Op­por­tu­nity for progress lost in midterms

Boston Herald - - OPINION - Jay Am­brose is a syn­di­cated colum­nist.

Money played a role, ap­par­ently big, big money, and so did his­tory, mis­con­cep­tions, rad­i­cal­iza­tion of the in­no­cent and fem­i­nist anger for a guy named Trump. The story is that the Repub­li­cans lost the House and that the na­tion lost, too.

It lost glo­ri­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties for still more prize-wor­thy leg­is­la­tion and ma­jori­tar­ian pro­tec­tion from an­tidemo­cratic Demo­cratic malev­o­lence. A Repub­li­can House, on the leg­isla­tive side, did what a Demo­cratic House would never do, for in­stance: It helped give us a tax-re­form pack­age say­ing here’s a job, there’s a job, ev­ery­where is a job, job, job. The Democrats said wait, the tax cuts are just for the rich and, any­way, where are wage hikes?

Well, they are now sur­round­ing us, and that’s what hap­pens when you get out of the way of Amer­i­can busi­nesses, not just by re­duc­ing overly high taxes, but also scotch­ing dis­rup­tive, mind­less reg­u­la­tions that give wor­thy reg­u­la­tions a bad name. And, on top of in­sti­gat­ing eco­nomic growth that helps the poor more than any wel­fare pro­gram, the cuts did re­duce taxes more for the mid­dle class than the rich.

Democrats won’t ad­mit that. It makes them feel un­needed.

And so they mis­led you, and it’s a worry that they will play bud­get tricks and won’t line up be­hind any rea­son­able rem­edy to any­thing. In­stead, some say, they’ll be pre­oc­cu­pied with im­peach­ment, in­ves­ti­ga­tions and any means they can think of to yank the chair out from un­der a seated pres­i­dent. Con­cern­ing pol­icy op­tions, some Democrats have also found it pays to be so­cial­is­tic be­cause all kinds of young vot­ers are so­cial­is­tic and, if his­tory has never al­lowed so­cial­ism to suc­ceed, maybe it can be per­suaded to change its mind.

De­spite all of that, the Democrats did grab gobs of cash from evil Wall Street and vastly out­spent Repub­li­cans on smoth­er­ing TV ads, per­haps hop­ing they would min­i­mal­ize mind­ful­ness to a state of sup­port.

Di­vi­sive­ness, thou art en­shrined, and, given Pres­i­dent Trump’s cocka­mamie, vi­tu­per­a­tive tweets and speeches, it’s not just the fault of in­tel­lec­tual me­an­der­ing about the end of Amer­ica. It’s not just cam­puses gone wacko. It is not just wide-eyed mobs let­ting their nar­row minds rule. No, Trump has con­trib­uted to the point of en­gen­der­ing hate ex­press­ing it­self in terms his own stum­bling tongue can­not equal.

Of course, the pres­i­dent’s party con­sis­tently loses loads of House seats in midterm elec­tions, and none of this is to say that Demo­cratic vot­ers were with­out le­git­i­mate con­cerns, even if a bit off some­times. Many Demo­cratic votes, we know, came from sub­ur­ban women whose fears are said to in­clude the pos­si­bil­ity of a re­fash­ioned Supreme Court re­peal­ing the Roe v. Wade abor­tion rul­ing.

That’s ac­tu­ally as far­fetched as think­ing it will re­peal women’s rights to vote. And mean­while lots of Amer­i­cans un­der­stood how dis­hon­est and close to sub­ver­sive the Democrats were in their at­tempts to stop Se­nate ap­proval of Brett Ka­vanaugh as a jus­tice.

That’s likely one rea­son Repub­li­cans in­creased their ma­jor­ity in a Se­nate that will still be able to de­liver on judges and jus­tices. That’s hugely im­por­tant if you dis­like lib­eral jus­tices amend­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion through so-called in­ter­pre­ta­tions. I, for one, was pleased to see for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mitt Rom­ney elected to the Se­nate from Utah; I look for­ward to his lead­er­ship and re­mem­ber Pres­i­dent Obama mock­ing him for view­ing Rus­sia as an en­emy.

In­ter­est­ing, isn’t it, that the dis­rep­utable Rus­sian col­lu­sion probe was hardly brought up by the Democrats in this out­ing and that Trump still con­nects suf­fi­ciently with the Amer­i­can peo­ple to have likely made a dif­fer­ence in some races. Th­ese are dis­ori­ent­ing times we live in, but the poll­sters were pretty much right, as op­posed to flubs in 2016. If they get good enough, will TV news shows de­vot­ing nine-tenths of their time to pre­dic­tions come to con­sider elec­tions un­nec­es­sary?


WASH­ING­TON-BOUND: Sen­a­tor-elect Mitt Rom­ney, with his wife, Ann, shakes hands af­ter giv­ing an elec­tion night vic­tory speech in Orem, Utah.

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