Now that the Democrats have won a majority in the House, what can we expect after January 2nd? A circus, and here’s why:
Their Tactics Worked
Republicans have held the House for 8 years. Even Obama couldn’t wrest it from them with his comfortable margin of victory back in 2012. Ginning up ridiculous hysteria energized the Democrat base, who turned out to the polls with enthusiasm. Meanwhile, it failed to provoke a response in greater measure from Republican voters. Sure, the margins were razor-thin. Yet, it worked. They’ll soon have a majority. That’s what matters, so why should they abandon a proven blueprint for victory? Nothing will calm down going into 2020.
Doing Something Positive?
This is unlikely to happen in any significant fashion. Trump has already announced that his legislative cooperation won’t be forthcoming if the Democrats continue their campaign of “investigation fatigue.” Moreover, working with Trump to pass an infrastructure rescue plan would help him win reelection. Their candidate would be deprived of a vital campaign plank, and unable to bash Trump as “the builder who couldn’t build,” or some slogan of that ilk.
With Trump in the White House, a red Senate, and a blue House, gridlock will rule the day on most legislation that would benefit the American people. Trump will continue his agenda through Executive Orders. Obama set a very helpful precedent in that regard. Expect the inevitable court battles over these EOs to decide policy rather than legislation.
Investigations and Subpoenas
This is the real prize that the Democrats won. With the committee chairmanships under their control, they’ll be able to launch investigations and issue subpoenas. (((Jerry Nadler))), triple parenthesis his own, is expected to chair the Judiciary Committee. In the wake of the elections, he’s signaled investigations into Kavanaugh for perjury, and “all-in” on Russiagate. He’s even announced an investigation into the resignation of Sessions. Ironically, he personally called for Sessions to resign last year. Adam Schiff (Intelligence) and Maxine Waters (Financial Services) are rabid. It’ll be Russia, Russia, Russia straight into 2020. An endless cable news cycle of them doing nothing useful. This could prove to be counterproductive once Trump is actually on the ballot again.
All this farcical stunt requires is a simple majority vote taken on the flimsiest of manufactured pretexts. Of course, Republicans are in firm control of the Senate. Nothing would see the light of day if it got passed on. However, bear in mind that failing to impeach anyone would constitute a similar betrayal to their voters as the Republican’s refusal to reform immigration or fund a border wall. It could cost them their majority in 2020 by delegitimizing the accusations they’ve been making for the past 2 years. Nadler has recently stated he’ll be seeking Kavanaugh’s impeachment. Pelosi is trying to dampen enthusiasm for Trump’s, but that may prove difficult. This could depend on who wins the speakership and whatever happens with Mueller’s unending charade. We’ll have to wait and see.
Who They Are Has Changed Dramatically
Just as the “moderate” never-Trump Republicans constituted most of the retirement wave and electoral casualties on the Republican side of the aisle, so too are the Democrats undergoing a dramatic shift. Roughly two-thirds of the seats they flipped went to women. Two of their own influential 20-year incumbents, Crowley & Capuano, discovered in humiliating fashion during the primaries that the party is becoming no place for White men.
Ocasio-Cortez (sub-80 IQ), has become the youngest woman ever elected to such an office. She’ll be joined by Ilhan Omar, the first hijab-clad Somalian to grace the ranks of Congress. Dignity is fast becoming a concept of the past. A high female ratio generally does little to maintain the rational tenor of any sort of proceedings. The rhetoric should be as heated as it is stupid.
What does this spell for Trump?
As long as the economy stays on track, things are looking good. His enemies within his own party have been discredited by the elections, and it’s likely he’ll be able to use his Senate majority to replace Ginsburg in the near future. The new faces of the Democrats combined with their antics should prove an excellent foil ahead of 2020. Already, he’s promoting the senile Nancy Pelosi for Speaker in order to set the stage.
This is the kind of rhetorical environment in which Trump thrives, but a traditional Republican like Jeb Bush would get eaten alive. It requires a special flavor of belligerency and verbal lethality. Honestly, we’re lucky to have him. Much is likely to depend on his administration’s ability to avoid getting ground to a halt by the barrage of frivolous investigations, and impose policy Obama-style through EOs. Only 7 weeks til ignition…