The run-up to the vote was marked by increasingly acerbic attacks by both parties against the other, but the elections were ultimately framed as a referendum on Trump himself, which isn’t surprising. Predictably, both parties are claiming victory, but the mixed results have many people confused about what will happen next.
Democratic control of the House means that the opposition will exert a lot of influence over the President’s domestic agenda, which they were already indirectly doing even during the past two years of notional Republican control through what Trump’s supporters decried as the “Republicans In Name Only”, or RINOs. Nevertheless, it’ll probably become much more difficult than ever before for him to push through his policies, and the Democrats could continue to obstruct his governing ability by distracting the masses through more investigations into the “Russiagate” scandal, Trump’s tax returns, and other controversial issues.
Another point to focus on is how the Democrats themselves are changing and moving closer to what had at one time been considered the extreme fringe of the leftist spectrum, epitomized through the rapid rise of 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the youngest-ever woman to be elected to Congress. Some suggest that this is due to a combination of Bernie Sanders’ ideological influence on the party and a reaction to what happened two years ago with the Republicans after Trump’s nomination and eventual election. Without a doubt, this proves just how polarized America has become.
Going forward, Trump might also struggle to contain Democratic opposition to some of his foreign policy moves, especially with Russia but also with North Korea, China, and Iran, though there’s only so much that the House can do. They can refuse to pass anything requiring their approval, but will be limited when it comes to actively interfering with the moves that he’s already sent into motion. What the Democrats can do, however, is make a lot of hoopla about them as they prepare for the 2020 presidential election, which is the main prize that they’re after.
To discuss this issue in more detail, Andrew Korybko is joined by Don DeBar, host of the syndicated daily radio newscast CPR News heard across the US and Chris Driscoll, the co-host of Carson's Corner on Blogtalk Radio, a show that covers activist politics, and who was also Ralph Nader's media director for his 2008 campaign for president.
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