Forecasting Washington for 2023 and Beyond

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

Republicans were bitterly disappointed by the results of the November midterm elections, shocked that the status quo was nearly preserved, even though 70 percent of the likely voters polled thought America is on the wrong track, and their greatest concerns were inflation, crime and illegal immigration.

Nonetheless, every election has consequences.

The November midterm elections flipped the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, ended Nancy Pelosi’s speakership – for a second time – and finally tossed the venomous octogenarian who presided over the accumulation of roughly half of America’s $31 trillion-plus national debt onto the ash heap of history.

The House results, alone, offer some clues, if not clarity, about Washington and national politics in 2023, 2024 – and beyond.

Roughly four million more votes were cast for Republican congressional candidates than for Democrats. That numerical advantage had only moderate effect on House district results, but it could be highly relevant for predicting how conservative values and issues will influence the 2024 national election.

Republicans dominated the over-30 voting demographic in November, but lost the younger vote – badly – so the party knows where it has work to do.

In fact, in two years, certain 2022 “youth” issues could de-escalate.

The presidential student loan bailout bribe that attracted younger voters was judged to be unconstitutional following the election. And abortion will also be less of a national issue in 2024, perhaps a nonissue, as younger voters age, mature, and adjust to the separate states’ 10th Amendment prerogatives to set their own abortion policies.

Republicans made substantial gains among minorities, winning about 40 percent of the Hispanic and 14 percent of the black vote. Forty percent of Asians voted Republican, too, and Jewish voter support improved. Those all represent significant inroads, with plenty of upside remaining.

Democrats’ hold on the Senate means little, since a Republican House can cause gridlock by blocking most of the Democrats’ liberal agenda.

Democrat majorities never showed any, so forget bipartisanship next year.

House oversight is guaranteed to become a major headache for President(ish) Joe Biden. Republican legislators will oppose Biden and Democrats on spending – the House controls the national purse strings – the debt ceiling,  immigration, IRS excesses, Department of Justice improprieties, and energy policy, among other issues.

When the House changes hands, Republicans will challenge Homeland Security’s response to the border crisis, and inundate the White House with document requests to determine if Biden’s administration illegally colluded with Big Tech social media organizations to censor “politically inconvenient” information and opinions.

Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control officials will be closely examined for their roles in and motives for imposing harsh COVID mandates and restrictions. America may finally get an accurate official account of the pandemic’s origin.

The House will cross-examine Attorney General Merrick Garland about his/his department’s overbearing authoritarian handling of local school board protests and his/its general criminalization of political disagreement.

New scandals may emerge as Republicans closely scrutinize officials in other politically-weaponized executive branch agencies who were appointed by a reckless administration with a figurehead “in charge.”

Every president since Ronald Reagan has faced a divided government, congressional disapproval, and opposition calls for their impeachment. Two have been impeached.

President Donald Trump was hounded for two years by special counsel Robert Mueller, who, ultimately, uncovered no improprieties. Then Congress unsuccessfully impeached Trump for allegedly strong-arming Ukrainian officials into dishing dirt on Joe Biden. Congress impeached him a second time, equally unsuccessfully, for the events of January 6, 2021. Even though he’s been out of office for nearly two years, Congress is still investigating Trump.

In 2023, a Republican-controlled House will open investigations into Joe Biden’s personal life and years in government. The corporate media-authenticated contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, especially the shady foreign money trails therein, will finally become his father’s – “The Big Guy’s” – worst nightmare.

The laptop revelations and Biden’s failure to enforce immigration laws could become the unimpeachable grounds that make Joe’s impeachment inevitable.

America is polarized; its government is split. Nobody, including its managers, knows with certainty everyone or everything a Republican House will investigate, what oversight it will exercise, or what its research into Biden and his administration will turn up.

Given the wealth of opportunities, though, one can be confident that House investigations will be plentiful, thorough, substantive, informative, interesting, sometimes shocking, and occasionally entertaining.