The Ben W. Dalton 2016 Political Forecast! Congressional Edition

The dust of the Presidential campaign is beginning to settle like ashes from the earth it has mercilessly scorched. As predicted in these very virtual pages, and repeatedly referenced in subsequent posts, I was right, brilliant, and immodest. Hillary Clinton will be our next President, prompting the modern-day GOP to attempt to roll back the 19th amendment so that the franchise only applies to white men with property who are defending it with firearms loaded with wooden ammunition their wives made (but were actually made by slaves).

However, these waning weeks of the campaign are seeing a fierce battle for control of Congress, as Trump’s ill-floated ship of state sinks under the weight of the fire in its own dumpster rigging, threatening even to take down the more robustly gerrymander-rigged Republican majorities. With exceptionally low GOP turnout anticipated, lack of any significant Trump turnout operations, and a well-documented Clinton ground game, the lopsided Presidential race threatens the Republican choke-hold on refusing to compromise on anything, or making government work. Here’s a quick look at the stakes in the House and the Senate.

Senate

Democrats need to pick up six seats in order to take over the Senate and also do nothing with it. Control of the chamber is absolutely vital to Clinton’s legislative agenda of failing to pass legislation, and the amount of money and effort being spent to achieve that control is staggering, because worthless. This is because Senators of both parties have agreed to give a de facto veto to any single Senate member who feels like screwing another Senate member, random Americans, or helpless sturgeon. The Senators’ “gentle-troll’s agreement” centers on preserving the noble tradition of the filibuster, which actually used to mean “an irregular military adventurer, especially one who engages in an unauthorized military expedition into a foreign country to foment or support a revolution.” I would say that this is ironic, but God would immediately strike me dead for discovering such a pure truth about the reality of the universe.

Regardless, here are the key Senate races to watch—and by watch, I mean check in with when they’re done:

  • Illinois—Incumbent Senator Mark Kirk (R) faces off against Democratic candidate Tammy Barr-Duckworth, who seems so happy to finally be in politics. The biggest issue in this race is Kirk’s association with a fringe group that nominated a flashy businessman with no political experience and a penchant for making outrageously sexist and racist comments about disabled minority women veterans, which is what Tammy Duckworth is.
  • Nevada—With outgoing Senate geriatric pirate Harry Reid retiring, Republicans have a rare shot at picking up a seat this cycle. The Democratic nominee, Catherine Cortez Matso, is some sort of an Irish-Mexican-Italian mixture whose hair grows via a lever on her back. With these advantages and a Democratic tailwind, the GOP’s standard-bearer, Republican Joe Heck, feels like wondering aloud about his own last name.
  • New Hampshire—In one of the most fascinating Senate contests in the country, two women are vying to become one woman—another woman Senator. Amazing. How many do we need? The implications are so astounding, I could barely type “woman Senator” because my fingers were quivering with history. When I first tried, it came out “wymon seignroity.” Regardless, this race is an incredible turn of events for New Hampshire’s incumbent, Republican Kelly Ayotte, who was ahead in the polls until her gaffe stating that Trump was a “roll model.” What kind of roll are we talking about here, Ms. Ayotte? Are we talking Kaiser-roll size, or smaller? That’s what the voters of New Hampshire probably want to know.
  • North Carolina—Incumbent Richard Burr (R) is threatened by newcomer Deborah Ross (D), who has made much hay out of the fact that Burr shot Hamilton. In actuality, Burr doesn’t care too much if he wins.
  • Pennsylvania—This is an interesting race if you look into it, I’m sure.
  • Wisconsin—Republican Ron Johnson, who possibly used to star on Miami Vice, faces a rematch against former Senator Russ Feingold, whom (I am just going to say) he defeated in a bullet-ridden drug battle in episode 33. Feingold is well ahead in the polls and the comment section of IMDB, because dudes are way over-represented on IMDB comment sections.
  • Wyoming?—Do they have Senators? Women?

Prediction: Democrats 51, Republicans 49, America 0, Filibuster 100.

senators

House of Representatives

In the House of Representatives (“the people’s broken chamber pot”), Republicans have a commanding majority that is now being threatened, but unlikely to be broken. However, we should not overlook the possibility that simply shifting the House makeup toward the Democrats will substantially change how the body operates. Paul Ryan, beloved by corporate accountants, may see a revolt against his leadership by an even more extreme rump of now-kinda white nationalists, a rebellion the Democrats would only be too happy to assist (a.k.a., filibuster, in historical and thoroughly ironical parlance). Moderate Republicans from the state of Alaska (recently changed motto: “America’s Most Reasonable State”) may form coalitions with their similarly minded moderates, also from Alaska. Unfortunately, they are likely to come up shy of a working middle majority, because there is only one representative from Alaska. And he talks to himself a lot (he’s from Alaska).

Here are the key races to overlook:

  • California’s 17th—Silicon Valley gets to chose between two Democrats as a result of California’s “top two” primary system. Surprisingly, California’s system hasn’t resulted in an obvious-in-retrospect disaster yet. Soon, however, they will elect an indifferent harbor seal, and then waterside wooden platform boondoggles everywhere.
  • Colorado’s 6th—In this eastern Denver district, a GOP person is facing Morgan somebody, or somebody Morgan. This also used to be Tom Tancredo’s seat. Huh.
  • Florida’s 26th—This district represents the Florida Keys and the Everglades, so everyone’s takin’ it reaaaaaal cool down there. Movin’ slowly. Smokin’ cigs. Watchin’ fer ‘gaters. Havin’ de-bates. Takin’ bribes. Catchin’ Zika.
  • New York’s 19th—This district, which runs from one part of New York to another part, involves a pitched ideological battle between famed anti-corruption activist Zephyr Teachout, Bernie Sanders’ literal brother (despite her gender), and Republican John Faso, a die-hard John Faso.
  • Virginia’s 10th—Comstock vs. Bennett. Barbara vs. LuAnn. I-64 vs. I-95. Blue hats vs. dogs. Cats vs. piano keys. Midrise apartment complexes vs. rainbows. Right vs. trite. Politics vs. principals and instructional coaches. Sand tartlets vs. gravitational waves. Who will win?

Prediction: Democrats 206, Republicans 227, Paul Ryan -5

Ultimately, the fate of the nation will have nothing to do with any of these races, because we’ve already entered terminal decline as a great power. Our Constitution will be usurped by [Clinton/Trump], [gays/racists] are destroying [musicals/subtle racism], and [polarization/comic book sequel movies] won’t be stopped unless [we have a Constitutional amendment outlawing corporate political activities/we all stop going to see the new dumb Superman flicks]. However, since everyone loves little flag stickers, remember:

Get out and vote!

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