The election unified the Republican Party behind Trump, on conservative principles. It also empowered moderate Democrats at the expense of the until-now ascendant radicals. Photo: Hyosub Shin / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
by Dr. Aviel Sheyin-Stevens for IsraelNationalNews.com, 18/11/18 –
Donald Trump’s supporters take him seriously but not literally; whereas, Democrats and their media acolytes, along with Never Trump Republicans, take him literally but not seriously.
Before the midterm election, Trump intimated he could win the election and outperform previous presidents who generally lost seats in their first midterm election; however, he also acknowledged that Democrats may win the House. Now, many claim he lost the election. Although the Democratic Party won the House, Trump won the election.
What President Trump achieved by his net gain of Senate seats in the midterm was unprecedented for a Republican. He has also essentially eliminated the Never Trump section of the Republican Party. Since the beginning of his administration, Never Trump Republicans refused to accept his leadership of their party and therefore use every opportunity to undermine him.
The late Senator John McCain blocked Trump’s efforts to repeal Obamacare with his dramatic late-night Senate vote in 2017. McCain’s dramatic, decisive vote against Republicans’ effort to repeal Obamacare was widely perceived as motivated by personal revenge against Trump, because Trump succeeded where he failed. McCain had been in favor of repealing Obamacare, until Trump was elected and wanted it repealed.
Senator Bob Corker, the outgoing chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, undermined Trump’s foreign policies and cast aspersions on the president’s judgment. His actions subverted the credibility of Trump’s foreign policy strategies and empowered Democrats and others to delegitimize Trump’s leadership. In contrast; however, Corker worked heartily with Barack Obama.
Corker assisted in securing Obama’s catastrophic Iran nuclear deal. Corker agreed not to treat the deal as a treaty that would have required the support of two thirds of the Senate for ratification, and passed a special law for it that upturned the US Constitution. Rather than requiring a two-thirds majority for ratification, the law required two thirds of the Senate to disapprove the deal to prevent its implementation.
Before the midterm election, Never Trump Senators held the balance of power in the Senate, but not anymore. They would mostly be replaced by pro-Trump people, like Senator-elect Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee who is replacing Corker.
Many months ahead of the midterm election, Republican voters kept telling pollsters that the number one issue facing the country was immigration. Meanwhile, they considered tax reform as one of the least pressing issues. Nevertheless, House Republicans surrendered on Trump’s immigration plans to push Paul Ryan’s ‘Tax Reform 2.0’ plan.
House Republicans who spurned running for reelection also contributed to the Democratic takeover of the House. Generally, House incumbents have little trouble holding onto their seats. Since 1964, their reelection rates have consistently been over 80% and often in the high 90s. In this midterm, 39 incumbent Never-Trump House Republicans, many in leadership positions including House Speaker Paul Ryan, chose to retire.
The departure of key Never Trump Republicans from the House could make the Republican minority caucus to be more unified than they were as the majority. Thus, they could act more capably as a minority than they were as a fractured majority. Approaching the 2020 election, the Republican Party would be far more coherent ideologically and unified behind Trump’s leadership than it has been for the past two years.
As for the Democrats, fanatically anti-Israel, pro-Hamas candidates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib won their House races when they ran in safe districts. However, anti-Israel Scott Wallace and Leslie Cockburn who ran in Republican-leaning districts in Pennsylvania and Virginia, respectively, lost their races, whereas moderate Democrats won races in Republican leaning states.
Trump could be the first president since Bill Clinton to work across the aisle. For the past two years, leading Democrats like Hillary Clinton calling for joining the Resistance, and the ascendant radicals in the grassroots, made the development of bipartisan policies essentially impossible. Now that the radical electoral strategy of winning majorities by rallying the hard-left grassroots has failed, the increased influence of Democrats that ran as moderates in swing districts could enable Trump to negotiate bipartisan bills.
Alternatively, if the Democrats choose to grovel to the hard left and commence investigations and impeachment proceedings against Trump for the next two years, this would also work to his advantage. Trump could use his executive power to advance his domestic policy, and use his improved Republican majority in the Senate to implement his foreign policy and get his appointments confirmed. Moreover, he could run for reelection in 2020 campaigning against the Democrats’ radicalism.
Trump may not get much legislation on his domestic policies from a Pelosi House that could be obsessed with conspiracies and impeachment, but he did not get much from a Ryan House. Under Speaker Ryan, House Republicans failed to implement their three major campaign promises of 2016: They failed to fund the construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border, failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, and failed to defund Planned Parenthood. Rather than focusing on securing the $25 billion expected to build the border wall, Republican lawmakers peddled Ryan’s “Tax Reform 2.0” plan.
For some years, the Republican Party has been divided between conservatives and moderates, while the Democratic Party has been split between extreme radicals and a less vocal moderate wing. The radicals wanted the Democratic Party to adopt hard-left positions to win elections: socialism, open borders immigration policies, hard-line anti-Israel policies, rejection of Israel’s right to exist, support for the BDS movement that attempts to silence and delegitimize pro-Israel voices among American Jews, etc. The election unified the Republican Party behind Trump, on conservative principles. It also empowered moderate Democrats at the expense of the until-now ascendant radicals.
The incoming Democratic radicals, like the rabidly anti-Israel, pro-Hamas Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib, are unlikely to harm Israel’s strategic ties with the US. Trump abandoned Obama’s policy of appeasing Iran and started working with Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni monarchies to diminish Iran’s aggression and influence in the region. He also obstructed the efforts of the ayatollahs to acquire nuclear weapons and he withdrew from the Iran deal, the Obama-orchestrated Treaty of Catastrophe.
Despite its open bigotry against Jews, Obama's administration made America join the antisemitic UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). He increased funding to the antisemitic UN Refugee Works Agency for the Palestinians (UNRWA), and to the terrorist-financing Palestinian Authority. He also upgraded the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington. Trump removed America from the antisemitic UNHRC, ended funding to the genocidal, antisemitic UNRWA, cut funding to the terrorist-financing Palestinian Authority, and closed the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington. Trump is making the Palestinians and their international facilitators pay a price for facilitating armed aggression and terrorism against Israel and Israeli Jews.
The expanded Republican majority in the Senate could ensure that Trump would find it easier to implement his foreign policy. His Middle East strategies favoring Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni monarchies; against Iran, Hamas, etc., are unlikely to be hindered by pro-Israel Rep. Elliott Engel expected to head the House Foreign Relations Committee, and pro-Israel Rep. Nita Lowy expected to head the House Appropriations Committee.
Trump’s winning in the midterm election could revitalize bipartisan support for Israel. The 2018 midterm election was a huge win for Trump’s foreign policy.
Dr. Sheyin-Stevens is a Registered Patent Attorney based in Florida, USA. He earned his Doctorate in Law from the University of Miami.
Dr. Aviel Sheyin-Stevens – The writer holds Jur.D. and CPA degrees, is a registered patent attorney based in Florida, USA.