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Will Governing Get Even Harder After Mid-Term Elections?

January 30, 2018

Every week there seems to be another member of congress retiring.  As of this posting we are moving toward the 3 dozen mark.  Given the national angst, political rancor, and deeply disturbing actions of President Trump there is much reason to suggest Democrats will do very well at the mid-terms.  But as I ponder the full pie of possibilities there seems reason to suggest that even in a good case scenario at the ballot box–as the best case scenario is more a script for a movie than a possibility in November–there will be plenty of dysfunctionalism remaining to bedevil those who wish to make government operate.

There is no doubt at all given the retirements and nature of the districts where open seats exist that severe thinning out of Republican in blue states will take place.  While that means the Democrats gain in overall numbers in the House it also means that those Republicans from safe seats—notably the hard-right members of the Freedom Caucus—will have more power in their caucus.  As long-time readers to CP know the best route to effective governing takes place when a two-party system can compromise on the issues of the day.  If there is a hard-right House caucus to contend with then the art of compromise is nearly dead.  Remove the most effective moderate Republicans from blue states and the tone of the House changes.

The other matter that I simply have a hard time finding an answer to is how does Paul Ryan come out as a winner on Election Night?  Even if Democrats fall just short of a majority that means the three-thumbers are going to push for his removal.  They will demand a more hard-right Speaker.   Ryan is gone no matter what but how he stages his exit is the key to his future.

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