Looking ahead to 2018: Two views

I know, I know, the mid-term elections are more than a year off, but I found these two views to be an interesting contrast considering the wild speculation that the failure to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and pass tax reform and infrastructure legislation will certainly doom the Republican-held House and Senate.

I have excerpted opinions from two notable Washington media people, who coincidentally authored columns with opposing predictions. David Benkof’s piece, “2018 Will Be A Bloodbath – For Democrats,” appeared in The Daily Caller. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center and the Chairman of ForAmerica, a non-profit national grassroots organization, wrote his commentary, “The Grand Old Party is about to commit suicide,” for Breitbart.

David Benkof (youtube.com)

BENKOF: “As President Trump’s troubles mount, the long-standing expectation that Democrats will gain several House and Senate seats in 2018 has only intensified. Many observers are expecting a bloodbath – and they’re right – but for structural, historical and intangible reasons, expect the bloodbath to be for Democrats as the GOP further expands its dominance in both houses of Congress.”

Brent Bozell (Kris Conner/Getty Images)

BOZELL: “All this talk about Trump this, and Trump that, masks a far bigger political controversy. The Republican Party leadership in Washington D.C., has fundamentally betrayed its constituents and they are about to learn that they’ve been double-crossed – for years.

Every Republican candidate’s stock speech sounds the same, the thunderous roar about a government out of control, federal spending out of control, federal taxes out of control, the federal bureaucracy out of control … abortion … our emasculated military … ObamaCare will be repealed … and illegal immigration will not stand.

BENKOF: “I see five reasons Democrats on Capitol Hill should stock up on life preservers. 1. Trump’s unpopularity won’t matter. Republicans and moderates who like Trump will vote Republican, (and) many of those who don’t like him will vote Republican as well. The power of incumbency in Congress can’t be overstated, and it tends to favor the party in power. 2. Only one Republican senator is up for re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton, while 10 Democrat senators are up for re-election in states that Trump won. 3. Gerrymandering has created Republican-friendly maps throughout the country. 4. Democrats have not learned the lessons of 2016. 5. Conventional wisdom has lost its wisdom. (As we learned in last year’s election, there were those) faulty historical trends, flawed polls, and irrelevant electoral data, misreading the Zeitgeist, and (the populist) Trump phenomenon.

“When I hear an expert predict doom for the GOP, I automatically presume the opposite will happen.”

BOZELL: “In January of this year, they (the GOP) formally controlled both houses of Congress and the executive branch. Every single thing they’d ever promised was now possible.

“They now had the power to enact every single spending cut they’d ever solemnly pledged. Al those wasteful programs designed to fill the liberal sandb006F – PBS, NPR, Planned Parenthood, NEH and the rest of the alphabet soup; all the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare to multi-billion-dollar corporations; all of the hundreds of billions of dollars directed toward leftist social engineering – poof! All of it could come to an end with a stroke of the pen.

“They now had the power to restore fiscal sanity too. Remember the flat tax? The fair tax? Slashing the highest corporate taxes in the world? Giving you a tax break? All of it could be done with the snap of the fingers.

“Repeal ObamaCare? Check. End illegal immigration? Check. Build the wall? Check. Crush the Deep State? Done, by God, done!

“There was not a damn thing the Democrats could do to stop them from draining the swamp.

“Except the Republican leadership didn’t mean it.

“… after huffing and puffing, and huffing and puffing some more, … socialized health care remains the law of the land ….

“The opportunity arose for tax reform, to enact the cuts America desperately needs. Absolutely nothing has been accomplished, (or) even attempted.

“And now we face the final test: the debt ceiling. Will we or won’t we stop the spending madness? The debt ceiling will be raised and no fiscal sanity will be restored.

“Come the Congressional elections next year, and the presidential election in 2020, the Grand Old Party will once again bellow its hallowed promises. But this time it won’t work. This time their voters will know those hallowed promises are not even hollow promises. They are lies.

“The voters are tasting betrayal

“We are watching the GOP systematically committing suicide.”

KRAMERONTHERIGHT: Bozell is correct in the way he describes how the GOP frittered away the first eight months. I am optimistic; not with the verve of Benkof, but perhaps overly so. I believe Congress will return from recess with a resolve to act on tax reform and an infrastructure bill after clearing the debt ceiling off their plate. The legislative calendar isn’t on their side, but we know work has been going behind the scenes during the recess.

President Trump has done an excellent job of placing the blame for the lack of action on Congress and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Even though McConnell is not up for re-election in 2018, I find it hard to imagine that he wants to see the GOP agenda go down in flames on his watch.

The president heads for Missouri on Wednesday to pitch his tax reform ideas.




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