Friday, November 9, 2018

A divided congress is an excellent opportunity for ‎Trump - Boaz Bismuth

by Boaz Bismuth 

Donald Trump is only the ‎fourth president in the past 104 years to increase ‎his party's hold on the Senate while losing seats in ‎the House, all but paving his path to victory in 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the 
White House, Tuesday 
Screenshot: Youtube

The "anyone but Trump" camp celebrated a ‎political upset in the House of Representatives after the 2018 midterm elections on Tuesday, ‎eight years after former President Barack Obama lost the ‎House to the Republicans.‎ The Left, in the words of designated House speaker ‎Nancy Pelosi, hailed this change as "a new day for ‎America," in effect paraphrasing former President ‎Ronald Reagan's optimistic 1984 campaign slogan, ‎‎"It's morning in America again."‎

But the Democrats won by points alone – this was not a true victory. Yes, ‎they now have the majority in the House and will be ‎able to assign more special investigators to ‎challenge Trump and his administration and drag them ‎through various hearings, but that will be the sum ‎of their achievements.‎

They do not have the power to repeal any of the laws he ‎passed, to cancel his tax reform, to roll back his ‎deregulation policies or to reinstate the components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care ‎Act, better known as Obamacare, that Trump discarded.

In their glee, the Democrats seem to be forgetting one important thing – the fact that the ‎Republicans have increased their power in the ‎Senate, which is more important than the House in ‎terms of Trump's presidential legacy.‎

It is the Senate that approves Trump's ‎nominees for the Supreme Court; it is the Senate ‎that approves international treaties; and it is the ‎Senate that wields power over a host of other ‎cardinal issues. In any event, the very fact that ‎the Republicans control the Senate means that any ‎legislative initiative that the Democrats pass in ‎the House can be thwarted when it reaches the ‎Senate.‎

Moreover, even if the Democrats, in their hubris, ‎decide to pursue impeachment proceedings against ‎Trump, they lack the authority to see it through, as ‎only the Senate can impeach a sitting president – ‎only after holding a special trial and only with a ‎two-thirds majority vote by the senators.

The 'blue tsunami' that wasn't

So what do the results of Tuesday's midterms mean? ‎The "blue wave" promised by mainstream American ‎media crashed onto Trump's red wall. Yes, the ‎Democrats secured the necessary narrow majority ‎needed to take the House of Representatives, but ‎they fell vastly short of rattling the Trump ‎administration.‎

There was no ‎"blue wave" ‎‎and certainly no "blue ‎‎tsunami." At most, this was a narrow loss by an ‎incumbent president two years into his term. George ‎W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Obama all experienced the ‎same thing, only on a much larger scale.‎

In fact, as Trump himself said, he is only the ‎fourth president in the past 104 years to increase ‎his party's hold on the Senate while losing seats in ‎the House. That previously happened only in 1970, ‎‎1962 and 1914.‎

Also, unless the final voter tally changes ‎dramatically, Trump has lost 25 seats in the House ‎while Obama lost 63 seats in 2010, Bush lost 30 ‎seats in 2006, and Clinton lost 54 seats in 1994.‎

Moreover, Clinton and Bush lost the majority in the ‎House and the Senate simultaneously, while Trump ‎increased the Republican's power there. One must ‎also remember that an increase in the number of senators ‎from the president's party is very unusual for ‎midterm elections.‎

It's no wonder that the 45th president of the ‎United States went to bed pleased. Judging by his ‎tweets, he woke up feisty, but then he appeared at his post-midterms press conference wearing a blue tie – the ‎color of the Democrats. His overall message during ‎the press conference was also conciliatory, but simultaneously urging the Democrats to understand that they have to ‎cooperate with the Republicans and that they do not ‎control the centers of power in the American ‎administration‏
The 2018 midterm elections have demonstrated that Trump ‎will most likely win the 2020 presidential race, if ‎only because now he can blame Pelosi for torpedoing his reforms. Pelosi is not exactly a ‎popular figure and even the Democrats are showing ‎signs they are fed up with her.‎

The Democrats had one dream: to take control of both ‎houses of Congress in order to overturn Trump's laws ‎and have the ability to threaten him with ‎impeachment, in the hope that Special Counsel Robert ‎Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's ‎ties with Russia gives them enough to go on. ‎Apparently, the Democrats have little faith in their ‎ability to replace presidents at the polls.‎

If I were a member of the Democratic Party I would ‎be very nervous right now, despite the narrow victory in ‎the House of Representatives, and especially when ‎looking at a state like Florida.‎

The Democrats were counting on Florida, where ‎according to polls Senator Bill Nelson was ‎supposed to win another term in office and the ‎Democratic candidate for governor, Tallahassee Mayor ‎Andrew Gillum, was supposed to make history and ‎become the first African American governor.‎ In the end, however, Nelson was ousted by his ‎Republican rival, outgoing Governor‎ Rick Scott, and ‎Gillum‎ lost to Ron DeSantis, a former U.S. ‎Representative for Florida's 6th congressional ‎district.‎

Florida voters like to surprise everyone. They tuned out ‎the liberals and elected DeSantis – a three-time ‎congressman, a military veteran with a Harvard law degree and a staunch supporter of Israel – over Gillum, a social activist and ‎radical leftist, who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders ‎and Obama.‎

DeSantis‎, for his part, is completely in line ‎‎with Trump, making his victory one that proves that ‎a Trump candidate is a winner and an Obama candidate ‎is a loser, if nothing than because the United ‎States is not ready for a radical leftists ‎candidate.‎

This may be a signal to the Democrats, should they ‎consider naming Sanders or Massachusetts Senator ‎Elizabeth Warren as their presidential candidates in ‎‎2020. It is highly uncertain that the American ‎people are interested in Obama's legacy.‎

Trump's critics should keep the ‎following in mind: All the main Democratic candidates ‎Obama endorsed lost this election. Gillum in Florida, Joe ‎Donnelly in Indiana, Sally Abrams in Georgia, and ‎Rich Cordray in Ohio. Trump, who crisscrossed the ‎U.S. to help Republican candidates, probably ‎influenced the results in the Senate.‎

This may be a message to the media and the Democrats ‎that Trump is not as reviled as they may think; that in fact, maybe ‎the opposite is true. Trump again proved that he is ‎a brand in American politics and the American people ‎do not like to change brands in politics.‎

The midterms were also influenced by the "Kavanaugh ‎effect," as the voters were still reeling from the ‎controversy that surrounded Brett Kavanaugh's ‎appointment to the Supreme Court.‎

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia didn't go along with the Democrats' efforts to foil ‎Kavanaugh's ‎nomination and won another term in ‎office. Other Democratic senators in red states, ‎who fought against Kavanaugh's nomination, lost. This, too, proves that Trump's policies and ‎ideology do not fall on deaf ears among the American public, as the liberal media would have you ‎believe.‎

Administration 2.0

Meanwhile, Trump acted nobly on Tuesday and even ‎called Pelosi, who has been very hostile toward him, to congratulate ‎her.‎

Trump said he hoped the Democrats would not oust ‎Pelosi, and offered, if need be, to have some ‎Republicans support her nomination as speaker of the ‎House.‎

One way or another, the results of the midterm ‎elections can prove very beneficial for Trump. The ‎Democrats will undoubtedly try to disrupt the House ‎rather than legislate, while Trump will try to work ‎with them, as President Clinton did in his first ‎term with then-Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich. ‎Clinton and Gingrich were able to join forces and ‎work wonders for the American economy, and to this ‎day, Clinton is in debt to the Republicans in ‎Congress as it was their antics that eventually ‎earned him a second term in office.‎

If the Democrats prove they cannot do what Gingrich ‎did, Trump will present them as those who are trying ‎to undermine the U.S. rather than help it push ‎forward.‎

The 2018 midterms will be remembered as a ‎referendum on Trump, but mainly as one that turned ‎over a new leaf for both parties. For the first time ‎in the Trump era, as of January 2019, the ‎legislative branch will be divided.‎

Trump, who is widely perceived as the "first ‎independent president," may surprise everyone and strike important compromises with the Democrats. After ‎all, he was never a pure ideologue, and he never fully ‎subscribed to the Republican sentiment. Trump has ‎already proved that he is willing to do the ‎impossible, so it is quite possible that the 2018 ‎midterms will be the beginning of a new era. A new ‎Congress, a new Trump – administration 2.0.‎

Boaz Bismuth


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment