The threat to Donald Trump’s presidency is not necessarily just a legal or literary one (Fire and Fury: great book, tremendous page turner, you gotta believe me). This year could see the rug taken out from under him as he suffers the same legislative malaise and roadblocks that his predecessor had to endure for eight years.
From The Guardian:
The announcement by Congressman Darrell Issa on Wednesday that he is retiring brings to 31 the number of open seats held by Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections.
Democrats need to win 25 seats to take control of the House of Representatives.
The unprecedented number of Republican retirements, which includes the sitting chairmen of eight different congressional committees, is a bad omen for the speaker, Paul Ryan, as he seeks to keep control of the lower chamber.
So far, five Republicans representing districts where Hillary Clinton won in 2016 are not seeking re-election this year.
Issa’s retirement is a major blow to House Republicans in a district that analysts had considered a toss-up. Not only was Issa a nine-term incumbent but as one of the richest members of Congress, he was able to self-fund his campaign.
His decision not to seek another term makes him the second swing-district California Republican to retire in the past week. On Monday, Ed Royce, the chairman of the House foreign relations committee, announced he too would retire. Royce, a 13-term incumbent, represents a district where Clinton won by nearly 10 points in 2016.
Both California Republicans are victims of the changing political demographics of the state. They both represent parts of Orange County, the once deep-red bastion of suburban conservatism that has undergone a transformation in recent years. In 2016, Clinton became the first Democrat to win there since Franklin Roosevelt in 1936.
The media and voters alike need to be reminded that while the President does indeed hold the steering wheel on USS America, his rudder is very small and the ship is bloated from bow to stern.
Its in Congress that power flows and the 2018 mid-terms are shaping up to be more and more a show-stopper for the Showman-in-Chief.
Even after the passing of the GOP tax bill, the traditional big business base for the Republicans who intend on buying seats in Congress from both sides of the aisle to pass even more middle-class destructive regulation.
The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday his organization will deeply involve itself in this year’s midterm congressional elections — including Republican primaries — as he called both Steve Bannon and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren extremists.
“If we’re only sending ideological purists and strict partisans to Washington, we’re stopping progress before it even starts,” Thomas Donohue, the chamber’s president, said in his annual address on American business in Washington.
“We need to rebuild the middle in the Congress,” Donohue said. “Pro-growth, pro-business candidates can come from both sides and we want more from both sides.”
The chamber will most likely spend more than the $29.1 million it expended on the 2016 election cycle, Donohue later told reporters. In his speech, he said the group will challenge candidates in Republican primaries when it thinks an individual is too extreme to be successful in a general election.
Donohue made clear that the chamber wants Republicans to remain in control in Washington, even as he offered outreach to Democrats. “We will attempt to hold both houses of the Congress as it is, while at the same time becoming much more public and engaged in working with Democrats,” he told reporters.
As a non-profit trade association, the chamber can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money — including on political races — without having to disclose its donors. Some corporate contributors become known because they voluntarily disclose their donations, but the chamber has become a discreet way for corporate America to try to influence elections without publicly picking a side that might alienate customers.
The Don may have to double down on his Russian financial backers to help fund the Republican’s 2018 Great American Tradition of buying elections, especially when even Big Business are ready for more Democrat faces.