If political power were won by hand-wringing and anguished introspection, the Democratic Party would rule the galaxy.
The hum of obsessive and counterproductive worry is rising: President Trump’s approval has crept up from abysmal to merely awful! Candidates from the party’s progressive wing have won some House primaries! Republicans have not, in every single case, chosen candidates who are unelectable! The Russia investigation is a year old, and still nobody has been frog-marched out of the West Wing in chains! And Trump is still president!
Get a grip, people. Try to focus. The November election is too important, and the political terrain too advantageous, for Democrats to waste time on their customary defeatism.
The Trump administration is dangerous, wrongheaded and inept, both domestically and abroad. Its corruption is staggering. Its corrosion of democratic norms is tragic. And it should be clear by now that the Republican-led Congress will do nothing to restrain a mercurial president who sets the nation’s agenda by what he “learns” from watching hours and hours of “Fox & Friends.”
If Democrats were in control of the House or the Senate, they could fulfill the responsibilities that Congress is given by the Constitution. They could conduct oversight. They could investigate, with subpoena power. They could protect special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and allow him to follow evidence wherever it leads.
So, yes, this midterm election is important. The Senate will be tough to flip, because of which seats are up this year, but Democrats can definitely take the House — if they stay confident, think clearly and listen to the constituents whose votes they seek.
In varying proportions, midterm elections are always both national and local affairs. This year’s promise to be more national than usual, because of Trump, and that gives Democratic candidates a tremendous advantage.
In Gallup’s latest weekly report, Trump’s approval rating is at 43 percent. That’s the highest figure in more than a year and well above Trump’s weekly low of 35 percent in mid-December. But still, it’s 43 percent — well below Barack Obama’s 48 percent or Bill Clinton’s 51 percent at this point in their presidencies, and of course miles below George W. Bush’s astronomical post-9/11 numbers.
It is amusing to watch as journalists sally forth into Trumpland and return with the shocking news that Trump’s most avid supporters still like him. Of course