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Election Coverage / Politics

Midterm Elections Over – What Happens Now?

midterm-elections-house-seats-congressWith the midterms over, two questions loom:  What happened?  And what does it mean?  The first is vote tallying, some analysis.  The second is more complicated, putting puzzle pieces together, figuring out exactly what happens next, where these results lead us.

A moment of reflection will surprise you.  Republicans may not have lost what they think; Democrats may have gained more than they bargained for.  Follow me.

What happened?  In short, after considering all other possibilities – a jarring yank to the socialist left, a ground-pounding affirmation of President Trump’s policies, an emotion-laden blue wave, sober-minded red wave – Americans did exactly what they have done in midterms since World War II.

Average number of US House seats lost to first-term presidents at the midterms is 28.   And – like clockwork – Americans flipped exactly 28 House seats from Republican to Democrat this cycle.  By comparison, President Ronald Reagan – on his way to becoming a legend – lost 26 seats in his first midterm, permitting US House control to stay Democrat.

Notably, Reagan had six extraordinary years thereafter, working with his Democrat counterpart, Tip O’Neill.  Here, in fact, may be a model for the next six years, whether Republicans flip the House back in 2020 or not.  Worth considering.

What else happened?  More than 110 million Americans voted this midterm, record turnout.  What does that mean?  It means President Trump did something no other president has done.  He motivated, elevated, and punctuated an idea: Americans should vote.  Yes, many voted against him as he nationalized the cycle, but he infused new blood into the process of participatory democracy, not a bad thing.

Big question:  What do these results really mean?  Here is what they mean – and do not mean.

First, control of the US House by Democrats means they must lead – with legislative ideas.  If they do not, they will be held accountable in 2020 for impeachment talk, meandering investigations, do-nothing primping and dawdling.  As a rule, it is harder to lead than to be an armchair critic.  The monkey is now on their back.

More, with President Trump’s press conference offering an olive branch, and Republican control of the Senate, spotlight is on Democrat leaders to stand up and deliver – as Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan once did together – work with new purpose, intent and cooperation, or become the party of complaining, continuing recrimination, and dead-end calls to street violence.  The choice is theirs.  Reagan and O’Neill offer a good model, it served both well.

Second, control of the US Senate by Republicans is not a small matter.  It is bigger than most realize.  Senate control assures a check on the House, so left-canting Democrats cannot produce leftist legislation, forcing it to a president’s desk, threatening to override his veto.

Senate control has other advantages.  The president alluded to one within recent hours.  If a Democrat House diverts and swerves to impeachment talk, investigations for publicity, pandering to an overwrought base, the Republican Senate can simply return investigative fire with inquires into Democratic misdeeds, trail racked up by the past Administration.  That evolution would be a mess, foregone stalemate.  That is why most members of both chambers will steer away from this course.

Most importantly, the US Senate holds power to confirm nominees – to the US Supreme Court and every high judicial and executive post.  The President should line up his nominees – judicial and executive – and let the whir of that confirmation machine sound.  It is time.

In addition, Republican control of the Senate assures no half-baked treaties will ever find their way out of that chamber.  As treaties – on trade and security – are reached, from China to North Korea, perhaps even more widely – the Senate will likely align with their President for ratification.

Other big – easily overlooked – meanings attach to this midterm election.  They are good.  In all likelihood, Democrat victories in the 28 House seats vents all that burdensome, carry-over-emotion from our 2016 presidential election cycle.  It needed venting; it was getting a bit heavy.

We may now hope the enervating, everywhere edgy, extra emotion from 2016 has fled the balloon, leaving us better at the old process of civil dialogue, ready for less emotional interactions on street corners and public spaces.  Just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, not bad.

Another advantage attaching to this cycle is easily overlooked.  Honestly, we are lucky – all of us.  An uneventful trip to our local polling station affirms the fact.  We live in a place where free and fair elections are still the norm, where we can calmly assemble, methodically record preferences, know that they will be tallied with integrity, and can have confidence in that magical thing – a republic which reflects the will of her people, has for more than 200 years.

That deliberative process – our national election process – is a marvel, envy of the world, and source from which we may – and all should – take quiet comfort and a degree of national pride.  Another reason for patriotism, plain and simple.

Ironically, these midterm elections have been the most expensive ever, arguably the most argumentative ever, and billed as the most important in a century, but with things settled, most should breathe a sigh of relief.

The world is not ending, nor will it.  Our two philosophically disparate parties will wrangle – and hopefully take the high road more often than low.  Once again, the grand and extraordinary experiment in democracy, great gamble on which our Founders staked their liberty, property, lives and families, has proved they were right.

They trusted us – in these elections as in prior – to carry the torch forward.  We have done so.  Now, it is up to our leaders – on both sides – to live up to expectations we and our Founders have in them.  Time for them to lead, cooperate and serve the higher purposes to which they recently pledged themselves.   Let’s see if they can do it, let’s be glad we live in America, and let’s call it a day – shall we?

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Read more articles by Robert B. Charles

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PaulE

This article is what I could consider a nice PC piece. Touching on some issues, but largely avoiding the hard truths we should all take away from the election results. I’ll simplify the results of the election for you from my perspective: 1) With Democrats now controlling the House, no new spending legislation on the Trump agenda will go forward. That means no money for the wall or anything else related to the Trump agenda. Budget bills originating in the House will reflect the progressive Democrat values, not anything even remotely fiscally or constitutionally conservative in nature. Look to see a lot of extremely socialist legislation being generated in the House over the next two years. It will be up the Senate and the President to block it all. 2) The House committees will all be chaired by the likes of Maxine Waters, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, etc., which of… Read more »

David Campbell

I’m afraid I don’t see things in such a rosy way. Today’s Democrat party is not the same as Tip O’Niell’s Democrat party. Democrats are now openly pushing for socialism, and one of the reasons they are so angry with Donald Trump is his election, along with a Republican majority, stopped that. I was guardedly optomistic that the election of Donald Trump indicated that the eyes of the American people were opening to the threat of socialism and the destruction of the American way. This election proves otherwise; it’s politics as usual, and the election of Donald Trump was not the reversal of our descent into socialism, but merely a delay of it.

Barbara J Struble

I believe that there was really a red tsunami. Voter fraud (We saw some online. Most of the dark money was used to buy off voters or illegal/dead people voting or those who counted votes or entire state depts of elections or rigged voting machines) True the vote and nearly entire House and Senate would be Republicans. Let’s get to work, AMAC members.

Mark

I appreciate your conciliatory thoughts in this very fine article. There is much truth in it. However, I must disagree with your comments on free and fair elections being norm. Must of us know that California allows illegal invaders to vote. Estimates have been as high as 25% illegals vote there. We hear stories of no identifaction required and people voting twice!

Wayne Peterkin

Part of what it means is that radical leftists are taking control of House committees and will cause chaos as they try to stop any further GOP progress. Since the tax cuts were temporary and opposed by the Democrats, the cuts will be forced to expire meaning a huge tax increase for every American household. And it means that getting any funding to stop the invasion at our southern border won’t happen. Bottom line: nothing good will happen and a lot of bad. Best news is that judicial appointments become a bit easier. If we are very lucky, Bader Ginsberg will reach the end of her days and can be replaced with another good SCOTUS appointment.

Donl

The Democrats have gotten a “Boost” by winning the House, I see them as pushing their Socialist agenda on the people. Especially the young people who never been exposed to Socialism or Communism. I have!

Joseph

A good piece. But I think and have seen and talked to neighbors and friends who vote that know nothing about the people who run for the offices and what their beliefs are. They don’t have an idea of what the platform for their party is if any. All they know is what some friend of theirs tells them. One neighbor I was talking to one day and I mentioned all the good that Trump was doing for the economy and she says, all I know is that he is a womanizer and I’ll never vote for him. People are so ignorant about what is going on in their own country. Most just throw up their hands and give up. I do believe the old saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. Oh how the left squeaks !!!!!!

Jere

Now we face gridlock and endless investigations all costing us bigtime.

Brian

The Democrat Party with its deranged leftist interest groups is a clear and present danger to the Constitutional Republic. Their objectives are anti liberty, destructive to the normal loving family unit, and the overthrow of free enterprise. Belief in socialism should be grounds for evicting radicals out of this country and sent to any “hell-holes” of their choosing.

Thomas H

What happened? The refusal of conservatives to take the media from the left has resulted in the (d)s regaining the House and the (R)s making little headway in the Senate. Mind you, this was after two years of great economic and national gains which proved the previous eight years as the disaster it was. In all, no (d)s (except in the bluest areas) should have been elected, but many of my co-workers and neighbors went out to vote “against Trump”, for no reason other than the “unbiased” media saying that he was evil (or something like that). Now, that same MSM will portray the upcoming attempt to impeach Trump (again, for what reason) as the wisdom of the House being blocked by Trump’s buddies in the Senate, and this will then be used as “proof” that both the Presidency and the Senate have to become blue again for the “preservation… Read more »

Silas Longshot

Pelosi top goals:
1-F*ck up all Trump’s success, try to undo economic boom
2-More LGBT
3-No wall, more dreamers / illegals voting democrat
4-Take your guns
5-More 0bamacare
6-More spending
7-More division, think they won because of attacking republicans
8-Maxipad in charge of national finances, here comes Great depression 2
If you didn’t vote conservative, this 💩is YOUR FAULT

Sweet Lady Mary

As long as the Democrats don’t fund the wall, then Trump should keep the military on the border to help the Border Patrol keep the invaders out. ICE should start visiting employers who have in the past hired illegals and deporting anyone they find. Anyone found should be deported immediately along with all their illegal family. And as long as we the taxpayers pay for the social services and education for these illegals, they will keep coming for the freebies. The DACA people now feel entitled to have all the constitutional rights of Americans. E-Verify should be used all over America and every employer should be mandated to use it.

RC100

Number one: We are not a “participatory democracy”…. never have been a “democracy”! The founding fathers of this great nation absolutely hated the idea of a democracy., which has been described as a “tyranny of the majority.” The word does not appear anywhere in the Declaration of Independence nor in the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or the other amendments. We are a representative republic… and are guaranteed that form of government at the state levels as well, by the Constitution. As Benjamin Franklin noted, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” Number two: As Thomas Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” His contention was that the cornerstone of our democracy rests on the foundation of an… Read more »

CHALY

This is the largest criminal election conspiracy I have witnessed in my almost 8 decades and we should be able to get it secure by now. The DNC’ommunists have no shame and will do their best to stop all progress made by President Trump. There will need to be another source of payback to right this ship. The Democrat party is evil. No other way to see it.

JimS

What is remarkable to me is that the GOP did as well as it did considering it mostly hung on despite internal divisions, lack of stomach to fight back and blindness to the growing leftist social forces opposing them. At least a growing part of middle America is finally waking up to the fact that the Democrat party of JFK is long dead. What most people fail to understand is the scope and depth of the Left’s political apparatus, their mastery of emotion to persuade and their ability to indoctrinate. A clear majority of millennials now are true believers in socialism and other formerly radical leftist ideas. So why is that and what can be done to turn that around? The following link to an article in The Federalist at least accurately describes how it came to be this way. Their political apparatus is undamaged. http://thefederalist.com/2018/11/06/america-ignorant-no-wonder-struggle-stay-free/

Martin Steed

The Republicans lost the house for several reasons. First, because THEY made a rule that a congresscritter can only hold a chairmanship for two terms, 41 veteran congressmen decided they didn’t want to go back to being a back bencher, so instead of changing their rules like the Dems, they retired. This immediately gave the Dems 41 seats with an even chance of winning. Then, Newt Gingrich advised tran he Republican Congressional Committee to do another Contract With America and nationalize the election. Of course Paul Ryan, a Never Trumper, was retiring, so he didn’t give a hoot, so they ran 435 Individual campaigns without a unified message. But even with all that, the Dems still don’t have a big majority. That said, the Dems do know how to use their majority and of course they have the media to help them blame the Republicans for “not cooperating”. The next… Read more »

Robespierre

And McConnell strives for conciliatory language to get the socialists to the table—— they will only come to the table when it is rigged to their liking.

Don

We have been selling out our once Great Country USA .It will not return to Greatness until we balance our trade.We have added $2,000,000,000,000 to our debt in the last couple years.Are we brain dead?

James Wesley

We got screwed, So time to recount ALOT OF BAD MACHINES.. Then We Move On. Simple!

L D

AMEN.