Don’t let the headline deceive you. I’m hopeful, even somewhat optimistic, about Republican chances on Tuesday, and the thought of losing even one iota of ground to these sanctimonious blowhards repulses me to my core. But I’m also realistic to the possibility that Tuesday could be a good day for Republicans, especially in the Senate, yet - because of a variety of factors at play - the House of Representatives may be lost.
Yes, it could be a slim margin, but whether it’s one member or twenty, for the next two years the results will be the same as far as the House is concerned. As Ann Coulter aptly stated in this Daily Caller video about preventing a “Blue Tsunami,” “there’s no dimmer switch” when it comes to House control. “It’s on or it’s off. If they win, the Democrats win by one vote. It’s lights out for the Trump agenda.”
I agree with Coulter’s assessment, for the most part. If they win the majority in the House, they get to pick the speaker, the chairmanships, and set the agenda. They get to investigate, hold hearings, subpoena Trump officials, and even - should the ever-growing wing-nut-wing of their party prevail - vote to impeach President Trump. Sure, the whole circus promises to be extremely entertaining and a gold mine for reporters like myself, but it’ll be ugly, and the chances of anything really conservative coming through are about the same as California going red.
But I don’t agree with Coulter’s last sentence. Far from being “lights out” for Trump’s agenda, in some ways I think there could be a few silver linings to having to endure Democrat control of the House for the next two years, and they don’t all have to do with getting millions of clicks from the coming hilarious hijinks from the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Here are four reasons why Democratic control of the House may not be so bad.
We’re not actually losing all that much.
I get it. It’ll be hard to stomach the insufferable liberal crowing that will inevitably come, but let’s think for a second about what we will have lost. Yes, they’ll conduct the whole investigative circus against President Trump. They may even vote to impeach him, but none of that will fly past a Republican Senate. And as far as past accomplishments go - a GOP-controlled House barely passed an Obamacare alternative only to have it die in the Senate. Other than managing to spend a gazillion dollars they don’t have on everything BUT a border wall, the tax cut bill was the only real accomplishment to come out of the House in two years. And even that barely passed the Senate thanks to McConnell using budget reconciliation to keep it from needing 60 votes to get around a filibuster.
In other words, as long as the filibuster rule allows the Senate minority to block any bill they don’t like, House control actually means very little.
They could actually get something done.
Yes, the wing-nut wing may prevail for a while, but at the end of the day Democrats will join the GOP in public accountability as a power-wielding branch of government (or at least half of one). The wiser ones (if there is such a thing) might realize that unless they actually manage to pass something of substance and get it through the Senate and signed by President Trump, they could be rejected in two years the same as the previous party was. Maybe it’ll motivate them to pass things a majority of folks actually agree on, like an infrastructure bill or real prison reform. Hey, stranger things have happened!
President Trump’s approval will rise.
Remember Barack Obama’s approval ratings pre-2010 midterms? That’s right - they were pretty close to what Trump’s are now. Only the hard-core Dems could stomach him. The rest of us were still wondering why we weren’t able to keep our healthcare. Granted, from our perspective it was a good thing the GOP took control in 2010, especially at a time when Democrats were pushing 60 senators for a bit (now that was TRULY a one-party government!), but once the GOP took the House Obama’s popularity began to rise. Paul Ryan & Co. investigated a few Obama administration scandals (remember Fast and Furious?) and passed bills they knew didn’t stand a chance. Meanwhile, Obama cruised to reelection in 2012. I’m sure a variety of reasons were at play, but one of them was undoubtedly the fact that a significant percentage of Americans actually prefer divided government.
Those of us who study politics understand the reasons why President Trump hasn’t yet been able to get some of the things he wants - reasons like squishy Republicans and the stupid filibuster rule in the Senate - but the average Joe who has better things to do than to keep up with this stuff all day simply sees a Republican House, Senate, and Executive branch and wonders why on earth Trump’s agenda keeps getting stalled. So yeah, Nancy Pelosi and Crazy Maxine wielding gavels will make far better foils than Paul Ryan and Jeff Flake ever did.
Combine that with the fact that, especially with a stronger Senate majority, Trump’s agenda in many ways can and will continue unabated. Judicial appointments will keep rolling, regulations will keep disappearing, and governmental departments in the hands of the good guys will keep plugging along.
If the Democrats take the House, expect President Trump’s approval ratings to rise bigly. Which could lead to…
President Trump having an easier path to re-election in 2020
With a roaring economy and a consistently 50 percent or better approval rating, President Trump could soar to re-election in 2020. I don’t know about you, but I’d trade THEM apples for a Democrat House victory any day of the week!