December 7, 2020
Joe Biden is going to be the president, and a lot of what I read indicates he could well enter office as the weakest president since Jimmy Carter.
Now, presuming the Senate stays Republican (which is not a given because of two January runoff races in Georgia), President Biden will have won a nationwide contest by roughly 5 million votes, but likely won’t be able to push through any meaningful reform because of political gridlock.
That probably means no Voter Rights Act, no census redo, no potential for ending the filibuster, no Washington D.C. or Puerto Rico statehood, no packing the Supreme Court, and more. It also means cabinet appointments must be confirmed by a Republican Senate. So, some positions may stand with acting posts.
A Republican Senate would also likely mean no nationwide increase in the minimum wage, no healthcare redo, no dramatic legislative agenda on sustainability, and no tax increases. More importantly, the likelihood of passing a possible $3 trillion stimulus bill would evaporate.
That said, before the runoff election there could be limited stimulus focusing on extended unemployment benefits, although it won’t be achieved without hard fighting. Plus, the effort will be smaller than Democrats want, in part because the overlapping spending agenda remains limited.
This is why Democrats hold out hope they could swing the Senate in Georgia.
If both seats turn blue, the Senate would be split, but Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would break any ties in Democrats’ favor. Additionally, Congress and the White House being controlled by Democrats could end stocks’ bull run via increased corporate and capital gains taxes, both of which are bearish.
If the Senate stays red, we’ll see gridlock and maybe the nation will calm down a little. Wouldn’t that be nice?