The conservative editors of the Wall Street Journal seem to be fed up with Donald Trump’s antics that are turning off moderate suburban voters while he continues his policy of throwing red meat to his nationalistic base of political supporters who want more tariffs and no immigration.
“Scathing WSJ editorial: The only explanation for Trump’s behavior is that he wants GOP to lose the House”
Scathing WSJ editorial: The only explanation for Trump's behavior is that he wants GOP to lose the House https://t.co/bgfTUZwFGO
— Raw Story (@RawStory) July 31, 2018
In a highly critical new editorial the Journal editors ask if President Trump is intentionally sabotaging the Republican Party’s chances of retaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives after this November’s midterm congressional elections.
Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe had tweeted a similar thought last night, just hours before the Journal’s editorial appeared this morning.
“T’s unpopular & economy-risking moves on trade & his threat to shut down govt almost suggest that his re-election strategy is to run against a Democratic House and to claim total vindication after at least 34 Senators reject the House Articles of Impeachment. Crazy? Maybe”
T’s unpopular & economy-risking moves on trade & his threat to shut down govt almost suggest that his re-election strategy is to run against a Democratic House and to claim total vindication after at least 34 Senators reject the House Articles of Impeachment. Crazy? Maybe . . .
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) July 31, 2018
Tribe is a frequent Trump critic and when he asks if the president is crazy, it is a serious question. Many people — including many within his own party — have started to wonder if Trump’s actions are those of a sane person. Others think that perhaps his increasingly erratic and desperate behavior might be a reaction to the wave of bad news concerning the Mueller investigation, including the fact that his former lawyer Michael Cohen may be getting ready to testify against him.
The Journal’s editors looked at how Trump has been taking steps to increase his base voter turnout against Democratic incumbents in rural states such as North Dakota and Missouri. They said that what Trump is doing will probably do much harm to vulnerable House Republican incumbents who represent suburban districts full of moderate voters who don’t approve of Trump’s actions or policies.
“Mr. Trump might not welcome a Democratic House, but he also might not fear it as long as Republicans keep the Senate,” the editors wrote. “More than even most politicians, Mr. Trump always needs a foil, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be from central political casting.”
The Journal also suggested that Trump’s strategy will make it nearly impossible to pass any further conservative reforms during the remainder of Trump’s presidency. In addition, they wrote that a large Democratic margin of victory in November would likely “start up the impeachment machinery,” in Congress although the chances of an impeachment conviction in the Senate is extremely remote.
The editors concluded their piece by saying that control of the House is necessary to achieve their goals:
“Judges aside, the House has been essential to Mr. Trump’s main achievements that have lifted the economy — corporate tax reform, deregulation — and whatever government-reform victories they’ve had. If they lose the House this year, Republicans aren’t likely to get it back until after the end of the Trump Presidency.”
Earlier in July the Journal published another scathing editorial criticizing Trump for his trade war policies of increased tariffs on imported goods. These policies are already costing American jobs, and they have also cost Trump the support of such traditional Republicans as the Koch Brothers.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.