PoliticsElections

The GOP Needs to Win Big or Lose Small

A slight GOP majority in the House would be counterproductive and leave voters with a false sense of security going into 2020.
5 min read
Photograph courtesy Element5 Digital

This election shouldn't even be close. Trump's populist message not only won him the presidency, but secured the largest GOP majority of all three branches of government in recent history. Tuesday should be a slam dunk for the Republicans but here we are debating between red and blue waves.

It's true that for midterm elections the party opposite the president historically tends to pick up seats. However, there should be absolutely no reason the Republicans are sweating. The platform they were elected on in 2016 is so bulletproof that they should be able to keep their majority for decades, that is, if they had actually meant what they promised. Instead, not only has the GOP failed to implement their most important policies, they've done the opposite in some cases.

Six months ago, if you had asked me who would win the House, I would have easily said the Democrats. However, that prediction always came with the disclaimer "unless something crazy happens". Well, crazy happened.

American politics can flip on a dime, and it did. It's a race to the bottom and the Democrats biffed one of the easiest layups of all time. Somehow even I didn't foresee a Supreme Court nominee getting falsely accused of being a serial gang rapist. And then, there are the massive caravans heading straight towards us. Regardless of who is funding these caravans, the timing is very convenient for both Trump and the GOP right now.

I'm not going to make any Election Day predictions, but I'm fairly certain of two things: the GOP will pick up a couple seats in the Senate and they will lose seats in the House.

There are two outcomes that would best serve the country. One being a red wave where the GOP picks up seats in the House and gets 60 seats in the Senate. I see no indication of this happening.

Second, if results are close, the optimal outcome is for the GOP to gain seats in the Senate and lose by 1 seat in the House, giving the Democrats a D+1 House majority. Conversely, the worst possible case is for the GOP to keep a 1 seat R+1 House majority.

Yes, you read that right. I think a small GOP majority would be bad and could come back to haunt them in 2020. This is because the Republican Party is either the least competent or most duplicitous party in our history. We gave them all three branches of government and all we got were tax cuts. I support them but it isn't the most pressing issue to conservatives. Then there is President Trump who, for some reason, doesn't seem to realize that he's president.

Poll after poll has found that immigration and healthcare are the most important issues to Republicans and Democrats respectively. On healthcare, the GOP could have just re-submitted the same Obamacare repeal bill that Obama vetoed, but instead they tried to pass something that surely would have been worse. Ironically, this is why I think it's actually better for the GOP that Obamacare is still here.

Now let's talk about immigration, which is the only reason President Trump was elected. During the campaign he made a lot of promises, but so far there has been more talk than action. Make no mistake, illegal immigration is every bit as bad under Trump as it was under Obama. Aside from posturing and window dressing, almost nothing has changed.

Why should I vote for the GOP just because they aren't the Democrats? Even with control of the Senate and a strong majority in the House they've accomplished very little. Our borders are still wide open, we're still fighting wars overseas, healthcare gets more expensive by the day, Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities are still funded, the lower activist courts still roam free, DACA is still here, and there's no wall at our southern border.

Unemployment Rates
Unemployment rates have been steadily declining since the crash of 2008. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The economy is doing well and unemployment is going down, at least on paper. However, these things were already improving under Obama since the crash in 2008. Trump's policies have certainly kept them going in the right direction, though. Personally, I haven't felt any of these gains. The cost of living continues to rise and my city has noticeably more (illegal?) workers who don't speak English than it did two years ago.

With a slim majority in Congress the skittish GOP would accomplish even less and they'd only have themselves to blame come 2020. Clearly, as we saw during the Kavanaugh hearings, the GOP does know how to fight when they want something. The problem is they don't want the same things their voters want.

It's no doubt that Congress has been a roadblock for President Trump, however, there are things he could be doing that he's not. Most importantly, he hasn't vetoed a single thing, thus giving away all his leverage.

It's true that his Cabinet has been working against him, but he's the one who hired them. On policy, there are things he can do on his own. He certainly doesn't need Congress to build a wall. He can start turning these caravans around by tweeting that they won't be able to get a job when they get here. But he won't because the donors and Doral want someone to mow the lawn.

Furthermore, Trump has done little to drain the Swamp. There have been quality MAGA candidates running in open seats all over the country and he hasn't been campaigning for them.

The big worry about losing the House is that Trump will be impeached. This might be true, however, impeachment does not mean removal from office. The House merely votes to put him on trial in the Senate to have him removed, which won't happen with the GOP likely keeping control. Keep in mind that impeachment actually helped Bill Clinton and rallied voters.

As we saw during the Kavanaugh hearings, if the Democrats take back the House we'll see a level of crazy that is unprecedented in this country. It will be unfortunate but will expose society for what it has become and hopefully wake people up again.

If the GOP keeps the Senate, they'll still be able to appoint Supreme Court justices and those newly rumored Cabinet members. My thoughts on this election would be different if the GOP were at risk of losing the Senate.

With a split Congress no new legislation will pass, which is true, but so what? Nothing is passing anyway. At least the Democrats can be blamed for it. Trump is a fighter and he does best when his back is against the wall. He'd be forced to use the full extent of his power to deliver on campaign promises (hint: the wall). Because if he didn't, his legacy both in and out of D.C. would be destroyed.

With a slim GOP win on Election Day, there will be incessant gloating and meming coming from the Right. Trump will go on thinking everything is going great and the Right could be caught with their pants down in 2020.

The Right needs to take a step back and every single person wearing a red MAGA hat needs to stop praising the President even when he's wrong. There's plenty to praise him on things he's done right.

No matter what happens on Election Day, just remember that Trump can only be president for two or six more years. If we're going to lose, it's best to lose now while we have an 800 lbs gorilla in the room because all I see to replace him are weasels in the wings.

I'm not telling you who to vote for. Vote for whomever you feel will serve in your best interest. I'll be voting straight GOP in my district, but that's only because they happen to be the best options.