It’s time for the adults to rise to the occasion. Elapsed time, indeed, but now shall suffice.
With both houses of Congress finally set to work, there may be concern over what’s likely to happen next. After all, since the House could barely choose a speaker, it would be easy to expect little but deadlock for the coming two years of divided government.
And while it’s certainly a possibility, it’s far from a certainty.
Let’s say, just for the sake of discussion, that President Joe Biden would like to accomplish one or three things in the next few years. Imagine further that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell simply does not want to stand in the way of anything and everything Biden hopes to do.
Can the two find common ground? maybe. maybe. Stranger things have happened.
When Democrats controlled both houses of Congress during Biden’s first two years in the White House, the president often sought to govern as if he and his party had won a broad mandate from voters. In fact, Biden was swept into the White House, the Senate was split 50-50, and the House had the slimmest Democratic majority ever.
Now, however, with Republicans holding the gavel in the House, it’s a new world order. Will Biden recognize this fact? Here’s hoping.
A divided government can focus the mind. Because once you know you can’t have everything you want, you can start to see what is possible.
Which is considered politics. At least when it’s working.
When the president delivers his State of the Union address early next month, it will undoubtedly have a long laundry list of achievements. And many one and all will understand that there is really no chance to be implemented. But other than pie-in-the-sky offers – a free electric charger in every garage! – Hopefully, there will be some realistic plans that might actually be achievable.
Find something that most reasonable people, both Democrats and Republicans, can agree on. Stop trying to appeal to the extremists, the far right of the Democratic Party, and talk to the people who are in the middle of the land. Biden would have been able to do this. And McConnell should be able to hear something he has to say.