Tuesday, May 1, 2018

How We'll Flunk The Mid Terms

So I'd been wondering to myself:  What would the ideal result of the mid-term elections be?  I mean, sure, the American right and the American left each have their vision of what that'd look like, but there are other interested parties involved.

Specifically:  If you're Vladimir Putin, what's the best case scenario?

Remember, the Russian goal here is not to support the current administration.  Putin could care less about the "success" of our president.  The goal is to sow chaos in the leadership of a geopolitical opponent, which his troll farms did with tremendous success during the last election. 

So which of these three possible outcomes is the ideal:  1) Republicans retain control of the House and the Senate; 2) Republicans retain the Senate, and the Democrats take the house, or; 3) Democrats take control of both House and Senate?

Option one has some advantages.  Continuing the catastrophic fiscal approach of the Republican party will, in the long term, significantly destabilize the United States.  Any political movement that imagines it can successfully fund a functioning government with daydreams, faerie dust, and unicorn farts is headed for a reckoning.  The current approach to fiscal policy has failed every single time it's every been tried, but ideologues aren't known for their ability to learn.  Putin has to see this, and so there's going to be a temptation to let the American right wing continue that process.

That, and America Firsters are great at making America more isolated in the world, as their reflexive nativism alienates former friends and allies.

Option two results in rapid political destabilization.  There's no question that a "blue wave" would augur ill for this administration, as the slow-burning and measured Mueller investigation would be overtaken by a fiercely partisan sequence of paralyzing investigations.  Impeachment and removal would become a very real possibility, with the concomitant unrest to be expected in our political system.  Even the removal of the least popular president in the modern era would be an incredibly tumultuous event.

The prospect of that undoubtedly sends shivers of pleasure up Vladmir's spine.

But I think, to be frank, that it's door number three that has the most appeal.  A House controlled by Democrats and a near-split Senate would mean the complete collapse of government function.  Budgeting?  Hah.  Laws being passed?  Highly unlikely.

Oh, sure, that's not a *necessary* thing.  With a competent president willing to work with other parties, a divided Congress could still get things done.   That's happened historically, even in times of significant difference.

But we don't have a competent president.  We have a belligerent chaos muppet, whose spiritual gift is disruption.

Definitely door number three.