Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Post-electoral scenario I

OK, so it is very likely that the Obama/Biden ticket will win and Senator Obama will be the next President of the U.S.A (in fact it would be a loss of cataclysmic, historic proportions were this not to happen!) Let's try and look beyond his inaugural...

Expectations are that the Democrats will come out ahead in the Senate and will convert their current extremely slim 51-49 lead (which depends on Senator Lieberman, ugh, voting along with the rest of the Senate Democrats) to a 56-44, 57-43, or even a 58-42 margin. However, the Democrats will probably fall just shy of getting enough Senate votes to be able to automatically win a 3/5ths vote (something that is necessary to get much Senate work done).

What might these two outcomes mean when put together? Assuming that they manage to get over their initial shell-shock and can stand up to a newly elected President with a "mandate", the rump Republicans are likely to filibuster even more than they are doing now. This possibility is made even more likely by the fact that most of the Republicans that the Democrats will knock off will be from the "moderate" wing of the party (leaving the more "hard core" Republicans in place).

Look to see some fierce battles as President Obama uses the presidential bully pulpit to try and force through his favored legislation. Also, it would not surprise this blogger to see Democratic senators suddenly have a "road to Damascus" moment and come out in favor of the "nuclear option." Politicians are notoriously short-sighted, and Democrats who once promised Armageddon when the Republicans proposed the "nuclear" (or "constitutional") option be used against them will suddenly see its manifest virtues (not looking forward to the time when, inevitably, the wheel turns and they are back in the minority!)

Note: ironically enough, it was Senator McCain who was part of the "gang of 14" that defused the situation the last time that the nuclear option was threatened (and not that paragon of cross-part comity, the junior senator from Illinois!)

Note: yes, yes, this blogger realizes that there are 2 independents - Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who caucus with the Democrats) - This analysis assumes that Sanders will stay with the Democrats while Lieberman is likely to be tossed...