The Democrats are about to hand a guaranteed 2020 election victory to Donald Trump on a plate

When former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada chose to end the filibuster for judicial nominees in 2013, he received a warning from then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that Reid would regret the move he made. McConnell was right

Jay Caruso
Washington DC
Wednesday 20 March 2019 19:35
Presidential candidate Kamala Harris vows to 'prosecute the case' against Donald Trump

Democrats accuse President Trump of violating the norms of the American presidency and our political system, and in most cases, they’re correct.

Unfortunately, instead of making clear they will right where Trump went wrong, some members of the party apparatus and 2020 presidential candidates aren’t advocating correction. What they’re proposing seeks to over-correct, creating an environment in which Trump can win a second term by labeling Democrats the extremists.

Trump’s routine trashing of the free press, his dismissal of the intelligence community and the people he handpicked to lead those agencies, and well as his attacks on the justice department apparatus investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election have created a political climate unlike we have seen in modern times.

Additionally, his propensity for making hasty decisions costs him and the nation before someone steps and forces him to wise up. When Trump announced the withdrawal of troops from Syria without consulting military personnel, it paved the way for James Mattis to leave his role as Secretary of Defense in January. It’s nearly April, and the president still hasn’t named a permanent replacement.

All of this is fair game for Democrats, and they should remind voters every day of these instances — particularly suburban voters who went for Democrats in the 2018 House races.

Instead, Democrats have floated radical proposals designed only to appeal to the far-left progressive wing of the party. Those ideas include stacking the Supreme Court or, at the very least, implementing term limits for justices; pushing for a constitutional amendment to end the electoral college; reducing the voting age to 16; and ending the legislative filibuster.

These do not represent the return to norms and values moderate Americans want.

It’s not fringe Democratic candidates floating such ideas but prominent presidential candidates like Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Mind you, that’s in addition to the Democratic support for the Green New Deal, a massive government undertaking that one former Congressional Budget Office director estimated could cost as much as $93 trillion.

Let’s be honest: Democrats wouldn't have offered up such ideas if Hillary Clinton had won the election in 2016. This is all about Donald Trump and supposedly creating an environment to react to the Trump presidency which can prevent someone like Trump from winning again (via the electoral college).

The biggest issue with the proposals Democrats have offered up is the blindness to the reality of politics. Even if Democrats defeat Trump in 2020, they won't be in power forever. The tide always shifts and Democrats will then have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

When former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada chose to end the filibuster for judicial nominees in 2013, he received a warning from then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that Reid would regret the move he made. When Democrats in 2017 signalled they would filibuster the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, McConnell, now the Majority Leader, invoked the nuclear option for Supreme Court nominees, fulfilling the very warning he gave.

Today’s Democrats are making the same mistake by only looking to the next election. The bet is that Donald Trump can't possibly win re-election. But they made the same bet in 2016, convinced there was no path for Trump to beat Hillary Clinton.

As the Newtonian law states, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The Democrats’ desire to make such significant structural changes to our system of government and the Constitution will certainly get left-wing activists to open their checkbooks and make for great fodder on Twitter.

But it also creates a climate for President Trump, of all people, to behave like the reasonable candidate during the 2020 campaign. He will proclaim, "They just want to do all of this because I won." And he's right.

It's possible that former vice president Joe Biden enters the race and, instead of paying lip service to the more hot-headed activists, focuses on Trump blowing up norms and promises to bring back some semblance of normality within government along with an agenda that suburban voters will get behind.

But if the Democratic Party continues down the path of over-correcting, they may find themselves sitting in the audience, watching President Trump taking the oath of office for his second term.

Jay Caruso is the deputy editor of the Washington Examiner

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