Democrats won the House, but Trump won the elec­tion

The Myanmar Times - - World - BY ED ROGERS

WHILE Tues­day night was not a com­plete win for Repub­li­cans, there was no blue wave, ei­ther. By most mea­sures, Repub­li­cans beat the odds of his­tory and nearly ev­ery­one’s ex­pec­ta­tions, while Democrats were left dis­ap­pointed as the fan­tasy of Beto O’Rourke, An­drew Gil­lum, Stacey Abrams and oth­ers win­ning fiz­zled. Not one new pro­gres­sive Demo­crat was suc­cess­ful burst­ing onto the scene. It will take a few days to process the mean­ing of this year’s elec­tion re­turns, but the in­stant anal­y­sis is clear: Democrats may have won the House, but Trump won the elec­tion.

As I al­ways say, in pol­i­tics, what is sup­posed to hap­pen tends to hap­pen. I pre­dicted in Au­gust that the Democrats would take the House but that alone was not enough for most Democrats. As much as this year’s midterms of­fered an ob­vi­ous op­por­tu­nity to re­buke Pres­i­dent Trump, lit­tle of what the ar­ro­gant Democrats and mem­bers of the main­stream me­dia ex­pected would hap­pen ac­tu­ally did. So much of what they said turned out to be wrong that it will take a while be­fore the sig­nif­i­cance be­comes clear. And if the 2018 midterms prove any­thing, it is that Trump is stand­ing strong while Democrats and their al­lies who thought Trump would have been af­fir­ma­tively re­jected are in fact the ones who have them­selves been de­nied.

Democrats have un­der­per­formed in com­par­i­son with the his­tor­i­cal mark­ers and gen­eral ex­pec­ta­tions of a midterm cy­cle. The pres­i­dent’s party loses 37 seats in the House on av­er­age in midterm elec­tions when his ap­proval is below 50 per­cent — but Democrats aren’t pro­jected to pick up nearly that many seats. No lib­eral will want to ad­mit it, but Trump is an as­set to the Repub­li­can Party, while Pres­i­dent Barack Obama was a dis­as­ter for the Demo­cratic Party.

Let the mes­sage be clear: Vot­ers had a chance to re­pu­di­ate Trump and they did not. Much of the com­men­tariat has said this year’s elec­tions are about who we are as a coun­try and what Amer­ica is all about. Well, a lot of Amer­ica seems to be about sup­port­ing Trump. The Democrats thought Trump’s neg­a­tives would be enough to pro­pel them to vic­tory. The 2018 re­sults show it is clear they need a dif­fer­ent plan if they think they can win in 2020.

The midterms largely fol­lowed the con­ven­tional wis­dom of how midterms are sup­posed to go. The pres­i­dent’s party lost some seats, but by and large what hap­pened was far from the blue-wave re­buke that Democrats and their al­lies in the me­dia said was go­ing to hap­pen. So if the midterms were sup­posed to be bad for the GOP and all eyes were on Trump this year, the big ques­tion is whether any­thing about Tues­day night’s re­sults sup­ports the idea that Trump was a weight on Repub­li­can can­di­dates. Is Trump­ism a po­lit­i­cal blight on the Repub­li­can Party? The an­swer is that Trump­ism is a net plus. What that says about the GOP and Amer­ica is un­clear. But for the pur­poses of the 2018 midterms, Trump is a win­ner.

Trump and his al­lies have an ap­peal that the elites in New York and Hol­ly­wood can­not dis­miss or com­bat. All of the 2018 Demo­cratic heart­throbs lost. That must sap the en­thu­si­asm of the re­sis­tance. For the most part, when vot­ers had to de­cide, the an­gry left was re­jected and Trump was re­warded.

– The Wash­ing­ton Post

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