DOWD: Democrats double down on failure

FILE - President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the National Constitution Center, on July 13, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

In November, voters coast-to-coast decisively rejected progressive politicians and their policies in an Election Day that left Joe Biden and the Democratic Party reeling.  

Republican Glenn Youngkin’s signature victory in the Virginia governor’s race was a resounding repudiation of Democrat ideological overreach. Republicans pulled off the pivotal upset by focusing on public safety, the cost of living, and education — specifically tapping into suburban parents’ rage over excessive COVID school closings and politicized curriculum. 

The Virginia rebuke extended down ballot. Republicans also picked up the lieutenant governorship (the first black woman to win statewide in Virginia history) and ousted the Democrat attorney general (electing the first Hispanic attorney general in Virginia history), while winning control of the House of Delegates in a state where the GOP hadn’t won a statewide race in more than a decade.  

Democrats also got a scare in dark-blue New Jersey, where Republican Jack Ciattarelli nearly defeated incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy, despite being outspent two-to-one. The down-ballot carnage for Democrats was shocking. New Jersey truck driver Ed Durr reportedly spent just $153 on his campaign to defeat powerful state Senate President Steve Sweeney, who has controlled New Jersey’s Democratic machine for 30 years. This, in a state Joe Biden carried by 16 points just a year ago. 

New York City’s newly elected mayor is an ex-police officer who favors gun rights. In upstate New York, record numbers of Republicans were elected to school boards. In heavily Democratic Buffalo, an avowed socialist lost to a write-in candidate for mayor.  

In Minneapolis, ground-zero of the “Defund the Police” movement, more than 56% of voters rejected a proposal to abolish the police department. In Seattle, moderate Bruce Harrell trounced progressive M. Lorena González in the race for mayor by promising to restore public order and prosecute property destruction.  

Looming over every one of these races was Joe Biden’s disastrous presidency. Biden was set up for success given that he was handed multiple vaccines being administered daily, a robust V-shaped economic recovery and a country itching to spend after being locked down for over a year.  

Instead, Americans have endured soaring prices, supply-chain shortages, out-of-control illegal migration, and the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan that left thousands of Americans behind enemy lines — to name just a few of the major fiascos the president seems stubbornly determined to ignore.  

Run-away inflation is wiping out wage gains for workers. In November, the consumer price index (CPI), climbed to 6.8% year-over-year — the highest in 39 years. Prices for food were up 6.4% and the cost of energy was 33% higher than a year ago. Wholesale prices rose 9.6% in November, the fastest pace ever. A full 45% of Americans are experiencing financial hardship thanks to Bidenflation, according to a Gallup poll. 

But surging crime was the last straw for many voters. The U.S. saw its largest-ever single-year murder spike in 2020. At least 12 major U.S. cities, all run by Democrats, set homicide records in 2021, ABC News reports, and countless others are flirting with their previous records. Data from AH Datalytics indicates that the U.S. is on pace for a 50% increase in murders compared to two years ago.  

By insisting that the police are a bigger threat to society than criminals, progressive elected officials are having trouble recruiting and retaining cops. Early retirements nationwide jumped 45% in 2021 as attacks on police officers increased. The FBI reports that the number of police officers killed in the line of duty between January and September was up by more than 50% over the same period in 2020. “[I]t’s worse than a war zone around here lately,” Rochester police Capt. Frank Umbrino said after the city set a new all-time homicide high on Nov. 11. 

Democrats have time to pull out of their tailspin and avert an even larger electoral disaster in 2022. Instead, they are doubling down on the vastly unpopular policies that led to their shellacking this year. Biden is raising taxes; increasing wasteful spending; expanding the welfare state; firing doctors, nurses, police officers and firefighters who refuse the vaccine; and making America dependent on foreign energy again.  

There is a weird political logic to their obstinacy. Knowing they are going to get trounced again in next year’s congressional elections, Democrats see this fleeting moment as their last, best chance to pass major, progressive legislation to “transform” America. So, why not max out the credit card now, while they still can? 

Facing a mountain of failures, growing public resistance and very few triumphs, the Democratic Party is heading for a disastrous midterm blowout. The reckoning has just begun. 

Frank Dowd IV, chairman of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company, is a registered independent. Charlotte Pipe and Foundry is a 120-year-old U.S. manufacturer of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings, with seven plants around the country.