The Senate is in play. In the 2018 election the House was in play. The majority party predicted a Red Wave would sweep through the House and it was right. The vaunted Red Wave cleansed the country of hundreds of Republican officeholders at the local, state, and federal level. Congressional representatives who didn’t feel the love were history. All in all, it was a stupendous showing that resulted in a more purified Trumpican Party and a much better situation in the House of Representatives. Fox even crowed that the losses were less than Obama had in his first non-presidential year election.
The Senate, however, remained relatively unscathed by the Red Wave. Will that be true this time around?
As we enter the 2020 election year, the breakdown of the Senate is as follows:
The Socialist and the Independent caucus with the Democrats; the Republican caucuses with the Trumpicans. Estimates vary as to how many of the Trumpicans are really TINOs (Trumpicans in Name Only). It is possible a Democrat or Socialist will be elected President or be on the winning ticket as a Vice Presidential candidate so perhaps there will only be 99 or 98 Senators after the inaugural until new state elections can be held. Such developments could work to the advantage of the Trumpicans until a replacements are elected. Many different scenarios are possible. The situation remains very fluid
Life will not stand still between now and Election Day. Consider two recent developments regarding the Senate.
RESTRICTING KING GEORGE III
Recently the Senate attempted to place restrictions on what a President of the United States could do involving Iran. The attempt was laughable. This action followed almost immediately after that very same Senate had given the Impeached President carte blanche do what he wanted. There are no checks and balances. Suppose the bill had passed, been signed into law, and then violated, what would the Senate do? Call for an impeachment? So even putting aside that the bill would not be signed by the Impeached President and that the Trumpicans would never override a veto just as they would not vote to remove him, what, in the real world, was the purpose of this proposed legislation? Why waste any time on it?
The only saving grace is that since there were some Trumpican defections in the Senate vote, it does identity possible TINOs who perhaps one day might become Republicans again.
THE MUNCHKIN VERSUS BONESPUR BOY
It is rare for a Senator to break with a party on an impeachment vote. So far in American history, there is only one instance of a Senator voting to remove a President of his own party. Apparently, the Impeached One thought there was a Democrat who might vote against his party. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Senator, has long been considered one of the more conservative members of the Democratic Party. He has voted more often against his Democratic caucus than with it. There seems to have been a genuine belief that this Senator (and perhaps Doug Jones of Alabama for different reasons) might defect. Obviously that did not happen. The Democratic Party remained united.
So how did the Impeached One respond to Manchin’s failure to be loyal to him over his party? Naturally, he did so with the usual tact and grace which have made him the exemplar of mature responsible adult conduct. The Impeached One called this traitor who denied him a bipartisan acquittal a “munchkin.” Here we may observe the seventh-grade-smart-aleck-dumb-aleck in his element. He always has a wisecrack. Sometimes his barbs are spot on and sometimes they are just silly if not stupid.
This insult fell flat. Munchkins are lovable. They also detest the Wicked Witch of the West Wing. Other than the vague similarity in sound, there was nothing really to connect Manchin and Munchkin. As the Senator quickly pointed out, the two of them are about the same height but Manchin has much less weight than TUBBY WUBBY. Manchin also went to college on a football scholarship while Bonespur Boy only enters the arena if it is scripted and rigged in his favor.
But then Manchin channeled his inner Susan Collins:
“Everybody can change. Maybe the president will change, you know? Maybe that uniter will come out, versus the divider.”
“I hope he changes. I’m looking for that person that has heart and soul and compassion.”
Exactly why after decades of being demeaning, nasty, and insulting, this person in the eighth decade of his life would change defies the laws of common sense. Yet here we have examples of at least two Senators expressing thoughts that have no basis in the real world. It calls into question their judgment on everything else.
With that observation, let’s segue into actual Senate races. If Susan Collins was in deep trouble even before the impeachment vote, her wishful thinking about the Impeached One having learned from this case is exactly right but not in the way she means. He has not learned to behave more responsibly. He has learned that he really can murder someone on broad daylight on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and not pay a price. The events since he was acquitted are exactly what one should have predicted. The day after Mueller’s abysmal showing on television, Little Donee Waney was back at it with the perfect phone call to his target in extortion. As the past week has shown, the Impeached One is in full force now that he knows he can’t be touched by Congress. Whatever wishful thinking Collins had in mind, she is likely to be lambasted on the campaign trail for the absurdity of her comment especially every time the Impeached One proves her wrong.
Although there are no guarantees, Maine, like Colorado, seems like a pick up for the Democrats.
Consider the other examples where the Red Wave might strike.
Kansas – Trumpican loser of a statewide election in 2018 now going for a repeat loss in 2020 much to the dismay of the Senate Majority leadership.
Arizona – Trumpican loser of a statewide election in 2018 now consistently trailing for a repeat loss in 2020.
Georgia – Trumpican Congressional Representative threatening the election of a Romney-supporter appointed to fill a vacancy.
One additional wild card in any calculations of who will control the Senate is who will win the presidential election and therefore provide the vice presidential vote in case of a tie.
And then there is Mitt Romney. Suppose when all is said and done, the Trumpicans have 50 Senate seats. If they have the additional vice president vote, then Romney can’t change the balance of power. But suppose the Democrats win the presidency. Then Romney’s vote could make the difference. In this case, the Democrats only need a net gain of two to put Romney in the driver’s seat.
In the meantime, the Trumpicans are doing everything they can to excommunicate Romney. The father-son duo insults him constantly. Fox insults him constantly. The Trumpican organizations insult him constantly. Along with Abraham Lincoln and John McCain, Mitt Romney is persona non grata in the Trumpican Party. Lots of scenarios are possible this election year. After all, Manchin might defect himself. But one scenario to keep in mind is the possibility that Republican-and-not-Trumpican Mitt Romney may have the final choice of which party controls the Senate.