Please, Democrats, follow Warren’s plan


Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks during a Senate committee hearing March 3 in Washington.


Tom Williams/Associated Press

I hereby disapprove of last week’s column – not just some of what I wrote, but every sentence, sentence and word.

I’m not giving up my views because I’ve been gently ripped off by friends and readers that I was giving aid and comfort to the Democrats by suggesting their party downplay the Biden-Harris-Pelosi-Schumer agenda and instead have as many contests as possible to locate.

No, I waive what I wrote last week because one of America’s great political minds – someone perfectly aligned with the nation’s stance, particularly its rural regions – has eloquently insisted that the road to victory of the Democrats in November in the Democrats, the fall election as a referendum is on the national agenda of the party.

My views were changed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s statement in the New York Times last Sunday on how her party can turn the Midterms into a historic victory. She argued that Democrats must pass their entire agenda to “convince voters that we’re going to make meaningful change” — and if Republicans oppose those policies, “force them to cast those votes in full view.”

Ms Warren said her party should start on a budget balancing deal that will increase taxes on businesses so they can finally “pay their share to fund vital investments to tackle climate change and lower costs for families”. The senator doesn’t say how to get 50 Senate Democrats and 216 of the 221 House Democrats to pass such a package — other analysts may criticize that the votes just aren’t there — but whatever.

The senator lists a series of progressive policies that Congress would have to vote on. These include price controls aimed at “preventing companies from pumping up prices” and preventing oil and gas companies from “making money off this energy crisis.” America’s 735 billionaires will have to “pay more taxes” because the “clean energy, affordable care, and universal preschoolers” initiatives Ms. Warren wants will require trillions in new spending. It doesn’t say where the votes are for any of this or how financial math works.

Congressional approval is not required for all Senator proposals. Ms. Warren is also calling on President Biden to take executive action, beginning with writing off some student debt. I was under the impression that erasing $1.75 trillion owed to the US Treasury would require legislative action, but Ms Warren claimed it was “an action the President could take all by himself”. She doesn’t address how this huge gift given to some college grads will resonate with anyone who has or hasn’t paid off student debt.

The senator also doesn’t explain how recent polls agree with her complaint that Republican senators “blocked a lot of it [Democrats’] Progress promised.” Her party’s star bill — Build Back Better, the biggest expansion of the federal government since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society — likely contributed to the Democrats’ decline in popularity with swing voters. The Senate vote was “obvious,” but political strategists on both sides of the aisle are still predicting a resounding GOP win at halftime.

If Ms. Warren can’t sway you, there’s simplistic advice from Vice President Kamala Harris at a recent fundraiser in New York. Democrats need to “remind people . . . what’s at stake and why elections matter and what we stand for.” Democrats “need to be able to talk to them and understand where people are at right now.” I would have thought the president’s approval rating of 41 % or the polls showing that 65% of voters believe the country is on the wrong track would be useful ways to “understand where people stand”.

Finally, there’s the tactical brilliance of the president, who, according to the Politico Playbook, will shortly begin attacking Republicans on Tuesday “because they have no plan to bring inflation down.” The idea seems to be that this will deflect criticism from Mr. Biden and shift responsibility where few believe it should be — with the congressional minority. The White House doesn’t seem to understand that Republicans have a plan to curb inflation by halting the government’s aggressive spending that is piling up debt.

Having heard the wisdom of Ms. Warren, Ms. Harris and unnamed White House advisers, I remain hopeful that the Democrats will sovereignly nationalize the midterms. I pray that they will force votes on Ms. Warren’s progressive stuff, cause deeper rifts within the Democratic Party, demonstrate their inability to govern, and set a high goal for every Democratic candidate in a swing district or state. My dearest dream is of Mr. Biden enforcing executive orders that exceed his authority and being brought down by the courts while the Democrats attack the GOP for not having a plan to fight inflation. Because if they do all of this, the expected Republican mid-term victory will be a Republican tsunami.

Mr. Rove helped organize the American Crossroads political action committee and is the author of The Triumph of William McKinley (Simon & Schuster, 2015).

Journal Editor’s Report: The Democratic Left calls for a storm of executive orders. Images: AP/Zuma Press Composite: Mark Kelly

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Appeared in the print edition on April 21, 2022. Please, Democrats, follow Warren’s plan

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