It’s easy to forget that, as of several months ago, political pundits and prognosticators were sure that the Democrats were going to be wiped out in the Congressional elections happening in 25 days. Biden’s poll numbers were down in the high 30’s, Congressional Democrats were demoralized, and all the talk was about a wave election leading to Republican control, and by significant numbers at least in the House, of both houses of Congress.
Then came the Supreme Court’s Roe Vs. Wade decision, followed a month later by the introduction and then passage in the Senate and House of the Inflation Reduction Act. And the conventional political wisdom and the polls began to change. Today, Biden’s approval rating is in the mid-40’s, it is a definite possibility that the Democrats will retain control of the Senate, and the professional political analysts say the House will likely be won by Republicans but with a much narrower margin.
Or to put it another way: it is possible that November 8, election day, will turn out much better than anyone was expecting just four months ago.
It is so easy to get turned off and distracted by all of the election horse race sound and fury coming at us in our email and text inboxes, our tv’s, radios and elsewhere. But we can’t let that happen. All of us need to keep it up, step it up as we approach the end point of this historic election.
For me that has meant doing something I had to think hard about: making phone calls for a Democratic Senate candidate in Pennsylvania who has supported the destructive fracking industry, John Fetterman. Why did I make those calls? Because it could well be that, if he wins, he could be the difference between the Trump Republicans winning control of the Senate and the Democrats holding onto it, or between the Democrats increasing their numbers such that Manchin and Sinema are neutralized, or not.
Those were the reasons why I determined that I should be willing to engage in a tactic that I’d prefer not to but which I determined was OK to do, important to do, given the particular political realities we are facing right now in the USA.
Principles, program, strategy and tactics: I wrote about all of these this summer right around the time that the Inflation Reduction Act was announced. In that column I said: “Right now, principles and strategy come into play when considering whether, in good faith, one can use the tactic of supporting opportunistic Congressional Democrats who have achieved political office and some power in part because of their too-often willingness to compromise. The need to defeat the Trumpist Republican alternative because of the danger of so many bad things coming about if there is a Republican takeover of the House and/or Senate on November 8 calls for all of us on the progressive Left to take this question seriously.”
I concluded that column saying this: “There continue to be polls and other indications that, despite Biden’s real political weakness and unpopularity, growing numbers of progressives, liberals and decent people see the importance of a massive turnout to the polls on November 8 as an essential, absolutely necessary, tactic for us over the next 100-plus days.”
Now there are 25 days left. Now, Biden is not so unpopular, which is helpful in terms of the key issue of voter turnout. Now, hopefully, all of us who appreciate the huge danger we face from the neo-fascist Trump Republicans will figure out how we can each do our part leading up to November 8.
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