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The Democrats in Virginia have suffered a major defeat in an off-year election

The pregnancy of Vice President Joe Biden lasted nine months and sixteen days. It had a clumsy duckling.

The Democrats in Virginia have suffered a major defeat in an off-year election, losing both the Governor’s mansion and, most likely, the Assembly. In the gubernatorial election in New Jersey, the Democrats just managed to win by the tiniest of margins. Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by double digits in both of these states. Republicans also gained ground in New York City, a Democratic stronghold.

So, in exactly a year, the public in three Democratic-leaning states has turned against the party, particularly Joe Biden.

For this, Biden must bear the brunt of the blame. Trump has a 43 percent approval rating, making him the only previous president with a lower approval rating than Biden.

More importantly, the disapproval rating is currently at 53%. This appears to have aided the Republicans in regaining voters.

The tragedy for the Democrats and Biden is that these two Republican resurrections will make things incredibly tough for them in the short and long term. They’ve been trying for almost nine months to get some sort of trillion-dollar socioeconomic plan through Congress. It’s partly because to the Republicans’ obstinacy in the Senate, where they hold a 50-50 majority and have refused to cooperate on the multibillion-dollar Biden Build Back Better plan. But, more importantly, the Democrats have been held hostage by two of their own, Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona, who have refused to back the bill because they are concerned about their more conservative voters.

Senator Manchin, whose state borders Virginia, will perceive the massive double-digit swing to the Republicans as a major threat to his status in West Virginia. He’s previously declared, “It’s unbelievable…what happened in Virginia,” and questioned the Democrats’ tactic of trying to pass a social-spending bill, saying, “You can’t unite (a divided society) by doing it through a one-party system.” And without his and Sinema’s support, the Democratic left’s social programme will die.

So, after more than nine months of interminable wrangling, Biden, who campaigned as a negotiator and conciliator, has no tangible legislation to show for it. On the Covid front, Republican governors have rebuffed his attempts to compel private-sector immunisation or impose “Covid-appropriate behaviour.” More crucially, they have gotten legislation through in over 19 states that makes voting more difficult for Americans (read: Democratic voters, particularly minorities). Many will use their state assembly majorities to redistrict congressional seats in a way that ensures Republican majorities (this is done after every census).

The Obama presidency was held prisoner for the next six years by a Republican House and, by 2014, a Republican Senate.

The tea leaves are clear for Biden. Unless he can find a way to restart his presidency quickly, he will spend the next three years attempting to rule by executive decrees, without the support of the legislature. Unlike Trump, he has the difficulty that the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, which has been quite supportive of Trump’s executive orders, has been less so of Biden’s; for example, it has blocked his reversal of Trump’s Mexican immigration order.

The Democrats will be haunted by the spectre of a Trump whose hold on the Republican party is unshaken. Trump is the front-runner for 2024, with more than 78 percent of registered Republicans supporting him if he decides to run and is medically fit to do so. The lesson from Virginia is clear: the Democrats’ anti-Trump campaign failed, and white educated voters returned to the Republican Party. While Republicans downplayed Trump as a person, they embraced his programme of too much government, particularly in education, where the idea of teaching the Critical Race Theory, which examined slavery and America’s evolution, is high on many Democrats’ agenda.

Given how close the election was in 2020, and how far Republican states have gone to control early voting and restrict voting access for monitories, states like Georgia are unlikely to go Democrat. With a complete lack of proposals from the Democrats, the wafer-thin Democratic majority in the other 2020 tipping states, particularly Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin, may not hold.

Biden stopped Trump from getting a second term, but he’s not inclined to battle him again. The Vice President, Kamala Harris, does not appear to be up to the task. The Democratic Party’s left wing has been chastened by Tuesday’s results; the message appears to be that people do not want an intrusive government.The Democrats need a speedy answer in this grim predicament, or they will be frozen out of the American political system very soon.

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