National Post (Latest Edition)
PREPARE FOR AN UNHINDERED TRUMP.
A few months ago, Democrats in the U.S. were rubbing their hands in glee in anticipation of a “blue wave” that would give them control of Congress in the November mid-term elections and allow them to impeach President Donald Trump. Today they’re wringing their hands in fear that the Republicans could defy the odds and keep the Congress — historically, the party controlling the presidency loses seats in the House of Representatives 90 per cent of the time.
Soon Democrats could be raising their hands in horror at an increasingly plausible scenario: a “red wave” that, far beyond denying them their much-anticipated impeachment, gives Trump the supermajority he needs to pass virtually any legislation he wishes.
Until recently, the Democratic strategy — demonize Trump as a racist, sexist, xenophobic incompetent through an anti-Trump Resistance Movement that obstructs him at every turn — seemed to many to be working. Trump’s popularity sank and the polls gave the Democrats a commanding edge over the Republicans of as much as 16 percentage points.
But although the Democrats blocked most of Trump’s agenda, “most” wasn’t good enough. Trump’s passage of tax-cutting legislation and his conservative judicial appointments are among the most consequential in recent history. Moreover, the Trump resistance couldn’t stop his administration from slashing job-killing regulations throughout the federal bureaucracy, they couldn’t stop him from spurring investment through his pro-business rhetoric, they couldn’t stop him from militarily wiping out ISIL and they couldn’t stop him from fulfilling literally hundreds of his campaign promises. As the Heritage Foundation has noted, the Trump administration has already implemented nearly twothirds of the 334 “Mandate for Leadership” agenda items he pledged to fulfil, including 81 major achievements such as withdrawing from the Paris climate accord and repealing net neutrality.
The country is upbeat. Consumer confidence is at a 17-year high, according to the Conference Board. According to Gallup, “Sixty-seven per cent of Americans believe that now is a good time to find a quality job in the U.S., the highest percentage in 17 years of Gallup polling. Optimism about the availability of good jobs has grown by 25 percentage points since Donald Trump was elected president.” Before Trump, the percentage had never reached even 50. Wages are rising for the first time in decades. Unemployment rates for blacks and Hispanics are at record lows, and for women are at 18-year lows.
These successes have led to striking shifts in the traditional Democratic strongholds. White millennials are now as likely to vote Republican as Democrat and white millennial males are 25-per-cent more likely to vote Republican than Democrat, according to Reuters polling. As striking is Trump’s inroad with blacks, who normally vote Republican in the single digits. Black support for Trump has more than doubled, standing at 13 per cent among women and a jaw-dropping 22 per cent among men. Hispanics are even likelier than blacks to vote for Trump.
The latest Reuters poll now has Republicans leading the Democrats. If the trend continues, Republicans could actually get to the 60 seats needed for a filibuster-proof Senate, enough to overcome any Democratic objections. The math tilts Republican. As explained by Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, “Democrats are defending 26 of the 35 Senate seats being contested this year, including 10 seats in states that President Donald Trump won in the last presidential election. If one uses such seats as a proxy for the most vulnerable Democratic-held Senate seats — a reasonable metric — then almost all of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats are on the ballot this year.”
Republicans would need to take nine of those 10 Trump-state seats while retaining their incumbent seats to give Trump his supermajority. The Trump juggernaut could then really go to town, fulfilling the balance of the president’s agenda, the most radical in modern times: He could complete his repeal of Obamacare, slash the federal workforce, further stock the judiciary with conservative judges, defund Planned Parenthood, abolish the crony Export-Import Bank, slash foreign aid, end welfare dependency, further deregulate the economy, further cut taxes and, of course, build the wall.
Trump has been hailed by many conservatives as the most conservative president in history and by evangelicals as the most pro-life president in modern history. In his first 18 months, he has been one of the most productive presidents in history, despite the Democrats’ obstruction. He has also been one of the most ambitious. Should the obstruction be cleared, America will undergo an unprecedented transformation, one marked most of all by draining the swamp of oversized government.
A SUPERMAJORITY WOULD LET HIM PASS VIRTUALLY ANY LEGISLATION HE WISHES.