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White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain offered an interesting insight into Democrats’ 2022 midterm election strategy on Sunday, musing about French President Emmanuel Macron’s ability to win reelection despite a 36 percent approval rating, implying a similar possibility for U.S. President Joe Biden. Instead of trying to turn Biden’s sinking approval ratings around by ditching failed policies, Democrats seem content with their underwater numbers so long as they can drive Republicans’ popularity even lower with smears and censorship.
Biden’s approval rating is at 40.9 percent, according to the RealClear aggregate, although a Quinnipiac poll has him as low as 35 percent and a CNBC poll has him at 38 percent. A February NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll reported that 56 percent of Americans thought Biden’s first year in office was a failure, and the month before a mere 25 percent were “satisfied” with his administration.
The Biden administration has helped drive its own approval ratings into the ground with crisis after self-induced crisis. Democrat-led Covid lockdowns and ballooning federal spending have caused the worst inflationary crisis in decades, coupled with energy prices that were on the rise even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine thanks to Biden’s war on oil and gas. Destabilization in Ukraine and a botched withdrawal from Afghanistan may top the list of Biden’s most deadly mess-ups, but they’re far from the only line items.
From a first-day executive order requiring that schools ignore the biological differences between male and female students from the athletic field to the bathroom if they wish to continue receiving federal funding, and keeping those same schools closed for months, to bragging about working with Big Tech to silence dissent, exacerbating a record-setting crisis at the U.S. Southern border, ousting people from their jobs with medical mandates, encouraging kids to chop off their genitals, and colluding with the National School Boards Association to smear parents as domestic terrorists, the Biden team has done everything possible to alienate voters.
Meanwhile, Biden’s radical legislative agenda has crashed and burned, leaving him with nothing to offer voters but a list of failures. Biden could choose to learn from these mistakes and respond by securing the border, unhampering American oil production, respecting parents and free speech, and protecting minors from predatory sex propaganda. But instead, the White House is tacitly admitting it doesn’t care that Americans don’t like its agenda.
How is that a workable election strategy? It isn’t, unless you can convince voters to hate or fear your opposition even more. Democrats spent all four years of former President Donald Trump’s presidency pushing the Clinton campaign-funded Russia collusion hoax, aided by propagandists in the legacy media. When The New York Post broke news of sensational and incriminating Biden family scandals in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election, Big Tech and big media collaborated to nuke the story and censor those who tried to share it.
Those are just two of the most explosive examples. There are countless more of tech companies censoring conservative perspectives (including a sitting president), journalists running cover for Democrat conspiracy theories while lying about Republicans, and even tech barons like Mark Zuckerberg funneling nearly half a billion dollars to take over local election offices.
In a fair system, a president with approval ratings that are underwater by double digits would be worried about his next election, and probably worried enough to be making some big changes. But Biden has done nothing but double down. That signals just how confident his people are in their ability to collude with the censorship regime to smear their opponents or keep their arguments from reaching voters entirely. Censorship is a powerful political tool, and it’s part of why the laptop class is so panicked at the idea that someone with slightly more respect for free speech than they now owns the Twittersphere.
All of Biden’s disasters point to a Republican victory in the midterms this fall, but Democrats’ unwillingness to let nosedives in the polls budge their cultural battles should be a chilling reminder to Republicans that Democrats haven’t played by the rules for years. The collaborators in the Biden White House, in the legacy media, and in Big Tech are so confident in their backroom rigging that they don’t think they need to listen to what American voters think.
This should put urgency and tangible political reforms behind the broad and bipartisan desire among Americans to ensure American election processes are beyond reproach.
Elle Reynolds is an assistant editor at The Federalist, and received her B.A. in government from Patrick Henry College with a minor in journalism. You can follow her work on Twitter at @_etreynolds.