Perfect storm incoming! Not only are the American people angry with how the Democrats are running things, they’re angry in a whole lot of different ways at the same time. Democratic pundits are already whining that the media are to blame for not telling citizens about all the good news — everyone has a job and the economy is growing — but the media are unable to mollify people who have half a dozen reasons to want to thrash the Dems.
Mark Penn, a Bill Clinton pollster, in today’s New York Times: These economic blows are just one element in a cascading set of problems all hitting at the same time. It combines the nuclear anxieties of the 1950s and ’60s with the inflation threat of the ’70s, the crime wave of the ’80s and ’90s and the tensions over illegal immigration in the 2000s and beyond. This electorate is not experiencing a malaise, as President Jimmy Carter was once apocryphally said to have proclaimed, but has instead formed into a deep national fissure ready to blow like a geyser in the next election if leadership does not move to relieve the pressure.
Americans think the economy is weak, inflation is effectively giving them a major pay cut, the border is being overrun, criminals are roaming unchecked, Covid policy is a mess, Vladimir Putin is more dangerous than ever before, and political correctness amounts to a national gag order. Any one of these things could be enough to cost Democrats the House; in the fall of 2014, you may recall, America was in a state of anxiety about mass illegal immigration and a threat from Ebola that turned out to recede quickly, and harshly punished the party in power. Republicans gained an astonishing nine Senate seats, and 13 in the House.