Hypothetical: Obama not only wins, but gains supermajority

Let’s imagine the, to me, not terribly implausible scenario of a massive backlash against the Republican party. (I can imagine a myriad of triggers, including the perception that the Republicans are anti-women, anti-immigrant, their stance on universal health care, etc. etc. etc.)

Not only is Obama re-elected in a landslide, but the Democrats regain a supermajority in both the House and the Senate (please enlighten me if there are not enough seats up for grabs in either of the two houses to make this a mathematical possibility). What do you think would happen? Would Obama and the Democrats seize this unique opportunity to pass massive social legislation a la FDR (or LBJ) over the feeble peeping objections of the few remaining Republicans? Or would things be pretty much business as usual?

Or to put it another way, what would the ruling party make sure of, given two years at least to make it so?

Is this supposed to be in the Pit?

Anyway, even I – king of the ridiculous hypotheticals – find this scenario to be unbelievable. It could only be accomplished if Obama had access to mind-control tech. Obama may well be re-elected (I hope he is) but the nation is too closely divided for either side to get a super-majority.

But I should stop fighting the hypothetical; that’s being a jerk. If what you suggest were to happen, I imagine the Democrats would work to expand the reach of universal health care and to do more stimulus spending a la the New Deal.

The entire house is up every two years.

And ten GOP held seats are up in the Senate (which already has 53 Dems), so if Obama got a mind-control ray, he mathematically could get 63 Senators.

(which interestingly, still wouldn’t be as large as the Senate majority LBJ had).

I imagine a cap-and-trade system and some form of immigration reform would be the two major bills. Healthcare reform might be strengthened, but I don’t think the general outlines would change very much from what was already passed. More progressive taxes and cuts to defence would be favored to help balance the budget.

To clarify, I actually meant “up for grabs” in terms of “actually possible for the Democrats to win.” There are a number of seats whose occupants are pretty much cemented there, in that they would get re-elected even if it became known that they were serial rapists with leprosy. Though I would imagine that this wouldn’t be a large enough portion to prevent a Demo supermajority.

I put it in the Pit because it was a certainty that the mods would move it here anyway. Thread-moving is their favorite activity.

No, not really. But this is really IMHO material, so let’s move it there.

Please don’t deliberately post threads to the wrong forum.

Business as usual. The Democrats are spineless, and would likely still cave in to most Republican demands even if there weren’t any Republicans left in Congress and all they did was yell from the sidelines.

They don’t need a supermajority in the house and they had a majority after 2008. They also had their supermajority in the senate until Ted Kennedy died. But it didn’t do them that much good; the blue-dog Democrats extracted a high price for their support. Until recently and only with the Republicans has there been any real semblance of party solidarity in American politics. Each senator and, to a lesser extent, each congressman runs his own party machine and doesn’t depend on the national or even state party. How the Republicans have maintained their solidarity in the past couple years, I do not understand.

Because they’ve had only ONE principal objective and top priority, and they are solidly united on that. McConnell stated it explicity. You know the objective I’m talking about.

[sub]NOW will this thread end up back in the Pit?[/sub]

I would say, rather, that the various special interests within the Democratic Party would take the opportunity to start squabbling with each other. They’d probably retain enough unity to prevent the Republicans from acting effectively; but the environmental wing, the labor wing, the civil rights wing, and the liberal economics wing would all start in on each other.

And…it would be GREAT! I’d LOVE to live in a country where four different varieties of good ideas were in competition for legislative priority!

When they had a supermajority before, legislation had to be watered down so the most conservative dems would vote for it in the senate. So the same thing would happen. And as a result democrat voters would lose interest and motivation, causing them to stay home and a repeat of 2010 would happen in 2014.

To get under the skirt of that hot MILF, Sarah Palin?

The supermajority would be composed of Democrats, which is like a herd of cats, but less cooperative. He’s better off without it.

Regretably, this. I respect the Republican party for one thing only–they know how to toe a party line like The Empire’s storm troopers. Laugh at the clowns all you want, but even as a logic-impaired minority they can defeat all who stand against them.

Herding cats, indeed.

This is what’s so stupid about these hypotheticals. The way either party gets a supermajority is to appeal to a broad swathe of political interests. Many of the Dems swept into Congress in 2006 were relatively conservative, being from relatively conservative districts. So you don’t get a Progressive supermajority, you get a center left (by American standards) one that if it goes too far gets booted out big time in the next election.

And that goes for LBJ’s supermajority, too. Many of those Democrats would be Republicans today, especially the ones from the South.

And yet, you participate in them…

You should pay closer attention to the current Congress. Boehner has had an incredibly hard time keeping the freshman tea baggers voting as he wants and on numerous embarrassing they’ve successfully revolted against the party leadership.

No matter what happens, it still won’t be their fault.


Why you old leftist, finally showing your true colors. Yes, it will still not be their fault. It will take decades to recover from disastrous Republican policies.