OK, Now What?

I started writing this post 2 days after Election Day, and then decided I probably needed to wait until after the election was counted before I started to predict what might happen in the next Congress.

So here we are on Election Day +2, and as we thought we still have limited clarity about what happened on Tuesday. So, now what?

Educated guesses based on past voting patterns and current ballot ratios seem to indicate that the Democrats will hold the Senate and possibly pick up a seat during the Georgia run off election next month. By the way, I’ll be pretty bullish on that happening if the Democrats hold 50 seats prior to the run off. I don’t see Republicans turning out for an election that won’t bring then back to power.

The other major area where we are still in the dark is the composition of the House. That probably won’t be settled for a few more days but there a lot of, let’s say, interesting options for its resolution and future outcomes.

I predicted that when the dust settled the Democrats would have 52 seats when and the GOP would hold a 10 seat or fewer advantage in the House. I still feel pretty good about my call. But that leads me to my question from November:  now what?

The Senate will actually improve for the Democrats because now there’s an extra vote in play which I hope diminishes Joe Manchin’s ability to derail legislation. It’ll be much easier to confirm judges, and now that Senate committees will have subpoena power I wonder if the 1/6 investigation will move to the Senate side of the Capitol.

On the other hand, the House is a mess. House Republicans are not united and Kevin McCarthy is incapable of uniting them. Right now he’s promising Marjorie Taylor Green and her extremist Freedom Caucus the moon and if he delivers it to them, he will lose the support of the rest of his caucus. If doesn’t deliver it to them, he’ll lose the speakership.

I really dislike Kevin McCarthy. I despise his mulish stupidity and his noisome cowardice. He will be a complete disaster as Speaker, especially if he allows the extremists to start multiple investigations into nothing burgers and to impeach President Biden. McCarthy will be a disaster because the GOP has no idea how to govern. They can’t write bills. They have no party unity. As I’ve said before, they stand for nothing. A McCarthy speakership would probably be a boon for the Democrats in 2024, but it’d be a disaster for the nation.

McCarthy’s biggest opposition isn’t going to come from the Freedom Caucus, though. It will come from moderate Republicans elected in swing districts, especially newly-elected House members who will need actual accomplishments to run for re-election. Stuff like this

isn’t going to cut it with them.

This opposition would likely come in the form a compromise candidate who can secure enough Democratic votes to get to 218. Outside of electing a Democratic Speaker, this is the best possible outcome for the nation:  a non-MAGA moderate Republican who will work to get Democratic House members on board to get legislation passed. The only problem with this best care scenario is whether this hypothetical person actually exists on the Republican side of the House.

I don’t indulge in magical thinking, so I’m preparing for the worst case scenario.

Olivia can sing us out.