With the 2018 mid-term elections now in the history books, it's time to look ahead and it would be nice if that could rationally be done with at least some semblance of unity and optimism.
Now, with Democrats controlling the U.S. House of Representatives and Republicans increasing their margin in the Senate, the potential for absolute gridlock going into the 2020 elections is very real. Despite the early offers for bipartisan initiatives on such issues as infrastructure, trade and healthcare, the deep partisan divisions can be expected to dominate and only worsen in the months ahead.
After presumed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called for bipartisan approaches to key issues that affect us all, Trump, in his news conference today, essentially said, "That's fine, but if you guys try to investigate me, there will be war."
In fact, at that news conference, Trump went to war with reporters, one of whom he called "The Enemy of the People." See video above.
Who doesn't expect House Democrats to launch new investigations into Trump's activities? That is sure to happen. Many of the new members of Congress come from the liberal wing of the party and they can be expected to encourage efforts to impeach the president.
That would certainly enrage him and given the GOP's now wider margin of control in the Senate would most likely be doomed. It, in fact, could backfire and be used by Trump as a weapon against Democrats in the 2020 election campaign.
Investigations? If the House investigates him, Trump said today the Senate would investigate members of the House. “They can play that game, but we can play it better, because we have a thing called the United States Senate,” Trump said. “I could see it being extremely good for me politically because I think I’m better at that game than they are, actually, but we’ll find out.”
Trump claims to have the power to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and end the investigation into Russia's influence in the 2016 election and how, if at all, Trump and his campaign might have been involved. But he reiterated today that he would be better off politically to let the investigation run its course.
But that is hanging out there and can be expected to add fuel to the fire once it is completed.
Pelosi said the Democratic party's takeover of the House was about “restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration.”
We'll see how that works out. It would be nice if Republicans and Democrats could learn to work together once again in Washington, that's for sure. We would all benefit. But, realistically, I expect Trump will get his war with the Democrats and the months leading up to the 2020 election will not be pretty.