Here is The Good, The Bad and The Ugly news from the 2018 elections.
Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, said in an email to supporters: “Here’s what this means for America. It means a real check on this out-of-control president. It means accountability. It means the Affordable Care Act and protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions are safe.”
In Bad news, the Democrats did not gain the Senate, even though they got over 10 million more votes than Republicans. As the Founders expressly intended, the Senate is not democratic.
Important issues were mostly ignored. America’s staggering inequality, trade deficit and budget deficit were rarely mentioned. Republicans screamed bloody murder over debt increases under Democrats, howsoever essential. Fooled you! Their tax cuts for the wealthy will soon load a whopping $1.9 trillion onto national debt, passing the burden on to our children. Of course, taxes on the rich should have gone up to reduce the debt.
Republicans spun the lie that working families had received tax cuts. There were indeed token tax cuts for the low-paid. But these will vanish after 2020. Workers like you will then pay more. Democrats were incapable of getting this message across, exactly as the GOP expected when plotting the scam.
As for The Ugly, the hatred, lying and bullying came thick and fast. A caravan of pathetic souls was walking through Mexico to seek asylum here. President Trump began screaming they would KILL US IN OUR BEDS! It worked. Republican voters said they considered immigration was the most important issue.
My favorite lie concerns Obamacare. Republicans threw a party in the Rose Garden in 2017 to celebrate passing the House bill to throttle Obamacare. But in 2018, they pretended they had always wanted to keep its coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Republican ugliness was rampant. There were long voter lines in Democratic precincts. In Texas, machines in flipped voted from Democrat to Republican. Voters had to summon a poll worker to make a manual override. But who knows if this fixed the problem? There was no paper trail.
In Georgia’s governorship race, 700 voting machines mysteriously stayed in warehouses. Democrat Stacy Abrams had to file suit demanding that all votes be counted, in supposedly the world’s greatest democracy.
In North Carolina, the votes were actually counted. Much good it did. Democrats got 1,747,742 votes but only three House seats. Republicans got 1,638,684 votes and 10 seats, due to gerrymandering. In Florida, Republicans sued to stop the recounts, even if perfectly valid ballots would be junked. Gov. Rick Scott and Trump screamed that counting all the votes would be “stealing” the election. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, told them to “stop bullying, harassing and lying,” lest America’s democracy be endangered.
Now you know why The Economist has twice downgraded America from a full democracy to a flawed democracy. This is generous. Former President Jimmy Carter says that we really have an “oligarchy” (rule by the wealthy few) with “unlimited political bribery.” The super-wealthy dictate the GOP’s unpopular agenda, the root cause of all those voting problems. USA Today stated: “Republican politicians across the country are scared for their jobs, but instead of coming up with policy proposals to win over more voters, they’re trying to rig our elections.
“Whether it’s kicking eligible Americans off the voter lists for simply not voting, refusing to process voter registration cards, shutting down polling places, trying to confuse voters or any number of other shady tactics, Republicans are trying to stop eligible voters from voting. They are, in short, attacking our democracy for their political gain.”
Welcome to America, the land of rampant Republican corruption.
To cap it all, the Wall Street Journal published an investigation showing that Trump was personally involved paying hush money for sex with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. His “fixer” Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to this violation of federal election law, making Trump’s own indictment highly likely. The pressure of this, plus the ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and the loss of the House, caused Trump to crack.
He lashed out by firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who oversees Mueller’s boss Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy A.G. Trump thinks he can get away with obstructing justice. He appointed Matthew Whitaker to replace Sessions. But this was unconstitutional. Sessions should have been replaced by Rosenstein, who has already been confirmed by the Senate. Whitaker’s chances of confirmation are zero. His company was shut down for fraud and he may face criminal charges. So, Mueller may safely complete his investigation.
How will this end? To paraphrase Churchill after the Battle of El Alamein, this is not the beginning of the end, it is the end of the beginning. We shall eventually see Trump bankrupted for tax fraud and behind bars.