Q&A Friday #98: Can Anything Positive Be Accomplished Legislatively In The Next Four Years?

Question: “Do you see anything positive that can be accomplished in the next four years legislatively (as opposed to, say, Republican re-branding, etc.)? If so, what?” — jleit83

Answer: Because so many politicians in D.C. love triangulation, some of the biggest accomplishments of the last two Presidents have been in areas most desired by the other side.

For example, Clinton’s two biggies were NAFTA and Welfare Reform, neither of which anybody on the left cared about. On the other hand, Bush’s biggest domestic policy disaster was the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, which most conservatives found appalling.

In Obama’s case, he has such a large contingent of lefties to work with, that he simply may not need to compromise very much. If you have a large majority in the House, and 58 Democrats along with John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, & Susan Collins to work with, chances are you can get through an extraordinary amount of truly horrible liberal legislation — and make no mistake about, some of it — maybe a lot of it, is going to get through.

As to conservative legislation, there is not a single major issue where I think conservatism will advance legislatively in the next two years. Of course, I’d love to be surprised about that and time will tell.

If….and this is a HUGE “if” given that the House and Senate Republicans seem to believe it’s OK to stand pat….the GOP were able to make large gains in 2010, say 3-4 senators and 10-15 House seats, it could spook the Dems a little and make it harder to get liberal legislation through. At that point, Obama might start looking at some legislation that might make conservatives happier.

But at least until then, I think you can expect very little good news out of D.C. that goes beyond, “We barely stopped them again.”

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