- by theguardian
- 04 Dec 2022
Biden won and Donald Trump lost in midterm elections to decide control of Congress. But just as in 2020, a collective exhalation is not enough to spell the end of political dysfunction in America. Things are about to get messy.
For all their deflation, Republicans appear on course to capture a majority in the House of Representatives, albeit by a far smaller margin than history has suggested or crystal ball gazers had forecast.
Should McCarthy prevail, his achingly slim majority will afford little room for maneuver when it comes to legislating. McCarthy will have to do deals either with Democrats or far-right Trump loyalists. In a House where every member fancies him or herself as president, the speaker could find himself perpetually bending to the will of Marjorie Taylor Greene.
It is hardly a prescription for national unity. Whatever happens in the Senate, which may be decided again in a Georgia runoff, America is returning to an era of divided government and two years of grinding trench warfare.
Expect a battle over lifting the limit on US debt with the potential to cause havoc in the economy. Expect a possible attempt by the Maga wing of the party to impeach Biden on spurious grounds, effectively as payback for Democrats having twice hit Trump with the ultimate sanction.
But Republican overreach could prompt a public backlash and generates sympathy for the incumbent president.
Hyperpartisan cable news and social media will continue to pour fuel on the flames. Twitter, now controlled by Elon Musk, might welcome back Trump just in time for an epically savage presidential campaign.
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