Editorial: No sure bets, but plenty of scrambling
Lawyers prescribe to a theory of the unknown when juries go behind closed doors. Political candidates say the same for voters pulling the curtain.
Certainties are few as ever these days. Count the 2014 midterm elections and 2016 presidential election with the uncertain.
While Republicans should be primed for scores, they’re fumbling on the way to the end zone.
Since 1934, the opposing party of the White House averages gaining nearly four seats in the Senate and 27 in the House at midterms.
Democrats are seriously challenged for at least six Senate seats, the number the Republicans need for control. In the House, Republicans have a 233-200 majority currently. There are two vacancies.
Typical for a president in any party, the more actions required as the second term moves along, the less approval from the voters.
But Republicans have no consensus candidate emerging — again — and are fighting among themselves to the delight of the Democrats.
Major issues are available, but unity for the Grand Old Party is not.
Arguments persist on keeping spending cuts so the national debt is reduced. President Obama wants sequestration cuts reworked. And he wants the debt limit raised.
The Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is the bargaining chip Republicans are playing against the president. If he delays activating it, they will likely agree to raise the debt limit.
A government shutdown and default by the Treasury is at risk as well, with Republicans set up to shoulder the blame.
Oh, and Obama wants Congress to “pass a budget without drama.” Good luck on that.
Americans have not swept confidently in behind the president’s economic policies, and he’s got two-plus years left in office. Unemployment nationally is down to 7.3 percent. But that’s still high, and is down in part because people simply dropped out of the statistic as job seekers.
Those unemployed at least six months is double the pre-recession level in 2007. The income gap between the richest percentage and the rest of the population hasn’t been this great since 1928.
And some banks that were “too big to fail” in 2008? They’re bigger now.
Republicans should be barreling in on control of both houses and reclaiming 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But as lawyers and politicians say, there’s no sure thing.