What’s Washington going to look like in January 2017?

capitol-hill-dome-just-as-house-passes-debt-ceiling-bill-july-28-ap

(AP)

By this point in the process, we’re getting a clearer picture of how power will be distributed in Washington come January. The most likely outcome puts President Hillary Clinton in the White House, with Charles Schumer of New York in the role of Senate majority leader in the role once held by Harry Reid.

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SOURCE: Fivethirtyeight.com

In the House, Paul Ryan and the Republicans are still likely to remain in control, but with a much smaller majority. That narrowed GOP House majority is also likely to be even more conservative, because the seats that they lose in November are likely to come in districts with more moderate voting histories. It’s going to be very interesting to watch Ryan try to squeeze enough votes from his caucus to perform the absolute minimums of responsible governance, such as raising the debt ceiling, without causing so much anger within his caucus that he’s unseated as speaker. I frankly don’t know how he’s going to do it.

On the Senate side, that Democratic majority may prove to be short-lived, because in 2018 the Democrats will have to defend 23 seats, plus the seats of two independents who vote with the Democratic caucus. Only eight GOP seats will be on the line. So liberal Supreme Court justices contemplating retirement would probably do so pretty quickly, to ensure a friendly Senate capable of confirming his or her replacement.

I would also expect Schumer and the Democrats to outlaw or severely restrict the filibuster as a means of preventing judicial nominations from coming to a vote. Republicans will howl about the break with Senate tradition, but it will be a hollow howl. Traditionally, the filibuster was allowed in such cases with the understanding that it would be used only in extraordinary occasions, not as a common practice. That understanding is no longer valid.  The nomination of Merrick Garland seven months ago sits untouched by the Senate, and Sen. John McCain recently promised that Republicans would block every single Supreme Court nomination by Clinton, regardless of merit.

McCain later retracted that promise, but the message had been sent. It’s also telling to see conservatives trying to create an intellectual rationale for refusing to fill additional vacancies, such as this piece by Michael Stokes Paulsen in National Review. Paulsen, a law professor active in the conservative Federalist Society, argues that Congress ought to shrink the size of the Supreme Court from nine members to six, which it can do through legislation, thus denying to our next president the right to nominate anyone to the court. If that legislation can’t be enacted, Paulsen writes, Senate Republicans should simply refuse to consider or confirm any new justices until attrition leaves six justices.

And of course, he proposes that extraordinary breach of constitutional duty as a means of protecting the Constitution that he claims to hold so sacred.

As we attempt to peer into the future, the most important and intriguing question involves the future of the Republican Party, or whether it even has one. What you might call the “Paul Ryan Republicans,” which includes the #NeverTrump contingent, are watching from the sidelines while Trump completes his march of madness, doing to his own Republican Party what General Sherman did to Georgia in his march to the sea. After the election, they hope to pick up the shattered pieces and put them back together in some fashion, intending to use Trump’s fate as an object lesson to their fellow conservatives.

Trump supporters have a very different agenda. They have made it clear that they intend to turn the unabated anger and frustration of Trump voters at a new target after the election, arguing that the opposition of Ryan and the GOP establishment to Trump cost conservatives a glorious victory and installed the hated Clinton back in the White House.

Logic and rationality would argue that the two factions would find a way to heal that breach somehow, but that “somehow” is hard to conceive at the moment, even among — or maybe especially among — Republicans themselves. These are factions with very different, in basic ways contradictory concepts of what the Republican Party ought to be. And while you could argue that it has no electoral future as the party of Trump, a Bloomberg poll of likely Republican voters suggests that it has no present as the party of Ryan and his supporters.

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1275 comments
Kamchak
Kamchak

@JohnnyReb 

 to give citizenship to all the illegals

Ronaldo Reaganendez' 1986 amnesty says, "What?"

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Kamchak @JohnnyReb  Don't forget - there then certainly won't be another Repub president until after the revolution.  ROFLMAO - an early candidate for the "Hyperbole of the Week Award"

ByteMe
ByteMe

You have to feel sorry for all the Trumpettes who are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and unable to see the world as it really is.


Intensive therapy is the only way for them to escape back to the real world.  Will they seek that help?

rimsky
rimsky

 Instead, it's the sex issues they don't like and why they are voting against him.

It is called the straw that broke the camel's back.

honested
honested

@rimsky 

Talk with women who are at or near retirement age who entered the workforce in the '60s and '70s.  

One who asks will find there is no shortage of women who have been 'chumped' by egregious violators feeling that being male provided them with entitlement.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@rimsky more like break the nation.

The idiots do not realize that with Hillary in office the Supreme Court will be ruined for decades and all it will take is an obliging Congress to give citizenship to all the illegals and there then certainly won't be another Repub president until after the revolution.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@JohnnyReb @rimsky  there then certainly won't be another Repub president until after the revolution. 

Meltdown on aisle 10

KUTGF
KUTGF

@JohnnyReb @rimsky Sweetie, your "ruined" is our "corrected".  I know you miss the Dred Scott decision.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

the concerns of men back when women's suffrage was first pushed 

Wow, just wow. Almost 100 years after the passage of the 19th Amendment we have people patronizing women about how they should vote. 

I'd have a guess that there were "concerns of men" when the 15th Amendment was passed as well.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@PaulinNH they be great at man-splainin' it to the rest of us!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@PaulinNH It's a pretty disgusting comment, but then again look at who made it.  That's what a Trump America would look like, the only problem is that the only ones who would be enjoying it would be Trump and his deplorable.  The rest of us would be miserable.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@honested he's just upset that she wasn't indicted like his media promised him.  Just like DiA and td.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@honested they've been led to believe that it's all "rigged" against what they believe.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@honested @ByteMe They did not need evidence of what they have "known" from the beginning. 

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

The United States of America is on the precipice of becoming the Untied States of America. The willingness of zealots to tear holes in the fabric of our institutions for the short term interruption of an inevitable trajectory may indeed reshape these 50 states into a loose collective incapable of unity.

Weakened, our enemies can exploit our vulnerabilities. With all due respect to Mr. Kristofferson, "freedom" is more than just another word.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@hamiltonAZ We've been down this path before.  We always find our way back.  Technology is making it easier for the haters to hate; eventually, we'll realize that the haters are just sociopaths to be institutionalized.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Among the many things I did not know...

it's called "Souls to the Polls"?

Anyhoo...

Black Democrats to Hillary Clinton: Send Money to Take Congress

“I don’t understand why we think that churches and other groups ought to be running vans to the polls for free,” Mr. Clyburn said. “We don’t ask these guys who place TV ads to do it for free.”

Has Hillary left AA voters at the curb? Sittin' at the bus stop?

What the HECK!! 

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

Obama calling a spade a spade:


Laughing as he spoke, and at points locking eyes with his also laughing political director David Simas in the back of the room, Obama said he couldn’t believe that Issa, now locked in the hardest race of his career, had sent out the mailer, which brags, “I am very pleased that President Obama has signed into law the Survivors’ Bill of Rights — legislation I cosponsored to protect the victims of sexual assault.”

“That is the definition of chutzpah,” Obama said, adding later, “that is shameless.”
Standing here Sunday night at a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the home of longtime donor Christine Forester, Obama said Issa’s “primary contribution to the United States Congress has been to obstruct and to waste taxpayer dollar on trumped-up investigations that have led nowhere.”


honested
honested

@STHornet1990 

What could have been done to improve the lives of citizens, to enhance education, to rebuild our infrastructure with the money issa wasted on grandstanding?

rimsky
rimsky

 Syrian refugee children have been making clothes for British shoppers, an undercover BBC investigation has found.

The Turks are worse than the Chinese and the Indians in exploiting children.

Peachs
Peachs

@DownInAlbany Republican Congress and FOX try to hide in the crowd like they are not the problem.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@KUTGF @DownInAlbany  There will be no orange jumpsuit.  Those predictions came before it was painfully obvious that the DOJ and FBI are currently arms of the DNC.

Peachs
Peachs

@DownInAlbany Downs proof and due process is what make the country great.  I think you are an idiot but unless I can prove it in court you are not an idiot, just thinking it is not good enough. 

Peachs
Peachs

@DownInAlbany @KUTGF you lead a crowd of low evidence needed people, and show everyday why people like you can only live in small padded towns. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@DownInAlbany @KUTGF "Waaaahhhhh I did not get what I wanted so the investigation was rigged".........  Got it.