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
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.
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.
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