There is nothing which I dread so much as the division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leaader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This is my humble aprehension, is ot be dreaded as the greatest political evil under the Constition.
John Adams, 1780
March 14, 2017 (Analysis) We have had signs in the past. A blue wave is forming. It may have the force of a tsunami. Doug Jones won in Alabama during a special election. It was close. A conservative Democrat won in a deep red state. Conor Lamb is close to doing the same in Pensilvania. He is ahead of Rick Saccone by a mere 641 votes as of this morning. Absentee votes will likely decide this. We are assured of a recount as well. it is the nature of the beast.
Alabama and Pensilvania told us what is the pattern forming. This is a revolt of suburban voters who do not like what is happening in Washington. This wave will help Democrats in places like CA 49th district. We know that Daryl Issa is not running. He read the tea leaves earlier in the year, after Alabama. He also had a tough time winning his reelection in 2016, the year of Trump. We suspect Issa will soon be followed by more Republicans who know off year elections are bad for the party in power in the White House.
Nor is Issa the first to retire. He is in the middle of a pack who are leaving. We just expect more to do the same. Among them are influential Chairs of Committees such as Trey Gowdy. All told, as of now 41 Republicans are leaving. Expect that list to grow.
Will Democrats take back the House? Chances are pretty good they will. Like 2006 they are running, partially, on we will bring some control to the White House. Divided government is good. It is the same message Republicans used in 2010 and 2014 as well.
Here is my cynical self. Ten seconds after Democrats take over the House, in the name of bipartisanship, Democrats will again declare that impeachment is off the table. Starting a war based on a lie was an impeachable offense. Enriching oneself from the White House, violating the Emoluments clause, is also an impeachable offense. And with Donald J Trump this is the easy one.
The Republican House has proven to be an enabling force. Incidentally, they could never find what never existed, legally that is. Collusion is not a legal term. It is a Trumpian term. So you cannot find what does not exist. Cooperation with Russia, and conspiracy (the actual legal term) is one of the things that the Mueller probe is looking for. The fact that the Republicans decided to transform a committee that was set after the Church Hearings to rein in overreach into a partisan dog and pony show tells us a lot. But I do not expect Democrats to do much better.
Why? Impeachment, while a legal mechanism to remove a president, is a political act. The founders did not envision it that way, but it is. Since Watergate it has been used that way. The impeachment of Bill Clinton was political theater. The lack of action over the actions of George W Bush, and expected under Trump, speak to it as well.
Perhaps Democrats will grow a spine, and put country before party. We know the current lot of Republicans will not. More likely Democrats will not. It is the nature of the beast. We live at a moment of division, when Americans are screaming across each other, from a chasm that is growing deeper. It is cultural, and it is tribal.
The blue wave is forming. It will also be filled by conservative Democrats, who many progressive Dems, in the tribalistic way of the present, will call Democrats in Name Only. It is one reason for the paralysis in Washington.
Suffice it to say, Nancy Pelosi does not hold a radical agenda. She is a center right politician. I do not expect her to rattle the boat. However, I do hope she does not get the gavel. I hope the Democratic Party finally elects a new generation to leadership. Perhaps that new generation will have the cajones to do what needs to be done, for the elders of the party have proven they are not capable. They had their chance in 2006.