by Lincoln Institute | November 19, 2020

The Georgia runoff elections for US Senate on January 5th are about much more than whether Mitch McConnell or Chuck Schumer becomes Senate Majority Leader. Those elections will determine the entire strategy for the Biden Administration, at least for its first two years.

If Republicans win one or both of the two seats they will keep their Senate majority. With that majority, they can do two strategically significant things: they can stop all bad legislation proposed by Biden and Pelosi, and they can block any effort to pack the Supreme Court by adding Democrat-leaning Justices who will have a expansive view of what’s Constitutional and will serve as a rubber stamp for the Biden Administration.

The partisan situation we will have if Republicans win just one of the two Georgia Senate seats is a Democrat President, a Democrat House of Representatives and a Republican Senate. The President will promote certain policies, and those policies that become legislation that begins in the House presumably will reflect the President’s policies, largely if not totally. But because the Senate Majority Leader is able to fully control what gets taken up by the Senate and what gets shelved and ignored by the Senate, it’s perfectly possible for those bills never even to be put on the floor for debate, let alone passage. That’s the power that the Majority Leader wields. And that’s the power that provides the Majority Leader two distinctly different strategic options. He can stop cold any bill that he opposes. Or, he can force a negotiation with the President and/or the House. Joe Biden never tired of telling anyone who would listen that he had made a career out of reaching across the aisle and seeking compromise. There’s even a history of occasional cooperation between McConnell and then-Senator Biden over the 24 years in which both men were Senators. The fact that McConnell can prevent a vote or debate from taking place on a bill he doesn’t like, even if some Republican Senators would vote in favor, certainly sets the table for compromise. He can be a deal-maker, or he can be a stone wall of obstruction. At age 78, he may not run again in 2026, when he’d be 84. That gives him enormous flexibility.

On the other hand, if both of the two Democrat challengers in the Georgia US Senate runoff win, then there would be an easy path to one-party dominance of the Executive and Legislative branches, and the Senate rules could be changed to eliminate the filibuster. Democrats could then ram through any number of left-leaning policies. But it would be even worse than that. With no need for Republican votes, the House and Senate Democrats could pass a bill that the President would sign that would increase the number of Supreme Court Justices to any number, most likely 13, thus giving presumptive-President Biden four new Democrat-favoring Justices – more Supreme Court appointments than any President has had in his first term in over 150 years.  If that happened, then there would be one-party rule in all three branches of government, and the Framers of our Constitution, who prized their system of separation of powers and checks and balances above all else, would turn over in their graves. It’s quite possible that the balance could never again be restored.

That’s what at stake in the George runoffs – they very heart of the Constitution of the United States and our system of government. And if that’s not bad enough, they could also pack the Senate by admitting to statehood Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, thus adding four new likely Democrat Senators. And finally, they could approve citizenship for up to 20 million immigrants – more than 10 million of whom are of voting age – now here illegally. How do you think those newly-amnestied immigrants will vote?

I pray that there’s enough common sense and enough respect for the Constitution in Georgia next January to prevent this existential tragedy from occurring.

This has been Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring for American Radio Journal. Email your comments to me at colin, [email protected]