What if They Lose all Seven?

Charlie Cook writes:

Basically, there is a real chance that Democrats won’t flip any GOP Senate seats. This is not — repeat, not—to say that Democrats can’t pick up any Republican seats, but their chances certainly aren’t what they used to be.

There are at least two potential ramifications. First, it may be that the bulk of the Obama agenda—comprehensive health-care reform, cap-and-trade, card check, and sweeping financial reform—grinds to a halt. “Do no more damage to election prospects” may be the strategy for endangered senators who can’t sell the Left-leaning Obama agenda to voters back home. Doing relatively little isn’t nearly as bad as doing many things that rile up voters, especially those voters most likely to turn out in a non-presidential election year.

Second, if you are a liberal Supreme Court justice, you might want to hang it up within the next year. Justice John Paul Stevens (if one is to believe the tea leaves, which in this case consist of the hiring of only one clerk) may be thinking exactly that. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg may follow. If the Senate no longer has a comfortable Democratic majority, a filibuster-proof one, the menu of liberal judicial-activist judges who could make it onto the Court may shrink. And hence ideologically driven justices may think it better to leave soon rather than risk being replaced by—gasp!—a more centrist jurist.

Trends reverse, and the fortunes of Democratic senators may improve. But if not, the legislation may slow, and the Supreme Court confirmations may pick up.