The Liberals Are No Longer in the Driver's Seat. Will They Accept Their New Status?
Although the progressives pressed the "destruct" button, it didn't destroy the populist threat. European capitals are dismayed that long-awaited Blue Wave offensive failed to dislodge their enemies from the crest of the hill. The German DW writes:
Although Democrats made electoral gains in Tuesday's midterm elections, officials in Germany and other European Union countries said they do not believe the results will prompt a change in US President Donald Trump's approach to foreign policy...
The Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday's polls, but Trump's Republicans strengthened their grip on power in the Senate.
The transatlantic coordinator for the German government, Peter Beyer, was also skeptical that Tuesday's election results will ease Europe's worries, particularly since NATO matters and international trade are under the jurisdiction of the Republican-controlled Senate.
Politico described the high initial European hopes. "Europe’s political class has been waiting for the U.S. midterm elections. Traumatized by U.S. President Donald Trump’s unpredictability and his rough handling of the transatlantic relationship, they have allowed themselves to hope the Democratic Party will make significant gains and put the Continent’s most important alliance back on track." But it was not to be.
The significance of the increased Republican majority in the Senate did not escape Andy McCarthy. It will allow the president to reshape -- some would say take back -- a federal bureaucracy and judiciary long dominated by their opponents. "While Dems trip over themselves investigating in the House, Senate must assembly-line-confirm Trump’s nominees. And White House must make sure, pronto, that there is a nominee for every vacancy." Hardly was the midterm election concluded before the first big opportunity arose. "Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned Wednesday at President Donald Trump's request. The announcement — made by Trump on Twitter — came the day after the midterm elections."
The Democrats may fear there is more to come. That they took the House by a small margin might be a good outcome. It will serve as a check and balance on potential excesses, always a danger in any government of men, while leaving the strategic equation unchanged. The rebels held the hill, despite desperate charges by the progressive battalion, but the lower slopes changed hands, as they often do at the midterm, meaning the electoral system still works.
It was a strategic victory not simply in a partisan sense but in a political one. The split legislature means raucous democracy will survive; there will be no communism in America but no Nazism either. It might have been dangerous to have both houses and the USSC under one party. This is an enormous achievement because America is still a working proposition. Other countries might have blown up, but the flag, though tattered, still flies, for now at least.