Republicans will overreach....again

Published January 19, 2023

By Gary Pearce

Two issues that pundits pooh-poohed – abortion and the threat to democracy – helped President Biden post the best mid-term in 2022 since FDR in 1934.

Both issues rose from Republican overreach: the Supreme Court ruling on abortion and the Trump-MAGA attack on legal elections and the Capitol.

Have no doubt. Kevin McCarthy’s House Republicans will do it again.

Remember their pre-election promises to attack inflation and gas prices? Instead, they’re attacking Biden, the FBI, the IRS, ethics rules, Social Security and Medicare, women’s health and each other.

The economy is getting better, inflation is slowing and job growth is up. They’re planning a shutdown and showdown that could ignite a financial crisis.

We’ve seen this before.

In 1998. I worked in John Edwards’ campaign against Senator Lauch Faircloth.

It should have been a Republican year. It was Bill Clinton’s second midterm, nearly always a bad year for the President’s party. And there was Clinton’s sex scandal.

But Newt Gingrich, the GOP Speaker, overreached. He tried to shut down the government. He tried to cut Social Security and Medicare.

He turned the campaign into a referendum on impeaching Clinton.

It turned out voters disliked Gingrich more than Clinton.

Democrats held their ground in the Senate – Edwards won – and picked up five House seats.

The poor showing forced Gingrich to resign as Speaker.

President George W. Bush overreached after he was reelected in 2004. He pursued two wars, and he tried to privatize Social Security. In 2006 Democrats won both houses of Congress for the first time since 1994. Two years later, Barack Obama was elected President.

Donald Trump’s constant, manic overreach cost the GOP in three straight elections: 2018, 2020 and 2022.

Democrats may get a once-in-a-generation opportunity in 2024, if Republicans don’t burn down the country by then.