by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
[B]ecause of the courts, extending the Senate lead is so important to the GOP base that it may overshadow the losses in the House. It’s a simple fact that there isn’t much Republican consensus on a legislative agenda. There is enormous consensus and resolve around the federal judiciary.
And when Senate Democrats launched their frontal assault on Brett Kavanaugh, it was hard to think of a strategy better calculated to rouse Republicans in red states to oust their Democratic senators. No amount of professed moderation could compensate for a “No” vote on Kavanaugh. No amount of professed moderation could compensate for the fact that a Democratic Senate would be under progressive Democratic control.
Here is what smart Democrats now know. While the 2018 midterms did swing the House (and did demonstrate that Donald Trump is in real danger in 2020), they also secured a continuing judicial revolution and — critically —raised the specter that the Democrats could win the White House in 2020 and still be stymied legislatively and judicially by a Republican Senate. Republicans elected for the purpose of securing the judicial branch will not be eager to consent to confirming a string of progressive judges nominated by a progressive president. They will not pass single-payer health care. They will not pass gun control.