Welp, it happened.
After eight years in the minority, Dims are set to retake the House in January, delivering what Americans have consistently wanted throughout history — divided government. These checks and balances are wonderful in theory, assuming one party hasn’t gone completely insane. While I’m afraid we won’t have that luxury over the next two years, the good news is the big picture really isn’t all that bad. In fact, it may work to our advantage.
We’ll expound on that in a moment, but for now let’s recap what happened.
“You had some that decided to ‘let’s stay away, let’s stay away,'” he said. “They did very poorly. I’m not sure that I should be happy or sad, but I feel just fine about it.”
“Barbara Comstock was another one,” Trump added. “I think that she could’ve won that race, but she did not want to have any embrace. For that, I do not blame her. But she lost, substantially lost.”
“Mia Love. I saw Mia Love, and she would call me all the time to help her with a hostage situation, being held hostage in Venezuela,” Trump said, referring to the release of Utahan Josh Holt, who had been held by the Venezuelan government. “But Mia Love gave me no love. And she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
Of course, the politics aren’t quite that simple. Those who refused the embrace did so because they were running in blue states where association with Trump is seen as a liability. But the fact remains — Trumpers did well whereas RINOs but the dust. And while it sucks to lose the House, the pain of purging weaklings from the party just might have been worth it.
WHAT THE SENATE MEANS FOR THE FUTURE:
WHAT THE HOUSE MEANS FOR THE FUTURE:
More concretely, they’ll be flexing their new investigative muscles with a wish list of ethics inquiries swirling around PDT, his finances, and multiple members of his Cabinet.
The first step in that process: staffing up a new investigative army. In 2011, for example, the number of Republican staff members on the Oversight Committee quickly shot from 40 to 80. Dims are likely to do the same on a much larger scale. It would be no shock to see Dims increase their staff to as many as 200 just so they can conduct multiple investigations at once.
For example, every foreign leader that stays at the new Trump International Hotel will likely spawn investigations into whether the emoluments clause of the Constitution was violated (it’s already been litigated by the Ethics office but that won’t stop the dog and pony show).
They’ll also be playing tunes from their old greatest hits collection, such as “OMG RUSSIAN COLLUSION!” Rep. Ambien Schiff, the Leakin’ Monster of No Control, will almost certainly become the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and has said that he wants to make sure “no stone is left unturned” in the GOP’s investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
For those keeping score at home, the House already conducted that investigation. It lasted over a year and was recently wrapped up after no evidence was found, but that isn’t stopping Ambien from appeasing his rabid base.
Other committees — including Oversight and Government Reform, Judiciary and Ways and Means — will also be throwing everything against the wall in the hopes something will finally stick.
The expected chairman of Judiciary, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, said that “all options are on the table” if PDT tries to “sabotage” the Russia probe or fires “key people” or abuses the pardon power.
“We’ll use subpoena power if we have to, when we have to,” he said.
In other words, if King Bob Mueller is treated as anything but, well, a king, Dims will pounce to yell “constitutional crisis” in unison, then investigate every imaginable aspect of whatever action was taken.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, who is expected to become chairman of the Oversight panel, plans to look into the administration’s immigration and child separation policies, financial conflicts of interest, the aforementioned emoluments clause, and voter suppression efforts, to name just a few entries on a long list of potential targets.
The chairman could submit a written request to the IRS to provide the information. If the Treasury Department were to deny it, House Dims would have to decide whether to pursue the tax returns through a legal route. If they are obtained, the chairman would have to designate the panel’s members as “agents” to read the returns. They would then have to vote to make the documents public and report them to the full House.
It would be far from an easy win: The process could drag on for months or even longer. PDT has downplayed any concern over the prospect. “I don’t care. They can do whatever they want, and I can do whatever I want,” he said Monday of the idea of a drawn-out battle for his tax returns.
You don’t need a translator for that one. If they dig in on him, he’s going to return the favor. And I’m willing to bet he’s got a few things in his back pocket already.
However that fight plays out, Dim leadership has pledged its full support for the general idea of aggressive investigations, which — and bear with me on this — could be a huge blessing in disguise.
The far left has long been one of Trump’s greatest assets, as they continually force Dim leadership into grave political mistakes as a byproduct of their effort to appease the raging masses. The Kavanaugh debacle is a case study in this counterproductive practice. The weaponization of eleventh-hour sexual assault claims against a man with an impeccable record was so obviously stupid, yet the pressure from the #Resistance movement was so intense and the prospects of a midterm loss for Dianne Feinstein so great that they overstepped their way to losing the Senate.
And that’s exactly the danger that Dims face in turning themselves into a glorified anti-Trump private eye firm.
While the looney cooter hat folk may salivate at the prospect of probing every aspect of Trump’s life, Americans as a whole don’t like it. Just ask the GOP, who learned this lesson the hard way in the impeachment of Slick Willy Clinton. And Clinton actually deserved it.
After introducing articles of impeachment, the GOP’s approval sank while Willy got more popular. It’s a variation of what I call the “Nancy Grace effect.” Essentially, what happens is when a person is piled upon, as congressional Republicans did against Clinton and Dims are now doing against Trump, said person becomes a sympathetic figure. Just as Nancy Grace can cause a person to pull for an otherwise unsavory character due to her incessant bitching, Americans quickly grow weary of seeing their president constantly under attack by a political posse.
Yes, many Dims will like it, but just as many independent voters will hate it, and those are the folks who pick presidents. That’s not to speak of the Republican base, who, just as with Kavanaugh, will rally behind one of their own who is under attack.
The truly glorious part of all this is Nancy Pelosi knows full well everything I’m saying. In the run-up to the election, most Dims avoided even discussing the possibility of impeachment, and they did so at the direction of Pelosi herself. Recently, she publicly dismissed it as “not a priority” for her party.
But while she may shy away from impeachment talk due to its political implications, unlimited investigations are just different stripes of the same animal. Pelosi is trying to thread a very difficult needle; trying to keep the rabid commie hordes at bay while not turning off independents by focusing on vengeance rather than governance. Maybe she thinks she can pull it off, but it’s not likely.
She can say what she likes, but actions are louder than words, and it’s an insult to everyone’s intelligence to claim not to want impeachment while doing everything in her power to bring it on. Dims may be that stupid, but most Americans aren’t.
THE (UN)CIVIL WAR:
The impeachment conundrum is but one example of a larger issue within the Dim party that is certain to play out over the next few months in spectacular fashion. It’s an issue that I’ve been discussing since before the 2016 election and one that I feel could be the most underreported stories of our time: the Dim civil war.
The folks who show up at the office doors of Dims who weren’t “resisting” hard enough during the Kavanaugh hearings have the potential to upend the party in myriad other ways. The current Dim party has two opposing wings: corporate/establishment Dims vs. socialists. We can thank #CrazyBernie for giving life to the latter, as many of the disgruntled commies who paid for his beach house sat home on Election Day rather than vote for The Man, maaaaaaaaaan.
PDT, to his credit, had the foresight and political instincts to seize on this division. Many GOP strategists looked on with bewilderment as he made regular gestures toward the Sanders base, offering them another anti-establishment option in lieu of the corrupt corporatists they’d been handed. He of course never expected to win many of their votes, but that wasn’t the point. He exploited the division with their party that many others were ignoring, and ultimately helped to defeat HRC.
And that’s exactly why PDT has been all too happy to push Pelosi for speaker all day today, even (hilariously) offering her Republican votes should she encounter trouble getting over the finish line.
Rumblings over a challenge to Pelosi for speaker are hardly anything new. She’s like a walking GOP super PAC, spiking Republican turnout at a rate that strategists could only dream. Every Dim, corporatists and socialists alike, knows that new leadership is needed. And the best part? They can’t do a damn thing about it. Nancy brings home the bacon.
Money still rules the day, and all Nancy has to do is throw one fundraiser for coastal elites and the big stick she carries is swinging once more. Until a House Dim can match her fundraising ability, she’s not going anywhere.
Just as Pelosi is being held hostage by the #Resist movement, the Dim party itself is hostage to Pelosi’s piggy bank. It’s an excellent situation for PDT, and thank God he understands it.
House Dims plan to hold leadership elections for their caucus the week after Thanksgiving, at which point they’ll vote on whether to re-elect Pelosi as their leader, paving the way for her to likely win the speakership in January when they hold the formal vote on the floor. Despite some rumblings involving Tim Ryan, who has been gunning for Pelosi for a long time but never stood a chance for the aforementioned reasons, no one appears ready to take her on.
Conservatives had their congressional civil war when the Tea Party came onto the scene. The Dims have yet to settle their own score. And unlike Tea Partiers, the Resistance has the potential to be electoral rat poison. They’ve already delivered us the Senate; there’s no telling what they can get done in the next 2 years. And we don’t even have to insert fake members of the Resistance to make them look bad, as they did with the Tea Party.
Democrats may have won the House, but they now have some serious decisions to make, the most important of which being the general direction they’ll be taking. Americans have preferred divided government historically, but not for the sake of division itself. They want things to actually get done. And believe it or not, there are several areas in which bipartisan legislation is possible.
For instance, Dims are expected to reintroduce their Better Deal legislative plan that includes proposals to lower the cost of prescription drugs and to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, both of which have been policy goals explicitly touted by Trump. They’ll also be looking to enhance election security and reduce the role of money in politics, which Pelosi recently said would be their first piece of legislation. PDT is on board with both of those issues.
Perhaps the biggest legislative issue moving forward deals with healthcare. It’s the one issue that keeps Dims in the game despite being clinically insane, since many Americans feel strongly about things like preexisting conditions. In fact, without that issue, Dims may not have even won the House.
PDT is not a conservative ideologue. If Dims bring something to the table that accomplishes a policy initiative, he’s equally as likely to give it a fair shake as if it had come from a Republican. Combine that fact with the general leftward turn that America has taken with certain issues (healthcare is probably the best example) and there exists the potential to upset some Freedom Caucus members.
There also exist opportunities to wheel and deal for certain parts of the Trump agenda. I’ve been yelling for the last 2 years that the border wall could be a part of a larger infrastructure deal with Dims. They want to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure, which PDT isn’t opposed to out of hand. So why not put them on the spot and ask them if they’re willing to kill a massive infrastructure bill that would help their constituents in exchange for a small sliver of funding to build the wall?
Of course, this is all assuming a calm, rational political environment in which both sides seek to strike mutually beneficial deals, a concept PDT has built his life around. But that environment doesn’t exist.
Instead, Pelosi and the rest of Dim leadership are being forced by the activist wing of their party to poison the well before negotiations ever begin, as cooperation with the Trump administration in any form or fashion results in a swift scarlet letter displayed prominently on the forehead of the offending party.
It will take political and moral courage for Pelosi to back down the loudest voices of her base, neither of which she or her colleagues have in abundance.
As such, the so-called “blue wave” that delivered the House to Dim control could very well go down as the greatest Pyrrhic victory of our time.
Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.
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