The Presidential race continues to hang in the balance this morning, with things looking less than favorable for Trump’s re-election. We are going to see a lot of court challenges, but the cynic in me says we’ve seen this movie before. Late gathered ballots from deep blue areas go to the Democrat at astronomical rates that are coincidentally just enough to cause defeat for the Republican. The fight is still on, but with Georgia now shifting as well early this morning, the path to victory is unlikely.
With that said, it’s not all bad news, and even if Trump loses, no one should hang their head after the last four years. There’s one thing I’m certain of now more than ever. Those on the “right” who proclaimed that Trump’s previous election would cause doom for the party’s future have been absolutely repudiated. A Hillary Clinton presidency would not have preserved conservatism over the long term, it would have fully and completely destroyed it.
Let’s analyze where we sit now. The GOP has likely held the Senate, with surprise wins in North Carolina and Maine, along with holds that were previously far from certain in places like Iowa and South Carolina. This is not what the prognosticators told us would happen. We were assured that Trump would drag the entire party into the abyss, causing a loss of the Senate and further losses in the House. In the end, Republicans are going to come close to retaking the House in what is perhaps the most shocking development of this election cycle.
That means an ability to check a possible Biden presidency, but it also means that the GOP is sitting extremely pretty for 2022. The Senate map favors them and an off-year election will almost certainly deliver the House back to Republican hands, sending Nancy Pelosi to her political grave.
Of course, you can’t talk about Trump’s wins without noting the Supreme Court. Had Hillary been elected, we’d now be sitting at a strong liberal majority on the court with no prospect of retaking it for decades. I say that with the strongly supported assumption that Justice Breyer and a still living Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have absolutely retired under a President Hillary, and the GOP would not have blocked her appointments for two years while only holding a one seat majority at the time. But because Trump won, we now sit at 6-3 conservative majority that will help protect our constitutional republic for a long time into the future.
Lastly, I want to note that Trump did not destroy the party’s chances with minorities either, which was another big prediction constantly hurled by those asserting imminent doom over his election. Instead, Trump delivered the strongest minority support for the GOP in over half a century. Republicans are now setup to build on that if they don’t throw all those gains away (which, unfortunately, is a very real possibility).
In short, the hysterics at The Bulwark, The Dispatch, some at the Washington Examiner, etc. were completely wrong about the consequences of a Trump presidency. Anyone still making the argument that we’d have been better off as a Republican party with Hillary Clinton in charge is simply trying to save face. They are also spitting in the faces of voters who don’t get to live in a bubble but actually have to live with the results of these elections when it comes to policies, court appointments, and the like. Trump’s presidency, even if he doesn’t get another four years, was a huge success for the GOP. It’s time for some on the right to face that and offer their mea culpas.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)