To Win The Presidency In 2020, Republicans Must Lose The House And Senate In 2016

Republican nominee Donald Trump speaks during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on S
Republican nominee Donald Trump speaks during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on September 26, 2016. / AFP / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Republicans continue to lose big among minorities and women. It has culminated in the nomination of a bigot and a misogynist for president of the United States.

In office, they have no political capacity to vote differently, and thus eliminate those barriers to the presidency. If Democrats sweep the 2016 elections (president and both Houses of Congress), they will pass immigration reform and paycheck equity, so Republicans need not address them in the future in threatening ways.

In the aftermath of the 2012 election, Sean Hannity declared that Republicans should pass immigration reform if they ever wanted to win the presidency. Poor (little) Marco Rubio (R-FL) never got the memo that Hannity, and other Republican mouthpieces, were just foolin', and so he helped construct a bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate with 68 votes.

Then-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) knew that if he brought that bill to the House floor that it would pass, as a decent fraction of Republicans, including Republican leaders such as then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and recently-defeated Vice Presidential Candidate and current-Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) would have voted for it along with all the Democrats.

But, Boehner knew he could not do that and remain Speaker. A small but sizeable fraction of the Republican Congress would have stripped him of his position. Cantor lost re-election because of his known support for it. Rubio will be running away from his role in constructing that bill for the rest of his (hopefully foreshortened) political career.

If a Republican were to vote for immigration reform, or cooperate in any way with a Hillary Clinton Administration, they would be primaried, and would lose to an insurgent. The seat would be permanently gone.

If, on the other hand, an incumbent were to lose in 2016, and a Democrat won, it is highly likely that, in 2018, the last election before the gerrymander fights, Republicans would win it back...and, the same old guy who lost in 2016, could run and win his seat back, having never committed a cardinal sin.

The same is true of paycheck equity. There are many Republicans dying to vote for it, but cannot because their corporate paymasters do not want it, and right-wing radio would skewer them for it. But, once passed by a Democratic Congress, it would fizzle quickly as an issue -- just like the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the Family Leave Act, and others have done.

A remaining wedge issue for women, of course, is choice in abortion decisions. But, Hillary will appoint pro-Roe Justices and judges, so that the threat of Republicans to choice will not seem so frightening even if they persist in the mythology that they are the "values" party after backing Donald Trump.

With paycheck equity and immigration off the table, Republicans can start building a following with women and minorities from the "right side of history."

The only way for that to happen is to lose both Houses of Congress along with the presidency in 2016.