Here are some numbers by which you can gauge the extent of the tectonic shift in Congress. In the Senate, there were 33 seats to be decided. As dawn broke on November 5th, The Republicans had held all of their Senate seats, while winning 9 Democratic seats.
The Republican position in the Senate went from a minority of 45 Senators to a majority of 54. Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell danced in circles, as he would now run the Senate and control all the legislation within that Chamber.
In the House of Representatives, the election results were amazing. The number of Republican Congressmen and women soared to 245, the largest Republican representation since 1928. Speaker John Boehner would have complete control over every detail of every piece of legislation in the House.
For the Republicans in Washington, 2015 arrived full of promise. But, that promise was to be short-lived.
By February 24th, only 34 business days since the convening of the new Congress, the Republican leadership was ruined, mocked and discredited. With a majority of 54% in the Senate and with a majority of 56% in the House, Republican Leaders McConnell and Boehner had been whipped by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. And, whipped badly.
Here is how McConnell and Boehner were defeated.
The President had issued two unconstitutional orders granting de facto amnesty to illegal aliens. The Department of Homeland Security is the Federal agency that will implement the President’s dictates.
The budget to fund the DHS was due to expire at the end of February, and the Republicans in Congress planned to appropriate the new budget without money to pay for the unlawful orders.
The Republicans in the House opened the debate by passing their version of the budget in early February. Nancy Pelosi contested the Bill, and although she did not have the votes to stop it, she fought tenaciously.
The Bill then went to the Senate for passage. Harry Reid and his remnant of 44 Democrats attacked the Bill. They resisted McConnell and his battalion using the cloture rule which requires 60 votes to move legislation.
There was dark humor in the cloture tactic. When Harry Reid ran the Senate, he changed the cloture rule when it suited his purposes.
Harry Reid would not move, and Mitch McConnell would not fight. The debate was over, and McConnell surrendered.
When McConnell quit, John Boehner folded and agreed to pass the Bill that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi demanded.
On Tuesday, February 24th, Boehner brought the Reid-Pelosi budget to the Floor of the House. The Bill passed with the votes of all 182 Democrats and 75 Republicans. It was a stunning victory for Nancy Pelosi.
The result was the same in the Senate. All of the Democratic Senators voted for the Bill, which passed with the addition of a handful of Republicans. With only 44 votes, Harry Reid showed the world that he still ran the Senate.
Here is why Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi won. They had a precise goal, they fought hard, and they refused to give up.
Here is why Mitch McConnell and John Boehner lost. They entered the debate prepared to compromise, they did not fight hard and they were willing to surrender.
You should remember the lessons from this debate when it comes to choosing a Presidential candidate in thirteen months.
Ken Adams is the Chairman of the Waynesboro Virginia Republican Committee.