Midterms traditionally have been dicey propositions for the president’s party. Levelheaded voters, including his supporters, should be able reasonably to surmise that if any president could so inflame the opposition to maintain that trend, it would be President Trump.
As if his blunt, abrasive personality wasn’t enough, the fact that he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million on the way to victory in the Electoral College fuels his detractors’ to the level of a bonfire. The recent confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh turned that bonfire into an inferno.
One thing most regular folks see on fire right now however, is the economy.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis recently reported that U.S. gross domestic product grew by 3.5 percent in the third quarter. That follows 4.2 percent growth in the second quarter. Wages are rising. Unemployment is at historic lows, down across most demographic groups. It’s true that unemployment has been trending downward steadily since the recession of a decade ago—but so was participation in the labor force. Until a couple years ago. Unemployment has continued dropping even as more people have (re)entered the labor force.
While Democrats and former President Obama have been quick to throw dirt on the leftist commentariat’s predictions of economic doom under President Trump in order to claim some credit, a look at the facts tells a different story. There is a clear break between the first several years of the last decade, and the last two under Trump. We’ve gone from a rollercoaster GDP ride to one of an ascending flight of stairs.
When they covered fiscal policy a few weeks ago, Baecker told his class that government actions do have an effect on the economy, though it’s more analogous to a jumbo jet changing course rather than us taking a left turn in our cars. Because of President Trump’s stout deregulatory posture and his signature on tax simplification and rate reduction, a bumpy taxi down the runway appears to be giving way to a long-awaited takeoff for the economy.
The only foreseeable possible turbulence are the current trade disputes and the impasse on immigration policy, the resolution of the latter of which could help fill the excess of job openings over job seekers.
With that in mind, we can’t help but wonder why voters would hand over the House speaker’s gavel to Nancy Pelosi, who characterized as “crumbs” the employee raises and bonuses handed out by companies after the passage of the tax reduction? Why would we put in charge this woman and the party she leads when they appear perpetually challenged by the simple logic that those individuals and entities paying more in income taxes tend to gain more of the “benefit” when taxes are lowered?
This is the same party that comes out guns blazing against the Second Amendment after every mass shooting. Yet their solutions prove poor when the public learns the killers either opened fire in a “gun-free zone” or broke a host of laws already on the books. Common sense yields to uncontrollable emotions, raging passions that seemingly only can be pacified by the former President Obama’s smooth smile or a wink of Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s batting eyes.
They are quick to get stoked again though, when a Republican president gets to appoint a Supreme Court justice.
A quick look at the last 100 years shows, by and large, presidents have been given deference when it comes to their court picks. In recent times however, even non-controversial Republican appointees garnered only a handful of Democrat votes. The other Democrats are so afraid of losing the ability to get the Constitution to say what they want it to say that they cannot abide instead living by its original meaning.
When controversy does arise, a total meltdown ensues, and the legitimacy of nearly every institution is called into question. We saw less whining when our respective nine children were in diapers.
Further, their lack of shame appears indirectly proportional to their intellectual honesty when confronted with a GOP merely following the precedent laid down by their own leaders regarding appointments in a presidential election year.
One might then ask “don’t we need two prominent political parties to keep each other in check?” Don’t we need “these guys to watch those guys,” in the words of the late senator from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter? As long as the system is rigged against third parties, that’s a legitimate concern. Democrats however, regularly demonstrate that, at best they are too unserious, and at worst too dangerous, to be that other party.
We need a second party where Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky would feel at home. He was the only one to voice genuine constitutional concerns about Justice Kavanaugh, regarding the Fourth Amendment, that weren’t just worn-out political talking points.
We need a second party that would welcome Rep. Thomas Massie, also from Kentucky. No doubt informed by his belief in the power of the 10th Amendment, last year he introduced legislation to abolish the U.S. Department of Education. One has to believe this would be helpful in restoring some market discipline into the student loan sector that has Americans on the hook for $1.5 trillion.
We need a party that has no illusions about the source of our nation’s fiscal woes: excessive spending. Spending is an emotional narcotic employed by Democrats to scare people into thinking we need the government to provide for us. They think it’s the candy and we’re the baby. We need a party that is immune to this rubbish.
We need a party that appreciates when someone like Rep. Justin Amash from Michigan pushes for a humbler, less adventurous foreign policy conducted on a tighter budget.
In a recent column in the New York Times, Bret Stephens, who hopes “republicans get pummeled in the midterms,” lamented how the Democrats are “flubbing it”: from the myriad ways they lost their marbles during the Kavanaugh hearings, to the (encouragement of) public heckling of GOP officials, to countering them from beneath the gutter. He pines for a “party of moderation, not extremism.”
Guess what? The Democratic Party is not that party.
Photo Credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call