The results in the Senate are not, as many are proclaiming, a victory for the GOP establishment, but a big win for the Tea Party. Yes, Karl Rove and Reince Preibus got them to don sheep’s clothing for the campaign, but they will govern as the wolves they are. Take the issue of Personhood — that a fertilized egg has the same constitutional rights you and I do. Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Tom Cotton, Steve Daines, and Joni Ernst all believe that.
On the one hand, you might see it as bad news to have more crazies in Congress. And a Tea Party senator like Joni Ernst can do a lot more damage than a Tea Party congressman like retiring Michele Bachmann, since one of 100 is far more influential than one of 435. But the good news is that these new senators aren’t going to shut up for the next six years (or even two) and will hurt the GOP with their extremist views. They will be baggage for the 2016 presidential nominee.
Having Republican control — especially batshit Republican control — of both houses of Congress hurts their White House prospects. Voters will pause before turning the entire government over to this GOP, you need someone who can at least veto the wingnut stuff.
So a GOP-controlled Congress helps the Dem presidential nominee. The Dems also have a good chance of taking back the Senate in 2016. They’ll have the young/minority voters who don’t bother to show up for mid-terms, and they’ll have seven states up that went GOP in 2010, but for Obama in 2008 and 2012 — New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
If the Dems win the White House in 2016 and take back the Senate, what then? Not much. Even a President Elizabeth Warren would have to face a GOP House, so a progressive agenda would be DOA.
Our best shot at actually getting stuff done? That would be a Republican president with a Dem Congress. The Dems will work with a Republican prez, the GOP won’t work with a Dem.