The results for the 2010 midterm elections are in, and as far as the House of Representatives goes-this was a very, very bad year for the democrats. Similar to 1994, democrats lost a huge majority in the House just two years after the nation elected a progressive democratic president. Mark Twain had it right when he said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
This is true as far as the House races went:
The 1994 midterm elections dropped the democrats numbers in the House from 258 to 204-for a net loss of 54 seats. However, during the recent midterms the democrats started out with 257 seats and have lost in excess of 60 seats, (with the final number likely being somewhere near 63 seats lost).
The republicans will have a 240+ majority in the House, something which they haven’t had since 1947. What republicans actually do with this majority will impact the 2012 presidential elections in a big way. Should more conservative republicans and Tea Party aficionados pass bill after bill attacking health care and other democratic legislative achievements-without offering their own solutions-then independents who swung for the republicans might decide to support democratic candidates in the next election.
However, republicans have already in large part concluded that their win is a rejection of Obama’s agenda-rather that just a sign of rough economic times. Incoming House Speaker Boehner has vowed to repeal the health care bill. Which is impossible to do as President Obama has a little thing called the presidential veto up his sleeve. Nonetheless, it will make for great political theater.
The media outlets in January will likely report on the passage of a law by the House of Representatives which repeals the health care legislation passed in 2010. The Senate may, or may not, decide to open up debate on the issue. However, given that Congress still needs to fund portions of the new health care law Boehner could also delay this funding to secure changes in the law that republicans want, or they could simply de-fund the bill in an attempt to kill it.
Another goal of House republicans’ plan to repeal the law will be to force democrats in the Senate to vote-again-for health care reform, and also to whip up opposition to the legislation in the country which could help persuade the Supreme Court to gut certain provisions of the bill. Assuming of course that legal challenges to the constitutionality of the law make it to the Supreme Court.
Given how republicans and democrats are headed back into the trenches over health care reform, is there any hope that democrats and republicans will compromise in the time leading up to the 2012 election? There is probably about as much serious hope for bipartisan work in Congress as there is hope that Elvis will start touring again.
The presidential elections are starting earlier and earlier each election cycle, and this year is no exception, in a way the 2012 presidential campaign has already begun. In a couple months a group of GOP frontrunners will emerge and they will run on their complete opposition to the democrat’s agenda.
And that is when the food fight really begins.