Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Panic, But Do So Calmly

Let's face it, things don't look so good for Team Blue. Bill Scher notes:
"In May, I wrote that with good crisis management and divided opposition, Democrats had a solid shot at overcoming historical patterns and avoiding major House and Senate losses. But I did have a caveat: “The pandemic may still linger. Vaccine skeptics may keep us from herd immunity. Variants may circulate. Inflation might be a real worry. And Biden may begin to shoulder more blame.”
That appears to be where we are. The number of daily Covid-19 cases today is 14 times greater than it was on July 5. The rate of inflation has jumped from 1.4 percent in January to 5.4 percent in July. When a recent NBC News poll found Biden’s numbers sinking on the questions of handling the pandemic and the economy, the pollsters said, “It is the domestic storm, Covid’s delta wave, that is causing more difficulties … for President Biden” and “The best way to understand this poll is to forget Afghanistan.”...
[S]hould Democrats panic? Arguably yes, because as of today Biden’s is not popular enough to prevent a disastrous loss of one or both chambers of Congress."
On the other hand, we should remain calm as we shift into panic mode. There's still hope!
"The optimistic take is that these problems will resolve themselves. Virus spikes eventually end, and vaccination rates have begun to grow again. Inflation may be a temporary phenomenon driven by the re-opening of the pandemic-stricken economy, or a larger problem but one that the Federal Reserve can manage without Biden’s help.....
The one thing Democrats have the most direct control over is their own legislative agenda. Despite the recent frictions between moderates and progressives, Democrats should still be able to get through Congress both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the broader “Build Back Better” plan—though the latter must still go through the budget reconciliation process and its particulars are yet to be negotiated. Both proposals currently poll well. A couple of legislative wins could restore a sense of forward progress and confidence in our economic future."
Stay tuned. But there's no point in being unrealistic about the trend line. It is not good.

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