Seems as if this entire year has been all about the midterms – when it wasn’t about January 6th and The Former Guy, and even then it turns out to have been all about the midterms.
Midterms. To those of us who suffered through at least a year of college, “midterm” conjures up memories of exams that appeared almost like pop quizzes in the middle of the term. Much more significant than pop quizzes, of course, but for which we were nearly equally unprepared since they always seemed to spring up before we were ready for them. No wonder political midterms have been traditionally forgotten by most voters. And yet, make no mistake, the results of the midterms go into the final grade. You can’t skip one without paying for it, one way or another.
This year, we got lucky. We were never allowed to forget. Not since the Dodd decision. Not since so many election-deniers were running for offices overseeing elections. Not since the Republican Party boasted of all the damage it had planned for their majority. This year it was all or nothing, and for the most part we studied hard and passed. Oh, the House may be a few – very few – seats up on us, but anybody who takes the Speaker’s gavel is going to have a very hard time herding that caucus. They might be able to gather a majority for impeachments here and there, but those impeachments will go no further in the Senate. There are other bills that might not be supported by the entire caucus, in which case Democratic votes will be required for passage. Again, if it is a bad bill, it will go no further in the Senate.
Bottom line: the future looks a lot brighter this Monday afternoon than it did a week ago. But where do we go from here?
There is one item in particular that I hope Biden with the Democrats and perhaps a few amenable Republicans are able to take up over the next couple of years, and that is immigration. Seems to me that if there is one big hole in the Biden agenda so far, it must be immigration. I was happy at first when there was an announcement of sorts that Vice President Harris would have immigration as the main item on her menu, but that seems to have disappeared somewhere in the jungles of Central America. I don’t understand why. I wanted to see her on the border, whipping things into shape. Can that still be a thing?
It seems as if immigration could already be on the agenda, given the recent firing of the guy in charge of the Border Patrol and Customs. I don’t have all the particulars on that one, either, but I hope it’s a good thing.
After only two years, the economy is looking good, we have infrastructure and climate change plans in place with room for more to come, health care has gotten a place in the sun. Who knows what the next two years will bring us? I think the possibilities are as good as we could expect after last Tuesday. If not, maybe two years of obstruction by a Republican majority House will convince more people that until further notice, a Democratic administration is the only safe way to go for the time being.
There’s a final coming up in 2024. We’d better be ready.