THE POLITICAL AVALANCHE BEGINS

Many Americans had their fingers and toes crossed last Tuesday as they awaited the outcomes of local and state elections across the country.

There were encouraging polls and other signs going into the elections that the pendulum was swinging away from Trump’s shocking victory one year ago. Several Republican Congress persons announced that they would not run again in 2018. And then the returns started to trickle in with amazing results. The Virginia Governor race was a rout, as was New Jersey’s. Furthermore, in both states—and in others—the down ballot results showed a strong resurgence for Democrats in legislatures and other local bodies. More evidence will no doubt follow this pattern in the next few weeks.

The Republican response has been to rush the tax bill so they can sneak through tax cuts for corporations and the rich while increasing taxes on the middle class while the GOP still has control of the federal government. There seems to be little doubt that the increases will hit a lot of Trump’s base pretty hard, so it is hard to see the sense in what they say. But if that happens, a sudden drop in Trump’s popularity is likely to occur.

This year’s election and the Republican push for a middle class tax increase might bring the whole Trump story to a conclusion a lot earlier than most of us had even hoped for.

Ryan and many moderate Republicans have strong survival instincts and, under the scenario above, the only possible way out would have to be to reverse course and remove Trump from office. The sooner they do so, the sooner they might just save their political skins?

The struggle is switching gears from political beliefs to political realities.

Therefore, Democrats should begin to seek out a new generation of new leadership (Al Franken and Seth Moulton, for example) and develop a plan to cope with Pence through 2020, to keep the courts balanced and to set the stage for the next President.

Hopefully the relatively brief Trump era will be looked back on as a painful curative (like cod liver oil) period that helped the country adjust our governance to deal with a very changed modern world!

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