Opinion: Democrats are fighting for their political life
Covid-19 presents unique challenges for the economy due to its ability to suddenly shut down industries such as travel and hospitality. The emergence of different variants and numerous waves of infection have also created uncertainty for companies and employees.
It’s hard to say exactly what’s going on around the corner. What Can Democrats Do? On the one hand, it is important to govern successfully while Democrats control the executive and legislative powers. The infrastructure and reconciliation bills currently languishing in Congress could have a positive effect on the economy. Passing the bills – while avoiding a government shutdown and federal debt default – would create jobs and pump federal money into places that desperately need it.
But many people are still reluctant to re-enter parts of the workforce for fear of getting sick. Essential workers like doctors and nurses are exhausted by the onslaught of Covid-19 patients while those with jobs in manufacturing, education or services face harsh working conditions without support, pay or adequate social benefits. If we cannot control the pandemic, these problems will only get worse.
The bad news for Democrats is that the pressure on the global economy could become a major issue by the 2022 midterm elections. If conditions disintegrate, this could be the opening Republicans need to make. regain control of the House and the Senate.
The good news is that the United States is no longer in the economic free fall we saw at the start of the pandemic and there are strong signs that we are on the road to recovery. These indicators, combined with the possibility that Democrats could come together to enact the infrastructure and reconciliation bills, show that nothing is inevitable at this point. Democrats aren’t just fighting for what they believe are the nation’s most pressing needs, they are also fighting for their own politics. The next few days will give an indication of their success.