The next 6 months are going to determine the next decade of American politics. The decisions of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are going to deeply impact how many voters turn out in 2022, and this will significantly impact whether the Republicans win a trifecta in 2024.
I shouldn’t need to go in detail about how that would make a big difference, that would be a boring post.
But what is not boring is thinking about the few trajectories. There are several main questions which are going to significantly impact where our country is going to go into the long term.
Will Democrats win the Senate
The Senate races in Georgia are extraordinarily close, as I discussed in my previous post. Betting pools are swinging Republican and opinion polls are putting the races at a complete toss up. It will come down to the getting out the vote in Georgia on whether we get a trifecta in Georgia. The fact that it is a toss up at all is the result of an extreme amount of work by many people (primarily people of color) which is a shining example of the power of community organizing.
If the Democrats do not win the Senate (which opinion polls and betting pools are predicting) than we are looking at a minimum of two years of deadlock. Biden will have to do his governing by executive order, while ensuring that his executive orders do not get overturned by a court system which is extremely stacked by the last 4 Republican Presidents. The stacking of the courts over the last 6 years will significantly impact the ability of the Biden Administration to enforce important laws like the Voting Rights Act.
If the Democrats beat the odds and win the Senate, than it is of the utmost imperative that we do the following in order:
- Destroy the Filibuster, rendering the Republicans powerless
- Balance the courts
- COVID relief
- Health care reform
- Enforce the Voting Rights Act
- Win 2022 by getting out the vote and mobilizing on the momentum we build in the next congressional session
If we fail to take hold of the momentum we get if we win both seats in Georgia, we will pay for it in 2022.
If we succeed in getting the majority in the Senate, and Democrats govern and campaign in a way which makes it clear that any dysfunction is from the Senate holding up funding, then everyone in America will benefit.
If the Republicans succeed in maintaining control of the Senate, Democrats need to get their messaging on target and ensure that the blame is as much on McConnell as possible, get out the vote in the key states to take over the Senate so that we can pass important legislation in 2023.
We need to do everything in our power to control the narrative and make sure that McConnell is held responsible for holding up budgets and laws which the American people need. If we compromise or hold back from calling them out on not cooperating on very basic governance work (I’m not talking about abortion, enacting a carbon tax, or expanding AMTRAK, I’m talking about passing a bloody budget) then Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris need to do everything they can to make sure that it is abundantly clear to the American people that it will be Mitch McConnell’s fault that basic governing isn’t getting done. If we don’t get that right over the next two years in this scenario, we will pay for it in 2022 with lower voter turnout, and a disappointing election.
However, if we make it clear that government dysfunction is from the Senate blocking funding for essential government programs we all rely on then we will all benefit from it after Biden’s midterms.
We must get this right.