National Post (Latest Edition)



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.


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