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Yesterday’s Rasmussen survey of likely voters finds that 57% consider Joe Biden’s performance on the economy to be “poor.” That strikes me as a death knell: there is no way a president viewed in such a negative light on the economy can be re-elected. No matter how unappetizing their alternatives–Kamala Harris? Pete Buttigieg?–the Democrats have no choice but to put Biden out to pasture and find someone else for 2024.
The voters’ antipathy toward Biden is driven in large part by the fact that 52% say he is mostly responsible for sky-high fuel prices. The majority is right, but the real problem for Democrats is that there isn’t much they can do (or are willing to do) to get out from under the fuel price fiasco.
In truth, various Democrats have admitted off and on for some years that their policies are intended to raise the price of energy, which they see as a good thing. Biden has floated this idea once or twice, asserting that the current price of gasoline will facilitate a transition to “green” energy. But you can’t sell that theory to the voters:
Ninety-two percent (92%) of voters view the rising price of gasoline, home heating oil and other petroleum products as a serious problem, including 68% who consider rising fuel costs a Very Serious problem.
There is virtually no constituency for the Democrats’ actual belief that high gas prices are good for us. That leaves them in deep trouble. They can’t abandon the policies that are driving up the cost of petroleum products, because the environmentalists own the Democrats lock, stock and barrel. But neither can they admit to voters their true purpose, or try to minimize the devastating effect that inflation, driven largely by the cost of energy, is having on people’s lives. I don’t see any way out.
For now, the Democrats are trying to ride out the midterms as best they can. Once the election is behind us, I think they will try to figure out what to do with Biden. Persuade him to resign for reasons of health? Remove him under the 25th Amendment? Hope he survives long enough to complete his term and find someone else for 2024? The last option is probably most likely, unless Biden’s dementia deteriorates to the point that continuation in office is untenable–a point that may not be far off.