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Dispatch #1: McCarthy’s Brittle Speakership

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November 21, 2022 2:27 p.m.

After retaining the Senate, Democrats’ biggest win in the midterm election was locking House Republicans into a slender and brittle majority. Though holding the House would have been a boon for Democrats, it also came with significant disadvantages. There’s a thermostatic dynamic in American politics. One party in power for too long spurs a desire to provide some check on the incumbent party. It also builds up partisan energy in the opposition. 2024 is the year when everything is at stake, when either party could take total control of the federal government. Joe Biden holding the presidency provided a check on the worst that could happen from a GOP congress in 2023 and 2024. After that, all bets are off.

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