Would you believe the midterms don’t (won’t?) actually mean anything? That’s Tod Lindberg in The New Republic:
True, a GOP-controlled Senate would launch a few more investigations of the Obama administration’s misdeeds, real and imagined. But the House already has such investigations underway, and with all due respect to “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” an investigation that proceeds with support strictly along party lines is no more credible when the Senate is doing it. The confirmation process for judicial nominees was going to slow down in the final two years of the administration anyway. Other administration appointments simply don’t matter all that much this late in the term, and even a GOP-controlled Senate will face pressure to approve some nominees for appearance’s sake.
Legislation that passes the GOP House will get consideration in the Senate rather than the high-handed dismissal with which Reid has greeted it. Yet the filibuster rule requiring 60 votes for legislation to proceed in the Senate remains intact, and it’s unclear that a GOP Senate majority would blow it up—especially since Obama can veto anything that Congress passes. And he will.
Forcing a President to veto puts him — and his would-be Democrat successor — on the spot. Again and again. A veto isn’t a “pen and phone” situation; it’s a major event, rarely used.
There are all kinds of popular positions, from the border fence to the individual mandate/tax hybrid thingy, where the GOP could take Obama (and by extension the Democrats) and “pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.”
Now, that might be meaningless in the sense of actually changing or fixing bad legislation. Then again, Saul Alinsky, the author of that famous advice, was all about tearing things down, not building things up. And a GOP Congress would have the means to do just that to the Progressive wing of the Democrat party, which has been in full control of the Donks for years now.
Those are pretty high stakes — and Lindberg knows it.