DC Edit | Shot in the arm for Biden as Democrats retain Senate control
Invigorated by the midterm verdict in which the Democrats are certain to retain control of the Senate, US President Joe Biden might have greeted China’s Xi Jinping with a firm handshake in Bali on Monday. He may be a sitting President with the lowest ever rating but one who has made history now as the leader of the Democrats with the best performance in midterm polls in the new millennium.
The fear that a Biden shaken by events at home would have felt diminished ahead of his first meeting as President with his Chinese counterpart has evaporated.
The significance of Senate seat wins in Arizona and Nevada, leading to the ruling Democrats being ahead 50-49 and the Georgia runoff result not expected till at least December 6, is that they will continue to control the upper house, retaining the power of Cabinet and judicial appointments, including to the Supreme Court, and the potential to block any adverse legislation passed in the House.
As the counting to the House of Representatives crawled with the Democrats on 204 and not hopelessly behind the Republicans on 212 — the majority figure being 218 seats — the American political scenario has changed in a stunning manner and positively, contrary to exaggerated forecasts of a “red Wave”.
The US President who turns 80 this month could not have been more pleased just as signs may be seen as encouraging enough for him to contemplate a 2024 run.
The Democrats would like to project their unpredicted strong performance as owed to what the Biden administration did for all American families and businesses hit by the Covid pandemic as well as what they intend to do with record expenditures on infrastructure and the benevolent decision of writing off student loans, subject to court rulings of course.
On the flip side, the denial of constitutionally guaranteed abortion by the Supreme Court overturning the Roe versus Wade verdict was a shock to nearly half the voting population who saw it as an infringement of their freedoms and an early signal of the damage that any MAGA-led hard-right political position could wreak on fundamental rights.
There is also the lesson to be learnt from the humbling of the Republicans that the average American voters understand that their economic well-being is linked to democracy and that the election denialism and belief in a conspiracy theory of a deep state cabal of the former President Donald Trump’s acolytes would prove counterproductive to the historical American way of life.
Trump’s attempts to take over elected offices to do with certifying poll results were also thwarted by the admirable common sense of the voters who saw danger in the strategy of election denialism that was pandering to Trump as an individual, no matter how much his fellow mavericks of the far-right may have fawned on the tactics of their guru.
Another significant outcome of the midterms poll process defying the “red wave” projections of the cable news anchors is that a new presidential candidate has emerged in Ron “DeFuture” DeSantis who is edging ahead in popularity ratings — a development that comes much to the discomfiture of Trump who, however, may still be inclined to announce his 2024 run as early as today from his home in Florida today. The American people may have to make their choice again soon but until then the Democrats can expect to provide stability and normalcy before taking on the extreme partisans again.