As you grab your first cup of coffee and try to wrap your head around what happened last night, let us offer some perspective. Bottom line, it was a very good night for the Dems. Given where the party was 24 hours ago, it was an excellent performance. Here’s the headline: Donald Trump has been checked. That is a very big deal. And it came from a Democratic Party that has rebuilt itself from the wreckage of 2016.
So, if you went to bed feeling down about the party superstars not faring well, have a look at the big picture. From Slate:
“No one was talking about Democrats taking back the House majority in early 2017. Republicans had gerrymandered critical states in 2010, and the conventional wisdom was that Democrats would have to wait for another round of redistricting in the next decade to have a shot. The House majority hadn’t been contested since 2010, and it seemed difficult to imagine following Trump’s election that the fiery wreckage that was the Democratic Party, represented most prominently by aging House leaders who refused to move aside, could muster a realistic challenge to it. Democrats are now on track to pick up somewhere between 30 and 40 seats and to subpoena every piece of literature that has ever crossed the desks of Donald Trump’s accountants. And the Republican legislative agenda is dead.
“The Democratic Party hit rock bottom after the 2016 election, when they lost the presidency to television character Donald Trump, and then had to find some way to regroup quickly enough to face a fantastically gerrymandered Republican House and the worst imaginable Senate map. They took the House within one election and grinded out Senate races where they could, even if they couldn’t save some of the ones that they had little business holding in the first place. They’ll have governors ready to veto Republican gerrymanders after 2020 in crucial states that they didn’t hold the last time.”
Democrats in the House can make the next two years living hell for Donald Trump. Axios calls it the caravan Donald Trump should really fear:
“With a new Democratic House majority, the Trump White House is bracing for a caravan of subpoenas covering everything from Russia to business deals to soon be headed their way.
“…The coming hell … In August, Jonathan Swan reported that Capitol Hill Republicans were circulating a spreadsheet previewing the investigations Democrats would likely launch if they flipped the House.
Among the targets: Trump family businesses … Trump dealings with Russia … James Comey’s firing … Trump’s firing of U.S. attorneys … White House staff’s personal email use … Cabinet secretary travel … The travel ban … Family separation … Hurricane response in Puerto Rico … and many more.”
Under that cloud Donald Trump looks ahead to 2020. The campaign begins now. Last night made the path tougher. From Bloomberg:
“The three Rust Belt states that propelled him to the presidency — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan — all elected Democratic governors and senators. If Democrats can hold those 46 Electoral College votes along with the states that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, they’ll win the presidency two years from now.
“Suburbanites and women showed Democrats a path back to the White House: run sensible candidates who talk kitchen-table issues like health care.
“Trump’s signature legislative win — the tax cut — barely registered with voters, and a split Congress means few fresh achievements to run on.
From The New York Times:
To borrow from Churchill, election night 2018 was not the end of the Trump phenomenon. It was not even the beginning of the end. But it was, perhaps, the end of the beginning.