For the past couple of weeks, you may or may not have noticed I’ve been quiet on the editorial front. I have been thoroughly considering and writing about my thoughts on the upcoming election…how I will vote, and what we should be doing during this abysmal Trump-induced political crapshow.
The vote will be held in just two weeks. Will Trump and his Republican minions be rewarded for their behavior? Will the Democrats come splashing in with an epic “Blue Wave”? Or somewhere in between? We don’t have much longer to wait to find out.
Before I unleash what has become a fairly weighty tome consisting of my thoughts on all of this, I’m going to use this article to sort of “set the stage”. What is the current score in the “Us vs Them” game? What was it when Obama took office and how has the score changed since then…and more importantly, what will it be going forward?
Contrary to the mistaken belief of the masses on the right, Republicans were already winning, well before Trump came along. But when most people only have a surface knowledge of how things work, they believe that the only measure of political winning is who wins the White House. People believe that is where all of the power is and what really makes things happen. People like Mitch McConnell laugh at such things. McConnell knows that Presidents are a mere nuisance in their world. They come and go. McConnell was elected to the Senate in 1984…he’s watched 5 President’s come and go during that time, and will still be around when the 6th is gone as well. He is well aware that Trump has had little to do with any of the so-called accomplishments during the past 2 years.
But, dammit, I digress. Back to the score…
In 2008, when Obama was elected, he enjoyed a 2 year period where the Democrats were in full control. It’s how Obamacare was rammed through…barely, and by a number of shady actions, but passed nonetheless. However, that was about it. They basically spent all of their political capital on that one thing. It was a big thing, make no mistake, but it caused such a backlash that in 2010, the tide had changed.
Before the 2010 midterm election, The Democrats held both houses of congress and the White House. In the Senate, they held between a 58-60 Democrats to 40-42 Republicans advantage, and in the House, they had a comfortable 257 Democrats to 178 Republicans.
But that’s not all. The Democrats, prior to the 2010 elections, also held a substantial advantage in the State governments. In the State legislatures, the Democrats held 4,044 seats, while the Republicans had 3,248 (there were 71 “others”). The Democrats controlled both houses of the legislature in 27 states, while the Republicans had 14 (8 were divided and 1 is non-partisan). The governorship was split fairly evenly with 26 Republican Governors and 24 Democrat.
Beginning with the 2010 mid-term election, and continuing through the 2016 election, these numbers shifted dramatically in the Republican’s favor.
So in 2016 (before Trump), here’s where things stood:
114th Congress (2015-2017):
House – Republicans 247, Democrats 188 (prior to 2010 election, it was Democrats 257, Republicans 178)
Senate – Republicans 54, Democrats 46 (prior to 2010 election, it was Democrats 58-60, Republicans 40-42)
Republicans 4,121 (prior to 2010 election, Republicans held 3,248 seats)
Democrats 3,164 (prior to 2010 election, Democrats held 4,044 seats)
State Legislative Control of Both Houses:
Republicans 30 (prior to 2010 election, Republicans 14)
Democrats 11 (prior to 2010 election, Democrats 27)
Divided 8 (no change)
N/A 1 (no change)
Republicans 31 (prior to 2010 election, Republicans 26)
Democrats 18 (prior to 2010 election, Democrats 24)
Independent 1 (prior to 2010 election, Independent 0)
As these numbers make perfectly clear, Republicans were winning. Big time. Even though Obama was President and won reelection in 2012, everything else was trending toward the Republicans. After Obamacare, once the Republicans took control of Congress, Obama’s agenda was stymied. Can you name any other big policies or legislation that Obama was able to implement without his “phone and a pen”? Yes, he definitely did some damage using executive orders and other ways to skirt around Congress, but all in all, he was thwarted and the things he did implement unilaterally were always going to be easy to reverse by just another stroke of the pen (which Trump takes great pleasure in proclaiming as “accomplishments” now).
Besides all of that, the Republicans were making great strides at the state level. States like Wisconsin, with Gov. Scott Walker, were directly taking on the big unions…and winning. More and more, the people were giving the Republicans an opportunity to govern and implement conservative policies at the State level. People were engaged. They were learning about the Constitution and how things were really supposed to work. They were learning about the ways to make the changes needed through such avenues as the Convention of States, which would bypass the corrupted federal government. Momentum was on the side of the Republicans…and more importantly, on the side of constitutional conservatives. That is why I was so optimistic going in to the 2016 election cycle. The only thing we were missing was a good, articulate, constitutionally-minded leader in the White House who could use the bully pulpit to help guide these needed changes along. Finally, I saw a path to setting our Republic back on course.
And then Trump, a constitutional imbecile who lacks any knowledge of the founding principles or how our government is supposed to work, took a ride down that damn escalator.
My fear was that his ignorant, belligerent, blustering brand of BS would stop cold the momentum the Republicans had and throw it all in reverse, allowing the Democrats to regain strongholds in the States, as well as the federal government. If that happens, we can kiss the chance of making the needed changes goodbye.
And so, here we are. I don’t think we will know the full extent of the damage done until after the 2020 Presidential, and possibly the 2022 midterms to know for sure, but will the 2018 midterms begin the Democrat takeover that I fear?
We’re about to found out in 2 short weeks and I’m anxious to compare the numbers to those I have shown above.
In the next day or two, I will be posting my complete thoughts on how I will be approaching this election. Will I vote for Republicans as I’ve done my entire life (other than the 2016 Presidential ticket)? For Democrats for the first time ever? Third party where it’s an option?
I think I’ve made up my mind…