August 24, 2022

As November looms, Republicans remain giddy about the probability of victory in both chambers of Congress.  Unfortunately, without a two-thirds majority needed to overturn regular and pocket vetoes by the president, a politically divisive America is likely to gridlock until the 2024 presidential election.  A modest Republican House majority could pull back hard on the reins, shaving or cutting off the lifeline to Democrat spendthrifts, but Biden will continue to rule unconstitutionally by pen and phone as his critics seek relief through court challenges that lack momentum.  Meanwhile, the border will remain open, every attempt to innervate the energy sector will be shot down, and we’ll continue along the course of a recession reinvented by the White House as normal and permanent.

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Given the past inclination of Republicans to fight amongst themselves on the sidelines, it is an inconvenient truth that a slim congressional majority would not be enough to save them from their own party intrigues and petty rivalries.  Former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, who held himself up as the morally superior conscience of the Republican Party, saw Donald Trump as more an intruder than a president. He tolerated the White House agenda and held his nose as he gave them legislative victories — rewriting the tax code and rebuilding the military — before retiring with a smile and surrendering the gavel to Nancy Pelosi.

Then there are the blue-stained Republicans:  Mitt Romney, who voted to impeach Trump in 2020 but not to re-elect him as president, as well as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, both moderates given to head fakes when it comes to party loyalty.  There would be no tolerance for such infidelity in the Democrat enclave, where unanimity, vis-à-vis antagonists Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema, is enforced through donor class pressures and backroom deals.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all but put his chips down on the Democrats in taking an offhand shot at Trump and blaming a prospective midterm loss in the Senate on the quality of Republican candidates.  That begs curiosity over why hopefuls Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Herschel Walker in North Carolina, and Blake Masters in Arizona, are all trailing in the polls before a visibly impaired stroke victim who thinks hoodies are business casual, a military-hater who has talked up Louis Farrakhan and played paddy fingers with campaign funds, and a former astronaut who retreats to inner space between elections, respectively.

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Democrats always believe they have the upper hand in elections because they are running against Republicans.  They understand that the GOP lacks the type of cohesiveness and lockstep discipline that has become the trademark of the Democrat caucus.  If they can keep the party vote disparity to a minimum in the House, they retain the ability to draw away the more cantankerous members of the Republican party.  To neutralize the apostates within their own ranks, Republicans need more than an arm’s length victory in November.

Even before Joe Biden had a chance to change the knick-knacks in the Oval Office, Democrats of the newly-minted 117th Congress charged the Republican trenches with a call for an ethics investigation of any member who questioned the outcome of the 2020 election, the second impeachment of Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors, creation of a January 6th Commission,  and a federal takeover of state elections. That was the opening engagement of a progressive broadside on the GOP and America writ large.

Few Republican legislative proposals have made it past the will of Nancy Pelosi, and the well of the House of Representatives that better serves as a graveyard for the bills and amendments submitted by the minority.  The House speaker trampled on the authority of the minority leader by repudiating his recommendations and cherry-picking the only two Republican representatives who voted for the January 6th committee to be rewarded with seats upon it.  For all her blustering about reaching across the aisle, bipartisanship in the 117th Congress has been little more than a gimmick wherein the lioness of the House separates one or two sheep from the Republican herd as window dressing on the title pages of Democrat legislation. 

A Republican midterm victory will cause an adversarial media to shore up the battle lines.  There is a strong belief on the Left, obediently pushed by media propaganda, that the ill-defined MAGA, now advertised as a mass movement without a colorful chapeau, comprises the entire Republican base of Trump voters.  They are branded as white, blue-collar males with ideologies similar to the Ku Klux Klan and the John Birch Society, hopelessly irredeemable racists, sexists, and nativists who can barely conceal their biases against blacks, immigrants, and women.  We know this because the Washington Post said as much two months after the Biden inauguration, using a fishy survey of purported MAGA followers to set the stage for the progressive Left to initiate an economic and social fatwa to disarm and destroy the middle class.

Heir apparent House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has already promised investigations and hearings on Hunter Biden, the Trump-Russia hoax, the Afghan retreat, FBI abuses, and getting the backstory of January 6th.  There will be efforts to impeach Biden cabinet officials for malfeasance in their duties.  The Democrats will do everything in their power to obstruct these proceedings through social media censorship, a blitzkrieg of misinformation, and false allegations.

Cracks are already appearing in the Republican strategy.  McCarthy has already dropped a well-earned Biden impeachment from the 2023 to-do list and cautions against committee vendettas for political purposes, apparently abdicating those hijinks to the Democrats.  Generic congressional ballots are now slowly swinging back in the Democrats favor, going as far as to give them a four-point edge to hold onto power in the House.