"The main impact of the midterm election in the modern era has been to weaken the president, the only government official (other than the powerless vice president) elected by the entire nation. Since the end of World War II, the president’s party has on average lost 25 seats in the House and about 4 in the Senate as a result of the midterms. This is a bipartisan phenomenon — Democratic presidents have lost an average of 31 House seats and between 4 to 5 Senate seats in midterms; Republican presidents have lost 20 and 3 seats, respectively."So, apparently, Schanzer does like the fact that a President's power is weakened as a result of midterm elections. However, what Schanzer fails to tell his readers is that, even though the President's party loses seats in Congress in almost all midterms, more often than not, it doesn't necessarily change control to the opposing political party. This, is noted in this graph from Wikipedia:
|Click on Image to zoom|
Over the years since World War II, more Republican Presidents have had to contend with the Democrat's control of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate (in blue). From 1957 to 1977, the Democrats held control of the House for 40 years. Similarly, from 1957 to 1981, 26 years straight, Democrats controlled the Senate. Only now, with Obama possibly being weakened further, does Schanzer seem concerned about an opposing Congress.
But, I would argue that if we didn't have midterm elections in 2010, when the House majority went to the Republicans and the Democrats lost their super majority in the Senate, Obama would have had two additional years to ram through his radical, liberal agenda. And, just like 2010, this year's midterms may further weaken a low-rated President's power by shifting the Senate to the Republicans. Only then, maybe, Obama might start compromising with Congress on the legislation that really matters to the people of this country.
Simply, having midterms is an insurance policy that extremism doesn't prevail in governing.
Lastly, Schanzer is being disingenuous by not disclosing his Democrat past. Thus, readers unjustly think he's writing from a professorial viewpoint and not a political one.
David Schanzer: New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/03/opinion/cancel-the-midterms.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
"Prior to his academic appointments, Schanzer was the Democratic staff director for the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005. He previously served as the legislative director for [Democrat] Sen. Jean Carnahan (2001-2002), counsel to [Democrat] Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (1996-1998)...": https://www.coursera.org/instructor/davidschanzer