We are four days from the long-anticipated 2022 midterm elections.
I have no idea what is going to happen and neither does anyone else.
The well-respected website 538.com calls the Senate a “toss-up.” The as-respected website run by the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato headlines the Senate, “The Senate: Race for Majority Remains a Toss-up as 2024 Looms”
It feels to me like the GOP has a slight edge but that is not based upon scholorly nor scientific analysis.
It is based on decades and decades of being wrong.
Let’s put the Senate aside. There are enough close races so we will probably not know the answer as to who will control until this time next week.
The House is a different story and, for Republicans, might well turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory.
A Republican-controlled House in 2023 will make the Speaker Gingrich days look like the Era of Good Feelings.
Assume – and this is not certain, but likely – that Rs gain the requisite 218 seats. There will likely be a contest for Speaker. Maybe Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca) has the votes to be elected Speaker but if he does, he’s not hiring skywriters over Bakersfield to announce it.
But, if no one else can muster the votes in the Republican Conference to beat him, here’s an example of the problems he will inherit. The LA Times, a week ago, published a column headed, “Trump’s Kevin McCarthy could soon be Speaker of the House.”
It is far from a stretch that Donald Trump might challenge for the title. All Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 of the U.S. Consitution says is, “The House of Representatives shall chuse] their Speaker and other Officers”
None of the of other “Officers” – Chaplain, Sergeant at Arms, Clerk of the House, and Chief Administrative Officer – are sitting Members and there is no requirement that the Speaker be a Member, but it has always been so.
It is hard for me to believe that even if he isn’t a candidate, Trump will not tinker in the Speaker’s race, either allowing his name to be put in nomination or exacting promises from whomever he backs.
Even if he does not officially run for Speaker, Trump will act as if he is not just Speaker of the House but will invent the title and fill the role of El Presidente of the U.S. House.
On a daily basis, especially if Elon Musk allows him back on Twitter, Trump will issue instructions to the actual House leadership; will issue threats to the actual House Leadership; and/or will bully the actual House Leadership into doing everything he wants, the way he wants, when he wants it.
Don’t believe me? Trump is demainding the REPUBLICANS in the Senate “impeach” GOP leader Mitch McConnell. The Senate can’t impeach one of its own members. Article I, Section 5 says a Member can be expelled with the concurrnce of 2/3 of its Members. It has happened 15 times, all during the Civil War for “Supporting the Confederate Revoluion.”
Be interesting to poll Senate Republicans in 2023 to see if they would be interested in expunging the records of the 15 expelled Senators.
If Trump his own self doesn’t cause enough problems for the actual House Leadership, a significant number of the GOP Members may do it for him.
Call it the Marjorie Taylor Greene Caucus – the MTGC.
These are the people who are not just running – proudly running – on a platform of no abortions for any reason, in any place, at any time. They are running to reduce or eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, Obama Care, and Social Security.
They want to ban books – like The Catcher in the Rye – and actually or effectively repeal the First Amendment, especially when it comes to “the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”
They want to stop all immigration – at least all immigration of people who don’t come from the Northwest of Europe.
They support Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and want to stop funding Ukraine’s defense of its territory.
And most of all, they don’t believe Joe Biden won the Presidential election of 2020.
Speaking of the President, his speech the other night was the best example yet of why he was (legitimately) elected.
He promised an end to the Trumpian chaos and, to the extent that Trump hasn’t spent all day every day creating chaos, showed what an experienced political leader should look, act, and sound like.
If Republicans take control of one or both Chambers, they should remember the old saying: “Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.”
See you next week.