The Democrats have captured the US House of Representatives in the mid-term elections curbing the strident march of President Donald Trump.
When the Democrats secured two more seats out of the 218 seats needed for a majority in the 435-member House, the Republican Party won 193 seats. The Democrats have immense expectation in winning the remaining 22 seats. Since 2010, it is the first time the Democrats are taking over the control of the House of Representatives. It has paved way for Nancy Pelosi who was the House Minority leader to run for Speaker of the House. ‘Tomorrow will be a new day in America’; this was Nancy’s first response adding that the constitutional checks and balances were going to be pertinent to the Trump administration. It is clear that in th next two years, the Democrats would attempt to rein in Trump who has an authoritarian approach in forming legislations, appointments and policy declarations including on foreign relations. However, Trump is unwilling to concede defeat, and may try to make a show out of the little success he made in the Senate. To that end, as per initial indications, he will tighten his dictatorial measures to cover up his smelling of such defeat.
While the educated urbans totally rejected Trump’s hate campaign against the immigrant enemies, it influenced the rural voters. Women, youth and college-educated middle class have more representation in the Democratic Party. They have succeeded in gaining crucial victories even in small towns. Since they were, in general, disappointed in matters of government expenditure for the welfare of the people and health care schemes, the public support for Trump had come down by more than half compared to the time he assumed office. Six out of the 10 voters are of the view that the country has been moving in the wrong direction. Trump’s anti-immigrant moves and the health care scheme were the most debated subjects in the election. About two out of three people who took part in the poll exercised their franchise either because they were in favour of Trump or held an aversion towards him. Therefore, Trump’s future days will not be totally unilateral.
Although Trump has an upper hand in the Senate and the administration, the failure in the House of Representatives creates several challenges for him. The ‘Democratic House’ with changing equations, will attempt to revisit the different decisions taken by the Trump administration and carry out an extensive inquiry into the domestic and foreign transactions. Pelosi has already given the first hints. Committees in which Democrats have majority can be pressurized to hold a detailed inquiry on matters including the Russian interference during the previous election campaign by the president and to amend the tax policy. There had been contemplations in the Democratic circles to start the process of impeachment against president who has been moving against the interest of the nation. There are observations that they have been adopting a line of least resistance of not provoking Trump by unleashing such attacks during campaign period, but having won the majority in the House such opposition moves are likely. Thus the Democrats will do all they can to scuttle Trump's efforts to run for another term after two years and to make the electoral prospects of Republicans bleak.
However, Trump's postures are such as if he had foreseen all this. Even as he has only the claim of victory in the Senate, he is celebrating it as big victory. Not stopping with that, he tries to attribute that victory to the refugees who infiltrated and to the media. It is not customary in America for an incumbent President to fully win the mid-term elections. All the same, the practice of previous presidents has been to use it as a home work for improving the image of the administration, and as a means of improving the mileage for the next election. Contrary to that, what Trump seems to have derived from the results is the knack to be adamant in the belief that he is on the right course and the audacity to stick to that. The other day when he met mediamen to discuss the election results, he lost temper several times. He severely pulled up the CNN correspondent and got him out. Another female correspondent was subjected to racial slur. When it blew out into a controversy, he swallowed his words. Most recently, he expelled the Attorney General, who had refused to accept Trump's instruction to withdraw the case of Russian interference in the last election, and has appointed one who will fall in line with his wishes. What remains to be seen is whether the next head to roll will be that of the Special Consul Robert Muller who is probing the case. Through all this, Trump has already shown how he is going to overcome the biggest threat he will face from the Democrats. He is also, in his typical fashion, sending verbal threats that if Democrats are going to use their majority in the House and waste tax payer's money on enquiries, he knows what game to play on the strength of the Republicans' majority in the Senate. Although Democrats have emerged victors, the smile is all on the face of Trump. It remains to be seen what the Democrats will do to erase it.