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Outsiders vs. Insiders: If history is a guide Dems’ wimpy ‘civility’ will last about a week

Has civility returned to America?

You’d almost think so if you heard would-be new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s election night “victory” speech on Tuesday evening. The ultra-liberal California congresswoman and self-styled leader of the anti-Trump resistance treated Democrats’ impending return to power as though it were the second coming of the Messiah. Pelosi Victory SpeechProverbially speaking Democrats are gearing up to part the oceans, halt global climate change, heal the nation’s partisan wounds, raise everyone’s children and provide government funded healthcare goodies to everyone who wants them.

Forget the fact Donald Trump still resides in the White House; in the wake of Tuesday’s elections results Democrats feel the wind at their backs and have already hoisted the sail up the tall mast for a cruise that will carry them all the way through 2020 and beyond.

Hillary Clinton notoriously declared last month that “civility” would only return when Democrats were once again in the majority in Congress. Well, Democrats got half their wish on Tuesday and Pelosi wasn’t about to sit on the news and act humble about it.

Bridget Johnson of PJ Media reported, “Celebrating … with other prominent House Democrats at the party's D.C. headquarters … Pelosi declared that ‘tomorrow will be a new day in America’ and told party faithful to ‘remember this feeling -- know the power to win.’

“Pelosi chalked up the House wins to ‘dynamic, diverse, incredible candidates.’ ‘Today is more than about Democrat and Republican -- it's about restoring the Constitution's checks and balances to the Trump administration,’ she said, adding that some of the Dems' priorities would be healthcare and protecting coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, raising wages, lowering prescription drug prices, propelling infrastructure revitalization, and trying to ‘drain the swamp of dark interest money.’

“The House will be ‘led with transparency and openness,’ Pelosi said, as ‘we will have accountability and we will strive for bipartisanship’ and ‘stand our ground where we can't’ agree. She continued to vow a ‘bipartisan marketplace of ideas that makes our democracy strong... we have all had enough of division.’”

Really, Nancy? Without “division” you wouldn’t now be sitting on top of the world. For the past two years “division” is all Democrats sowed, opposing Trump’s presidency at every opportunity while refusing to come to the table to discuss healthcare or immigration proposals that didn’t include 100 percent of what they asked for.

Maybe Pelosi hopes people forgot the last time she and Democrats held the House majority. Transparency? Wasn’t she the one who infamously quipped “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it?” The woman – and this just as easily applies to 99 percent of her fellow Democrat House brothers and sisters – has never been the slightest bit interested in “bipartisan” anything.

It seems like a distant memory but it was Pelosi who handed the Speaker’s ceremonial gavel to a teary-eyed John Boehner in January, 2011. Eight years is a long time but not long enough to forget what it was like the last time she dictated the terms. Anyone recall the Obamacare debate (in March, 2010) where Pelosi personally browbeat several of her own caucus members to pass the healthcare takeover of the entire country?

Madame Pelosi may look like a sweet old lady but she’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing in reality, a fully-grown adult tiger in the body of a cub. She’ll rip your throat out if you’re not careful. “Watch your back” is the new catchphrase on Capitol Hill.

It’s all well and good what Pelosi said – promising good feelings and such. But before Democrats offer to pass the peace pipe with President Trump and Republicans they must first come to terms with their own internal divisions which promise to only get wider now that there’s actual power to wield.

Johnson’s article also contained a quote from Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan, the “moderate” congressman who challenged Pelosi for the top party leadership post two years ago. Ryan said the upcoming leadership elections wouldn’t be a “coronation” -- but who could credibly run against Pelosi now? Republicans justifiably can’t stand the San Francisco liberal but most conservatives would at least concede she deserves credit for steering her party back into the House majority without any real issue platform to speak of – just vague promises of “taking care of kids” and healthcare, healthcare, healthcare.

Oh yeah, and lots of vitriol directed at Donald Trump. Shouldn’t leave that one out.

Pelosi raised money, distributed it to her party’s candidates who could benefit the most (such as congresswoman-elect Jennifer Wexton in Virginia’s 10th district) from a little injection of campaign dough and is now sitting in her office waiting for phone calls pledging support for her “coronation” ritual.

Tim Ryan thinks electing a speaker from a working class area of the country would benefit Democrats, but is it really true? The working class is now solidly in Trump’s corner and Republicans are toiling overtime to incorporate them permanently into the GOP. Meanwhile Pelosi and her coastal Democrat elite henchmen are the cream of the leftist party. Democrats’ future lies in trying to expand demographically by granting amnesty to illegal aliens and continuing to demonize Republicans as racists, sexists… you know, “deplorables.”

Aren’t there more college kids to lean on? Leftist billionaires like George Soros and Tom Steyer will still write checks to grassroots organizations aiming to register to vote everyone regardless of legality. Pets, dead people, illegal aliens, you name it. If there’s someone who’s ignorant and impressionable within the confines of a state -- Democrats will find them.

In addition, as the nation’s most powerful elected Democrat, Pelosi will command much of the media’s focus rather than the party’s couple dozen presidential hopefuls in the upcoming cycle. It’s a strange dynamic when a lone congresswoman is viewed as the head of a party instead of the “next in line” or whatever you want to call a Democrat running against fellow socialists in the primaries.

On the senate side “Chucky” Schumer’s anti-Kavanaugh strategy backfired big-time; Republicans figure to have at least 54 senators now. Hindsight is always 20-20 but it was a huge blunder for Schumer to let loose his attack dogs (Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Richard Blumenthal, Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, et. al) in such a public way in September.

Instead of Democrats touting a complete takeover of Congress today, pundits are left discussing the “Kavanaugh effect” and how it dragged down the candidacies of several Democrat incumbents. Thanks to Democrat excess we’ll no longer have the displeasure of hearing “Senator Heitkamp, Senator McCaskill, Senator Donnelly or Senator Nelson.”

Republicans even upgraded the quality of their own senate caucus on Tuesday. No more “Senator Corker, Senator Flake or Senator McCain.” Thank the good Lord – there was something for everyone in this election, wasn’t there?

So why were Republicans so weak on the House side and strong in the senate? The favorable map certainly helped (ten incumbent Democrats running in states Trump won in 2016), but some credit goes to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – and most to the president himself. For months Trump’s crisscrossed the country holding mass rallies to prop up GOP senate candidates.

For his part, McConnell did things behind the scenes. Burgess Everett and James Arkin reported at Politico, “McConnell had developed a mantra informed from his own history as two-term NRSC chairman: Don’t fall in love with the map. Trump had won 10 states where Democratic senators were now facing reelection, raising hopes that Republicans could pile up victories in those states and stirring fears among Democrats of spending money in the populous, pricey states of Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

“When spring of 2018 came around, GOP groups were preparing to decide where to spend their money. When the time came to discuss publicly where the battle to control the Senate would be lost or won, McConnell looked straight past the Rust Belt that had put Trump over the top and focused on more inviting targets.

“Republicans working on those races were incensed that McConnell was setting them adrift, and big GOP money never flowed in over the closing stretch even after the GOP sunk millions into ousting Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin. But it was a simple acknowledgment that no matter how good things appeared for the GOP, they simply couldn’t win everywhere.”

Campaign resources are indeed finite (except if you’re a Democrat and have tons of liberal big donors chomping at the bit to give money just to get at Trump). But again, looking back, more emphasis could have gone to Michigan (where promising newcomer John James lost by five points to Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow) or perhaps to Ohio, where the incumbent was Democrat hack Sen. Sherrod Brown. Brown ended up winning by seven points, but the result may have been much closer if Republicans had made the race a priority.

Going after only the so-called “low hanging fruit” involves opportunity costs. It’s not possible to win everywhere but this is definitely the case when you don’t even try. The same is true for the House side as well. Here in Virginia Republicans lost two highly winnable races by fractions of a point just because the party establishment campaign committees wouldn’t support their heavily-outspent candidates (especially Freedom Caucus Rep. Dave Brat).

Who divvies up the money and why does it always flow to those competitors closest to the party ruling elites? Where was Paul Ryan all this time? Was he doing something other than counting the days until he’s “free” from his Speaker’s responsibilities?

Couldn’t Ryan hit the campaign trail for endangered GOP House candidates the way Trump did for his senate favorites? One of the Fox News commentators on Tuesday night suggested Senator Ted Cruz might have come up short in ruby red Texas if the president hadn’t swooped in to save him with a massive rally a couple weeks ago.

Trump’s massive crowds materialized wherever he went. It was like 2016 all over again – but with fewer chants of “lock her up” and no paid angry leftist mobs disrupting everything. There’s no doubt Trump still possesses the magic political touch, so much so he might have already guaranteed a GOP senate majority into his (hopefully) second term.

Roger L. Simon wrote at PJ Media, “If the leaners fall in their current directions, the GOP's victories in the Senate will have put it essentially out of range of a Democratic majority in 2020, a year in which the Dems have a decided advantage as the Repubs did this year.

“Although the mainstream media will be super loathe (loathissimo?) to admit it, this redounds to the credit of Donald Trump, who, as we all know, spent the last weeks stumping like crazy for Senate candidates in states that had voted for him in 2016.  He seems to have pulled it off. He will be rewarded by the loyalty of the victors...

“Even though the mainstream will tell you the opposite, to a great degree, Trump is better placed for a reelection than before this midterm.  A recalcitrant House, holding endless hearings no one wants to hear, will give him a useful target against which to run.  The impeachment idea -- previously stupid -- now looks ludicrous.  The big challenge for Trump will be to win the Republican suburbs that drifted away this time. (HINT: It's the economy, stupid.)”

This is where Trump needs to focus in the coming months, trying first to win back the remaining few Republicans who still don’t like him and then work to impress those self-labeled “independents” who could be persuadable.

The calculus isn’t complicated. All politics boils down to a basic math equation, especially where the Electoral College is concerned. If Trump’s approval rating has steadied in the mid-forties for the past half year or so it means he must first maximize conservative turnout and then even out his personality excesses to “allow” more people to like him. Hard as it is to believe not everyone wants to attend a Trump rally – he needs more folks like Kanye West to encourage new supporters.

Trump once famously said “acting presidential” would be easy (if not boring). Maybe it’s time he gave it a try himself and saved his true persona for the upcoming campaign rallies. We won’t need to wait long to see what he’ll come up with for his “final” campaign ahead of the 2020 election. It’ll be something to behold, for sure.

Is a kinder, gentler Trump even possible? Michael Goodwin wrote at The New York Post, “Midterms are generally referendums on the policies of the president, but it’s more accurate to say that Tuesday was a referendum on the president’s tone. With the economy booming and middle-class incomes rising, and with no new wars in sight, a case can be made that Trump’s policies alone deserved a better outcome than the split decision he got...

“If Democrats investigate at the expense of legislating and refuse to bargain in good faith over such issues as immigration and infrastructure, they will offer voters a stark contrast for 2020. Which is why a cooler Trump could be just the ticket to lower the too-hot political temperature.

“Trump 2.0 can make deals with the Dems, if they are inclined, or he can let them make fools of themselves. Either way, he will be the grownup in the room.”

Time will tell whether “civility” returned to American politics with the results of this year’s elections. Democrats have never shown much interest in playing nice, least of all when they’re in the majority and calling the shots. Will calmer heads prevail now? Don’t bet the farm on it.

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