Buckle up, it'll be a bumpy ride for the next two years

A fundamental question for President Donald Trump, as he moves forward after the midterms, is this: what rol...

Posted: Nov 9, 2018 7:38 AM
Updated: Nov 9, 2018 7:38 AM

A fundamental question for President Donald Trump, as he moves forward after the midterms, is this: what role does he want to play? If he seeks to be the great negotiator he has always claimed to be, there could be an opportunity for him to cut the deal on immigration and on guns that other Republicans would not be allowed to by their base, and also a deal on infrastructure or tariffs. Will he do this? Or does the President double down on the rhetoric we have seen over the past two years?

These opportunities for movement exist. But the President's combative post-election press conference Tuesday -- and the dismissal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions -- appear to answer the question. There will be no pivot. Indeed, that this fighting posture was Trump's reaction to an election he claimed was a rousing success shows that the next two years are more likely to be a continuation of confrontation than any kind of cooperation.

Donald Trump

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Legislation

Political Figures - US

Politics

US Congress

US federal government

White House

And despite presumed Speaker-to-be Pelosi's words in her own post-election turn before reporters, it's clear her conference wants a more confrontational approach.

When Republicans won the 2010 elections, picking up 63 House seats, the red wave, or "Tea Party election," was undeniable. Similarly, Tuesday night's results, without question, present new and existential problems for President Trump -- namely, a Democratic House hell-bent on investigating every aspect of his administration, and with subpoena power to do so. This will take a great deal of the administration's time and will mean that they are not as focused on their priorities as they otherwise would be -- regardless of what Democrats find or how much they potentially overreach.

And while many are arguing over whether or not the election results constitute a "blue wave" -- which in my opinion is as silly as debating whether or not a newly elected President has a "mandate;" when you've won, you've won -- what's clear is that we are seeing a continuance of the realignment based on how rural or suburban a community is. So many red places got redder and blue places bluer. And if the results don't perfectly fit with the definition of a political wave -- Florida's results, for instance -- the shift is plain to see.

In the meantime, let's not expect a whole lot to get done between now and 2020.

The Washington Post and ProPublica issued a scathing piece Monday laying out how Congress hasn't been doing, well, its job as Congress over the years. This is a bipartisan problem. Hearings into administrations of the opposite party? Check. Hearings on legislation Congress is looking to consider or a working appropriations process? Well, not so much.

The Obama legislative agenda effectively died on election night 2010. There's no reason to think that the same did not happen for Trump on Tuesday, perhaps even more so given the large divide between the political classes.

Given the disparate results between the House and the Senate results -- with Democrats elated at taking over the House and Trump hammering home Senate pickups that make it easier to appoint, for instance, conservative judges, it's not clear that either party will learn a lesson.

If you view your parochial results as positive, there will be no reason to learn a lesson at all. Which means the ultimate takeaway from the results is a Washington more divided than ever, with brinksmanship and escalating rhetoric -- and a potential December shutdown -- as political constants.

In other words, buckle up. The next two years are going to be a bumpy ride.

Terre Haute
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 47°
Robinson
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 43°
Indianapolis
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 44°
Rockville
Overcast
42° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 42°
Casey
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 40°
Brazil
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 47°
Marshall
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 47°
Cloudy & Cold
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Off the Beaten Path: A silent hero

Image

Thursday Morning Forecast

Image

ISU Women Illinois

Image

WRV North Knox

Image

Sullivan South Knox

Image

Kevin's Winter Weather Forecast

Image

Local business makes $1,000 donation to Catholic Charities

Image

Here's how you can help the feline rescue

Image

Local catering company is getting folks ready for turkey day

Image

Isolation among the elderly during the holiday season may affect your loved one’s mental health

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 685467

Reported Deaths: 12439
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook2913126414
DuPage42881762
Will36762544
Lake35460619
Kane30350453
Winnebago18042253
Madison13560236
McHenry13529153
St. Clair12513255
Champaign1042954
Sangamon955493
Peoria8529129
Rock Island8278126
Kankakee8190103
McLean802052
Tazewell633595
Macon6191128
Kendall594742
LaSalle5808130
DeKalb476446
Adams457148
Boone372133
Vermilion364446
Whiteside3595104
Williamson340779
Coles320758
Clinton310959
Ogle269929
Knox264558
Grundy259718
Effingham259520
Jackson256436
Henry250213
Stephenson235034
Marion234946
Livingston213523
Randolph213125
Morgan209534
Macoupin205617
Bureau201440
Monroe195744
Franklin193622
Christian180740
Lee180126
Jefferson175459
Woodford163826
Iroquois156825
Logan154813
McDonough154140
Fayette152528
Fulton135610
Shelby130025
Douglas128916
Jersey118723
Union112826
Montgomery107919
Crawford107710
Saline106724
Jo Daviess103817
Warren102820
Perry101423
Carroll101324
Bond98010
Pike97225
Lawrence95710
Cass93021
Hancock92312
Moultrie86010
Wayne85333
Greene78727
Clay78519
Clark75819
Edgar75016
Piatt7455
Ford71921
Richland68619
Mercer68410
Johnson6825
Mason67218
Washington6332
Jasper61812
Cumberland59416
De Witt59216
White5758
Massac5283
Wabash5038
Menard4281
Unassigned3940
Pulaski3922
Marshall3755
Hamilton3723
Brown3033
Henderson2650
Schuyler2571
Alexander2482
Putnam2360
Stark2313
Calhoun2280
Scott2230
Edwards2193
Gallatin1813
Hardin1360
Pope891
Out of IL130

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 312521

Reported Deaths: 5498
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion42641849
Lake27152455
Allen18010298
Elkhart17177221
St. Joseph16799229
Hamilton13011167
Vanderburgh9751120
Tippecanoe858727
Porter827986
Johnson6389165
Hendricks6098157
Vigo608384
Monroe536750
Clark515077
Madison5060122
Delaware4905103
LaPorte465595
Kosciusko462339
Howard344277
Warrick325672
Bartholomew316863
Floyd316277
Wayne307770
Cass299931
Marshall299144
Grant272550
Noble255046
Hancock253852
Henry247537
Boone244554
Dubois237931
Dearborn219030
Jackson215534
Morgan210843
Knox187819
Gibson186925
Shelby182155
Clinton180321
DeKalb177831
Lawrence177648
Adams168222
Miami162614
Wabash162521
Daviess156443
Fayette149234
Steuben147113
Jasper144412
Harrison142924
LaGrange142630
Montgomery142127
Whitley137114
Ripley132115
Huntington127410
Decatur126143
Putnam124627
Randolph124519
Wells124429
White123222
Clay122523
Posey122116
Jefferson118816
Scott109020
Greene102653
Jay99013
Sullivan96416
Starke92021
Jennings85314
Fulton84518
Spencer8378
Perry82521
Fountain7798
Washington7527
Franklin69927
Carroll68613
Orange67328
Vermillion6243
Owen6087
Tipton57627
Parke5706
Newton56312
Rush5438
Blackford53412
Pike50919
Pulaski39515
Martin3585
Brown3424
Benton3402
Crawford2941
Union2702
Switzerland2575
Warren2382
Ohio2317
Unassigned0266