Democrats were buoyed for a brief period over the summer by optimistic polling and reports that suggested the party would beat expectations and historical trends and maintain control of Congress in the coming midterm elections.
The reality of the likelihood of a major Republican victory has returned, though, and even President Joe Biden seemed to acknowledge as much in several fundraising speeches for the Democratic National Committee this week, Breitbart reported.
The common theme throughout those speeches was this: Democrats have an incredible “opportunity” to continue to make progress on their agenda, but all of the progress thus far was at risk and under threat by a potential “MAGA Republican” majority.
“Speaker” McCarthy and a changed trajectory
In a speech at a DNC reception in New York on Thursday, President Biden lamented that control of Congress was “up for grabs” when there was so much at stake in the coming elections, and though he professed to be “optimistic” about the Democratic Party’s chances to maintain control, he nevertheless issued a dire warning of what could be in store over the next two years.
“And we’re up this — this election is going to be tight — very tight,” he said at one point. “And if we lose the House and the Senate, it changes the trajectory of much of what we do.”
Moments later, Biden mistakenly referred to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as “Speaker” — McCarthy is the frontrunner to take on that position — and then launched into a cherry-picked and out-of-context recitation of his perception of the Republican agenda that could come into play.
GOP victory means spending “all my time with the veto pen”
Just two days earlier, during remarks at a different DNC fundraiser event on Tuesday in New York City, Biden carried on with the same theme of great opportunity for Democrats paired with the great risk posed by Republicans in the coming elections.
He again warned of all of the progress to date and future plans that were under threat of being halted or rolled back under a Republican majority in Congress, particularly on issues like abortion, climate change, gun control, and voting rights, among other things.
“If we lose this election, if we don’t — if we lose control of the House and Senate, we have a different world. I’ll be spending all my time with the veto pen, but it won’t be a lot of initiatives,” Biden said in closing.
Biden acknowledges historic trend for midterms
What he said in that speech wasn’t too dissimilar from an address he delivered about a week earlier at a DNC event in Boston, in which he demonized “MAGA Republicans” as an “extreme” and existential threat to not just the Democratic agenda but the nation as a whole.
“This is a really important off-year election,” Biden said at one point. “And the fact is that — how can I say it? — that if we lose the House and lose the Senate, it’s going to be a really difficult two years. I’ll be spending more time on the veto pen than being able to get anything done.”
In closing out that Boston speech, Biden acknowledged the undeniable historical trend of first-term presidents losing control of Congress, and said, “Remember Barack? We lost 60-some vote — we lost 60-some House members, et cetera. So there’s a lot at stake. A lot at stake. We — I don’t want to start from scratch again.”