irrational_cat / Flickr The Democratic Party Jackass...
irrational_cat / Flickr

The only way we can be certain to see impeachment proceedings brought against the corrupt and mentally disturbed Occupant currently ensconced in the Oval Office is for Democrats to retake the House of Representatives in 2018. A new survey by the Cook Political Report, widely seen as the “gold standard” for predicting the outcome of U.S. House races, suggests that momentum is building for the Democratic Party to do just that.

The 2018 midterms are still a long way off, but President Trump is making it more likely by the day that Democrats can win the 24 seats needed to take back the House of Representatives, a new Cook Political Report analysis found.

Although the odds are still against us, they are improving by the day with each new atrocity committed by the most venal and dangerous Administration in American history. But the real decisive factor is going to be getting our people out to vote. To that end all of us need to emphasize to our friends, to our family, to everyone we know that the only way we get rid of this OrangePustule festering on the country’s body politic is by getting the vote out. That there may never be a more important date in U.S. History than Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

The non-partisan organization changed the predictive outlook of 12 House seats since Cook’s last update, 11 to the benefit of Democrats. It now rates 45 seats as competitive, 36 held by Republicans and nine by Democrats. Democrats would need to win 33 of those races to regain power.

New York Magazine, which has in the past few months become one of the best sources for political news, acknowledges that partisan gerrymandering and other factors still present daunting obstacles to the task of retaking the House. But the virulent—and I mean virulent— anti-Trump sentiment of the majority of voters who did not vote for this monstrosity has created an atmosphere not unlike 2009, when the GOP inflamed its own voting base against the nation’s first African-American President, resulting in a 63-seat gain for Republicans in 2010. Of course, the additional wild card of Russian election meddling, which the Republican Party has de facto embraced, presents an equally formidable challenge. As was amply demonstrated in 2006, however, nothing drives Democratic voters to the polls than raw, passionate fury:

But Trump’s unpopularity, and the energized Democratic base that is a byproduct of his rise to power, could overcome the obstacles if the conditions are right. An unpopular president tends to drag his party down with him in midterm elections; the president’s anemic approval ratings are currently stuck in the high 30s, down from the mid-40s when he was inaugurated, and they may decline further. Trump’s dangerous behavior has also fired up the liberal base more than anything in recent memory, bringing to mind the Tea Party’s ascension ahead of the 2010 midterms.

Indeed, Trump’s heedless, catastrophic incompetence has, according to David Wasserman, an editor at the Cook Political Report, created conditions which are increasingly being seen as a “mirror image to 2009.”  Trump’s incompetence and attacks on traditionally Democratic-leaning people of color and women, as well as his alienation of voters once foolishly inclined to “take a chance” on him, has motivated a raft of stellar candidates to run on the Democratic side, purely as an outraged reaction to Trump. And while the GOP has won the most visible special elections since Trump’s ascendancy, the margins in those elections, predominately in deep red districts, have been unusually and (for the GOP) disturbingly narrow, “signifying that an animated base exists even in Republican strongholds.”

To win back the Speaker’s gavel for Nancy Pelosi, Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats in 2018. Wasserman sees a widening playing field in which the Democratic candidate has a chance in 61 GOP-held districts, compared to 20 Democratic-held seats where Republicans have a chance.

As most of us know, retaking the Senate presents an even more difficult set of obstacles, based on the number of Democratic seats versus Republican seats being defended. Still, retirements and other unpredictable factors (including what is likely to be a massive stock market “correction” once it becomes apparent that Republican plans to gut the corporate tax rate will never materialize) may have an outsize and anomalous impact on voters’ feelings about this President and his impact on their actual lives. The attack on the Affordable Care Act last week is emblematic of an Administration that does not display any understanding of how its policies impact anyone outside its rabid, senseless base. In purely Machiavellian terms, that is a weakness ripe for exploitation.

The impact of a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives on this Presidency would be incalculable. In addition to a wholesale assault on its enormous catalogue of potentially criminal actions, the American public would suddenly witness non-stop investigations instituted on every single one of the Trump Administration’s corrupt appointees. And unlike its dismal performance during the Bush and Obama administrations, the corporate, mainstream media, much of which has already declared its antipathy towards this foul Administration, will align itself with such investigations. A House takeover would cripple the Trump Presidency in its tracks and energize Democrats like no other event in recent memory.

There will be plenty of distractions between now and November, 2018.  No “slogan” devised by our party’s clumsy apparatus is going to help us. The focus from this point forward, with every shared article, every conversation, every “like” on Facebook, all our discussions with like-minded Democrats, all our time and money, everything we say and do between ourselves until November 6, 2018, must include this single, simple, overriding message:

Vote in 2018. Your life, and the life of your friends and families, depends on it.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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