A Centrist Perspective on the 2022 Mid-Term Elections

No One Should be Popping the Champagne

I don’t think that either party should be particularly proud of their performance during the 2022 Mid-Terms.

The Democrats, faced with a bushel basket of bozo Republican candidates, managed to only lose control of the House and maybe keep their razor thin majority in the Senate. The Republicans, with the tail wind of a mid-term election against the party in power and an unpopular President, just barely managed to grab hold of the House. That despite high inflation, a border crisis, rising crime, and “woke” Democrats spouting obvious nonsense.

Either party could have turned this election into a rout by just being reasonable. Sadly that did not happen.

The Upside of Divided Government

Divided government may be the best government we can hope for and it is not all bad.

A Republican House gives Biden the opportunity to govern as a centrist. The Progressive wing of his party can no longer pass outrageous left-wing legislation in the House and abuse Biden, Schumer, Manchin and Sinema for not dispensing with the Senate filibuster rule. Biden can defend centrist legislation as the only legislation that has a chance and not get slammed by his own party.

The left can stop pushing for expanding the Supreme Court, or looking for a federal legislative fix on abortion, and get on with the business of trying to legislate abortion rights at the state level. Numerous legislative victories, during and before the mid-terms, suggest that this is likely to be a successful strategy even in red states.

The Biggest Loser is Trump

It finally looks like Republicans are starting to realize Donald Trump’s toxicity. Trump is delaying any announcement on running until he can try to recast the narrative. Donald Trump promoted the candidacy of a bunch of losers in races that could easily have been won by reasonable Republican candidates. DeSantis won big. Pence has obvious credibility as a true conservative and a defender of constitutional democracy against personal threats.

The best course for the Republican Party is to distance itself from Trump and discourage him from running. Virtually any other Republican candidate for President would stand a better chance of winning than Donald J. Trump. Sure Trump could be the nominee, if a crowded field challenges him and his base remains loyal. At that point Biden should be able to win a second term by an even larger margin of victory. Can anyone doubt that Trump is a less attractive candidate now than he was in 2020? Biden on the other hand, with the benefit of a Republican House, can move sharply to the center.