America’s broken institutions could be a huge boon for GOP in the midterms: analysis
Chief Justice John Roberts (Photo via Brendan Smialowski for AFP)

Frustration with America's failing institutions could give the GOP a critical boost going into the 2022 midterm election, according to a new analysis published by The Washington Post.

"If you feel like everything is out of control and nothing is working, you’re not alone. It’s also exactly how the Republican Party would like you to feel — whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat or an independent," Paul Waldman wrote. "Gallup has released new data showing that people’s faith in almost every institution in American life — the government, the media, the medical system, the police, organized religion and many others — has not only declined over the past year but in some cases is now lower than at any time since they began asking questions about such confidence over four decades ago."

The poll also showed a sharp drop in patriotism among young Americans.

"Smart Republicans know this is great for them and their electoral prospects," Waldman wrote. "Republicans benefit from a general sense that things don’t work. Their worldview is built around the idea that each of us is on our own and out for ourselves. Lost your job? Too bad, it was probably your fault, and don’t go asking the government for help. You got sick? Bad luck, but don’t expect the medical system to help. You can’t trust the police and it’s a chaotic world out there? You’d better buy some guns."

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He noted the frustration with Democratic leaders who have "offered little in the way of a pragmatic plan to restore abortion rights" and noted that implicit in their message to vote harder is "The only way to address this problem is through the government institutions that seem to be failing you."

The lack of fight from Democratic leaders could harm the party in the midterms.

"And if Democratic voters lose their faith, they demobilize, seeing no point in voting or participating. Which is exactly what Republicans want them to do," Waldman wrote. "Perhaps Democrats can convince their base that voting out of pure anger (especially at the Supreme Court) is worthwhile. But right now the party’s leaders don’t really seem to be trying. Meanwhile, the pandemic lingers on, the effects of climate change grow ever more miserable, inflation hasn’t turned around, mass shootings are an almost daily occurrence, and there don’t seem to be any trustworthy institutions to turn to."

That dynamic was on display in a story published by CNN on Tuesday under the headline, "After string of Supreme Court setbacks, Democrats wonder whether Biden White House is capable of urgency moment demands."

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"Debra Messing was fed up. The former 'Will & Grace” star was among dozens of celebrity Democratic supporters and activists who joined a call with White House aides last Monday to discuss the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade," Edward-Isaac Dovere reported. "Messing said she’d gotten Joe Biden elected and wanted to know why she was being asked to do anything at all, yelling that there didn’t even seem a point to voting."

He noted Democrats still haven't released a plan. Biden is currently overseas.

"I'm having a meeting with a group of governors when I get home on Friday. And I'll have announcements to make then," Biden said on Tuesday.

"Democrats worry the lack of decisions and authority are deepening their own midterm problems and feeding a sense that the President couldn’t truly handle the extra complications of a run for reelection in 2024 – and along the way, reinforcing narratives that he’s an old man not fit for the moment," Dovere warned. "The President who campaigned on putting America back together again after four years of deep divisions appears to have stopped trying, supporters say."

The frustration has been boiling over on social media. Slate legal expert Mark Joseph Stern described the White House's response as "feckless and torpid and pathetic."