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Our Mid-Term Post Mortem

“What has President Trump learned from defeat?” political correspondent Dan Balz of The Washington Post asked following November’s elections, when Republicans lost majority control in the House of Representatives and logged a marginal gain in the Senate. “Trump was elected in 2016 to lead a divided country. The midterm results, however, make clear the degree to which he has widened those divisions.”

By way of validation, Balz points to “suburban voters, especially college-educated women,” and notes “In New England, other than Sen. Susan Collins ... Republicans will have no congressional representation. In California, Orange (as in County) is the new blue, after a string of victories by Democrats in competitive House districts in a county that once was the symbolic and real heartland of American conservatism.”

The key word is “once.” The demographics there have changed dramatically, and the advantage now overwhelmingly goes to the Democrats. Of relevance here, objective reality shows these new populations to be overwhelmingly anti-gun. That’s something our “gun rights leaders” have refused to acknowledge lest someone accuse those making that simple statement of fact of being a xenophobe or worse. Democrats are happy to take full advantage of that.

A Push to Sell Out

The drum being beaten throughout the media is that for Republicans to win they’ll need to abandon their core constituencies and adopt the Democrat platform – on immigration, on guns, on redistribution of wealth, on traditional values, on you name it. That won’t work either, of course, and all that will happen is concessions will be accepted and crowed over, but come campaign time the compromisers will still be painted as “right-wing extremists.” Plus, as the election of some flat-out “socialists” demonstrates, old guard Democrats are being challenged for not being “progressive” (radical) enough.

But the beat goes on, as do the talking points designed to spook Republican politicians and voters into giving up even more.

“Trumpism takes a thumping,” uber-“liberal” (not in the Jeffersonian sense) Bill Press jubilantly claimed in The Hill. “For the first time, voters had a chance to express whether they like what they’ve seen so far from Trump. They gave him a big thumbs down.”

Not true, although it supports the “progressive” agenda to make people believe that it is. What happened in many cases was that Republicans trying to appear “moderate” took the fire out of the bellies of conservatives who would otherwise have enthusiastically supported them.

Just look at the incumbent Republicans who lost. In many cases you’ll find mediocre and even poor grades from advocacy groups on key issues like guns and immigration. You can’t inspire if the best you can promise is being the “lesser of two evils” while selling out those looking for a leader. If anything, in addition to demographic changes, a major factor overlooked by the media, the pundits, swamp Republicans and Democrats is that the GOP was not “Trumpian” enough.

Consider: Donald Trump defied all odds and all polls and defeated Hillary Clinton based on very specific campaign issues – issues subsequently denied fruition by a Republican House majority under Paul Ryan’s non-leadership.

Instead we’ve got no border wall. We’ve got no national concealed-carry reciprocity. We’ve got no hearing protection act. We do have a (pending at this writing) “bump stock” ban by decree that will require Americans to divest themselves of lawfully-acquired property or become federal felons. You’d better believe the Democrats will take full advantage of expanding the reach on that when they retake the executive.

Time To Dig In

Now that the House is going Democrat, forget any further gains. Get ready to hold on and do what you can to keep shaken Republicans from ceding even more ground.

“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who plans to return as Speaker in the next Congress, declared ... that gun control will be a priority under the newly elected Democratic majority,” The Hill reported. “Public talk of various gun control measures, ranging from universal background checks to an assault weapons ban, has grown in recent months following several high-profile mass shootings and a groundswell of activism from younger voters.”

“Gun Control Groups Eclipse NRA. in Election Spending,” The New York Times piled on, masking Astroturf funding from social activist billionaires as grassroots enthusiasm. “NRA doesn’t look so invincible now,” Bloomberg opinion columnist Francis Wilkinson positively gushed.

This has its effect on politicians looking to stay safe and on gun owners targeted for demoralization. True, Republicans still have the Senate, but not all of them have “A” ratings on guns from NRA, and those numbers diminish further if you look at grades from the more hard core Gun Owners of America. As for the House, they’ve already given a pretty good indication that they’re taking cues from the opposition.

“Kevin McCarthy is Elected House Minority Leader,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Defeats conservative Jim Jordan, 159-43.”

That would be the same Kevin McCarthy rated “C” by GOA and “B-“ (with “F-” on categories including “Reduce Unnecessary Worker Visas” and “Reduce Amnesty Enticements,” and “C” on “Challenge Status Quo” by immigration watchdog Numbers USA. Compare that to “A” and “A+” respectively for Jordan and you get an idea where things are heading.

Hang on. The ride is about to get bumpy.