[Ed. – If you can’t beat ’em, dismiss ’em]
he political media’s handicapping of the November 4 midterm election has contributed to the impression, fostered by many partisans and commentators, that the stakes have never been higher. Jonathan Capehart, the liberal Washington Post columnist, says he wants to “warn” Democrats that “President Obama will be impeached if the Democrats lose control of the U.S. Senate.” Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma believes a GOP Senate will finally blow the lid off “the greatest coverup in American history”—that is, Benghazi.
In fact, the stakes rarely have been as low as they are this year—even if Republicans do win back the Senate.
The 1994 midterm election produced dramatic political change: a Republican House majority for the first time in 40 years and a GOP Senate majority for the first time since 1986. GOP losses in the 1998 midterm, despite retaining the House majority, cost Newt Gingrich the speakership and delivered a rebuke to the party’s effort to oust President Bill Clinton for his sexual adventurism.
In 2006, Democrats swept away the GOP in both the House and Senate. With Obama’s election in 2008, Congress was prepared to pass health-care reform, a task that had proven impossible despite the Democrat-controlled House and Senate in the first two years of Clinton’s first term. In 2010, the Republicans surged back, retaking the House but not the Senate (owing largely to the GOP’s nomination of unelectably right-wing and strangecandidates in several key states, not least Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Nevada).