Well, I don’t know about you, Animals, but I have been sleeping quite well the past few nights. The anxiety of the election is finally behind us, and although the loose ends are rather significant – like, when will Donald Trump realize he’s going to have to concede? – the big picture is clear: In 2021 we’ll have divided government. That means both the far left and far right will have limited opportunity for political extremes and cultural nonsense.
I’ll tell you who’s also sleeping well this week: Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell. It looks as if Joe is going to be President, and Mitch will remain in his Majority Leader role. The two of them worked together successfully in the Senate for many years; they know and like each other. They’re like two old used-car salesmen: They know the game, and when they negotiate, they know the price they’re going to have to pay. They may work up a little drama as they kick the tires and point out dents and scratches, but in the end they know what it will take to close the deal for the vehicle they want.
If the election had turned out differently, both men – even if they had won – could be tossing and turning over the conflicts ahead. If the Democrats had won everything, as pollsters led them to expect, a President Biden would have been under constant pressure by the far left of his party to do things like pack the Supreme Court, provide free college, and spend trillions of dollars on the most extreme version of a Green New Deal. But with a Republican Senate, all those things are off the table, and Joe has an excuse to go back to being his more moderate self.
And although Mitch McConnell would never say it, he would certainly rather work with a President Biden than a President Trump. Mitch must be exhausted after four years of having to partner with a man who tweets insults, has extreme confidence in himself even when he doesn’t know what the heck he’s talking about, and has no understanding of the rules of politics or the Swamp. In contrast, Mitch and Joe understand and respect each other, and they’re comfortable with the ways of Washington, D.C. They can be Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan, enjoying a Modelo at the end of the day. No one could do that with Trump.
This has been a crazy election season, and yes, Animals, I realize it’s not over. The ballot-counting is ongoing. The rules and lawsuits are putting the Constitution and the balance of power to the test. And our cities remain boarded up in anticipation of trouble of various sorts.
And yet, I’m sleeping better. I hope you are, too. The voting is over. We can go back to our own lives instead of worrying about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. and obsessing over who the new leader of the Swamp will be.