Biden will have the presidency. But Republicans still have the power

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With a slim majority in Congress, the president-elect lacks a solid base. The past teaches us what may happen.

President Trump’s efforts to overturn the outcome of the 3 November election, which appear to be over, provided his opponents with a source of sadistic amusement. Trump’s self-humiliation in the eyes of the liberal world is complete. To his followers, of course, the fight goes on. And his Republican colleagues have reason to be cheerful. We should not allow the schadenfreude to distract us from this basic fact. Yes, Biden defeated Trump. But in that same election the Democrats failed to gain the majority of seats that the new president needs to actually put an end to the era of Republican dominance. Things might still go right in Georgia, but that would leave the Senate hanging by a thread.

Four times, at moments of historic crisis, the US electorate has handed the White House to a Democrat – 1916, 1932, 2008 and 2020. But this year is the first time it has done so without also handing the Democrats a clear majority in Congress. The basic difference between Biden and his predecessors is that he lacks a solid political basis from which to wield power.

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