Fewer Choices

by Patrick Appel

Nate Silver makes a basic but important observation:

With Democrats no longer in control of the House of Representatives, Mr. Obama will not be able to pass any major Democratic policy initiatives now, no matter how much political capital he might be willing to stake on them. Meanwhile, the Republicans control only the House, not the Senate. In contrast to Bill Clinton who faced opposition control of both houses of Congress after his first midterm election Mr. Obama may never have to use his veto pen.

This is not to suggest, exactly, that Mr. Obama’s job has become easy (the president’s job never is). But surely it has become easier in one regard: he has far fewer choices to make.