If this new Gallup poll is any indication, liberals will soon be able to complain about Speaker John Boehner, and possibly Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
According to Gallup, this Republican lead is greater than any previous midterm advantage in Gallup's 60-year history of tracking the generic ballot. Barring a miracle, Republicans are very likely to win the House in November, and there's a good chance they'll pick up the Senate, too. In addition to driving President Obama's agenda to the right, GOP gains virtually guarantee a scandal-ridden 112th Congress.
Earlier this summer, Jonathan Bernstein wondered aloud about the lessons House Republicans drew from the years 1995-2000. Did they see the "scandal and investigate" strategy as a success (in the same way the rejectionist strategy "worked" in 1993-1994), or did they see that period as a failure, since Bill Clinton won an easy re-election, and Republicans lost seats in the 1998 midterm elections. Now that Republicans are about to make huge gains after another successful use of the rejectionist strategy, my guess is that House Republicans intend to give scandal-and-investigate another go. Indeed, last week, Politico reported that "Republicans are planning a wave of committee investigations targeting the White House and Democratic allies if they win back the majority."
At this point, it isn't a matter of "will they investigate," as much as it is a question of "how far will they go?" If House Republicans view 1995-2000 as a success, then we should expect another round of pointless investigations and ridiculous witch hunts.
-- Jamelle Bouie