The 2010 midterms are not as critical as the Democratic loyalists make them out to be. Progressives are getting dire warnings about the repeal of HCR, the impeachment of Obama, the death of Social Security, and a host of other right-wing assaults on all that is good and decent should the Democrats lose their majority.
I don’t see it. As we stand today, there’s a Democratic president with corporatist leanings and an unexplainable fetish for bipartisanship. There’s a Democratic House that is able to pass some decent legislation, but their work is pointless, because the Senate is broken and can’t pass anything meaningful because of Republican obstructionism and Blue Dog betrayals. What we get, then, are watered-down corporate friendly bills or complete inaction in the face of difficult national problems. . . .
Let’s assume that the Republicans take back the House with a slight majority, and the Democrats lose five to seven seats in the Senate (which is a likely scenario). We would still have a Democratic president with corporatist leanings and an unexplainable bipartisan fetish. We would have a House that no longer passes anything that progressives might like, and would probably produce a few conservative measures.
But it wouldn’t matter what a Republican House did – the broken Senate with a slight Democratic majority would never follow suit. Even if the Reoublicans managed to take back the Senate, the Democrats could block their agenda with GOP-style obstructionism.
Repealing health care reform? Forget it! The Senate would certainly nix it, and even if they didn’t, Obama would veto. Impeachment? Perhaps, but just like with Bill Clinton, the Senate would never convict. And so on and so on. Stalemate. Ineffectiveness. Just like it has been for the past two years.
And if we run through all the possible scenarios from the midterms, we arrive at the same conclusion. As long as Obama is in the White House and the Republicans don’t have a super-majority that can override his vetoes, none of the Democratic horror stories of Republican vengeance will come true.
Which is why 2012 is the election we need to start focusing on. I have a feeling it’s going to make the excitement of the historic 2008 election look boring and uneventful.
[Photo: 2012 by Leo Reynolds via Flickr]