70%+ chance GOP takes over Congress

The polls are looking bad for Democrats in this coming Tuesday’s mid-term elections.

All signs are pointing to a Republican takeover of the US Senate, giving the GOP control of the entire Congress.

Nate Silver, for example, says there’s a 73% chance the Republicans will win a Senate majority on Tuesday, and only a 27% chance that Democrats do.

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From FiveThirtyEight.com

The polling is bad across the board.

HuffPost, for example, is giving the Republicans a 75% chance of taking the Senate.

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Even DailyKos’ polling is showing Democrats with only a 24% chance of keeping the Senate.

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As for the “so what?” factor of Democrats losing Congress, I think it’s going to be a bigger problem than some on the left realize. While I’ve been among the first to hold Democrats accountable when they failed to live up to their promises (my work on gay rights comes to mind), I’m also the first to recognize that things would/will be far worse under the Republicans.

Note that the biggest gay rights advances of the past few years happened in the courts (marriage equality) and in a Democratic Congress (repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and passing the hate crimes amendment). Once the Republicans took over the House, ENDA (legislation to ban anti-gay job discrimination) died. While naysayers kept claiming that we had a real chance of passing ENDA in a GOP-controlled, history proves otherwise. And it won’t get any easier with a GOP-controlled Senate.

Fortunately, on gay rights, we’ve pretty much won. There’s still more work to do, but on the major issues, while the battles have yet to be finished, the war is over. But you can’t say the same about other issues of concern to Democrats. Immigration, climate change and the environment, Wall Street Reform, civil rights beyond the gays — good luck.

Then there’s the Supreme Court. I’ve found it’s hard explaining to voters why they should worry about the Supreme Court on election day. It’s just not something that resonates, even though it should. But as a gay man, let me tell you that you wouldn’t be seeing all these gay marriage victories popping up around the country the past 18 months if it weren’t for the Supreme Court, and Barack Obama’s two appointees to that court. Had John McCain replaced even one of those two with a GOP justice, we’d have likely lost many, if not, all of the 47 recent court victories we won because of the Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Windsor.

And lest anyone think Democrats can simply filibuster bad GOP legislation — yes they can, but will they? I remember the last time the Republicans controlled the Congress. There wasn’t a whole lot of Democratic filibustering of bad Republican bills. In fact, who can forget the infamous Bush tax cuts, when Republicans proposed $1.6 trillion in tax cuts, so Democrats craftily countered with “only” $1.3 trillion in cuts. With Democrats like that…

Then there’s Obamacare. It’s not like Democrats have been particularly effective, or willing, to defend the President’s signature program. And while it’s true that Obamacare didn’t do nearly what it should, it does do a lot of good things, including getting rid of pre-existing condition exclusion, and basically forcing insurance companies to cover anyone who wants to get covered (and a relatively reasonable price). It still isn’t perfect (for example, prescription drug coverage is still pretty abominable). But just wait for the Republicans in Congress to start finding ways to gut the program. Does anyone really think Democrats, who will already be chastened by their loss of the Senate, are going to want to fall down on their swords for Obamacare? Fat chance.

I get why my liberal brethren are less than thrilled with the Democrats of late. We gays pretty much got what we wanted (though we demanded what we got); the rest of the left, not so much. But for those who think things can’t get much worse with 100% Republican control of the Senate, stay tuned. They really can.

And if Democrats lose with the White House in 2016, and the GOP ends up controlling all three branches of government, you’re going to see just how different Democrats and Republicans really are. And it ain’t gonna be pretty.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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29 Responses to “70%+ chance GOP takes over Congress”

  1. Mighty says:

    I don’t understand why people won’t get out and vote in midterms. I just don’t get it. I vote. I have voted when sick or really exhausted from working. I still vote. I try to early vote but can’t always find the time and yet I make sure I vote like today. I get there are obstacles but not impenetrable castle gates.

  2. lynchie says:

    I plan the same drunk and my daughter brought me a bottle of Bushmills 21 year old single malt. America is a failed democracy and as we lurch along with no leadership and a cabal of politicians in both parties who only cater to the wealthy the only think to do is hold those dear to you closer and drink a little more. The left will be under attack like never before and it is not going to turn out well. The GOP is totally committed to the greedy and the stupid and there is no amount of arguing that will win for us. Morning Joe went on and on this morning about Scott Brown and Joni Ernst how they were real republicans, how they cared and how that was the future of the GOP. I believe the latter that they are the future but they don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves and their masters.

  3. lynchie says:

    you got that right. Now he can give away SS and Medicare.

  4. AnitaMann says:

    So, the voting populace in this midterm looks at everything the Repugs have done – govt. shutdown, repeal Obamacare, investigate Benghazi — and says, Yeah! More of that! Just peachy.

  5. jomicur says:

    And yet the SCOTUS ruling that struck down buffer zones at abortion clinics was unanimous. Unanimous. The federal courts just keep drifting farther and farther to the right-wing/corporatist side. Compared to the Warren Court (remember Earl Warren, the Republican?) the Obama appointees are not really liberal at all; they only seem so by comparison with Scalia.

  6. Nicholas A Kocal says:

    The republicans will try and start another depression to make President Obama look bad. They do not give a fuck about average Americans. And their supporters have one or more of the following characteristics. Ignorance (often willful), stupidity, racist, bigoted, homophobic, and/or misogynistic.

  7. BeccaM says:

    The difference is LBJ actually wanted to pass those laws.

    Given the Democratic party’s propensity for “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” so many times, so consistently, I’m long since past the point of concluding they did not actually want to win. They come together just fine when it’s time for another Patriot (sic) Act extension or MOAR!!! defense spending or giveaways to corporations and bankers. (Free trade agreements, anyone? Keystone XL?)

    They only seem to do the right thing — such as repealing DADT or the Obama administration suddenly realizing (right…) five years into his term that DOMA did not need to be defended to the utmost — when their feet are held to the fire.

    They’ve had six years to realize the GOPers are looking now to disenfranchise Democratic and Independent voters. What have they done about it? Nothing. Personally, I think throwing Congress to the Republicans is something they’re doing on purpose at this point, thinking they’ll have more chances for a wave election in 2016.

  8. Ninja0980 says:

    By the last few judges he appointed, young and liberal.
    That is what he should have been doing from the start.

  9. SkippyFlipjack says:

    And lest anyone think Democrats can simply filibuster bad GOP legislation

    The Democrats already took the first step in disabling the filibuster. You can expect the Republicans, should they win the Senate, to start mentioning that immediately as something they’ll further if they don’t get their way, which means they’ll soon start discussing and maybe enacting the full ‘nuclear option’.

  10. The most amazing thing about the MERS fiasco is that the few people who understand it have used it to show that *any* company that attempts to foreclose is committing fraud, since no company at this point can show a valid trail of ownership of the deed. Sadly the only time this comes up is when someone is foreclosed upon that still has the resources to hire a good attorney and fights the motion in court, which is almost by definition, rare. If the knowledge of how to use it were to become widespread and presented in a simple way, there could be a “run” on mortgages and a whole lot of Americans suddenly owning their homes outright. Somewhere around 70% according to some estimates…

  11. jomicur says:

    Remember, the Democrats held both houses of congress for the first two years of Obama’s reign. If they had delivered even a part of what they promised in ’08–hell, if they had even made a show of fighting for it, even if they lost–a good portion of the voting public would still be with them. It’s a downright elementary political law: break your promises to the people, you lose their votes. How hard could that be to understand? Pity Obama, that “master politician” (ROFL) never figured it out. Then again, I don’t really believe he wanted to.

  12. HereinDC says:

    and why regular people like me were on No Fly Watch Lists.
    and why there was a male hooker in the Press room.

  13. ckg1 says:

    And apparently, what they deserve is 535 whining, sniveling little brats who are much more content throwing crap against the wall to see what sticks-and energize their base in the process-than actually putting aside their differences and GOVERNING.

  14. nicho says:

    The bright side is that it will allow Obama to pursue his Goldman-Sachs infused neoliberal agenda without having to worry about pesky Democrats. He’ll be able to bring the middle class to its knees in record time.

  15. BeccaM says:

    The political pendulum has been steadily ratcheting toward the conservative right, to the point where today’s Democrats push for policies and positions which were the GOP’s just 10-20 years ago. Even the ACA, which to be admitted does have some essential reforms such as insurance companies no longer being allowed to deny or rescind coverage based on pre-existing conditions, was nevertheless the GOP proposal in the 1990s and up through ‘Romneycare’ in Massachusetts.

    Instead of pushing for what the people really want, the Dems keep going for the neo-liberal solutions and “softer, gentler” corporatist authoritarianism.

    A solid majority favored ‘Medicare for All’ as the baseline; instead we got subsidized mandatory private health insurance. The 2006 and 2008 elections which swept the Dems into office and eventually into control of the entire government themselves were a repudiation of Cheney/Bush and what’d we get? Investigations and impeachment off the table, tax cuts to the rich extended, wars ‘surged,’ continued giveaways to the plutocrats who destroyed the economy, and a constant refrain of excuses as to why the Dems’ hands were tied. And how often did they flat out LIE to us all? Immigration reforms leading to skyrocketing deportations. Promises of transparency and accountability replaced by persecution of whistleblowers and expanded warrantless spying on Americans. The rule of law remaining on the trash-heap of history while extrajudicial executions via drone-strikes and the illegal indefinite imprisonment of innocent people under conditions tantamount to torture continues.

    Or to use one of my favorite obvious examples: The men and their financial corporations who perpetrated outright fraud and larceny, illegally foreclosing on the homes belonging to millions of Americans. There is zero doubt these mortgage companies and banks acted illegally and with utmost malice. They stole homes that didn’t belong to them and undermined the entire system of property titles and local taxes. MERS itself is flatly illegal. What happened? Nothing. No prosecutions, no confiscations, no recompense to the victims. Not a one of the criminals went to jail or was forced to give up their plunder. Instead, their reward for crashing the economy in 2007 and 2008 was to be given effectively unlimited money by the Federal gov’t. The last similar crisis was the Savings & Loan scandal — and I hate to say it, but Reagan’s administration was better at pursuing prosecutions on this kind of thing.

    The next couple of years are going to be bad. And just like in the 2010 mid-terms, scapegoats will be found — and it’s for damned sure Obama and the Dem leadership won’t be blaming themselves for this mess. This election cycle is going to be another of those ratchets, a hard lurch, to the conservative right. Even if it’s not a total bloodbath for the Dems, they’ll still spend the next two years with feckless hand-wringing and excuses, asking us to put them back into power again. Which, even if it happens in 2016, will be pissed away, as always.

    I’m planning to get very drunk tomorrow night. We Irish like to have our funeral wakes, especially when things seem the most hopeless. It doesn’t change the circumstance itself — the poor sod is still dead — but it helps us who must carry on to care a little bit less for a while, and to forget who’s been buggering us all and who will continue to do so after the hangover has passed.

  16. Indigo says:

    From the Silver Linings File: HRCPOTUS2016!

  17. 2karmanot says:

    Goodbye America.

  18. Naja pallida says:

    And it isn’t like those investigations weren’t warranted. The American People should have gotten answers why we were lied to war. Why warrantless wiretapping was implemented. Why we’re running rendition and detention programs without any kind of oversight. Why we are imprisoning people without a trial or even any charges brought against them. Why the threat level kept changing with the political winds. Why the economy collapsed. Etc, etc. We still have no idea who was responsible for any of it, nobody has been held accountable at all, and quite literally nothing has changed. Obama made the conscious choice to claim each and every one as his own failure, and then seems confused why people think he’s weak and ineffectual. His lack of action to correct the mistakes of his predecessor brought on many of the problems he’s been mired in for his entire presidency.

  19. jomicur says:

    LBJ used to go into the halls of congress, grab recalcitrant members by their lapels and tell them point-blank that if they didn’t support his legislation they’d never see one federal dime spent in their district/state. That’s how he got Medicare and civil rights laws passed. The willingness and political know-how to enforce that kind of party unity among Democrats has long since gone the way of Greece, Rome and the dodo. I mourn.

  20. HereinDC says:

    As Tom Hartmann has said.,.. If Obama would of started dozens of investigations of the Bush Administration during his first month of being eleceted,…… then the Republicans would of been busy with their time and energy and money to defend themselves …and no time to execute their plans that were drawn up Inauguration Night at The Caucus Room on 401 9th Street January 20, 2009.

  21. jomicur says:

    I agree with your analysis–except for your last paragraph. What on earth makes you think Obama wants a progressive legacy?

  22. Bill_Perdue says:

    I looked at Silvers analysis very carefully because it’s the most scientific and comprehensive.

    Nevertheless, I’m not sure that the Republicans will have a runaway victory.

    What I am sure of is that whoever wins, the Senate will remain in the hands of a right wing party and so will the House, the Supremes and the White House.

    It’ll be business as usual in federal government which means more wars, continued poverty and unemployment, more underemployment and more attacks on the already shredded Bill of Rights.


    By the way, todays Astronomy Picture of the Day is beautiful.


  23. Silver_Witch says:

    Hopefully this is not true and they won’t take anything…a woman can dream.

  24. Ninja0980 says:

    My biggest gripe is with the courts.
    Obama and the Democrats blew it on that one, they truly did.
    When Bush Jr came into office, they had a whole batch of far right nominations ready to go and they fought like hell to make sure every one of them got through.
    Yes there were some failures but push came to shove, Bush Jr got most of his far right nominations through.
    Democrats on the other hand simply caved with nominations like Goodwin Liu and have allowed Republicans to abuse the blue slip to absurd levels, something Republicans never allowed.
    Bush Jr also continued the Republican playbook set up under his Dad and St. Ronnie in ensuring that many of these judges were in their mid to late 30’s or early 40’s, thus ensuring they would remain on the courts for up to five decades.
    Contrast that with Obama and company, who not only dragged their feet on nominations but also ensured the impact of them would be limited by nomination people that were 50 and older. In fact Obama’s circuit courts nominations were among the oldest ever put on the bench.
    Unlike St. Ronnie who has nominations from his time in office still on various circuits, there is a good chance by the next decade many of the judges Obama put on the bench will have either retired or died due to the fact they are so old.
    Hardly a way to ensure a progressive legacy. The nuclear option was about the only time in the past couple of years Democrats finally showed a spine. Such a pity it happened too late.

  25. Ninja0980 says:

    It makes me sick to my stomach as well but as you said, Democrats almost NEVER show a spine.
    My only hope is that Republican control of the Senate will only last until 2016.
    Eve if the Republcans win eight seats, it will only give them 53 seats, not enough to cushion the blow in 2016 when they will have eight seats up in Blue or Purple states for reelection.

  26. heimaey says:

    The people get what they deserve.

  27. dcinsider says:

    Not to mention federal employees who have had a target on their back for six years. That target gets bigger by twice with a GOP Senate.

  28. MichaelS says:

    It makes me sick to my stomach. When the Dems have power they naively think the Republicans will work with them and the Dems are afraid to fight – really fight – for anything. I particularly hold the present occupant of the WH to that accusation as well.
    When the Repugs take control, they TAKE CONTROL – and never cede it. Witness the gerrymandered permanent Congress we now have. Or the Citizens United permanent Supreme Court.
    We are holding on to a thread of rationality with the current Court makeup. It will be gone forever with this Senate takeover. I weep for my country, which is fast becoming the United Interests of Koch.

  29. Indigo says:

    And then President Wilson will go to his room and not be seen again in public until he leaves the White House after his successor is chosen.

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