While the damage Democrats are doing to the country right now can’t be overstated, there’s perhaps a glimmer of hope on the horizon. No, it won’t come in the form of a feckless GOP Senate majority which can’t even be counted on to oppose inflation-busted spending bills. Rather, the House of Representatives, whose Republican caucus has been far more unified, looks to flip in 2022.
Another blow on that front has been landed. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) is retiring, and in doing so, he’s essentially ceding his seat to the GOP.
NEWS: Rep. Ron Kind (D) will announce his retirement Tuesday from #WI03, a swing seat that Trump carried twice
This is a huge blow to Dems' chances of keeping their House majority
— Ally Mutnick (@allymutnick) August 10, 2021
This was a Trump district that had been kind to the incumbent Democrat through multiple cycles. That’s a phenomenon we see often, including with someone like Sen. Joe Manchin. But with Kind gone, the Republican candidate becomes the odds-on favorite. That’s bad news for Democrats given how slim the margin already is for them in the House.
But this goes beyond just this one seat. Retirements like this are a harbinger of what is to come. Kind is only 58 years old. When you start to see early retirements, it’s almost always because members in swing districts are seeing the writing on the wall. This same thing happened in reverse prior to 2018, where GOP members retired expecting to lose the majority, providing the surest sign that a blue wave was coming.
For many of these current House representatives, there’s far more money to be gained and happiness to be found in the private sector as an ex-Congressional member vs. getting their just deserts in the minority (and with redistricting, the GOP will likely keep a majority for several cycles). Ask yourself: Would you want to be in the minority in Congress, away from your family for long stretches, when you can likely go be a millionaire based on the connections you made as a politician? That choice would be fairly easy for me, especially if that minority position looks to last for far longer than two years.
This is just the beginning, in my opinion. You are going to see a lot more retirements from Democrats over the next year, making the path clearer for a GOP majority in the House. You might even see some really big names in the mix. They know what’s coming, and they are quickly losing hope that they can stop it.