by Shlomo Rudman. In last Tuesday’s midterm elections, Democrats managed to flip dozens of Republican-held seats, allowing them to retake control of the House of Representatives. While Republicans and their allies have been lamenting the loss of the House to Democrats, President Trump seemed completely unperturbed by the defeat, and chose to focus on Republican gains in the Senate. My theory is that Trump is not agitated by the Republican trouncing in the House because it actually benefits him in the long run.
President Trump ran his presidential campaign not as a thought-provoking outsider, but rather as a larger-than-life personality who had an uncanny ability to stir up conversation and attack his opponents in their weakest spots. Clamping down on illegal immigration by building a wall was pretty much the only policy position that he spoke of on the campaign trail. The rest was a litany of insults and accusations being hurled toward his opponents at a torrid clip. During the Republican primaries there was ‘Lyin’ Ted’, ‘Little Marco’, ‘Low Energy Jeb’, and a plethora of others for the candidates in the crowded 2016 primary field. During the general election campaign there was of course ‘Crooked Hillary’ and chants of “lock her up!” which, along with tirades against US immigration policy, was (and still is) a staple at his rallies. His tactics worked and got him elected as President of the United States. But what remains clear is that Trump is no policy wonk; he relies on bashing others to keep himself afloat and his supporters energized.
It is therefore quite reasonable to suggest that Democrats overtaking the House of Representatives will result in a net positive for Trump. Although it will now be far more difficult to advance Republican legislative agendas in Congress, and Democrats will be investigating Trump for at least the next two years, Trump now has a nemesis to blame for any failures of his in the runup to the 2020 campaign. If nothing comes of Democrat investigations into the Trump Organization finances or his administration’s maneuvers, he will point to them as causing widespread harm to the people of the United States. Instead of focusing on what was best for the people, the Democrats decided instead to investigate me in an attempt to discredit me and destroy my Presidency, Trump will argue.
In many ways, he would be right. Democratic leaders have already made clear that investigating Trump will be their top priority in the new Congress. Democratic chairs of House committees are already lining up investigative strategies and are making public statements suggesting that the House agenda for the next two years will contain barely anything other than investigations into the President.
In doing so, Democrats are making a conscious decision to put aside bipartisan efforts to fix many woes ailing the country, in order to advance their own priorities of toppling Trump and his administration. They had better hope it works for them or Trump will be further emboldened and motivated in his condemnation of Democrats in the 2020 presidential campaign.
The Democratic takeover of the House, while upsetting to conservatives for the moment, may result in their happiest dreams coming true: a second term for President Trump.