Op-Ed: No one really has any clue about what’s going to happen in the midterms. We asked 10 experts, their answers and perspectives about what happened with the current political environment in U.S.
In the world of Washington policy, we’re used to a few things: the administration, the opposition party, and a certain amount of political maneuvering. But there’s a different game in the midterms, and it’s a new one for many. Now, to many in Washington, the idea of the midterms feels ancient – this midterm season which is already a year long – but this is really just an extension of last year’s midterms, when the party in power seemed to turn into a shell of it’s former self, unable to make a major decision or take on an enemy.
The Trump administration has been able to take the high road, avoiding conflict despite its aggressive tone, but it seems that a new breed of president is emerging, one that is more comfortable with conflict as a way of getting their political ends. Meanwhile, the opposition party, who have been in the same space for so long, seems to just be on autopilot, unable to get out of their own ways.
And then there are the midterms themselves. If Republicans don’t win in the midterms, it could be a huge blow to the Trump administration’s agenda of making sweeping changes on immigration, trade, and foreign policy. If Democrats don’t win, it could mean that, for the first time, a Republican is the majority in the Senate – potentially opening the door for a more conservative agenda.
In addition to the election, there is also the continuing battle over the Supreme Court, with a number of swing-votes potentially on the line, and the debate over the constitutionality of the executive order which temporarily banned travel from seven mostly Muslim countries. It’s too early to say what will happen in the midterms, but one thing is for certain: nothing is for sure.
A few weeks ago, we spoke to four prominent policy wonks on the current political environment in Washington. Now that we’ve gotten our answers, let’s take a look at what they had to say, and what happens next in a year of unpredictable politics.
David Gergen, former White House speechwriter and political strategist, NBC News:
I’m really surprised by a lot of things that happened in the first two