One more week, maybe


Chuck Wendig makes his election predictions for next week. Spoiler: he has no idea.

Neither do I, and that’s the terrible thing. I’ve been through awful elections, like when Reagan was anointed as president, and while I was disappointed and unhappy, I knew one thing about election day: the election wouldn’t be a problem. Voting would go smoothly, ballots would be counted, and on election night, you’d get the results and one party would concede and the other party would celebrate. That ended with Bush/Gore. It’s much worse now. We have early voting in some states, and the lines go on for blocks, because the Republicans have been killing polling places; we have swarms of people, like me, voting by mail because we have no confidence in our voting booths any more. That’s tragic for a democracy. You’d think we’d look at absurdly long lines for voting and realize there’s something fucking wrong with the system, and do something about it, but for some reason we’ve turned a blind eye to this failure of simple voting mechanics.

I’ll be braver than Wendig and make some horrible predictions.

  • There will be incidents. Armed yahoos will try to intimidate voters at multiple polling places. The police will do nothing about them.
  • There will be no resolution of the election on the night of 3 November. Or the 4th. Or the 5th. It will drag on interminably. Even if there is a clear Democratic winner, the Republicans will find reasons to waffle about, calling into question any and all results.
  • If the Democratic candidate does not have a strong majority, and the Republicans whine a little bit, the Democratic party will collapse like a ripped bladder and concede.
  • The Supreme Court will find a way to interfere.
  • If he actually loses, the Current Occupant will continue to hold rallies and incite his followers right up until 20 January. There will be more violence.
  • I have no idea what the USA will look like on 21 January. The Occupant could be dragged out on meathooks and the Republic will persevere a little longer, or the entire country could be reduced to burning rubble with us civilians fighting it out for scraps.

I will not be watching the news next week at all. Leave me a comment if civil war breaks out so I know to bunker up and seal up all the windows and doors.

Comments

  1. wzrd1 says

    CNN had written an article, which had worst case scenarios (without ‘militias’ silliness) and showing protections in place if the balloting process imploded. The absolute worst case is the legislatures get involved. As the federal legislature deciding an absolute worst case won’t exist until early Jan and fold in results of this election, it’d be mildly suspenseful.
    National Guard, FBI, DHS and state police have things staged for illegal private militias and Boogaloo bozos.
    Worst case, some idiots get themselves culled from the gene pool.

    York County sent me a confirmation email on the 23rd of receipt of my ballot.

  2. says

    I’m getting the impression that this election is a radicalizing moment for the Democratic Party–even the more mainstream parts of it. In the event the GOP tries to steal a win, I’d be surprised if the Democrats roll over like they did in 2000.

  3. fossboxer says

    A big first step toward healing this pustulating wound would be to build a gallows somewhere on capitol hill and dispose of the senate leader.

  4. PaulBC says

    My biweekly Costco trip is coming up (that’s every two weeks, just to be clear). Sounds like it’s time to get that 1.75l bottle of Jim Beam. Hope it’s enough to get me through election night and the aftermath.

  5. tenaxraccoon says

    I expect that the Republicans will do what they did to Obama. They will draw out every Senate contest that is even slightly close, claiming it would be impossible to seat a Democratic senator until all the lawsuits are settled. They will draw out the lawsuits as long as possible to ensure that the Democratic party is as nerfed as possible, trying to take advantage of the conservative-packed judiciary. The Democratic Party may act like the lawsuits are done in good faith, but even if they complain, the media’s “he-said-she-said” narrative will prevent most voters from noticing or caring.

    After the lawsuits are settled, we’ll have just a few months before the next election occurs, and the public complains that the Democratic party doesn’t do anything. The Democratic party, being absolutely terrible at messaging and against a press that accepts Republican arguments as good faith, will get heavily slammed for not somehow ignoring the (packed) courts, seating everyone, and getting Stuff Done.

    Or maybe I’m being too optimistic? I don’t want to be right, but those are the dirty tricks I’ve seen before, and that I’d expect them to play

  6. raven says

    If the Democratic candidate does not have a strong majority, and the Republicans whine a little bit, the Democratic party will collapse like a ripped bladder and concede.

    Not sure I buy this.

    The majority of the USA has been getting angry and more desperate for the last 4 years. I say majority because Hillary did win the popular vote by 3 million.

    After 4 more years of Trump, what would be left of the US democracy and why would anyone care? I could easily see the Northeast and the West coast de facto just splitting off from the South and Midwest and going their own way.

  7. leovigild says

    This is exactly the attitude the Russian-backed active measures operation is trying to inculcate: nothing can be known, you have no control, the politicians opposing the leader are weak, powerless, and unreliable. This is precisely designed to make it easier to sow chaos, regardless of the outcome of the election. Don’t give in to it. Believe in each other and fight for truth.

  8. says

    On the other hand we are probably looking at around 100 million people voting BEFORE election day. I’ve never seen voter enthusiasm this high. It’s really amazing to see.

  9. PaulBC says

    @10 I have a big worry that those votes will be discarded or counted late. It will still seem absurd for Trump to claim a “win” if it looks like he is stopping the count early. That doesn’t mean he won’t try, and it doesn’t mean we won’t suck it up and adjust to a “new new normal” (or maybe a “new new new normal” if you add the sham election of 2000).

  10. fossboxer says

    @9 – The Frontline investigation of Putin (ref. pbs.org) last year makes clear just how vested the Russian leader is in seeing this through. He’s gotta be doing a happy dance every morning he wakes up and watches the news.

  11. oddie says

    McConnell held up Obama’s judge nominations for two years so that trump has now seated 1/3 of all the judges in the country and nobody did squat about it.
    Now we have Kavanaugh talking about not counting ballots after election night in Wisconsin because reasons. And the Democratic Party is doing what during this time to actually deal with the situation? I doubt Biden does anything to correct this flagrant abuse if the judiciary. I am not hopefully that he will even hold Trump accountable for all his illegal behavior as president.

    As an aside, I never even thought about the fact that Trump would likely still hold rallies even if he loses but he is very likely too. What a nightmare that will be

  12. says

    @12
    Paul I’m pretty sure he’s going to try but it’s not within his power to do so. The power to certify election results lies within the states. Not the Presidency, not the Supreme Court, it lies within the powers of the state legislatures. If things get close, like 2000, it’s up to the states in question to determine the results. Trump is a slippery bastard but unless Biden concedes early, he does not have the power to declare victory on election night unless he actually wins. Not ruling that out either.

  13. PaulBC says

    oddie@14 Maybe he’ll get a reality TV show “Real America’s President” or some crap like that where he gets to pretend he is still making decisions. The reason I doubt it isn’t because I have faith that the “serious people” will respect election results, just that I think Trump has worn out his welcome. It doesn’t mean something even worse isn’t coming next.

  14. DonDueed says

    You missed one possible hellish scenario: faithless electors.

    Trump could lose both the popular vote AND the electoral vote, but electors could defy the majority in their state and vote for him anyway. This is entirely legal in some states, including a couple of swing states, and in several other states it’s nominally illegal but carries no penalty or a minimal fine.

  15. unclefrogy says

    I don’t know what is likely to happen, I only know it looks like we are headed for a difficult few weeks at best.
    Trump is basically a coward and a fool. He is mostly not an idealogue unless it is money or sex. he has been hinting some lately of leaving the country, one can only hope.
    the conservative politics will not generate prosperity nor security, the conservative free market approach to health care exemplified by the pandemic response is death and suffering. There is a lot of political activity and interest. Having just watched “The trial of The Chicago 7” I can only see trouble ahead short term but with determination and perseverance a positive outcome is possible but not without it.
    uncle frogy

  16. PaulBC says

    Faithless electors after a clear Biden win would be tantamount to a declaration of Civil War, which doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

  17. xdrta says

    @ #14
    ” I doubt Biden does anything to correct this flagrant abuse if the judiciary. ”

    What would you suggest he do about legally appointed judges? Have the military drag them out of the courtrooms?

  18. nomdeplume says

    Every 4 years the fact that America has the most dysfunctional electoral system, by far, of any democracy, becomes obvious once again. In between this fact is ignored by the population of the “World’s greatest democracy”.

  19. raven says

    I don’t know what is likely to happen, I only know it looks like we are headed for a difficult few weeks at best.

    ??? What!
    We are headed for a difficult few years no matter what happens.
    Or, more likely, a difficult few decades no matter what happens.

  20. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Faithless electors are only the beginning. Rethug controlled state legislators could refuse to certify the popular result and instead appoint a slate of Trump-supporting electors. You could even wind up with competing sets of electors (one for Leg. and one for Governor) in December, and then all hell could break loose, particularly if the House and Senate embrace different sets of electors.

    We are about to live in interesting times.

  21. raven says

    What would you suggest he do about legally appointed judges? Have the military drag them out of the courtrooms?

    Oh c’mon.
    The military doesn’t like to get involved in politics that way.
    You would have the US Secret Service, Federal Marshals, FBI, or the Illuminati doing the dragging.

    In Realityland, there isn’t much Biden could do. Takes 2/3 of the Senate to remove a federal judge.

    He could though, pack the US Supreme Court.
    That would be the end of the US Supreme Court as a serious and legitimate branch of government, but so what?
    We can’t let 5 Supreme court judges wreck a nation of 328 million people.
    Besides, the US Supreme court has already been packed and has already lost a huge amount of it’s legitimacy capital.
    They’ve become a self declared political football.

  22. xdrta says

    I agree they should expand the SC (never say pack.) First they would need a Senate majority, then they would need to blackjack some of the more wishy-washy Dem senators, then Biden would actually have to show the spine to do it. The whole thing is a longshot at best.

  23. PaulBC says

    That would be the end of the US Supreme Court as a serious and legitimate branch of government, but so what?

    Eh? It would be the beginning of a somewhat larger Supreme Court. Nothing unconstitutional or really shocking about it. FDR tried and was stopped, but it was never an altogether crazy idea.

    The argument that the GOP will come back and expand again to retaliate is equally ridiculous. Just having the idea out there at all increases the chance that they’ll do it anyway if they think they need to. (But 6-3 is pretty good, so they don’t.)

    Personally, I like the idea of Republicans waking up to the notion that Democrats are just as capable of being complete assholes. I mean, where does it end? I can’t answer that, but hopefully not with the Federalist Society’s clone army enacting a reign of terror against the will of the people.

    Speaking of which, the only thing I can see actually mattering here in terms of legitimacy is whether SCOTUS expansion is popular or not.

  24. PaulBC says

    (And I should have fit it above, but we already have the end of SCOTUS as a serious and legitimate arbiter of anything. See Bush v. Gore., 2000.)

  25. PaulBC says

    I think a negotiated retirement of Stephen Breyer (like Anthony Kennedy’s) is in order as soon as there is a Democratic president and congressional majority. I don’t know much about him, and have nothing against him at all, but at age 82, he poses the same risk Ginsburg did (though I don’t think it would have made sense for her to retire after 2010, and I’m glad she did not).

  26. unclefrogy says

    @22
    I agree completely this period of history is when the chickens come home to roost. and there seems to be too many to all fit the roost.
    If everything else were to workout easily we would have just few weeks of turmoil. Like I said I have no confidence of what will happen but if past is prologue then more likely it will be struggle after struggle a long slog forward with lots of resistance from the conservative vested interests against any positive change with plenty of set backs along the way.
    uncle frogy

  27. says

    If the Democratic candidate does not have a strong majority, and the Republicans whine a little bit, the Democratic party will collapse like a ripped bladder and concede.

    I think this may be your cynicism acting up. I suspect Democrats are waking up to the fact that if they give up on this one, there might not ever be a way back to power. It won’t just hurt the little people, it will end their political careers. They will be irrelevant. I doubt they’ll sit quietly for that.

  28. Pierce R. Butler says

    Another alternative to expanding SCOTUS: impeaching certain incumbent “justices”.

    <a href="https://www.rawstory.com/2020/10/heres-the-case-for-impeaching-clarence-thomas-the-most-corrupt-supreme-court-justice/"Clarence Thomas has filed a lot of hinky financial reports, and we seem to have pretty clear evidence of confirmation-hearing perjury on the parts of Kavanaugh and Barrett.

    Which option requires more political courage on the part of the Democrats?

  29. Pierce R. Butler says

    Oops – here’s my # 31 with html fixed:

    Another alternative to expanding SCOTUS: impeaching certain incumbent “justices”.

    Clarence Thomas has filed a lot of hinky financial reports, and we seem to have pretty clear evidence of confirmation-hearing perjury on the parts of Kavanaugh and Barrett.

    Which option requires more political courage on the part of the Democrats?

  30. oddie says

    Term limits for judges sound good. They life time appointments were put in place to avoid partisan judicial actions and clearly that is not an effective way to keep the judiciary nonpartisan.

  31. PaulBC says

    oddie@34 I agree that lifetime appointments don’t seem all that smart in retrospect, and it’s impossible to rule out life extension technology making a significant advance in the next 40 years and being easier to obtain if you’re rich or high status. (Medical technology is slow, but 40 years is a long time.) Granted, the impact will not be limited to SCOTUS.

  32. DrVanNostrand says

    Pierce@32

    You need a 2/3 vote in the senate to impeach federal judges, which means it won’t happen, even with the most favorable possible results in November. Court expansion would be much easier.

  33. nomdeplume says

    And then there is this – “A judge in Michigan struck down a directive from Michigan’s secretary of state Jocelyn Benson that banned the open carry of firearms at polling places on election day”. Seriously America? A country run by allowing the Second Amendment to over-ride all other considerations is not a democracy.

  34. kome says

    Apropos of nothing, @PZ I wanted to draw your attention to this recent PNAS paper “The pandemic exposes human nature: 10 evolutionary insights” written by a collection of evolutionary psychologists trying to argue how the pandemic relates to the usual array of absolute bollocks that evo-psych types like to drone on about (e.g. mating preferences; gender roles).
    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/10/21/2009787117

  35. jrkrideau says

    @21 nomdeplume
    Every 4 years the fact that America has the most dysfunctional electoral system, by far, of any democracy, becomes obvious once again.

    Other than an outright military coup d’état such as happened in Chile with Allende , it is hard to conceive of a more dysfunctional one.

    I ran into a quote from a Canadian columnist:
    “Robin Sears writes it’s hard to steal an election in Canada because

    we maintain a paper record of every ballot, plus the ballots themselves, electronically counted or not. We have national systems and regulations which are rigorously followed by a centrally trained set of election officers. We also gave up long ago on any role for the parties in local electoral administration.”

    Oh, and we do not have gerrymandering as ridings (constituencies) are set by a neutral committee.

    The USA sometimes reminds me of sixteenth century Spain.

  36. Chris Capoccia says

    So far, with all the early in person voting, I haven’t seen any news of any armed “observers”. I guess I’d be surprised if they show up

  37. nomdeplume says

    @40 Same in Australia – all elections (federal, state, local) run by the fiercely independent Australian Electoral Commission, who manage electoral boundary maps and redistributions, lists of voters, arrange polling stations, staff them at election times, count the votes (with party observers present), store the votes, announce the results. Elections are held on a Saturday, there is generous provision for absentee votes, postal votes, early voting, even help for those who are sick (polling facilities in hospitals and nursing homes). Counting begins early, and all counting is double-checked. Preliminary results are available immediately polls close, and within an hour or two (depending on closeness of the election), the result is predicted based in sophisticated computer analysis. Final results in every seat are available within about a week (to allow for final receipt of overseas postal votes). There has never been a question of the integrity of results.

  38. springa73 says

    The USA sometimes reminds me of sixteenth century Spain.

    Hmm, I see more in common with 19th century Britain, which at least had elections. Overall, though, the US electoral system is still stuck in the 19th century in many ways. One problem is that to do things like replace gerrymandering with independent, nonpartisan districting, it will be necessary to change the rules 50 times, once in each state, since a lot of election rules are set by states. An even bigger problem is that no dominant political party in any state would want to end gerrymandering, since it gives them enormous power. You’d probably need an amendment to the US Constitution to override state opposition, and those are notoriously difficult to pass

  39. unclefrogy says

    @42
    if you tried that here it start a howling the likes of which have never been heard before the list of the paranoid fantasies about the takeover of the country would fill a small book
    uncle frogy

  40. nomdeplume says

    @44 Yes, I get that! Seems extraordinary to me that people would think that having political party officials run an election is the way to get fairness and honest results. But then, you elect judges and sheriffs too, which is equally crazy!

  41. hemidactylus says

    @39 kome

    For me that paper induced a combo of interest and eye rolls. Some heavy hitter authors (Buss, Pinker, DS Wilson, Alcock, edited by Gazzaniga). Oddly Sam Harris is amongst the authors. Maybe he added the word “well-being” to Insight 10 which was clearly written by Pinker and a somewhat eyerolling rehash of his progress thesis. “Those who deny the possibility of social progress might feel vindicated by the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, because it shows that life has gotten worse rather than better. But has it?… So it should come as no surprise, and is no refutation of the fact or the possibility of progress, that another infectious pathogen has launched an offensive against us; that is in the very nature of life.” So keeping reading my Pangloss books.

    Insight 1 is interesting but maybe far-fetched in casting SARS-CoV-2 as akin to the fluke that changes ant behavior. Does SARS-CoV-2 make people more extraverted or manic so more apt to infect others due to sociability increase? If so adaption or spandrel? Flu vaccine makes people more gregarious?

    Insight 2 goes hand in hand with the hygiene hypothesis, the notion that lack of exposure to microbes or allergens in kids can cause detrimental effects. The hygiene hypothesis was explored by Haidt and Lukianoff and maybe of merit to the extent it isn’t misapplied to child behavior as an analogy toward exposing kids to noxious interpersonal stuff to toughen them up for adulthood (or so they don’t annoy professors in college with their snowflakery). This section is also kinda microbiomy.

    Insight 3 is about whether the gut impulse of disgust is a useful public health tool. Could it work better as a PSA than the frying egg propaganda used to scare people from smoking pot in the 80s?

    As for Insight 4 is decrease in birth rate a bad thing? And: “An evolutionary perspective predicts that women will be reluctant to commit to men lacking financial stability, given the priority they place on this quality in long-term mating (32). It also predicts that men, in turn, will postpone marriage until they feel they have adequate resources to attract women of adequate or commensurate mate value (33)” How can this not sound crass? And: “Birth-rate drops, in turn, have cascading consequences for economic outcomes—job opportunities, the ability of countries to provide safety nets to an aging demographic, and a global economic contraction.” Sounds committed to perpetual growth model of GDP. Reflects unconscious neoliberal biases of ev psychers?

    Insight 5 did seem to have some sincere concern for plight of women in workplace being impacted by COVID effect on economy, but I couldn’t get past the chalkboard scratching of: “The default explanation in social science is to blame outdated gender stereotypes and lack of empowerment for women (39). However, women’s and men’s evolved preferences play an important role.” Still too soon after the Damore memo?

    Insight 6 seems in parts to be channelling Kropotkin with the mutual aid but then deflates that bubble. Am I wearing a mask and social distancing more for myself or others? Good question. And: “Furthermore, at least in the United States—although less so in countries such as Canada—this pandemic is not bringing people together; rather, responses reflect the partisan divide that so characterizes recent times, with conservatives and liberals having different views about wearing masks, the wisdom of a continuing lockdown, and much else.” Yep. And another key, apt distinction: “Finally, the analogy with previous disasters might not be apt. We are not sifting through rubble to rescue those trapped in fallen buildings; we are not crammed into the London underground at midnight, tending the injured while the Luftwaffe drops bombs from above. We are in isolation.” And I’m so over it! Ughh!!! This section is one of the best IMO. But I’m cynical so…

    Insight 7 is pretty good too in exploring epistemic problems and tendencies toward conspiracy thinking.

    Insight 8 got interesting in how it set up dual inheritance theory (eg lactase persistence due to dairying), but quickly got muddled in conflating a blind evolutionary process with something consciously or deliberately managed, directed or designed. Comparing approaches per outcomes sounds good, but do we need ev psychers or would be memetic engineers to tell us that?

    On the contrary Insight 9 in how tight and loose cultures are contrasted was much better overall. The US with our tendency toward screaming “FREEDOMMMMMM!” a la Braveheart tends to be too loose for situations such as COVID. “… because loose cultures prioritize freedom over rules, they may experience psychological reactance when tightening is required. The situation is compounded when governmental leaders minimize threat signals.” Enter Duhsantis and Floriduh.

    Not the worst ev psych article ever. YMMV.

  42. hemidactylus says

    Actually contrary to my silly snark about Harris’s presumed contribution to the article being adding one word in what really was Pinker’s section, Harris contributed “Insight 7: We Have Not Evolved to Seek the Truth” which was actually pretty good IMO. Too bad he can’t stick to non-incendiary stuff like that.

  43. John Morales says

    hemidactylus:

    Harris contributed “Insight 7: We Have Not Evolved to Seek the Truth” which was actually pretty good IMO

    You’re easily impressed.

    And, of course, there’s the hidden premise that we have evolved for something, just not that particular thing. Stupid teleological thinking there.

    (Also, first, that’s not a claim people make; second, it’s a recycled claim (cf. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/did-humans-evolve-to-see-things-as-they-really-are/))

  44. hemidactylus says

    @49- John

    I’m not convinced objectivist truth tracking is the default setting for us over what happens or seems to work in a pragmatic sense. Objectivist truth tracking was a recently hard fought battle that sought methods to counter our epistemic shortcomings. Crooked timber.

    Really Shermer this is recent stuff? I take it back at least to Schopenhauer’s version of Maya as illusion, but he was merely reworking Kant as did eventually some ethologists as Shermer’s discussion on how species view the world reminds me a bit of Uexküll’s umwelt.

    It’s not even that an objective world doesn’t exist, but that the best organisms per populations can have done to them (sans scientific method) is intergenerational interface (Kantian phenom) retuning in the manner of working slightly better than the other population members.

    Taking it up some notches the methods of science, stats, logic, etc do change the default for humans though some have forced pragmatics even here such as Rorty.

    Getting back to Harris’s section his points on future discounting and self then other deception are wrong?

    Left to our own devices without some Archimedean point or Olympian vantage we can make some bad decisions. Our cravings for salt, sugar, and fat in the here and now can be easily satisfied and perhaps made sense in scarcity. Kinda hard to override the defaults no?

    And in the distal time horizon evolution vis a vis selection may have populations track the ever shifting flux of an objective landscape but from the more narrowly construed subjective proximally effective POV of organisms in the here and now they could not be expected to grok either a formal sense of correspondence or coherence. They mostly unconsciously go about their business in workaday mode, not truth tracking mode. For a good part of human existence magical thinking, mythic narratives, and religious dogma sufficed.

  45. hemidactylus says

    Oh and color vision. It works but as a brain based projection upon the world where is the truth? Are secondary qualities a thing?

  46. birgerjohansson says

    Chuck Wendig? He wrote Double Dead, about a vampire living in a zombie apocalypse.
    Which provides a roadmap of sorts for how to deal with the world after Nov.3rd, if Hump wins. Any fangy un-people out there, here is your chance to recruit.

  47. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Kome@39, I didn’t bother to read very far into the paper–just far enough to have the distinct impression that Jeffrey Toobin might have been an uncredited author. The Evo Psych crowd need to learn that if it reads like a frickin’ Just-So Story, it probably ain’t science. Of course, the lack of testable predictions is another indicator.

    And wrt the predicament we currently find ourselves in, I fear that the only solution may be to partition the country. I do not see how we can have a modern democracy, when the world views of 40% of the citizens have more in common with the 14th century than the 21st. Let them have their Cletustan.

  48. George says

    Feh… After all the fussing, I’m expecting it to be a big fizzle. Biden wins big. The Democrats take the Senate. Trump the blowhard blows hard but does nothing but slink out of office with a whimper. Then the Reptilicans try to scapegoat him for everything and to act as if time began on 1-20-2021 and everything is Biden’s fault.

  49. Kagehi says

    Honestly, what would be hilarious would be if the 528 “electors” all decided they a) didn’t have any consequences, since there are not listed penalties for them not following state rules, just a strong suggestion that they should, and b) rejected “both” candidates, deciding instead to take their federally protected right as the people actually electing the president to put Bernie in office (or just about literally anyone else, except Kyenan, or what ever the F his name is…).

    The heads exploding from all sides if they opted to do that, since the “federal” law that created the college says they are allowed to do precisely that, would be kind of hilarious. And, it would also be the final death knell of the college, since both parties would not want to allow them to do this ever again. So, win, win, win, win, and super entertaining.

  50. DrVanNostrand says

    George @55

    Let me follow up on that with this. The Democrats will also take bake the senate with 51-52 votes. Biden will try to ‘work across the aisle’ for months to pass bipartisan COVID relief, fix the ACA, and get a green infrastructure package. By late summer, he’ll realize it’s completely pointless, and the Democrats will finally agree to just go ahead and kill the filibuster. At that point, he’ll still have to water down everything he’s trying to do because the senate majority is so tenuous that they’re constantly fighting their own ‘centrists’ (like Manchin). After accomplishing a fraction of his legislative agenda, and with an economy struggling to recover from COVID, the Republicans will brand his presidency a failure, issue dire warnings about the deficit, and have sweeping success in the 2022 midterms, preventing him from accomplishing anything whatsoever for the rest of his term. If this sounds familiar, it’s because I’m basically updating 2008-2010 for current times.

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