June 8, 2023


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Two Lessons from American Elections

JBiden survived the “beating.” Barack Obama used this image to describe the Democratic defeat in the House of Representatives in 2010 during his first midterm elections. In his time, even Bill Clinton could have owned it after the 1994 election.

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As this soon-to-be octogenarian president, not comfortable with words, not very popular, and his mandate weighed down by a surge of inflation not seen in decades, he often compares his illustrious predecessors to his disadvantage. Halfway through his mandate, he added this opposition to a substantial legislative record. The obstacle of a possible loss of the House of Representatives on his part, before the situation becomes clear to the Senate, must now prevent him from going further.

After Joe Biden leaves the White House, this legislative assessment will ultimately result in a deeper modernization of his country to adapt to the challenge posed by its infrastructure or climate change. An important legacy for a consistently underrated political figure.

A second lesson from the narrow nature of Republican gains concerns the conservative camp. The latter expected a vote of confidence, which did not materialize in the referendum. Admittedly, he was able to benefit from Joe Biden’s mistakes. His initial misunderstanding of inflation was persistent and severe. Republicans are buoyed by higher gas prices at the pump, perhaps the most scrutinized index in America, but their charisma clearly leaves something to be desired.

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The Grand Old Party can only blame themselves. By showing that it cannot resist the pressure of Donald Trump and his delusional thesis of a rigged presidential election to explain his indisputable defeat in 2020, the Republican Party has plunged itself into a stalemate.

A mistake already made

Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the former president was not wrong to worry about the “quality” of candidates in primaries, especially in the race for control of the Senate. The flamboyant candidacies of Prince and Donald Trump, straight TV sets or outright conspiracy, produced incredible results.

The disappointments recorded overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania confirm this. Conservatives have had more success with demographics that are more conventional or simply more qualified to perform their stated functions.

The mistake is all the more remarkable given that the Grand Old Party made it a decade earlier, at the height of the Tea Party’s quasi-insurgency wave. Already at that time, incendiary candidates had won primaries before facing stiff rebuttals during general elections.

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The Republican Party has always been a “big tent”, according to the established formula, where different sensibilities can coexist. The Hunt for Ideological Purity and the Disparaging Condemnation of Paper Republicans (“Republic in name only ”) rarely brought him luck. Today there is no internal monitoring of elected officials who are deemed not sufficiently loyal to the victorious 2020.

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With the 2024 presidential election cycle already opening at a frenetic pace, it’s a Democratic robbery, and the timing of the renewal seems imperative for both major parties for different reasons. Democrats should look for replacements because the years, not his record, are catching up with Joe Biden. Republicans, if they want to win, must instead break at least part of what defines Donald Trump’s name today.

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