As a result of the November elections, the special runoff in Georgia, and the storming of the Congress that shocked the county, political power has shifted in favor of the Biden administration and the Democratic Party, not to mention the broader democratic coalition that supported Biden and Harris last fall. Meanwhile, the Republican Party is split. Trump leaves the White House considerably weakened. And his mass base which has acted like a cudgel enforcing discipline in Republican ranks and provided the troops for the assault on Congress is in some disarray.
The shift in power, however, wasn’t a quantum shift. It was far more modest. This isn’t 1965 when Johnson and Democrats won in a landslide capturing substantial majorities in both chambers. Or even 2008 when Obama initially could count on 60 plus votes in the Senate. Biden, in contrast, has a Senate that is split down the middle and only the vote of Vice President Harris gives Biden and Democrats an advantage of one.
Moreover, the opposition will regroup, even if intra-party tensions and divisions remain high. Trump will reemerge. His fascistic base will catch a second wind. Nothing like a major anti-crisis legislative initiative of the Biden administration to concentrate the collective mind and discipline a fractured Republican Party and its legions of racist authoritarianism.
Into this cauldron of struggle – and it will be fierce, notwithstanding the appeals for comity and bipartisanship – must step the same expansive coalition that elected Biden and Harris last fall. That didn’t happen during the Obama years. Let’s hope, let’s make sure, it doesn’t happen once again.