November 14, 2022 10:07 am
Everyone thought Joe Biden would turn into one lame duck, a “lame duck,” according to the US political expression used to refer to weakened presidents. Instead, “super Joe” got on the plane bound for Asia, thanks to an unexpected news: the Democrats have retained the majority in the Senate after the victory of their candidate in Nevada against an iron “Trumpian”.
The mid-term elections gave Democrats a boost when they were ready for a crushing defeat in a context marked by inflation, extreme polarization and doubts about a senior president. In the end, the expected Republican “red wave” did not happen, even if the Conservatives could get a narrow majority in the chamber. The story deserves an in-depth analysis.
Donald Trump sang victory, but the truth is that the vote is weakened, potentially less boss than the Republican Party and undermined by the strong candidacy of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ahead of the 2024 presidential elections. Announcing Trump’s fall is still risky, but his influence on Republicans is in doubt after a disappointing election result.
A good news
The first consequence of the vote is the return of confidence for the Democrats, who will not live the nightmare of having to spend the next two years at the mercy of a hostile congress. This is good news both for aid to Ukraine and for social reforms.
The effects of the mid-term elections will also be felt internationally. On November 14, Biden will meet Xi Jinping, the Chinese number one just gored for a third term at the 20th Communist Party Congress. For the president of the United States it was important not to show up weighed down by a scorching defeat at this summit in which all the hottest topics will be addressed, from Taiwan to the technological war through Ukraine.
The result of the elections does not radically change the situation, but it still has a notable effect
Part of the moves of Russia, China and Iran are based on the idea that the US-led West is in decline. The invasion of the congress and the defeat of Kabul in 2021 reinforced this vision, which prompted Xi to decree that “the west goes down, the east goes up”. Internal divisions in the United States have fueled this belief.
The result of the elections does not radically change the situation, but it still has a notable effect. Analyzing the Chinese or Russian approach it is evident that both feed on the democratic weakening of Western countries, and in turn feed it. At a time when the Russian military has just lost the city of Cherson, annexed just two months ago, Putin receives another bad news: the good health of Joe Biden’s Democratic Party.
The outcome of the vote also demonstrates, as happened in Brazil last month with the defeat of Bolsonaro, that there is nothing ineluctable in politics.
Americans are perfectly aware of the fact that the deep divisions of their country will not disappear before the presidential elections of 2024. But at least they can be satisfied in the face of the defeat of the most radical candidates supported by Trump, beaten also thanks to the participation of young electricians, motivated by the threat which hangs over the right to abortion, and that of blacks and Latins, who have remained loyal to the Democrats.
It is the “butterfly effect” of the moment: a positive vote for the Democrats in Nevada means a Joe Biden reinvigorated in Bali for the G20.
(Translation by Andrea Sparacino)
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