Republicans need to keep something in mind as they hold their victory parties: the Democrats are far from dead. They are still a large, powerful party with a lot of money and popular support; that is in an excellent position to block any Republican agenda.
Ignore all the news stories about the Democratic Party being a “smoking ruin;” the Democrats actually did pretty well in the November 8 elections. Some of their accomplishments include:
- Increasing their numbers in the House of Representatives from 188 to 192. In 2014, Democrats won 188 seats and Republicans won 247. In the 116th Congress the Republicans will hold 239 seats and the Democrats 192.
- Nearly capturing the U.S. Senate. When the new Senate meets the Democrats will hold 48 seats and the Republicans 51; which gives the GOP a narrow majority that is far from veto proof.
- The Democrats defeated two incumbent Republican Senators; Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire and Mark Kirk in Illinois.
- They also picked up one Senate Seat Republicans were expected to win; in Nevada where Catherine Cortez Masto narrowly defeated Republican Joe Heck.
- Won the popular vote. Clinton received around 47.8% of the popular vote to Trump’s 47%. Clinton received 62.403 million votes to Trump’s 62.242 million. Some observers think Clinton might get two or three million more votes than Trump did when the final vote is counted. This indicates the Democrats are still more popular than the Republicans.
- Clinton won 62% of the vote in the nation’s most populous state – California.
- The percentage of the popular vote Clinton received was actually higher than that received by Richard Nixon in 1968, Nation writer John Nichols noted.
- Republicans’ percentage of the popular vote is shrinking. Trump won a lower percentage of the popular vote than Romney did in 2012.
- Raised $1.3 billion for Hillary as of October 19, 2016, according to The Washington Post. As opposed to $795 million for Donald.
Republicans need to beware because this hardly sounds like a badly defeated party. Instead it looks like a fighter with a bloody nose; who is going to return to the ring after getting taped up and resume the battle.
Second Note to Republicans: Cancel the Victory Party and Prepare for Total War
The GOP had better be careful because Democrats are going to come out fighting as soon as the 116th Congress convenes.
They will have absolutely no reason to cooperate with President Trump, and every incentive to try and thwart each Republican move. After all they have popular support if not enthusiasm on their side.
That will be easy to do because Democrats face a deeply divided Republican Party. There are vast ideological and philosophical differences between Trump and many Congressional Republicans that can flare into open warfare at any time. It might not be long before we see an unholy alliance of the Freedom Caucus of radical House Republicans and left-wing Democrats, uniting to block the Trump agenda.
The Democrats will wage all-out war upon Trump because their base hates the President elect. The hatred of Trump in the Democratic Party is as wide; and as deep, as the enmity for Barrack Obama was in the Republican Party over the past few years.
My guess is no Congressional Democrat who cooperates with Trump will be able to win his or her party’s primary. There is already a movement to organize a leftwing equivalent of the Tea Party that would punish any Democrat who got too chummy with Republicans.
To ratchet up the conflict that Anti-Trump anger may inspire a political groundswell similar to the “birther movement” that Donald rode to primary victory and national prominence. Such a movement already has a ready-made issue in Clinton’s popular vote victory. All it needs is a popular leader like Donald to start stoking that anger.
If they want to survive Republicans need to ignore the news stories about Democratic defeat and prepare for all out political war. Instead of rolling over and playing dead, Democrats are about to come out fighting.