2021 has been a fascinating political year. We take a look at some of the things learned over the past 12 months.
For Democrats at the national level, controlling Washington, 2021 has started with high hopes for major legislative achievements. Republicans have been playing defense all year, overshadowed by the former president’s presence Donald trump. What are the lessons of their successes and their failures?
Pignanelli: “The history of politics of the year has been one of partisan, cultural and ideological divisions that defy easy resolution. Neither side has the strength to really impose its will. So, in 2021, governing was just plain difficult. “- Gerald Seib, Wall Street Journal
For political observers, 2021 has confirmed that traditional rules of politics remain important. For example, an understanding of mathematics is essential for success. A three-vote majority in the United States House and a one-vote majority in the United States Senate is not a mandate. Instead, these numbers signal an absolute requirement for collaboration to be successful at anything.
President Joseph biden, when he was a senator, was a past master in the art of concocting coalitions on major legislative initiatives. So, it was no surprise that the bipartisanship of Congress achieved the greatest legislative achievement, the $ 1.2 trillion in infrastructure improvements. But for everything else, the progressives on the left apparently need tutoring on this lesson.
Election activities in 2021 further underscored that voters care about the future, not the past. Democrats who sent messages against Trump and Republicans who kissed the former president have behaved badly. The “things happen so be prepared” rule has been ignored, at a cost. Variants of the coronavirus, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and price inflation have all raised jurisdictional issues with the Biden administration.
The principle “Democracy is disorderly” was obvious. Americans are struggling to teach about race, mandatory vaccinations, the principles of non-discrimination, and climate change. While seeming confusing and traumatic, all Americans are engaged in conversations about these issues.
The overarching lesson of 2021 is that Americans cannot be taken for granted. They rightly ask for explanations and participation in the process. It is truly heartwarming.
Webb: The biggest political lesson of 2021 is: don’t go too far; don’t assume you have a mandate to take the country in a radical new direction when you don’t. A corollary is this: understand the state of mind of the country, especially the inner-city working class citizens, before you try to force radical change. Don’t try to rule the whole country through the prism of East Coast and West Coast values.
Democrats won the Presidency and the United States House and Senate fairly (despite Trump’s protests). But the margins of victory were tiny. The Senate is 50-50. Republicans won many seats in the House. And Joe Biden barely won the presidency.
But instead of ruling with a bit of humility, from the center, reaching out to the other side, Democrats have turned to a left-wing grand slam home run, defending every ultra-progressive problem and agenda imaginable.
Now Biden suffers from near-historically low approval ratings, the progressive wing of the party is angry and disillusioned, and the stage is set for Republicans to win big midway through 2022. He’s never been realistic. for progressive democrats to try to transform society.
Meanwhile, Republicans have effectively played the loyal opposition all year. But when they have to happen in elections and political initiatives, the wild card that is the Trump card could mess things up.
In Utah, the priorities of a new governor, a stubborn Republican legislature, a vibrant economy, and the dangers of a redistribution combined to produce an intriguing year. What have we learned about our state policy?
Pignanelli: The Utahns are a pragmatic people, and many actions of our state officials reflected this virtue. Controversial social issues have been reviewed, but also confined to prevent them from entering into deliberations on other topics. The critical attention to the issues of water, air quality, climate change and growth was subtle but very real.
Utah thrives with a diverse demographic flavor. We are a global center of innovation for technology, financial services and healthcare. However, the “Utah Way” remains a priority. Another refreshing sign of the times.
Webb: Utah is by no means perfect. We face our share of problems. We have to do a better job with education, for example. But we have good governance in Utah. Our state and local leaders are not ignorant of the problems. They resolve them in a thoughtful and reasonable manner. They look after basic needs and balance budgets. They are in line with the priorities and values of citizens. Now is a good time to be a Utahn.
The COVID-19 pandemic was over everything in 2021. What political impact has the dreaded coronavirus had?
Pignanelli: The response to the pandemic has become a litmus test for many office holders across the political spectrum. This will influence cross-party competitions in 2022.
Webb: It is regrettable that the pandemic has turned into a political issue that divides. Trump has been vilified by his opponents for not controlling the pandemic. But Biden and the Democrats did no better. It’s a tough battle, tougher than we expected. Biden’s struggles with COVID-19 – including not being prepared with millions of test kits needed right now – are contributing to his low approval ratings.
The reality is that neither Biden nor Trump deserves criticism for things beyond their control. But when bad things happen, those responsible are blamed.
Republican LaVarr Webb is a former journalist and semi-retired smallholder farmer and political consultant. E-mail: [email protected]. Frank Pignanelli is a lawyer, lobbyist, and political advisor from Salt Lake who served as Democrat in the Utah Legislature. E-mail: [email protected].