Elections Have Consequences
Fifteen possible consequences if the Republicans take the majority in the 2022 midterms
The outcome of the 2022 midterm elections is not given, no matter what the historical precedents are or how much the media is behaving as if the elections are already over. And while some Democrats may be demoralized by the reluctance of Democrats to maximize their majority, a GOP takeover could be even more fractious and mad than many imagine. I think it behooves us to pause and consider what the world may look like after November 8, 2022, based on GOP promises, threats and recent trends.
1. Abortion rights, voting rights, affirmative action, religious liberty and LGBTQ discrimination—these are just some of the issues the Supreme Court and its 6-3 conservative majority will likely decide in the coming 2022-2023 term. Mitch McConnell, asked directly if he would permit a nomination to the Court if the GOP takes back the Senate this year and a vacancy opens, refused to say he would.
2. GOP candidates and sitting senators such as Ted Cruz have mouthed off about impeachment hearings for President Biden on Day One of a new majority—not because they have a good reason, but because they can and because they yearn for payback over the two Trump impeachments.
3. If that’s not enough, former chief of staff Mark Meadows and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz are among those who have floated the crazy idea of making Trump Speaker of the House—an idea that appealed to the Mar-a-Lago buffet veteran. This would be one of many mad notions suddenly taken seriously.
4. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says he would reinstate Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, not only giving them new committee assignments but probably “better ones.”
5. The House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 Capitol attack would likely be disbanded or remade to turn the panel against the Democrats.
6. On the other hand, souped-up, half-cocked investigations of Hunter Biden, Anthony Fauci or other popular GOP targets will be an almost certainty.
7. The continued perpetuation of the Big Lie of election fraud—already a litmus test as a show of fealty to the man who incited a deadly insurrection and coup attempt—will only become more ingrained as a GOP rite.
8. Especially if Trump-backed candidates take office, the cry for their beloved leader to run in 2024 will get louder, more shrill and more desperate.
9. Three dozen private telecommunication and social media companies that turned over records to the January 6 committee could face GOP retribution. Recall Kevin McCarthy’s threat that “a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law.”
10. Increasing focus on a “border security crisis” will once again make immigrants scapegoats and blow this issue out of proportion.
11. From more book banning, lying about the widespread teaching of “critical race theory,” attacking so-called “woke” businesses like Disney and demanding that schools stop talking about the historical realities of slavery or about gender identity and sexual orientation, the polarizing, grievance-filled culture wars will gain additional fuel in the lead up to 2024.
12. Merrick Garland may be even more reluctant to file charges against GOP leadership, in fear of seeming “political.”
13. Federal voting rights legislation would be very dead.
14. The progressive Build Back Better plan would be even deader.
15. The autocrats, extremists, conspiracy mongers and pro-Putin TV talking heads will be even more convinced of their primacy to define America’s future.
As noted in the outset, this future is not inevitable. But it’s up to every registered voter to help decide America’s fate. I leave you with this simple assertion:
One final note: I welcome your adding to the brief list above with your notions of what a new GOP majority may yield.
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