The stars apparently are lining up for a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate, or so the experts are saying.
Let’s assume they’re right. A RealClearPolitics average of all the major polls show a six-seat shift, precisely the number that the GOP needs to become the majority in the Senate.
I’m not clear about the House of Representatives, where Republicans have ruled since 2011. Perhaps their control will tighten.
This much is becoming clearer as the mid-term elections approach: If Republicans are destined to control the entire legislative branch of government, then they need to prepare to actually govern, as in enact legislation that President Obama can actually sign into law.
So far since January 2009, when Barack Obama took office, Republicans have done their level best to block just about every major initiative the president has put forward. It started with the financial bailout package which the GOP opposed, but which got enacted over its objections.
Then came the 2010 mid-term election. The House switched to Republican control. Then the fun really began.
Republicans opposed the Affordable Care Act; they’ve conducted an ongoing series of show hearings on Benghazi and the Internal Revenue Service’s vetting of conservative political action groups’ request for tax exempt status; they’ve opposed immigration reform; increasing the minimum wage and a host of other White House initiatives.
If the Senate flips, then we’re going to see donnybrooks develop over confirmation of, say, the next attorney general and a series of lower-level appointments the president will seek.
I’ll buy the notion that the legislative branch of government is going to turn Republican.
Will legislators keep trying to stick it in the president’s eye or will they actually compromise when possible on key bills and send them to the White House in good faith? And will the president follow suit and sign these bills into law?
Republicans have mastered the art of obstruction since Democrat Barack Obama became president. Let’s see if they can learn the art of governing.