The prevailing view is that a Republican Senate would only compound Obama’s woes by bottling up confirmations, doubling the number of investigations and chipping away at Obamacare and other legislative achievements.
Yet there’s a chance that having an all-Republican Congress would help Obama — and even some White House officials have wondered privately whether a unified Republican Congress would be better than the current environment. Republicans, without Harry Reid to blame, would own Congress — a body that inspires a high level of confidence in just 7 percent of Americans, according to a Gallup survey last month finding Congress at a new low and at the bottom of all institutions tested.
There would be no more excuses for Republicans’ failure to put forward their own health-care plan, immigration proposals, specific cuts to popular government programs, and pet causes involving abortion, birth control and gay rights. This would set up real clashes with Obama — who could employ the veto pen he hasn’t used a single time since Republicans gained control of the House in 2010 — and sharp contrasts that would put him on the winning side of public opinion.
It is not hard to imagine a Republican takeover of the Senate causing conservatives in both chambers to overreach. House Republicans would get more pressure from their base to take a swing at impeachment, because the odds of convicting Obama in the Senate would be better (if still prohibitive). Alternatively, Republican leaders, recognizing that the public will hold them responsible now that they have complete control of Congress, might try to compromise with Obama.
If your head hasn’t exploded and you still have brain function, read on:
Alternatively, Republican leaders, recognizing that the public will hold them responsible now that they have complete control of Congress, might try to compromise with Obama…
…I hold out hope that a Congress under unified Republican control might react the way it did during Bill Clinton’s presidency, producing a balanced budget and welfare reform.
Reading this analysis from Milbank is like having your dentist slip and inject novocaine directly into your brain stem.
A lot of us tried to do analysis based on the assumption that all this “Obama is a secret Muslim socialist Nazi Kenyan anti-colonialist” stuff was just an act. Maybe it was in the beginning. But it’s factual now. For the Republican base and even many actual Republican lawmakers, there can be no compromise with Obama. And there won’t be, ever. If the GOP takes over control of both chambers of Congress, the government will shutter its doors and we will have a constitutional and economic crisis of the highest order.
The leadership lost control a long time ago. Ask Eric Cantor; he’ll tell you.