Harry Reid has just showed why he is the Senate Majority Leader. He surprised a lot of people, including me and apparently all Republican Senators, by bringing the House passed budget to a Senate vote the day after the upset in New York’s 26th, giving them literally overnight to decide on a grand strategy. The bottom line is that a big majority of Republican Senators are now on record as having voted for the Ryan budget with its politically lethal Medicare revision. They join their House counterparts who had already passed it by an even bigger majority.
The probable effect of this sequence on the 2012 election is mixed. In the Senate only two of the Republicans’ ten seats to be decided are at risk compared to a larger number of the Democrats’ twenty three. This setting is a mirror image of the 2006 Senate election in which several Democrats won in traditionally red states. On the other hand the House has 235 Republicans who will have to answer for voting and passing the measure. Obama should also benefit, although there are many more variables in a presidential race, the economy being one, making it harder to draw conclusions.
One conclusion I have reached with certainty is that nationally there are more Democrats today than when this saga began.