Thursday, 08 November 2018

Silver Lining of Democratic Takeover of the House

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Following the Democratic Party takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday, most Republicans and quite a few constitutional conservatives were understandably disappointed. After all, how could it be a good thing that radical leftists such as Jerrold Nadler, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and Maxine Waters are going to be setting the agenda in the House for the next two years?

But there is a “silver lining” in all of this.

For one thing, the Republicans actually gained seats in the U.S. Senate, making it much easier to confirm federal judges, including members of the Supreme Court, and all other confirmations requiring Senate approval. The resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which will necessitate a replacement, is a perfect example of how important it is to control the Senate. House members such as Pelosi have no say in judicial or executive confirmations.

This is not to dismiss the mischief that can be created by the radical leadership of the Democrats in the House, but now that they actually control the levers of power in one house of the Congress, the American people will be more likely to see these left-wing Democrats for what they are. Republicans will certainly be more motivated to stop such extremists from seizing the White House and the Senate in 2020. Had the Republicans actually kept the House, many Americans would have been more inclined to be satisfied, causing them to relax.

Besides all of that, as Art Thompson, CEO of The John Birch Society (parent organization for The New American) explained in a video, many of the Republicans defeated were really not that much different from the Democrats. Once huge exception to this assertion, as Thompson himself lamented to me, was the loss of Representative David Brat in Virginia (81 percent on the Freedom Index, which measures fidelity to the U.S. Constitution), in the district once held by James Madison. Unfortunately, northern Virginia has become a Big Government stronghold, with so many federal workers residing there.

Thompson placed much of the blame for the losses in the House on House Speaker Paul Ryan and his fellow RINOs. Other than the tax cut, there was not much the House Republicans could run on in the way of accomplishments. If anything, Ryan actually fought President Trump on issues such as building a wall. And the failure to repeal ObamaCare — other than ditching the individual mandate — had to depress Republican enthusiasm.

Many of the Republican losers were those who had rejected much of Trump’s “America First” agenda, Thompson noted. This probably strengthens the president’s hand in the coming months.

Some argue that “nothing is going to get done, legislatively” over the next two years. While such gridlock will certainly preclude any meaningful legislative action on true healthcare reform, or in shoring up the border, it also means that the Democrats cannot get much done with their agenda, either. But over the next two years, the Democrats will cast lots of votes, which constitutionalist opponents can then use against them in the next election.

It is not yet clear what effect, if any, the Democratic Party gains will have on the dangerous “free trade” agenda. Historically, many Democrats in Congress quibble about trade deals, usually angry that they are not pro-union enough, or they don’t impose enough regulations on the economy, and are insufficiently draconian with environmental laws, but as Thompson said, in the end, they usually wind up voting for the deals.

Many express concern that the Democrats in the House might use their narrow majority to force through an impeachment of President Trump and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. That would certainly be unfortunate if they did, but it should be kept in mind that any such action would be dead on arrival in the Senate, where any impeachment trial would be held, as it takes a two-thirds vote to convict a president or any other official on an impeachment charge.

Were the Democrats to actually pull the trigger and impeach Trump, without any good reason other than they just do not like him, the American people would likely take note and punish the Democrats at the polls in 2020. Even a president who actually did do something wrong — Bill Clinton — and got impeached, faced no actual prospect of conviction. But it did lead to the Democrats actually gaining seats in the House of Representatives in 1998. A groundless impeachment would certainly infuriate the Republican base, driving them into increased political action in 2020.

All of this is not to say that giving power to a political party increasingly fond of socialism and government control is a good thing. But it is to say that there is a silver lining that should not be discounted, either.


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