- - Wednesday, October 10, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

With the midterm elections now less than a month away and early voting beginning in several states, voters are narrowing their focus on the candidates on the ballot.

There are about 30 “swing” House seats, with both candidates running real campaigns with adequate resources and recent polling inside the margin of error. To take back control of Congress, Democrats need to win just 13 of those seats. They have a better than 50-50 chance to achieve their goal.

History tells us that the first midterm election after a new president is elected almost always goes against the party in power. The winning side’s voters become complacent, while the losing side’s voters become motivated.

With Congress now in recess and with the Senate map turning decisively in the GOP’s direction, all eyes turn to the race to control the House. All spending bills originate there, as do articles of impeachment.

Voters need to carefully consider this question before they vote: Do you want Nancy Pelosi back as speaker of the House?

Ignore the ridiculous stories that claim that she does not have the votes. She always has the votes. Mrs. Pelosi controls the base and the money inside the Democratic Party, and if Democrats take back the House majority, you can bet that she will be wielding the gavel.

What have we learned about the Democratic Party over the past two years?

For one thing, all they know how to do is “resist.” If President Trump is for it, they are against it.

They are against his Supreme Court nominee, before that person is even named.

They are against cutting the corporate tax rate, even though both Presidents Obama and Clinton were for it.

They have refused to work with President Trump in any policy area — not on energy, not on prescription drugs costs, not on rebuilding the military, not on health care, not on regulatory reform.

Meanwhile Republicans have been delivering entirely on their own

If you think Democrats have “resisted” Mr. Trump in his first two years, just wait and see how they behave if they are given any meaningful power in Washington.

In that scenario, House Judiciary Committee Chairman-to-be Jerrold Nadler of New York has pledged to actively probe new Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh over the same accusations the FBI has already investigated, all with the goal of impeaching him. Someone should inform Mr. Nadler that impeaching a judge requires 67 votes in the Senate.

In that scenario, Speaker-in-waiting Pelosi has pledged to raise taxes by repealing at least part of the historic Trump tax cuts. The economic ramifications of this policy change would be devastating.

In that scenario, Democrats would push to transition Obamacare to “Medicare for All,” which would cost more than $30 trillion over 10 years. The ultimate Democratic goal is to move toward a single-payer, government-run health care system.

The meaningful progress President Trump has made on expanding the economy, isolating China, thawing relations with North Korea, repealing the disastrous Iran deal, negotiating better trade deals, and revitalizing our military — all would be threatened if Democrats have control of Congress.

Democrats have no new ideas. They don’t even really offer a platform.

Their entire plan is either to impeach Mr. Trump, or failing to remove him from office, make it impossible for him to be re-elected.

But in the meantime, the president’s agenda is undeniably working. Wages are rising, private-sector hiring and consumer confidence are soaring, unemployment is the lowest in more than 50 years, and economic growth is above 4 percent.

Republicans need to run on peace and prosperity. That message will sell.

But even more than that, Republicans need to explain what the Democrats will do if they are given power.

Voters need to understand the choice that they have in front of them. We know Democrats are against Mr. Trump, but they rarely tell voters what they stand for and their agenda is not supported by a majority of Americans.

If Democrats won’t tell voters what they will do if given the majority in Congress, then Republicans need to do it themselves.

• Matt Mackowiak is president of Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.-based Potomac Strategy Group. He’s a Republican consultant, a Bush administration and Bush-Cheney re-election campaign veteran and former press secretary to two U.S. senators.


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