A few notes on last night:
~There was no blue wave.
That doesn’t mean the loopier Democrats won’t be gung ho for investigations and impeachment. But the narrowness of the House victory does mean that anything they try on in that regard will cause them at least as many problems as it causes the President.
~As for the Paul Ryan House, neither Trump nor his base will miss it. The reason? Headlines like this:
Republicans Surrender on Trump’s Border Wall to Push Paul Ryan’s ‘Tax Reform 2.0’
As I commented way back when:
Gee, it’s almost like they want to lose.
And so they did. Me again:
As I said back at the dawn of the new Administration, Trump has a base and the Democrats have a base, but it’s not clear to me the Congressional GOP has a base.
Just so. Ryan’s contribution to the last two years is nicely summarized by our pal Dennis Miller here:
Paul Ryan is ostensibly a friend who can only make Trump look bad. Pelosi is an enemy who can only make Trump look good.
Only the day before yesterday, no one bothered to talk about Republicans “holding” the House because Republicans had never taken the House – in living memory. Until Newt’s “Contract with America” in 1994, the Democrats had controlled the House for four straight decades, and indeed, with the exception of two one-term GOP blips, for two-thirds of a century. Exactly the same in the Senate except for Reagan’s coattails for six years in the Eighties. Every GOP president of the last half of the twentieth century – Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr – faced a Democrat House and a Democrat Senate. What Trump did with those Senate seats yesterday was unprecedented for a Republican, and underlines the lesson of the House loss: Yes, “suburban women” are antipathetic to the President, but it is nevertheless a fact that there’s a Democrat party and a Trump Republican party but there is no viable Semi-Detached-from-Trump party.
~That said, let me reiterate a point I made on yesterday’s Clubland Q&A: Two years ago, when Democrats and celebrities started yakking about boycotting the inauguration, Trump should have moved the ceremony to a simple swearing-in by whatever judge or justice of the peace was to hand down on the southern border, followed by a ceremonial laying of the first brick of the Trump Wall. He was not elected to be a conventional president, and the conventional types – the bureaucracy, media, Ryan – were determined to obstruct him from Day One. Trump was stiffed by his own party on, inter alia, Obamacare – which, insofar as the Dems had an issue last night, was a biggie. He’s not going to get much legislation with a Pelosi House, but he didn’t get much with a Ryan House, did he? So the Wall is either dead, or will have to be accomplished via some artful sidestep, such as devious re-purposing some funds deep within Homeland Security or the Pentagon or wherever, and taking the heat from whichever twerp District Court jurist strikes it down.
~The Senate, unlike the House, at least confirms judges and cabinet officials. If the GOP gets to 54 or 55 seats, it’s thanks to Trump, and he should take advantage of it to do some re-jigging of the team. Moving Jeff Sessions to Homeland Security and Kris Kobach into Justice wouldn’t be a bad start.
Maybe somewhere within the new Democrat faces elected on in the next election, the first Democrat to support the country over party in some decades will appear.
With Ryan as speaker we can expect no lame duck gains. At least republicans kept the seat.