Let’s presume that the conventional wisdom holds up in the wake of the 2022 midterm election, which is that Republicans are going to win a majority of the House seats and will be in charge when the next Congress convenes in January.
What I am going to wonder aloud is whether the House GOP leadership team can govern. Will it be able to control its own members, let alone dictate the flow of legislation that comes from the lower legislative chamber?
I doubt it. Seriously!
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy was thought to be a shoo-in for speaker if Republicans took command. Even that’s in doubt today.
McCarthy has pissed off the right-wing Freedom Caucus wing of his House members. He also has angered the establishment wing of those who call themselves Republicans. The MAGA lovers wanted a much larger majority; they won’t get it. The establishment wing of the GOP wants to work with Democrats on legislation; that likely won’t happen, either, given Democrats’ anger at McCarthy over his back-tracking on Donald Trump’s role in the 1/6 insurrection.
I keep seeing models suggesting Republicans will win 219 House seats; Democrats are slated to occupy 216 of them. The majority party needs 218 to take command. A one-seat cushion isn’t very, um, secure … you know?
This all makes the GOP majority practically worthless.
The current speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, is holding out hope that her party can squeak through by retaining a majority. That’s brave talk from a battle-tested political warrior.
Even though I am sitting in the peanut gallery, the cheap-seat view tells me that Republicans are going to eke out their cherished majority. However, I am going to wonder whether it’s worth having.
As the saying goes, elections do have consequences. We’re going to get a good look at how those consequences play out once the new Congress takes over.