President Obama won an historic victory in 2008 because he campaigned as a traditionalist and America is not racist. He spoke out against gay marriage and strongly endorsed the Second Amendment. He called for fiscal responsibility and strong international leadership – though he did oppose the Iraq War. His speeches were Reaganesque – filled with devotion to the greatness of the American culture. At the time, I wrote that his speeches could have actually been delivered by Reagan.
If he had campaigned honestly as an advocate of left-wing policies, he would not have been elected. I say “honestly” because Obama’s top advisor, David Axelrod, later admitted that Obama favored gay marriage, but saying so would have cost him the election.
Once in office, Obama quickly governed as the left-wing ideologue he always was. This produced a significant level of buyer’s remorse among the electorate, and in 2010, the voters gave him and the Democratic Party one of the biggest mid-term election defeats in American history –flipping more than 60 House seats and giving control of the lower chamber to the Republicans.
Obama and the Democrats did not get the memo. Rather than pulling back to the center-left, they drifted even more to the radical extreme – pushed by the rise of such liberal extremists as Elizabeth Warren, Keith Ellison, and Tom Perez. Even Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden have morphed from a third-way Democrats to radical progressives. That continuous tacking to the port side cost Democrats control of the Senate in 2014 – and by that time, voters had given the GOP two-thirds of the governorship and state legislatures. Democrats still did not get it.
Democrats had moved so far to the left that a little known, marginalized socialist senator from Vermont became a major force in the 2016 presidential election. In a push-you/pull-me fashion, Bernie Sanders had ridden the rogue wave of left-wing populism and empowered it further. Suddenly socialism was no longer a dirty word among much of the Democrat base.
The Sanders phenomenon paved the way for such far left characters as Perez and Ellison to take control of the Democratic National Committee. It made possible the congressional election successes of Alexandra Ocasia-Cortez, in New York City, and Rashida Tlaib, in the highly gerrymandered district that is anchored in the northwest corner of Detroit.
The power shift of the Democratic Party has moved so far to the left that such ardent progressives as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi are finding themselves on the right edge of the Democrat’s new bell curve. In fact, both Cortez and Tlaib are “no” votes when it comes to reinstating Pelosi as Speaker of the House, should Democrats take control – and they are not alone.
So, what can we expect if the neo-leftist Democratic Party gains a footing in Washington by winning control of the House? The most immediate results will be gridlock, chaos and economic setbacks.
First the gridlock. If you think it has been challenging for the Republican House and the Republican Senate to reach agreement on key issues, just imagine what it will be like when the two chambers of Congress are respectively in control of political parties that are based on different political planets. Healthcare reform? Immigration reform? Securing the border? Fugetabotit!
The gridlock will generate the chaos. Since nothing of any significance will be getting done, the two parties will be screaming and shouting at each other – blaming each other – in the public forum. That means the media. With most of the major new media playing for the progressive team, the reporting could get even more biased and brutal, as difficult as that may be to imagine.
Then there is the issue that will create the greatest chaos of all – impeachment. While the savvier Democrat leaders are trying to tamp down any talk of impeachment during the campaign, they will be all on board if they control the process. Nothing on the left’s agenda would divide and disrupt the nation more than an impeachment process. So, why would they even attempt to pass a bill of impeachment knowing that the likely Republican Senate – and even a marginally Democrat Senate – would not actually remove Trump from office?
Impeachment failed with Andrew Johnson and President Bill Clinton – and Nixon resigned before even the impeachment was passed. It is not at all certain that even then the Senate would have removed him from office. That is a very high bar.
That answer is to bloody up Trump and the GOP in time for the 2020 presidential election. It is a political process that would be played out for partisan political advantage.
To understand the economic outcome, one must recall how the economy limped along during the Obama years. Yes, he inherited a major problem in terms of the recession. However, the progressive economic policies of the left retarded the recovery rather than growing the economy – as they always do. Just the realization that Democrats would be able to prevent further tax cuts, slow down or stop the deregulation policies, interfere with trade policies and generate budgets that hamper job creation would be enough to put the stock market in a tailspin and bring the economic growth rate back to Obama levels. Congressional Democrats would become the political picadors of a bull market – weakening it with each legislative stab.
Considering all these potential outcomes, President Trump may be correct when he says that Vladimir Putin would love to see Democrats take control of the Congress. The Russian dictator is not interested in a warm and fuzzy relationship with Trump. He is not the bromantic type. He is only interested in knocking the United States off the top of the international hill. He cannot topple China’s rise, but he can hope to elbow Russia past America in world influence based on raw power if not economic vitality.
Since Russia’s influence relies largely on military power – and a willingness to use it aggressively around the world – Putin would be thrilled to have Democrats in place to cut the American military budget, as they habitually do.
We will see the re-emergence of the increasingly unpopular political correctness and identity politics idiocy. The politics of the left is genetically predisposed to conflicting tribalism. There will be no win-win outcomes from Democrat policies.
Perhaps the most damaging outcome to the Republic is that it will boost the fortunes of the most radical socialist element in the Democrat base. It will further solidify the hold the radical progressive faction has on the Democratic Party. The Party of Jefferson – that father of limited government – may take us past the point-of-no-return on the slippery slope of creeping socialism.