Now that we’ve dispensed with the handover niceties, let’s take a hard look at what really happened Tuesday. It boiled down to credibility.
In politics, credibility is like a bank account that allows only withdrawals, starting the day the account holders are elected.
Trump and the Republicans won big because the Clintons and the Democrats had no more credibility left. Eight Obama years and the previous eight under Clinton pretty much blew their cred wad.
In the cold light of the day after, it would seem it didn’t matter what Hillary Clinton has said over the past two years. What stuck with voters was her lack of credibility. Nothing else can begin to explain why the combined efforts of the Obamas, Clintons, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and a parade of pop culture celebs failed to sway undecideds and abstainers.
As for Trump’s credibility account, it’s as full as it’s ever going to be – and withdrawals started today.
Clinton will not be indicted, let alone locked up.
That Mexican wall? Dream on.
NATO and NAFTA? Don’t bet against them.
The Muslim ban? Watch him try.
Tax breaks for the middle class? Sure.
Repeal Obamacare? There are 20 plus Republican governors whose states are happier with what is than what was because it costs them less. If Trump and his team can’t come up with something better before scrapping the Affordable Care Act, shit will fly. Republican shit.
The Supreme Court composition? Roe vs. Wade revisited? We’re talking about what differentiates America from sharia-law states where women are stoned for being raped.
It will take just one 12-year-old incest rape mother to force the U.S.S. Trump seriously off course with his evangelicals.
Because here’s Donald J. Trump’s new reality in the United States of Nonstop Campaigning.
The Republicans hold the Senate 51-47 (including two independents who vote with the Democrats), a bare majority. The midterm elections take place Nov. 6, 2018, when 33 of the 100 seats will be at stake. Of those 33 seats, 25 are held by Democrats and those two independents, while eight are currently held by Republicans. You can guarantee the Democrats will be using Trump’s first 730 days to wage a merciless, relentless campaign to force a turnover.
The Republicans hold the House 239-193. On Nov. 6, 2018, all 435 seats will be contested. Again, the Democrats will concentrate their efforts on winning control of Congress.
If Trump receives –and heeds – wise counsel, he won’t repeat Obama’s principled mistake of trying to build bipartisan consensus for his Affordable Care Act. Trump will ram his agenda through the Republican-controlled House and Senate in the 20 months he’s guaranteed an absolute majority.
So there it is. Trump has less than two years to remake America. After that, he risks becoming just another lame-duck American president at the mercy of the folks who run the credibility bank.