If all goes according to their plans, Democrats will regain unified control of Washington by the end of 2020. But once the excitement wears off, the new president could enter 2021 facing a governing crisis.
Right now, there are two political crosswinds facing Democrats that will complicate any plans were they to retake power. There is a growing sentiment among the activist liberal base that Democrats need to be bolder in both their policies and their tactics. But the reality of the Senate map will force them to curb their ambitions.
Liberals have been increasingly frustrated by what they see as a tendency among their party to be overly deferential to norms while Republicans are ruthless in pursuit of their agenda (the mirror image of conservative complaints about the Republican Pparty). This sentiment has only grown under President Trump, reaching a fever pitch during the bitter confirmation battle of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Now, it’s become more routine for liberals to float the idea of impeaching a sitting justice or packing the court if they retake power.