the election was the beginning of a “get off my lawn” campaign.
What won for Youngkin were, in large part, issues that turned local politics state-wide.
In Loudoun County, where I live, we’ve had a bunch of whacko school board members try to inject Critical Race Theory into the schools. When parents objected, several members of the board set up a “private” Facebook page that tried to punish parents who were anti-CRT by shaming them. One of those school board members, facing inevitable recall, has resigned. Our school superintendent is under fire — as he should be — for enabling a “transgender” rapist to repeat his crime in a second school and lying about it. He should be fired, but our hyperliberal county council won’t do that.
McAuliffe’s statement that parents shouldn’t be able to tell schools what to teach made me wonder if he was secretly working for Youngkin. It was precisely the wrong thing to say at precisely the wrong time. When McAuliffe brought Obama, Biden, and Harris to campaign for him, it seemed to confirm that hypothesis.
What the Republicans can count on is that Biden will manufacture more continuing disasters between now and 2022. The House’s passage of Biden’s $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill will accelerate inflation. If — despite the efforts of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending plan passes, it will further accelerate inflation.
The border crisis is worsening. Biden has reportedly flown about seventy flights carrying illegals to Florida. Other destinations range around the country where tens of thousands of illegals have been moved. Republican campaigns have to insistently remind voters that Biden’s policies afflict them directly.
Biden’s plan — which he denied — that illegals separated from their families will get payments of up to $450,000 each was confirmed by Biden’s White House after his denial. Those payments, which can come at any time, will greatly increase the number of illegals coming into the U.S.
The best thing the Republicans have going for them in 2022 is Joe Biden. Bidenflation is hurting everyone with big increases in the price of everything from food to gasoline. Biden’s Afghanistan debacle abandoned hundreds of U.S. citizens and green card holders to the mercies of the Taliban and other terrorist groups. The border mess is entirely Biden’s doing.
The illegal immigration problem is a national problem that should be made a major issue in 2022. Republicans can’t shy away from the issue. It was one of the reasons Trump won in 2016.
To become the “Mom and Dad Party,” Republicans need to focus on what Biden used to call the “kitchen table issues,” those with which every American is concerned. Inflation? Biden has caused us to go from energy independence to energy dependence by canceling pipeline and oil drilling permits. Each of those actions has cost American jobs. That is a direct cause of the rise in gasoline prices that everyone is suffering from. Republicans should be shouting from the rooftops about the problems Biden has created that didn’t exist before he came into office.
Democrats insist that they don’t want to defund the police, but their actions say otherwise. Even in ultraliberal Minneapolis it was rejected by the voters. Not every Democrat supports defunding the police, but the Dems remain fungible. Wherever Republicans campaign against defunding the police, they will get a lot of votes they wouldn’t have otherwise.
The supply chain problem — which Biden derisively says Americans don’t understand — is another problem his administration is doing precisely nothing to solve. Texas Gov. Greg Abbot and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are trying to lure cargo ships away from the bottleneck in Los Angeles to ports in their states. This is a national problem that those two governors are trying to solve. Republicans should make the Los Angeles problem a national issue which, in truth, it already is.
Biden has made things personal for Americans. Inflation, “wokeness” in schools and in the military affect all but the rich elites who are Biden’s principal constituency. Campaigning against Biden’s policies that impact American families is the key to winning in 2022.
Ron DeSantis has the right idea. He called Biden’s team the “Brandon administration.” It’s a phrase Republicans should use at every opportunity.