Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
Some conclusions I draw from the election results:
- House of Representatives. The last tally I heard had the Democrats flipping 34 seats with a handful too close to call. That gives them the majority in the House and allows them to organize, control the committees and set the agenda. Not exactly a ‘blue wave” but slightly more than the historic loss by the party holding the White House during a mid-term election.
- United States Senate. Again, the last tally I heard was a net gain of 2 years for the Republicans with 2 contests (Arizona and Florida) too close to call, possibly facing run-offs. Pretty much as expected. Interestingly enough, all of the Democrat incumbents from states carried by President Trump in the 2016 election that voted against Kavanaugh lost while the only comparably situated Senator that voted for Kavanaugh won. This higher margin strengthens the Republicans ability to thwart any meaningful legislation passed by the House should they choose to do so.
- Governors. Seven states that started the day with Republican governors will have Democrat governors next year with one (Georgia) still undetermined. This still leaves the Republicans with a majority of the governors; however, it puts the Democrats in those states that flipped in a much stronger position when it comes to redistricting after he 2020 census.
- Referendum. President Trump is crowing about the gains in the Senate, which obviously were attributable only to him. He has much less to say about the House. Some candidates for either branch were clearly aided by the President’s rallies; others were not. A mixed bag, at best.
- Blue Wave. What happened to the “blue wave” that seemed so possible in August? In a word, Kavanaugh. The ugliness of the confirmation hearings shattered the Democrats’ momentum and served to energize the Republican base more that the Democrat base.
- Prediction. Continued gridlock, just as been the norm for the last 10 years. The Democratic House will pass bills furthering their agenda and the Republican Senate will ignore them. The President, as did President Obama, will turn more and more to executive orders and action to push his agenda. Only the “must have” bills (except for those naming buildings) will make their way through Congress and the White House. And the Senate will continue as a confirmation machine for conservative Federal judges at all levels.
- Caveat. President Clinton enjoyed his greatest legislative successes when the Republicans controlled the House and the Democrats the Senate. President Trump titled his book “The Art of the Deal”. Could lightening strike twice? Unlikely but, who knows. It is his ego and legacy on the line.
- Conclusion. The proof is in the pudding. We the people have gathered the ingredients; are we going to insist upon a beneficial result? Now is the time to ENGAGE with whomever serves your area. Politely but firmly, remind them that they work for us and we DEMAND positive results, not excuses. It can be a new day.
- STAY TUNED