Will the mo­ment seize Democrats?

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION - Cal Thomas Cal Thomas is syn­di­cated by Tri­bune Me­dia Ser­vices.

We are about to find out whether Democrats meant it when they lamented the loss of ci­vil­ity in Wash­ing­ton. Hav­ing won the ma­jor­ity in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Tues­day’s elec­tion, will they co­op­er­ate with Repub­li­cans and “reach across the aisle,” or will they pan­der to their base, which wants Pres­i­dent Trump’s blood? Guess which sce­nario I’m bet­ting on.

Rep. Max­ine Wa­ters, D-Calif., who will likely head the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, has promised to seek re­venge on the banks, which she notes loaned money to peo­ple in the 1990s so they could buy houses they couldn’t af­ford. When the banks fore­closed, she says, some of her con­stituents be­came home­less.

Wa­ters seems to have for­got­ten that the sub­prime mort­gage cri­sis be­gan dur­ing the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion. As In­vestor Busi­ness Daily noted in an April 15, 2015, ed­i­to­rial, “The ev­i­dence is over­whelm­ing that Clin­ton was the ar­chi­tect of the fi­nan­cial dis­as­ter that wiped out tril­lions of dol­lars in house­hold wealth. Un­der his Na­tional Home­own­er­ship Strat­egy, Clin­ton took more than 100 ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions to pry bank lend­ing win­dows wide open.

“Through ex­ec­u­tive or­der, he mar­shaled 10 fed­eral agen­cies un­der a lit­tle-known task force to en­force new ‘flex­i­ble’ mort­gage un­der­writ­ing guide­lines to boost low-in­come and mi­nor­ity home­own­er­ship.”

Wa­ters also has re­peat­edly stated she wants the pres­i­dent im­peached. She is not alone.

Rep. Jer­rold Nadler, DN.Y., who will likely chair the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, boasted dur­ing the cam­paign of his qual­i­fi­ca­tions to lead im­peach­ment hear­ings. Nadler has hinted, and a few of his col­leagues have done more than hint, that newly in­stalled As­so­ciate Jus­tice Brett Ka­vanaugh should be sub­ject to more in­ves­ti­ga­tions over al­leged charges that he sex­u­ally as­saulted women three decades ago. That is un­likely to hap­pen since one Ka­vanaugh ac­cuser ad­mit­ted to ly­ing about be­ing at­tacked to “grab at­ten­tion,” there is no cor­rob­o­rat­ing ev­i­dence from any of his other ac­cusers, and soonto-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said she would not push to im­peach Ka­vanaugh.

Democrats have at least two prob­lems. The first is they have no ideas that will do a bet­ter job on the econ­omy and jobs than the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. “Ex­perts” said it was a pipe dream to think eco­nomic growth could ex­ceed 3 per­cent, as can­di­date Trump promised dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign. It has. Pres­i­dent Obama said some man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs were lost for­ever. Trump promised to bring them back, and the Bureau of La­bor Sta­tis­tics re­ported in Fe­bru­ary 2018 that, over the past year, man­u­fac­tur­ing had added 224,000 jobs.

Ac­cord­ing to an ad­vance es­ti­mate by the Bureau of Eco­nomic Anal­y­sis, Real gross do­mes­tic prod­uct in­creased 3.5 per­cent in the third quar­ter of 2018, down slightly from the 4.2 per­cent in­crease in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Democrats’ sec­ond prob­lem is that they will see the elec­tion as a man­date and will be tempted to over­reach, as Repub­li­cans did af­ter win­ning a House ma­jor­ity in 1994. Democrats, how­ever, should be cau­tious. Many of the seats they won in Repub­li­can-lean­ing districts will be vul­ner­a­ble in 2020. The ques­tion is whether Democrats will be able to re­sist the hard­core left in their party that wants to pay back Pres­i­dent Trump for beat­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Don’t ex­pect much ci­vil­ity in Wash­ing­ton, and don’t look for ma­jor me­dia — which is as much an arm of the Demo­cratic Party as Fox News is for the Repub­li­can Party — to find fault with any demon­stra­tion of in­ci­vil­ity by any Demo­crat.

In­stead of seiz­ing the mo­ment, Democrats are likely to be seized by the mo­ment. And what about Pres­i­dent Trump? Will he tone down his rhetoric, as he sug­gested in a re­cent in­ter­view that he has al­ready done? Will that make a dif­fer­ence in fu­ture Repub­li­can prospects?

Be­tween now and the next elec­tion grid­lock, not comity be­tween the par­ties, is the likely sce­nario. Wel­come, again, to a di­vided govern­ment rep­re­sent­ing a di­vided na­tion.

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