The Plausible Solution: Just Win More
Whether the public sees Democratic demands for these structural changes as overdue or overreaching, the key point is that they are currently exercises in futility. The only plausible road to winning their major policy goals is to win by winning. This means politics, not re-engineering. They need to find ways to take down their opponents, and then be smarter about using that power while they have it.
They certainly have issues to campaign on. In the few weeks, we have learned that some of Americas wealthiest people have paid only minimal or no federal income tax at all. Even as the Wall Street Journal editorial writers were responding to a Code Red emergency , the jaw-dropping nature of the reportfollowed by a New York Times piece about the impotence of the IRS to deal with the tax evasions of private equity royaltyconfirmed the folk wisdom of countless bars, diners, and union halls: the wealthy get away with murder.
Of course this is a whole lot easier said than done. A political climate where inflation, crime and immigration are dominant issues has the potential to override good economic news. And 2020 already showed what can happen when a relative handful of voices calling for defunding the police can drown out the broader usage of economic fairness.
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Republicans Will Almost Certainly Win Back The House In 2022
A byproduct of the surprisingly strong showing of downballot Republicans in 2020 is that even the smallest midterm wave will give them control of the House. An analysis from Larry Sabatos Crystal Ball projects that even without taking redistricting into account, Republicans are expected to flip nine seats in 2022 and enjoy roughly the same narrow but very real majority Democrats have now. And thanks to a dramatic underperformance by Democrats in 2020 state legislative races, redistricting of congressional districts will add to the high odds of a GOP House. The Cook Political Reports David Wasserman suggests Republicans might pick up the five seats they need for control of the House via redistricting decisions in just four states .
As my colleague Eric Levitz has pointed out, since World War II the presidents party has lost an average of 27 House seats in midterm elections. Last time Democrats controlled the White House, they lost 63 House seats in the first midterm. It wont be that bad in 2022, but suffice it to say that any remotely controversial legislation Biden hopes to enact in his first term better be on his desk by the end of 2022.
If Republicans do win the House in 2022, could they promptly lose it again in 2024? Of course they could, but the last time the House changed hands in a presidential election year was 1952.
More Tax Cuts For The Wealthy And Further Spending Cuts For Middle
Most legislation needs 60 votes in order to break a filibuster in the Senate, but a congressional budget resolution can establish parameters for subsequent legislation to be enacted through the reconciliation process, which only requires 51 votes to pass a measure. The budget resolution itself cannot be filibustered and also only requires 51 votes to pass the Senate. As a result, it is easier for the majority to pass a budget resolution and a reconciliation bill than most other legislation.
The current conservative economic and fiscal roadmap is the fiscal year 2015 budget put forward by former vice presidential nominee and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan . The Ryan budget would provide those with incomes of at least $1 million another $200,000 per year in tax cuts while cutting nondefense spending by $4.8 trillion. Roughly $3.3 trillion of those cuts, or nearly 70 percent, target programs that help low-income and middle-class families, such as Medicaidwhich provides health coverage for low- and moderate-income familiesand Pell Grants, which help students pay for college.
When given the opportunity, Senate Republicans voted for the various Ryan budgets in 2011, 2012, and again in 2013. Previous Senate Republican actions make it clear that the budget that would result from a Republican majority would most likely feature many of the same components as Rep. Ryans past budgets.
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Eight Ways Things Would Be Different If Republicans Win The Senate
If Democrats lose the Senate in November, what happens?
Well, its just less than two weeks before Election Day, and the papers are all abuzz with news of Democratic defeat. This mornings Review-Journal features the results of a new AP-GfK poll, which says 55 percent of people believe a Republican takeover is the likely outcome of the November election. And number-crunching website FiveThirtyEight.com predicts that Republicans are 66 percent favorites to take the Senate.
Personally, Im not convinced, although Democrats have had some setbacks in recent weeks. But it did get me thinking about a few of the ways things would be different if the Republicans took over from majority Democrats.
1. Senate shifts from filibustering the presidents Democratic agenda to filibustering new majority leaders Republican agenda. Lets be honest, the Senate isnt exactly known for its smooth, efficient operations. George Washington was said to have opined that the Senate existed to cool legislation from the House, the way a saucer cooled a hot cup of tea. But more recently, the Senate has operated more like a cryogenic chamber, keeping legislation from both houses in a permanent deep-freeze. A change in leadership is most likely to shift whose legislation is getting blocked.
Weakening Of The Investigations Against Trump
If Democrats dont control the House or the Senate, they cant initiate investigations of Trump or some of his more controversial cabinet members, such as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.
More importantly, after the 2018 elections, the electoral process will recede as a constraint on the president and GOP in terms of the Russia investigation at least for a while.
We dont really know why Trump, despite his constant criticisms of the investigation, has not fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, or why he has not directly tried to stop the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller. Maybe Trump, despite his rhetoric, has some real respect for the rule of law. I think its more likely that Trump understands that firing Rosenstein or making a drastic move to stop the Mueller probe would increase both the chances of Democrats winning the House and/or Senate this year, and the odds that the resulting Democratic-led chamber would feel compelled to push to impeach Trump. But if the GOP emerges from 2017 and 2018 without losing control of the House or the Senate, I suspect that, with the next election two years away, the president will feel freer to take controversial steps to end the Russia probe. And I doubt Republicans on Capitol Hill would try to stop him.
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A Division Of Power In Government Is Common In The Us With The Republicans And The Democrats Often Splitting Control Of The White House And Congress
Joe Biden may have been announced as President Elect but there are still some crucial decisions to be made on how America will be governed for the next four years. The presidential election appears to have been a pretty resounding win for the Democrats but the picture is less clear in the Senate, when both parties retain hope of having a majority when the Upper House reconvenes next year.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a statement after Bidens victory was called, saying: “A Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate would be the biggest difference maker to help President-elect Biden deliver for working families across the country.
Sen. Chuck Schumer: “There has been no evidence of any significant or widespread voter fraud. Joe Biden won this election fair and square. The margins of his victory are growing by the day.”
All elections in Georgia, not just those for the Senate, require the winning candidate to pick up over 50% of the votes cast. This year neither of the states two Senate races had a majority winning so a run-off will be held on 5 January, with both the Democrats and the Republicans holding out hope of securing the vital seats needed to give them a majority in the Senate.
Why is control of the Senate so important?
Although President Elect Biden will be the head of the government, he would rather govern by concensus than executive order. Therefore most large-scale bills will need to pass Congress before they can be signed into law.
A Warning About Argentina
Oliver warned that if Democrats take the presidency and the Senate and retain control of the House of Representatives, it would cause a concentration in power that the Constitution was designed to prevent. He expects the presidency and Senate to go together in the election.
In the event of a concentration of power toward the left, he said the U.S. government will look more like Argentina than Switzerland. He also questioned why America’s fate would be any different than what happened to Argentina since it “embraced Peronist populism.”
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Democrats To Keep Control Of House; Battle For Senate Majority Ongoing
But assuming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., does maintain control of the Senate, a lot of progressive dreams go out the window. Democrats will be hard-pressed to shore up the voting system, for example. They won’t be able to pass HR 1, which would establish nationwide automatic voter registration, restrict partisan gerrymandering, grant former prisoners the right to vote and prohibit many voter suppression tactics. Nor will they be able to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore key parts of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down in 2013, which required states with histories of voter suppression to clear any voting changes with the federal government.
Without a Senate majority, Democrats also won’t be able to rebalance the judiciary. McConnell has stuffed the federal bench with Republican jurists who support the GOP’s narrow, self-serving definition of voting rights. This culminated in the week before the election with the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, creating a 6-3 conservative Supreme Court that can be expected to uphold gerrymandering and protect Republican tactics of disenfranchisement. Biden had hoped to create a bipartisan commission to come up with strategies to rebalance the court but any such strategy is likely doomed by Republican opposition.
Without a Senate majority, Democrats also wont be able to rebalance the judiciary.
A Political Scientist Explains Why The Gop Is A Threat To American Democracy
It sounds hyperbolic to say that American democracy is broken, but an honest glance at the country at our institutions and the broader political culture makes it hard to conclude otherwise.
As things stand, one of our two major political parties is committed to suppressing as many votes as possible, and the leader of that party, the president of the United States, has said outright that he wont accept the legitimacy of the election process if he doesnt win.
If, under those conditions, Trump either wins the election or loses and throws the country into a bitter, protracted fight over the results, it doesnt seem all that alarmist to suggest the US will have descended into what political scientists sometimes call a weak democracy or even competitive .
But I really dont want to be overly alarmist, so I reached out to Pippa Norris, a political scientist at Harvard University and one of the leading authorities on global democracy. I wanted to know her honest assessment of the state of American democracy, why she thinks the upcoming election is a true turning point for the country, and what the US will have to do moving forward to undo the damage done in the past several years.
A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.
If American democracy was a patient, how would you describe its condition?
Id say the patient has not been well for a long time. The patient is obese and doesnt exercise.
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Gold If Democrats Win The Election
If Democrats win the election and especially take both the presidency and Senate, Oliver expects the gold price to soar. He said if the pendulum swings all the way to the left, it means even more money printing than what has already been going on with a mixed government.
He noted that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are promising a $7 trillion spending problem. That doesn’t include the trillions in additional stimulus to deal with the pandemic, which he believes “will include bailouts of urban centers turned into war zones by Democrat mayors and governors) or reparations.”
Oliver also noted that Democrats want to fund their “mad spending” with taxes partially. Biden wants to increase income taxes, corporate taxes and taxes on capital. However, he said federal, state and local taxes are already so high that he believes higher taxes may not boost tax revenue much.
“In short, the economy must suffer , and the deficit will explode further,” he wrote. “The Federal Reserve will be forced either to monetize the spendings or watch as soaring interest rates cause the financial system to implode along with the state’s ability to finance itself. The credit bubble that has been growing since 1971 , will crash onto the rocks of progressive politics.”
What If The Republicans Win Everything Again
Total victory for the G.O.P. would mean Trump unleashed.
The end of Robert Muellers investigation. The loss of health insurance for several million people. New laws that make it harder to vote. More tax cuts for the rich. More damage to the environment. A Republican Party molded even more in the image of President Trump.
These are among the plausible consequences if the Republicans sweep the midterm elections and keep control of both the House and Senate. And dont fool yourself. That outcome, although not the most likely one, remains possible. The last couple of weeks of polling have shown how it could happen.
Voters who lean Republican including whites across the South could set aside their disappointment with Trump and vote for Republican congressional candidates. Voters who lean left including Latinos and younger adults could turn out in low numbers, as they usually do in midterm elections. The Republicans continuing efforts to suppress turnout could also swing a few close elections.
No matter what, Democrats will probably win the popular vote in the House elections, for the first time since 2012. Trump, after all, remains unpopular. But the combination of gerrymandering and the concentration of Democratic voters in major cities means that a popular-vote win wont automatically translate into a House majority.
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Use Of The Congressional Review Act To Weaken Environmental Rules Jeopardizing Public Health
Under the Congressional Review Act, once the administration submits a major rule to Congress, Congress can pass a joint resolution disapproving of the administrations rule. If a joint resolution disapproving the rule is enacted, the rule would not go into effect and the administration would be prohibited from issuing a substantially similar rule in the future. The Congressional Review Act allows the Senate to expedite consideration of a joint resolution disapproving of a final administrative rule within 60 days, and this consideration is not subject to the filibuster.
What Is Happening To The Republicans
In becoming the party of Trump, the G.O.P. confronts the kind of existential crisis that has destroyed American parties in;the past.
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But, for all the anxiety among Republican leaders, Goldwater prevailed, securing the nomination at the Partys convention, in San Francisco. In his speech to the delegates, he made no pretense of his ideological intent. Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, he said. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. Goldwaters crusade failed in November of 1964, when the incumbent, Lyndon Johnson, who had become President a year earlier, after Kennedys assassination, won in a landslide: four hundred and eighty-six to fifty-two votes in the Electoral College. Nevertheless, Goldwaters ascent was a harbinger of the future shape of the Republican Party. He represented an emerging nexus between white conservatives in the West and in the South, where five states voted for him over Johnson.
agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions.
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If California Governor Is Replaced With Republican Senate Could Swing To Gop
Theres a good chance that California a solidly blue state will get a right-wing Republican governor as a result of the September 14 recall election. If Gov. Gavin Newsom is recalled, the health, civil rights and future of Californians and people across the country will be profoundly threatened. It is also possible that Newsoms defeat could change the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, since the next California governor may be in a position to appoint a senator.
In defending his governorship, Newsom emphasizes that a GOP leader would likely roll back progressive reforms.
The recall is an attempt by national Republican and Trump supporters to force an election and grab power in California, Newsoms ballot statement in the Official Voter Information Guide says. The leaders of the Republican recall seek to repeal Californias clean air protections, roll back gun safety laws and take away health care from those who need it.
Newsom cited his efforts to fight racism and police violence in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune: