More than a month ago I confessed that "a Republican-controlled upper house doesn't particularly worry me," since the lower house, likely to remain Republican-controlled during Obama's final two years, would otherwise single-handedly see to America's stagnation. Currently, nothing comes out of Congress because a Democratic Senate refuses to entertain the House's assorted madnesses and of course the MadHouse refuses to entertain any upper-house rationality. Ergo, as nothing gets done, the electorate is free to blame both sides for neglecting the common good.
Right or wrong, popularly perceptive or not, that's the way it is. An undifferentiated Congress, then, might concentrate the electoral mind to more properly assign blame, which in turn would vastly increase the odds of Obama's Democratic successor having at her disposal a vastly Democratic Congress. If Republicans excel at anything, it's overreach--a zealous squalor of partisan pettiness they simply cannot contain. This they would almost uniformly display throughout Obama's last two years--double the investigations, double the lawsuits, double the madness, and if we're really lucky, perhaps even impeachment and trial (which would never succeed). Executive appointments would suffer, but any Supreme Court nomination most likely would not; 49 Dems + Vice President Biden + merely one renegade Republican = confirmation.
That's the thinking on this, which, admittedly, is controversial to the point of Strangelovian weirdness. Nonetheless I see this morning that Dana Milbank has joined me in learning how to stop worrying and love the wombats. "[T]here’s a chance that having an all-Republican Congress would help Obama," he writes, "and even some White House officials have wondered privately whether a unified Republican Congress would be better than the current environment. Republicans, without Harry Reid to blame, would own Congress."
In Milbank's version--and presumably the White House's--a twofold Republican Congress might inspire the inmates to actually conceive and propose legislative alternatives to the president's lucid governance. Of this, I'm skeptical. Republican lawmakers don't do legislation; they do tactical politics and hit jobs. They simply cannot, as noted, help themselves.
And that would be the ideal setup for a wholesale housecleaning in 2016.