Election 2018 is going to be just as turbulent an election season as 2016. An enlightened or enraged electorate will be rushing to the polls this year, elated or outraged with Washington, DC and President Trump’s agenda.
I am confident that Republicans will retain the United States Senate. Republicans will gain seats even in the face of “The Blue Wave” since Democrats nationally have gone so far left, and the progressive grassroots want Obama policies on steroids from the Democratic Party. Red-state Democratic incumbents face pressure from their constituents, but Democratic base will fire back at these DINOs (Democrats-In-Name-Only) and launch primary challenges.
The House of Representatives, however, may turned into a blue-wall shellacking. Republicans have held power in the People’s Chamber for the last 8 years. The caucus is more conservative, and has ditched one Speaker. Paul Ryan is listening to the conservatives and the grassroots, but with the latest shutdown, Republicans risk appearing more dysfunctional than ever. Even though in 2016 Trump won in 12 House Districts currently represented by Democrats, his populist platform might not buoy Republican contenders for 2018.
Worse yet, Real Clear Politics has registered a 10-point to 16-points advantage for the Democratic ticket going into November. The overwhelming turnout for the Year 2018 Women’s March all over the country should also concern Republicans. Liberals are investing time, energy, resources to flip seats in fly-over states, too. At the Women’s March in Downtown Los Angeles, I saw so many posters featuring profanities, vulgar attacks against President Trump and the Republican majority, but I also saw frequent references to vote, vote, vote. “The Blue wave” stood out clearly.
But will the latest shutdown turn into a brick wall for Democrats or Republicans? The federal government needed a continuing resolution by January 19th to ensure payment for federal employees, then military, and it provided a long-term solution for the CHIP program plus a delay of onerous Obamacare taxes. Republican leadership included programs that Democrats wanted, yet only six House Democrats voted for the CR, including California Congressmen Jim Costa because he wanted the CHIP funding; and Salud Carbajal because Santa Barbara County needed the emergency funding.
Despite five US Senate Democrats voting with the GOP majority, the CR didn’t pass the Senate’s 60-vote cloture threshold. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer deserves the public’s blame. He cried to the press that his caucus refused to fund the government for another month unless amendments were added to grant legal status to illegals. There it is: Democrats have shut down the government over illegal immigration. Surprisingly, this talking point came from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a get-along type if there ever was one. Not only that, House Speaker Paul Ryan informed his Leadership to go home for the weekend. These GOP leaders are calling the Democrats’ bluff. I don’t give them full credit, however. Real leadership under President Trump in the White House has stiffened the spine of Congressional leaders, at least somewhat.
According to the latest polls, Democratic recalcitrance is not helping them, and it’s only going to get worse, judging by what happened to the Republicans during the Shutdown Showdown from 2013. That year, Republicans only controlled the House, and they passed a CR which included defunding mechanisms for Obamacare. Speaker John Boehner didn’t want to go along with the plan at first, but the caucus pushed him to follow through. Yes, the government was shut down, but for the same reason as now: Senate Democrats would not pass the CR. Majority Leader Harry Reid was confident that he could marshal public opinion against the Republicans. His targets included conservative colleague Ted Cruz, who led a 22-hour non-filibuster filibuster outlining to the public how devastating Obamacare had become to working Texans. Eventually, a resolution was reached, and Republicans ended up wounded a little by the press. Then came the Obamacare rollout, a devastating Democratic failure. Coupled with the upcoming six-year itch against Barack Obama’s party, and Republicans were riding a wave into victory for Election 2014.
So, can Democrats expect a lingering backlash in their favor later this year? I strongly doubt it. First of all, President Trump was elected specifically for his opposition to illegal immigration. Democrats are on the losing side of this debate by shutting down the government over DACA. Even Democratic voters in California have voiced their opposition to Schumer’s shutdown, regardless of their views on the illegals. What’s worse for Democrats is that Trump’s signature legislative achievement (unlike Obama’s in 2013) is gaining in popularity. The Tax Reforms are working out for businesses large and small. Individuals are enjoying the benefits, and they are seeing past the lies pushed by the press and the Democratic Party.
The Democrats not only shut down the government, but Chuck Schumer, with signature tone-deafness, pitifully reports to website visitors this message: “Sorry, can’t help you right now”. Even worse, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi just took her dwindling caucus out for dinner to celebrate, all while our military doesn’t get paid. Three weeks later, Americans will continue to appreciate Trump’s signature successes, and Democrats will suffer lower approval ratings going into November.
I sense that Democrats are going to be kicking themselves for going along with their radical, progressive base on immigration, suffer a national blowback, and lose further credibility in the eyes of the voters. Democrats who voted for Trump will remember why they rejected their party’s presidential nominee in 2016 and vote against them again in 2018.
If Republicans stand strong against amnesty and hold the #SchumerShutdown meme over the minority caucus, then Republicans can look forward to holding the House as well as gaining seats in the Senate. The GOP leaders should be kissing President Trump’s feet because he has put his foot down, willing to fight for the American people’s priorities on immigration. Prediction: The #SchumerShutdown will shut down Democratic chances for Election 2018. Republicans will lose at most ten House seats, but retain power in the House of Representatives.