Assuming Court-packing doesn’t happen, some legislative victories will be followed by intense, high-stakes legal challenges. I could definitely see the conservative justices’ striking down an assault-weapons ban and aggressively policing Biden’s use of executive authorities leading to renewed calls to pack the Court. If the ridiculous Obamacare case now before the Court is any guide, I could also imagine frivolous challenges to just about any major victory the Democrats manage to notch — challenges that would have little chance even before a 6–3 conservative Court but might get far enough to make the Left sweat.

All this could add up to an enduring loss for the Right. As 2017 showed us, American conservatives can cut taxes, but rarely do they manage to roll back expansions of government. Republicans made some real changes to Obamacare, both by killing the individual mandate and by enacting some good executive actions, but these efforts fell far short of the total overhaul they had been aiming for — and the executive actions can be undone by the next president without any help from Congress. Two years of unified Democratic control could ratchet the country quite a bit to the left, even if the Supreme Court strikes parts of the agenda down.

An across-the-board defeat next month would also influence the broader conservative movement. One good effect would be to unite us against an onslaught of left-wing initiatives.