Diary

Why Republicans Lost the House

Thousands of demonstrators protest the anticipated immigration policies of president-elect Donald Trump during a march, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

There have been two distinctive Republican movements in the last decade: Tea Party and Trump.  In 2010 the Tea Party really swept onto the national scene as a fiscally responsible conservatives.  We had been racking up debt as far as the eye could see, and new entitlements were on the table.  The Tea Party really was the party of “No.”  In 2010 the vote was not for Republicans so much as “cut this crap out.”  The house was flipped, and while the senate was not flipped there was a net pickup of 6 seats.  The House was really run on a single theme “Repeal Obamacare.”  They said they couldn’t do it without the senate and presidency.  By 2016 both were in hand, and yet the House still couldn’t do that one thing they were elected to do.  Republicans abandoned many of their representatives because they could not do the one thing they were put in place to do.

The Senate… well, we will come back to that one.

Trump for all his bluster and “he tells it like it is” and “he fights” was really elected for two things 1) build the wall 2) drain the swamp.  The southern border is more than 2000 miles long.  I think a lot more progress needs to be made, like 200 miles a year of progress.  If there aren’t more panels up Trump will absolutely lose part of his base.  The second is much more ephemeral.  I mean really, how can you really tell if the swamp is drained?  Overall I would say that Trump is actually making good progress here.  The number of new regulations and handouts certainly feels like it is declining.  Maybe it is just managing the news cycle, but this one feels like a solid win.  Trump was not actually elected to put in place conservative judges.  I’m not sure there were many people who believed him with his list.  This has actually been a plus, and it may offset some of the “build the wall” dissapointment.

The Senate was given two jobs by republican voters 1) work with the house to repeal Obamacare 2) put conservatives on the court.  The Senate appeared to be headed for a loss earlier this year.  Things changed massively in the Senate after the Kavanaugh confirmation.  Every Democrat in a Trump state that voted against Kavanaugh was kicked out, and the Democrats managed to convert one seat (Nevada).  I suspect if the Senate had folded on the confirmations the close elections we saw in the senate would have shifted two points to the left, giving Democrats Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Montana.

You want a Republican house?  Then do your freaking job.  We can accept continuing resolutions, we can accept bickering, we can accept all sorts of stuff, but when you are elected to do one thing and can’t do it you lose your support.

Trump: Drain the swamp and build the wall.

Senate: Get conservatives on the benches, block crap appointees

House: Repeal freaking Obamacare

Overall it isn’t that complicated.  Do what you said you would do when we voted for you.