Fill in the blank: Today’s midterm elections are about _____.
Most people won’t be able to answer that question. Obamacare? It’s the law of the land. Quantitative easing? Its over, and besides, Congress didn’t control that. Go down the list of hot button issues — ISIS, Ebola, voter ID laws, deficits, tax policy, immigration, abortion and just about anything else you can think of in terms of actual policy making won’t be affected.
Despite all the sturm und drang about control of the Congress, whether the Republicans capture the Senate, or the Democrats retain it, not much will change in our national priorities. Regardless of the outcome, don’t expect more or less legislation to get passed.
Indeed, there isn’t all that much at risk in the midterm elections, at least on the national level. The present split Congress is the least-productive in U.S. history. Regardless of the election’s outcome, the 114th Congress is unlikely to be any more productive than the 113th.
Certainly, a few things will change. The Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan analytical service of Congress, will move away from data-driven analysis toward a more ideological (i.e., biased) approach.
Republican control of the Senate will have a significant impact on appointments to key chairman seats: Appropriations, Budget (especially Commerce, Science, and Transportation), Energy and Natural Resources, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary will shift. Legislation won’t change much, but the rhetoric will. Look for deniers of anthropogenic global warming to be appointed to key committee seats. The bombast will no doubt be overheated, but little of substance will change.
On the other hand, local elections, which usually have low voter turnout, have the potential to result in significant change. The local issues range from encouraging to amusing to absurd. Consider the following: