Podhoretz Confronts MSNBC Host’s Delusion That Dems Will Win in 2022

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It’s not something you see often but MSNBC viewers got a taste of reality for the first time in a while. During MSNBC’s “Decision 2022 : Countdown to the Midterms” special, host Steve Kornacki laid out a lengthy case for why Democrats could be turning the tide and keep control of Congress. After laying out his case, his guest, John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine scoffed at the idea that Democrats would escape getting wiped out in the midterms. 

Kornacki opened with a bit of wishful thinking claiming “there have [sic] been some press coverage and some pundits who’ve been saying, maybe things are actually turning around in Democrats’ favor.” 

He went on to read from a Politico article which claimed: “Biden enters the always be closing phase of his first term. And this is in response to that deal he struck with Joe Manchin. Somehow, some way they write, Joe Biden is back in the game, after enduring a brutal year dominated by economic angst, legislative setbacks, and sinking approval ratings, the President is suddenly on the verge of a turnaround that the White House believes could salvage his summer, and alter the trajectory of his presidency.” 

“You have Nate Silver, at FiveThirtyEight the forecasting site,” Kornacki said excitedly. “He says the political environment might be improving for Democrats. He cites some legislative achievements. He also cites the Roe v. Wade decision, COVID fading from the news, the January 6 hearings.”  

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Kornacki also touted how Cook Political Report downgraded their “House outlook from a GOP gain of 20 to 35 seats, down to 15 to 30 seats.” 

Turning to Podhoretz, Kornacki asked, “I know you have been bullish on Republican prospects in this year’s midterm elections. Are you starting to feel any doubt about that?”  

Podhoretz immediately shut down the idea that Democrats could be on the verge of a comeback in the midterm elections: 

No. I think this is all wish casting. I think we haven’t even discussed the issue set that is going against Biden. We haven’t discussed the fact that 78 to 88 percent of the American people say we’re on the wrong track. We’ve got inflation, as a major political issue for the first time in 40 years. And one key thing to think about inflation is this. When you have a high unemployment number that means that nine or ten percent of the employable people in the country are not employed. And that’s a terrible thing. But it affects them, their loved ones, and their immediate, the immediate people around them. Inflation hits everyone every single person in the United States, every single day, it is inescapable.

He went on to note how inflation “is just an anchor on Democratic hopes” and  “every time somebody goes to fill up their gas tank, they’re getting mad, and they are getting worried, and they’re getting anxious, and they feel bad. And the party in power has control of the House, the Senate, and the White House.” 

Podhoretz ended by warning Democrats that they need to “batten down the hatches,” and “prepare for the tsunami to roll over you.”

MSNBC’s delusions of a Democrat victory in the 2022 midterms was made possible thanks to the endorsements from Bayer and Discover. Their information is linked. 

To read the transcript of this segment click “expand”: 

MSNBC’s Decision 2022: Countdown to the Midterms
August 1, 2022
10:08:13 p.m. Eastern

STEVE KORNACKI: The history does not look good for Democrats. Biden’s numbers don’t look good for Democrats. The combination of Biden’s numbers and the history, don’t look good for Democrats. But as we come on air tonight, we have seen in the last few hours the president announced the killing of an Al-Qaeda leader. We had news last week of a potential breakthrough, negotiations in the Senate on this climate bill Democrats have been trying to get through. Maybe, they have a deal with Joe Manchin now. 

And there have been some press coverage and some pundits who’ve been saying, maybe things are actually turning around in Democrats’ favor. I wanna just show a few of these things. This is Politico, a story they ran just a couple of days ago. The headline, Biden enters the always be closing phase of his first term. And this is in response to that deal he struck with Joe Manchin. Somehow, some way they write, Joe Biden is back in the game, after enduring a brutal year dominated by economic angst, legislative setbacks, and sinking approval ratings, the President is suddenly on the verge of a turnaround that the White House believes could salvage his summer, and alter the trajectory of his presidency. That was Politico. 

You have Nate Silver, at FiveThirtyEight the forecasting site. He says the political environment might be improving for Democrats. He cites some legislative achievements. He also cites the Roe v. Wade decision, COVID fading from the news, the January 6 hearings. And then, you’ve got Dave Wasserman, from the Cook Political Report, we’re gonna be talking to somebody from the Cook Political Report shortly. 

But he forecasts House races for The Cook Report, and he said, he’s gonna downgrade his forecast a little bit when it comes to Republicans in the House. He says is the red wave ebbing? Probably not much, but as Dems show more signs of life and Rs nominate several problematic candidates, we’re downgrading our House outlook from a GOP gain of 20 to 35 seats, down to 15 to 30 seats. So, John, I’ll start with you. I listened to your podcast. I read your columns. I know you have been bullish on Republican prospects in this year’s midterm elections. Are you starting to feel any doubt about that? 

JOHN PODHORETZ: No. I think this is all wish casting. I think we haven’t even discussed the issue set that is going against Biden. We haven’t discussed the fact that 78 to 88 percent of the American people say we’re on the wrong track. We’ve got inflation, as a major political issue for the first time in 40 years. 

And one key thing to think about inflation is this. When you have a high unemployment number that means that nine or ten percent of the employable people in the country are not employed. And that’s a terrible thing. But it affects them, their loved ones, and their immediate, the immediate people around them. Inflation hits everyone every single person in the United States, every single day, it is inescapable. It may be — the acceleration of it may be lessening. But that is just an anchor on Democratic hopes, that all of the structural things you’re talking about, maybe the Republicans have bad candidates here. Maybe Biden’s had a couple of good weeks there. 

Every time somebody goes to fill up their gas tank, they’re getting mad, and they are getting worried, and they’re getting anxious, and they feel bad. And the party in power has control of the House, the Senate, and the White House. And the Republicans don’t. And therefore, I just don’t understand how there’s gonna be a turnaround, except if every individual candidate is so terrible that in districts and in states, people go, well we can’t have them, which could be the case. 

But your historical map, our historical record, combined with the terrible issue set facing Democrats, is just, I think, you just gotta be more realistic, and like, let go, you know like batten down the hatches, if you’re a Democrat, and prepare for the tsunami to roll over you and see what you can do after election day.

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