EDITORIAL: Biden polls, virus and teacher unions
The latest polls show President Joe Biden is more underwater than Donald Trump when it comes to his disapproval rating. On the positive side, he is held in higher esteem than Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell.
According to the realclearpolitics.com poll average, 52.6% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the man in the White House, while 42% give him a favorable rating. Mr. Trump’s numbers are 51.7 and 41.8, respectively. Mr Biden’s negative rating was eclipsed only by Kamala Harris (53%), Ms Pelosi (57.7%) and Mr McConnell (59%).
Progressives will say that the president’s dismal numbers reflect his inability to push their radical agenda through Congress, but that would be grossly inaccurate. The vast majority of Americans go about their day-to-day business regardless of the constant partisan bickering among Beltway insiders. With COVID raging, inflation at 30-year highs, grocery store shelves half-empty in places, and teachers’ unions again threatening to close schools, frustration naturally mounts – and the occupier the Oval Office pays the price.
Mr. Biden’s problem is an acute lack of leadership. He was far too quick to appease his party’s far left and terrifyingly threatening to react to events on the ground, seemingly caught off guard by every new development, from Afghanistan to skyrocketing prices to variants of virus. Mr Biden could take a step toward rebuilding his position by articulating a more realistic perspective on COVID, suggested last week by members of his former health advisory board, who urged the administration to “adopt a whole new one national pandemic strategy focused on the ‘new normal’ of living with the virus indefinitely, not eliminating it, ”The New York Times reported.
Although some of the experts’ recommendations should not begin – a vaccine passport, for example, would never pass the constitutional test – the idea that the country cannot be “in a perpetual state of emergency” due to COVID- 19 would be a step in the right direction. The president could also strengthen his position by confronting the shameless teacher unions – especially in Chicago – determined to exploit the pandemic to the detriment of the country’s children.
“If the president were to stand up firmly and uncompromisingly in Chicago, where teachers (last week) refused to work,” the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan wrote on Saturday, “this would be kind of a moment. It would make parents across the nation jump in real appreciation. Someone is helping.
Big Education is among the Democratic Party’s biggest financial benefactors, and angering such a powerful interest would be risky for Mr Biden. On the other hand, sometimes leadership requires turning your customers upside down because it’s the right thing to do.