What Happens After the Election?

November 2nd, 2010

By Tom Carter

The election has finally come.  Within the next 24 hours we should know what the House, the Senate, and state governments look like in terms of party majorities.  Of course, there will probably be some extended re-counts and possibly lawsuits of one kind or another, but except for the make-up of the Senate that shouldn’t make much difference in the overall picture.  What happens next?

Focusing just on Congress, it’s highly unlikely that things are going to be any better.  Different, yes, but not better.  Judging by all the polls and pundits, it looks like the Republicans will gain anywhere from 40 to 85 seats in the House.  Sounds ridiculous, but that’s the full range of predictions.  Most likely, it will be a gain of somewhere between 50 and 70 seats — still a big range, but the majority will almost certainly go to the Republicans.  In the Senate, it looks like it will come out somewhere between 48R-52D and 51R-49D.  Most likely, the Democrats will keep a majority of about one seat.  Even if it’s 50-50, though, that’s still a Democratic majority because of the Vice President’s vote as President of the Senate.

The Republicans in the House will have the majority, which gives them the chairmanships and control of the agenda.  They’ll be able to pass legislation, of course, but if it’s at all controversial it won’t go anywhere because of the roadblock of the Senate and, finally, the President’s veto pen.  Overriding the President’s veto won’t be possible in most cases since the Republicans are unlikely to have the required two-thirds majority in either the House or Senate.

Look for the Republican majority in the House to pose, posture, and pass legislation that they know darned well isn’t going anywhere.  They might have better luck if they could manage to work cooperatively with Democrats in both houses, but that’s unlikely because neither party is much inclined toward bipartisanship.  The House majority will also waste a lot of time talking about investigating and maybe formally investigating the Obama Administration for this and that real or imagined offense, but it won’t do the country any good.

The Senate is going to be powerless to get much of anything done, regardless of which party has a very slim majority.  The majority will have the chairmanships, control the agenda, and have the most opportunities for posing and posturing, but they won’t be able to accomplish much because of the absurd filibuster rules that require a majority of 60 votes.

What we’re going to have in Congress is gridlock and endless bickering.  Some might think that’s good because Congress won’t be able to take action in areas they oppose.  On the other hand, though, nothing much will happen on issues these same people support.  Don’t like ObamaCare?  Well, it’s already law, and it’s doubtful that the 111th Congress will be able to repeal all or even many parts of it.  Remember the Senate and presidential vetoes.

There are some ways that gridlock will appeal to conservatives — no cap-and-trade, etc.  But what about immigration reform?  Not a chance, at least in any form that matters.  There are a few issues, like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” that the new Congress might actually be able to act on without the threat of a veto, but it’s doubtful that most conservatives will approve of the outcome.

The Republicans need to be careful about how they interpret the results of this election.  The Democrats made a big mistake in thinking that the 2008 election was a validation of the Democratic worldview and a mandate to carry out a highly liberal agenda.  It wasn’t; people were just sick of the Republicans.  The election today isn’t a validation of the Republican Party, either.  Most people are pretty fed up with both parties, and all they’re doing today is throwing the rascals out.

However, there’s no doubt that there’s something of a conservative resurgence going on.  But that doesn’t mean as much as some conservatives seem to think.  The pendulum swung too far left in a center-right country, and independents and moderate Democrats are simply pushing it back toward the middle.  If the Republicans try to swing things too far back to the right (despite their limited ability to do it), they’ll likely find themselves thrown out before too long.

Part of this conservative resurgence has been lamentable.  Consider, for example, the insanity of people who voted for Obama and the Democrats now voting for nutcases like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell.  There may not be that many who do it, but they are in serious need of psychological attention.  Fact is, this conservative resurgence may be damaged by the election of fringe candidates, mostly associated with the Tea Party, who will prove to be embarrassments.

So how is Congress going to be able to deal with the economy, unemployment, taxes, spending, and other pressing domestic issues under these conditions?  Most likely they won’t.

And what about the vitally important foreign policy and security issues that have for the most part been ignored during this election?  We’re still trying to wind down a war in Iraq, we’re firmly and tragically stuck to the tarbaby in Afghanistan, North Korea most likely already has nukes, Iran can have them whenever they want them, Islamic terrorism still dominates our lives, our only serious ally in the Middle East — and the only democracy in the region — still fights daily for survival without knowing for sure if it can count on the U.S., and our relations with the EU and European nations are strained.  The Republicans aren’t going to fix any of these problems because they won’t have the power, not in Congress and certainly not in the Executive.

Articles written by
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Categories: News, Politics | Comments (0) | Home

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

(To avoid spam, comments with three or more links will be held for moderation and approval.)


Recent Posts





Creative Commons License;   

The work on Opinion Forum   
is licensed under a   
Creative Commons Attribution   
3.0 Unported License

Support Military Families 

   Political Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Listed in LS Blogs the Blog Directory and Blog Search Engine  

Demand Media

Copyright 2024 Opinion Forum