Anything less than a wave will be a victory for Trump
You probably don’t need nightmare juice.
Sorry, but here’s a shot:
“Elections are about choices,” [Vice President Mike Pence] said in the interview, in which he discussed his midterm outlook in detail for the first time. “If we frame that choice, I think we’re going to reelect majorities in the House and the Senate, and I actually think we’re going to, when all the dust settles after 2018, I think we’re going to have more Republicans in Congress in Washington, D.C., than where we started.”
OK, wake up. Things are still terrible.
But for the 2018 elections to be a historic disaster, the GOP doesn’t need to pick up any seats. If it just loses 23 seats and keeps the Speaker’s gavel, the 2018 elections will be a nightmare nearly on par with 2016.
Here’s why 2018 matters as much or more than the 2016 election:
1. If we don’t take the House, it’s likely the GOP’s Senate majority will grow.
Two more seats in the Senate will mean all of Trump’s appointments will be worse. Yes, worse than Betsy DeVos, Jeff Sessions and Neil Gorsuch. The impact to reproductive rights will be among the most immediate, devastating and difficult to reverse. This also means…
2. Not only will Obamacare be repealed but Trump’s proposed cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security will be next.
“Republicans will sell these policies with various buzzwords,” Paul Waldman explains. “One is ‘reform.’ Another is ‘welfare.'” They’re already touting this dog whistle excuse to gut once sacrosanct programs — and if they win a second national election on this agenda, what would hold them back? And with the money they “save,” you could expect even more tax cuts for rich.
3. The Census.
“The census, conducted every 10 years, forms the basis for redistricting, and its detailed demographic data is used to implement the Voting Rights Act and other civil rights laws,” Ari Berman notes. And though Trump’s controversial, pro-gerrymandering pick to lead the Census has withdrawn, the attempts to use the Constitutionally-mandated initiative to screw minorities out of due representation continue. Without one House of Congress to do some actual oversight, any hopes for a fair count will shrivel. And the damage of that will last all decade long.
4. General lawlessness.
Sometimes I fear we forget how lucky we are we ended up with a special counsel investigating the Russian affair because without it, the rank criminality of the Trump campaign’s various conspiracies would likely had faded into history. We know that the House Intelligence Committee may be the only entity that has spend more time obstructing justice than the White House. The Senate effort has been better but Richard Burr, who was also on the Trump transition team, has a vested interest in protecting the president. Meanwhile, there has been no sincere oversight at all of the various ways this Administration is earning the title as the most corrupt in American history. From the 130ish members of the White House staff who haven’t gotten security clearance to the 1/3 of his presidency Trump spends promoting his businesses to the bald corruption of Mick Mulvaney abdicating consumer protection in favor of his donors, we only know traces of the truth, thanks to the press. If Republicans get away with this without losing the House, it will only get worse.
5. A renewed focus on invented problems while ignoring the real ones.
If historians only have actions of the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress to study, they’ll have to believe that the biggest problems of 2018 America is that too many people have health insurance and America is too great of a place to live. Forget the largest mass shooting in American history and climate change, Republicans are obsessed with uninsuring poor people, raising premiums on everyone else and making sure that immigrants who’d love to devote their lives to the American dream and finance future generations of Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries never can. And when it comes to the worst crisis of our time, the one that feeds all the others, wealth inequality, Republicans will only increase their efforts to make it worse.
OK. You know this.
You know how much this election matters.
Now begins the real effort. The job I’ve given myself is come up with simple ways for you, and myself, to be a swell in a blue wave. If you have any ideas, please tweet them at me @LOLGOP or leave them in the comments.