Campaign losses are more suicides than homicides.
The Republicans were poised to beat the odds in the 2018 midterm election.
President Donald Trump’s last minute targeting of key U.S. Senate races recovered many, but not all, of the opportunities for Republican gains.The U.S. House was another matter.
Trump’s 2016 victory did not extend to House or Senate races.
Democrats gained two Senate seats and six House seats.
The absence of coattails meant there was a dearth of at risk congressional Republicans.
At the same time, 10 Democratic Senate incumbents, who had benefited from Barack Obama’s 2012 trouncing of Mitt Romney, were potentially easy targets in states where Trump won handily
Enter the Lemming factor.
It did not take long for media pundits and liberal pollsters to declare that Trump’s behavior and policies would generate a blue wave, a wave overwhelming Republicans in 2018.
The prevailing wisdom was that dozens of Republican incumbents in Districts won by Hillary Clinton were going to be decimated. Easily spooked Republicans bought into this analysis. They overlooked the fact that the Republicans who won in 2016 Hillary Districts were the strongest, not the weakest going into 2018.
The facts did not matter.
On Nov. 9, 2017, Rep. Bob Goodlatte,R-Va., chair of the House Judiciary Committee and an incumbent who consistently won re-election by over 60 percent, announced his retirement. Other Republican incumbents soon opted to leave.
By early 2018, 26 safe Republicans, who had weathered Hillary’s best effort, had retired, creating the potential for Democratic gains. Surprisingly, more than enough for Democrats to retake the House. Republicans actually began losing the House in February 2017.
Hoouse Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and his leadership team determined their best course of action was to distance themselves from their new Republican president.
Ryan missed the opportunity to coordinate with the Republican run executive branch to open and re-open investigations against Obama, Clinton, and all their minions.
This could have included delivering the Comey Report on Hillary Clinton’s e-mail abuses to a grand jury, with inevitable indictments following. Every witness from the Obama adminstration refusing to testify could be forced to do so.
Every document refused under the Obama administration could be released.
Aggressively exposing Obama and Clinton misdeeds "24/7" would build the case for Republican government and crippled Democratix candidate recruitment (and fundraising) for 2018.
Speaker Ryan and his committee chairs blew it. They also paid the price.
The Democrats caught their breath and rebounded from 2016.
Unfortunately, starting in January 2018, House Democrats will show Republicans how total war is waged. Trump also contributed to congressional losses. He laid the groundwork for defeat in March of 2016 when his inner circle chose to ignore advice and offers for help from Ronald Reagan alumni.
Trump and his team embraced Washington, D.C. functionaries from Bush, Romney, and Never Trumper networks to plan and run his presidential transition.
Thanks to bad, possibly malicious advice Trump left large swaths of Obama and Clinton operatives in place, along with their security clearances and access.
In the name of austerity, Trump’s slow, and in many cases nonexistent, insertion of loyalists into key executive branch positions left him open to being blindsided, undermined, and outmaneuvered.
White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, filled White House and agency slots with "RINOgators" from among his Republican National Committee (RNC) associates.
This meant countless opportunities were lost to make Trump’s revolution a lasting operational reality beyond executive orders.
Trump’s final error was not declassifying, unredacting, and releasing all documents relating to the bogus Russian collusion probe. Beginning months prior to the election, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and a small band of congressional Trump loyalists, along with conservative pundits, pleaded for Trump to release these documents.
Exposing "sources and methods" was not an issue.
The Deep State wanted to avoid embarrassment and convinced Trump to do the wrong thing. The documents, as characterized by Nunes, and others, who had actually read them, would have destroyed the Democrats, the Mueller probe, and the liberal media.
A pre-election release would have eviscerated the opposition, possibly saving the House.
The one hope America has is that House Democrats will excel at jumping the shark and at overreach well beyond the Senate Democrats’ fraudulent attacks on Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Democrats’ desire for investigation, not legislation, will not bring down Trump. Pursuing their revenge fantasies will only prove they are not ready to rationally govern.
Nov. 3, 2020 will be another day of reckoning.
Scot Faulkner is the best-selling author of: "Naked Emperors: The Failure of the Republican Revolution." He also served as the first chief administrative officer of the U.S. House, and was director of personnel for the Reagan campaign and went on to serve in the presidential transition team and on the White House staff. During the Reagan administration, he held executive positions at the FAA, the GSA, and the Peace Corps. Read more of Scot Faulker, Go Here Now.
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