Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Trump Ignores House Loss to Hail Senate Gains as His ‘Big Win’

Daniel Rimbau waits to enter an election night party for Republican US Senator Ted Cruz Daniel Rimbau waits to enter an election night party for Republican US Senator Ted Cruz
Pablo Mccormick | 10 November, 2018, 03:42

On the other hand, this masked his underlying weakness as a politician.

The fear, it seems, does motivate Republicans.

Nadler's panel would handle any effort to impeach Trump, depending on the outcome of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's federal probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA elections and possible Trump campaign collusion with Moscow. Trumpism has become an established part of the political landscape.

Democrats could try to block major arms sales to Saudi Arabia and curtail USA support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, which the prince launched as defense minister in 2015.

True, Republicans lost the House of Representatives, and that constitutes a blow to the president and his party. Dean Heller lost in Nevada, but former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney trounced his opponent in Utah and is now headed to the Senate.

Even as Trump mused about working with Democrats, he was quick to promise a "warlike posture" if the Democratic controlled House opens investigations into his administration. Republicans kept their Senate majority.

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He noted (using a lower projection of 35 House seats gained) that this was the greatest wave election in four decades for the Democrats.

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have always been key allies, and Trump made the country his first stop overseas as president. There was a minor party candidate also in the race, and under Georgia law, if no candidate exceeds 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers advance to a December runoff election.

The result nearly surely will be more political rancor, more nasty discourse, more legislative gridlock.

That's what happened in the 1998 midterm vote, when Republican impeachment proceedings against then-President Bill Clinton ended up energizing his fellow Democrats, allowing them to take additional House seats.

That's why you also heard a victory speech from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is likely to return as speaker of the House with the new Democratic majority in January.

Overturning control of the House in Tuesday's midterm elections has given the Democrats a powerful weapon to wield against Trump: subpoenas whose reach could extend far beyond the White House and Washington.

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The City of Calabasas Twitter revealed early Friday morning that the Woolsley Fire has spread to 7,300 acres with no containment. The KUWTK reality star shared a series of posts detailing how she and her family had an hour to evacuate their home.

The speaker must receive votes from a majority of House members in the new session of Congress. Expectations are high among Democrats and "they don't expect us to go in there and play it safe", said Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, a progressive caucus leader who supports Pelosi's leadership bid but acknowledges the pressures. Considering this statement ignores how the Republican Party acted when President Barack Obama was in office (remember the fifty-plus attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act or how they stole a Supreme Court seat by not confirming Merrick Garland?) it should be taken with a grain of salt.

House Democrats will have subpoena power and will be able to investigate every facet of Trump's presidency and business career.

Meanwhile, Democrats have problems of their own. "We saw an uptick in Democratic enthusiasm and turnout, an uptick in first-time voters, an uptick in new registrants, and this electorate was more diverse and a little younger than typical midterm elections".

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of the Democrats who is considering the 2020 race, said that the two years since Trump ascended to the White House had ushered a new generation of women into public life. He claimed the opposing party "have gone insane, folks".

Which gets us to the final lesson of the elections-that it did nothing to diminish or alleviate the yawning gap between the nation's elites and its mass of ordinary citizens. "And in the last week, he certainly motivated some base Trump voters to come out enthusiastically themselves". But he hasn't figured out a way to turn this success into a majority coalition. But if the Democrats are likely to scrap with each other, they will be united in opposition to the president and his administration.

The result is ongoing political instability-rather like what we've been experiencing only more so.

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Robert Schlesinger is a veteran Washington journalist and commentator.

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