President Joe Biden took two huge losses Thursday that likely will be the final nails in the coffin of the big and hopeful agenda that Democrats were counting on as we speed into the 2022 election season from hell.
First, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a fellow Democrat, announced that although she supports the voting rights bill, she’s not willing to do what it would take to make it happen. The filibuster. I’m talking about killing the filibuster.
This came only two days after the president made such an impassioned speech in support of knocking off the filibuster that Republicans essentially called it offensive. And even one Democratic senator said Biden, who pledged a year ago to unite Americans, went too far in the speech.
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Former President Barack Obama even came out of political retirement to write his first opinion piece since leaving office about the importance of protecting voting rights. He said, in this USA TODAY Opinion piece, that it’s time for Democrats to do something, anything, to protect democracy.
Sinema didn’t get the memo.
Then, President Joe barely had time to shake off Sinema’s body slam Thursday afternoon when the U.S. Supreme Court knocked him down again.
The court ruled that the Biden administration doesn’t have the authority to force employers to require that workers either have to be vaccinated or undergo regular testing for COVID. The employer mandate was a key part of Biden’s attempt to get control of a pandemic that has proven to be uncontrollable.
Basically, if voter suppression and helping spread the latest COVID variant are on your to-do list, now is your time to shine. Too bad for Democrats and Biden’s agenda, his shine is wearing off.
And these latest setbacks land at exactly the wrong time for an administration reeling from confusing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, supply chain shortages that won’t end, the highest inflation rate since the early days of the Reagan presidency, and an approval rating that makes former President Donald Trump look like the most popular kid in school.
So what’s next? What other losses can this administration take? I think we’ll see that answer soon enough when voters turn out for the 2022 midterm.
To put into context how bad things are for Biden, my sister texted me Wednesday: “He’s a failure.”
And that was before Sinema and the Supremes had their say.
Louie Villalobos is a member of the Editorial Board and an editor at USA TODAY Opinion. Follow him on Twitter: @louievillalobos