The November midterms are only three months away and things do not look good for the Republicans retaining power in Washington. And while the saying goes, “anything can happen in baseball,” time is running out, and according to some sources, a variety of factors (despite recent GOP special election wins) don’t seem likely to add-up to continuing GOP unified government. Once again, Texan hopes of getting real change in Washington seem destined to be crushed.
Recently, Business Insider put out an article with an analysis of the political situation in Washington regarding the midterm elections and found the following:
- The GOP has a shot at retaining the Senate, but the Democrats will likely win in the House of Representatives.
- POTUS approval ratings are highly correlated to mid-term results, and Trumps below 50% average might mean a loss of “more than 60 Republican seats.”
- The 41 Republican retirements in Congress, “more than double the historic average,” might bode well for the party out of power.
Historically, the party in control tends to do badly in mid-term elections, such as when Democrats lost the House and the Senate in consecutive midterm elections during President Obama’s time in office. However, if you combine this likelihood with the other mentioned factors, plus the fact that the percentage of registered Democrats beats that of Republicans by 11% (in party registration states), plus FiveThirtyEight‘s polling average currently shows Democrats as +6.2 in November, the augury doesn’t favor the GOP’s stars.
So, if the Democrats wipe out the Republicans in November, what will this mean for Republicans through the final years of Trump’s term? Well, here are a few possibilities:
Gridlock Will Become Status Quo
While the GOP-led Congress has been pretty awful at getting bills passed under the current arrangement, expect that to get far worse. Because the GOP didn’t fight hard enough for their claimed legislative priorities, you can pretty much forget about Trump’s wall, entitlement reform, a full repeal of Obamacare, or averting fiscal catastrophe owing to the over $21 trillion in debt. Opportunities to take on those issues are not likely to re-surface under Democrat control of the House. And while there remains a possibility that Trump would be willing to do a deal with Democrats to get something passed (assuming they’ll even work with him), it’s not likely to be anything any Republican would be proud of.
Impeachment of Trump Will Become a Reality
Democrat focus since 2016 has mostly been centered on the person of Donald Trump, with any promoted policy objective taking an extreme back-seat. If Democrats retake at least the House, it is highly likely they will move on impeachment of the president. While removal seems a very remote possibility, even if the Democrats also capture the senate, House Democrats will likely impeach him, even if it is on strictly political grounds. However, if the Mueller probe can dredge up something substantial (and if Trump agrees to sit down with Mueller, this seems almost certain), Trump’s removal might actually take place with certain GOP senators siding with Democrats.
Debt Will Skyrocket
At this point, the time to painlessly deal with the massive federal debt has long passed, and no politician in Washington has the guts to stick out their political neck to seriously propose that expenditures should be cut. No, Washington seems locked into a course towards the economic cliff, and the only question remains is “How long will it take before the U.S. economy careens into the fiscal abyss?” While Republicans have proven themselves almost as bad as Democrats when it comes to the area of deficit-spending, Democrats have always held a penchant for this sort of thing, edging out the GOP for the most fiscally-irresponsible party. Whether it’s cranking up spending on existing programs or instituting new spending, such as the Bernie Sander’s Medicare For All program, Democrats have a deeper interest in making as many as possible dependent on Washington and thusly loyal Democrat voters. With Democrats running at least the House, increased spending will be the price of anything getting done, even non-partisan priorities.
While there are those that rightly point out that polls only matter much closer to the election, and that the fickle voting public could turn on any number of world events, these data cannot be simply ignored. And if this year is the last of the GOP’s hold on power, can anyone really say that they fought as hard as they could to try to fix the existential problems faced by the Union? I would reply with a resounding NO! Republican unified government has funded most of the Democrat priorities (like Planned Parenthood), ran up debt similar to the Obama years, and failed to get enough GOP goals passed as promised. If the GOP somehow holds onto power, it still isn’t very likely that anything substantial will change in the dysfunctional federal government.
If the worst happens, what then? Are we going to once again campaign for GOP candidates, elect them, watch them miserably fail, and see the Union helped along its self-destructive path? How many more years will we waste on trying to fix a federal government that seems impervious to reform? If Texas has any hope of really addressing the serious problems we face, we must accept that either we do it on our own, as an independent nation free from a federal system that constantly interferes with local self-government, or it won’t happen at all.