Eber: Midway at the Midway


By Richard Eber, California Political News and Views 

“ The tumultuous 2018 midterm campaign, shaped by conflicts over race and identity and punctuated by tragedy, barreled through its final weekend as voters prepared to deliver a verdict on the first half of President Trump’s term, with Republicans bracing for losses in the House and state capitals “

News Story in NY Times November 3, 2018

What a bunch of bull and borderline fake news.  Calling the results of November 6th a benchmark of American political history could  be a plot for a new episode of Fantasy Island If readers were to take the words of this article literally, one would think voters in midterm elections this year are rejecting the Presidency of Donald Trump and are paving the way for impeachment proceedings against him.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  No matter how much significance  Democrats say  can be gleamed from the midterm results,  Hillary Clinton still was legitimately beaten two years ago and Republican losses in congressional seats are much lower than those suffered from incumbent president’s of both Parties in the last half century.

President Trump added to his majority in the Senate while losing power in the House.  Even then it could be said that inept Republican Leadership in that body clashing with the President, didn’t help in this election.

To put things in perspective:

1978 Jimmy Carter lost 15 seats to the GOP in the House and 3 in the Senate.  Ironically, this was one of the better performances of any President in mid terms of either political party. Look what happened to him 24 months later

1982: The Reagan Revolution was not without bad days.  In this off year electiona Republicans lost 27 House seats giving Democrats a huge majority in that chamber

1986:  At the six year mark of Reagan’s Presidency, 8 seats fell to the donkeys in the Senate giving them control of this body for the first time since 1980.  5 seats disappeared in the House as well.  If one were to analyze the results of these two elections, it would be difficult to understand the popularity of Ronald Reagan during and after his two terms in office.

1990: In the middle of George Bush Senior’s presidency, his party lost 9 seats in the House and one in the Senate.  What made these figures especially troubling is that at the time Democrats held huge majorities in both bodies

1994:  President Bill Clinton was soundly beaten after 2 years in the Oval Office by the “Republican Revolution which saw the GOP pick up an astounding 54 seats in the House and 8 in the Senate resulting in them taking a majority in both bodies.  To make matters worse, Clinton’s party lost 10 governorships in this election.  Despite this poor showing, no one thought “The Comeback kid” was finished.

1998:  After 6 years at the helm, Clinton was able to break even in the Senate and gain 5 seats in the House.  This was the first time since 1934 that the out of office failed to gain seats in off year elections. Factors that came into play was the strong economy that helped Democrats which was partially offset by the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.  A good case can be made for making 1998 a deviating election.

2002: George Bush’s first 2 years in office were given high fives from voters who bestowed small gains of 2 in the Senate and 8in the House.  The country was in an economic boom and Bush had a positive public image prior to his foray in Iraq with weapons of mass destruction.

2006: Although the numbers were not horrible for Bush, losing 6 House and 6 Senate seats would result in the majority parties in Congress switching to Democrats in both chambers.  The era of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid being in charge had begun with their party winning the legislatures and Governorships of over half the states.

2010: One would think after the previous Presidents unpopularity with the housing bubble, the handling of Hurricane Katrina, and “weapons of mass destruction” President Obama, after two years in office would triumph at mid terms.  Not so.  His party lost an astounding 63 members in the House which cost Nancy Pelosi the Speakership.  This was the largest loss of seats in mid terms since Franklin Roosevelt’s second term in office. Much of this defeat was attributed to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. But did anyone think Obama was finished? Hardly.

2014: The election hex of an incumbent President at the 6 year mark struck Obama.  In this contest his party lost control of the Senate losing 9 seats along with 13 in the House.  The weak performance could be attributed to voter’s dissatisfaction with Obama’s doctrinaire-leftist Presidency.  Hillary Clinton apparently did not get this message with her “Basket of Deplorables two years later.

In all due respect Russian interference leading to defeat was the least of her problems. Self reflecting in the mirror would have given the defeated candidate more insight.

This brings us to 2018.  If one goes back in history almost every President and struggled in midterms including FDR and Ronald Reagan.  In contrast Tuesday’s results were quite mild for Donald Trump despite what was said by pundits in CNN, MSNBC, ABC, The New York Times, Washington Post and the rest of the gang.

The press in general should calm down.  They should take a deep breath and realize their Steely Dan “This one’s for real I already bought the dream” approach is not going to work for at least a couple years.

Washington DC journalists have come down with a bad case of being Progressive Bigots.  Symptoms of this malady are unending hatred of Donald Trump, emotional outbursts without any foundation, inability to converse with those who disagree with them, and paranoid thoughts of the evil intentions of their advisories.

Perhaps the DNC should take all of their losing candidates and sympathizers from the 5TH Estate and have a special therapy session with Dr, Phil. Many of these people are outright crazy. They no longer have the ability of being able to separate fact from fiction or logically explain why many voters have rejected them.

Instead of reading too many tea leaves about the results of this week’s elections, Democrats, Republicans, Decline to States, Green, Prohibitionist, and others need to realize where this election stands in history given what has occurred in the past.

Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.

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