There has been a lot of talk about a few things that have bothered me in the past week. The first is the ongoing progressive vs. moderate bloodletting about Congressional loses and falling short in the Senate. First off, Republicans never look at a partial victory and start asking what they did wrong. They take any shred of a mandate, no matter how actually unpopular it may be, and run with it. Democrats should do the same.
This was a big victory. 306 electoral votes is no small feat. Biden won two states Barack Obama never did and Bill Clinton only once a piece (GA and AZ). He restored the blue wall and was very competitive in OH, NC, FL, and even TX. The fact remains, had Trump not generated unprecedented turnout of his own, the downballot GOP would have been drowned in a blue wave. Their life raft is increasingly an unstable albatross dragging their party further and further away from the center and the norms which have governed our nation for over a half century. Without a charismatic reality tv star at the top of the ticket, they got nothing. Cruz, Hawley, and Cotton can run as the Trump heirs all they want, but these Harvard graduates can’t possibly connect with the MAGA hatters like Trump can.
Secondly, I’m bothered by the talk of how little Biden can get done with a Republican Senate. First off, there are still two races to go in Georgia and the Democrats have a 25% chance of getting both of those seats and a 50% shot at getting one of them. That’s about the same odds the GOP has in a state that nearly went against Hillary by a ten point margin. Georgia is gonna be lit blue on that electoral map, and I trust Stacy Abrams to deliver more votes for our excellent nominees than either of the losers the GOP has nominated.
Even if those two Democrats do lose, talk of a stalled agenda or a McConnell veto is premature and absurdly self defeating. There’s a lot Biden can do via executive order as Sen. Warren pointed out in a recent Op-Ed. Beyond that, Biden should pick the cabinet he wants. If he really wants to secure the Senate he should advance Bernie and Warren as nominees now. Sure, they probably can’t get confirmed if McConnell retains his majority, but putting that majority on the line will excite progressives and get them to donate, volunteer, and flip those seats. If the GOP has to tip toe around the reality of the results for their basement, surely we can use a little hope on our side too. Warren and Sanders will be confirmed and Sen. Warnock and Sen. Ossoff will be the deciding votes. Say it enough times and it can happen.
If they fall short? Biden is still the guy who convinced Arlen Spector to switch parties. Make Toomey, Burr, or even the deeply troubled Collins an offer they can’t refuse. Ambassador to the country of their choice or free reigns over a minor department. Doing so let’s their Democratic governors make the replacement and can shore up or cause a Democratic majority. Or convince Murkowski or Romney to vote for Schumer. Or all of the above. At the end of the day Biden is a politician who likes winning, hates losing, and loves the game of politics. Time for him to play ball.