Posts on politics are like candy: easy to write, mostly instinct [and thus, if such is possible, perhaps even more rife with Noise than other notes entered here ;)]. What follows are reactions on three events we can or might anticipate in 2022, and what might result from them.
The almost certain: that the House of Representatives’ Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol will issue a report setting forth damning evidence showing that in an attempt to retain power, former President Donald Trump and his traitorous cohort sought to overturn the results of a free and fair election and instigated the Capitol insurrection. I believe that the political ramifications of such a report will be … nil. While I absolutely support the vital work that the Committee is doing, those citizens with – to paraphrase the Lord – eyes to see and ears to hear already know that Mr. Trump and his acolytes are guilty of sedition. Those who willfully and steadfastly reject this fundamental and blatantly obvious truth will be unmoved by whatever the Committee brings forth.
The seemingly probable: that at some point before June, 2022, the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade and declare that regulation of women’s reproductive rights are best left to the several states. If such a decision is handed down, it takes no prescience to opine that within the sixty days thereafter, most or all states with Republican governors and legislatures will outlaw abortion within their jurisdictions, either de jure or de facto. On a purely political handicapping basis, I will venture that if such a holding obtains, it will provoke such a paroxysm of liberal and progressive outrage and generate sufficient unease among Independents and Republican moderates that Democrats, despite all historical trends and the way 2022 political winds now appear to be blowing, will retain their majorities in Congress. It would be a fitting and final irony to the career of U.S. KY Sen. Mitch McConnell if the hyper-partisan manner in which he wielded his U.S. Senate leadership to place an arch conservative majority on the Supreme Court prevented him from ever regaining what he most desires: majority leadership in the U.S. Senate.
The perhaps possible: repeating reflections that I’ve already entered in these pages, that U.S. WY Rep. Liz Cheney, whether or not she retains her seat in the House of Representatives in the 2022 elections, declares her candidacy for the presidency of the United States in 2024. She has been vilified in and ostracized by her own party – for having the guts to speak the truth – but she remains a Republican. (I admire U.S. IL Rep. Adam Kinzinger, but he doesn’t have enough political gravitas to mount a credible presidential campaign.) Since 1950, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump each won the Republican nomination and the presidency while not holding any elective office. Ms. Cheney’s presence in the Republican nomination race, whether or not Mr. Trump chooses to run again, would create a sufficient schism in the Republican ranks that I would suggest – if the Democrats put up anybody reasonable [who might be “reasonable” to be left to a post on a later date ;)] — it will be difficult for Republicans to sufficiently repair their rupture in enough swing states to claim the presidency. (Although Ms. Cheney would seemingly have no realistic prospect of securing the 2024 Republican nomination if Mr. Trump runs, her prospects against a field of Trump Wannabes, who would split the pro-Trump vote in the early primaries, are actually a bit intriguing – a reverse of the strategy Mr. Trump himself used to win the Republican nomination in 2016.) If Mr. Trump runs, debates between him and Ms. Cheney would literally be the most arresting television of all time. If he doesn’t, Ms. Cheney’s presence on a debate stage would at a minimum require each Trump Wannabe seeking Mr. Trump’s mantle to declare whether s/he believed that the 2020 election was stolen from Mr. Trump and whether the Capitol events of January 6 were an insurrection or a tourist excursion. In this scenario, if a Trump Wannabe ultimately prevails, it’s hard for me to believe that a sufficient number of Independents and Republican moderates in enough swing states will countenance voting for a candidate that they know is either a liar or a fool for the Republican to win the White House – assuming, again, that Democrats give them a reasonable alternative (and assuming, of course, that swing state Republican governors and legislatures don’t use their newly-minted election laws to award their Electoral College votes to the Republican notwithstanding their states’ actual vote totals).
‘Nuff said. Omicron – although by virtually all accounts, not mortally dangerous to those vaxxed and boosted – lurks. Although maintaining protections is now moving from exasperating to aggravating, stay safe.