Is the Democratic blue wave coming?

Is the Democratic blue wave coming?
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The eyes of Democratic activists glaze over when they think about the well-deserved drubbing the GOP will suffer the night of November 6, 2018. Likewise, my former Republican colleagues are fast at work getting their resumes together.

I received a call this morning from a long-time House staffer who has worked for three GOP Congressmen, for three decades. “Bob, how hard is it to get lobbying clients? I am going to need a job in January.” I had to deliver the news to him that it will be hard. Good contacts to the GOP in Congress will be of marginal value IF the Democratic wave does wash over the Capitol Building.

“IF it washes over, Bob?” Yes, if it washes over. After four decades of electioneering, I do not tally victories until all the votes are in and counted. The signs are good for the Democrats. They were optimistic in the 2016 Presidential Election too; then, something happened on the way to the Democrats taking the White House. Donald Trump won.

We can blame Russian hackers until our faces turn a perfect Democrat Blue, but if we are honest about it, we were out-campaigned. The pundits were as confident that Hillary Clinton would be elected President as they are that a blue wave will sweep the nation.

For the first time since 2010, observers can see a path to the Democrats regaining control of the House. Will the septuagenarians that comprise Democratic Leadership remain in their posts? The same crowd lost the Chamber eight years ago, do they have what it takes to win it back. More important, can they hold onto the House if they gain it back?

Those are unanswered questions. Perhaps it is time for a changing of the guard in Democratic leadership. Should the Democrats retake the House, and there is a slim chance they may win the Senate too, it is not from adroit campaigning on behalf of leadership, or the party. Donald Trump is handing this election to the Democrats on a silver platter.

The nation is preoccupied with the shenanigans of Trump and has been since election night 2016. For Republicans, the looming question is: “What will this guy do to us?” Nobody, including Donald Trump, expected him to win. The look of surprise and shock on his face election night is a metaphor describing the collective gasp of the nation.

Before winning the Presidency, his outlandish behavior was political entertainment. Nobody in their right mind could believe the country would elect such a buffoon to the highest office in the land.

Only it did elect him.

We approach the 2018 midterm elections, and those of us who were so sure the words “Madam President” would ring across the land, are now just as confident of a Democratic Speaker next year. In 2016, we were run over by the Trump Train. We are playing with fire if we underestimate our opponents, and become complacent because of predictions. We cannot allow it to happen twice.

What are the implications of a Democratic sweep on November 6?

That is an excellent question. I know activists hope for the impeachment of Donald Trump. That is a grave political error if a new Democratic House of Representatives passes a bill of impeachment. We will lose the vote for removal in the Senate. There are seven GOP Senate seats facing election this cycle. To remove a sitting President requires sixty-six votes. We do not have those. Moreover, the prospects are slim for the Democrats even gaining a simple majority in the Senate.

On January 3, 2019, the new Congress will be sworn in. What will it mean for the nation? I do not believe much will change. Will Donald Trump suddenly start reaching out to those he calls names now to work together for the common good? If you think that, pass me what you are smoking, it must be good stuff. We will not be in a position to quickly restore the cuts in Medicare and other social services the GOP are seeking to help offset their record deficits.

About the best, we can hope for is to stop the GOP agenda in its tracks. Reversal of the tax bill will not be possible until there is a Democrat in the White House. The tax inequality in favor of the wealthiest Americans will continue, and you can bet any move to increase taxes will be met with a veto if it passes Congress.

A blue wave will not stop GOP tyranny, and probably will not curb Donald Trump’s excesses, but it is the beginning of the end of the GOP agenda. I wish the Democrats had a plan of our own other than slogans.

Be sure to register and vote. Make sure your friends and family who support Democratic Candidates are registered and get to the polls on election day. Shame on us if we get out campaigned again.

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