The 1998 midterm election was a debacle for Republicans, particularly then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Since Reconstruction, no president had seen his party gain seats in the House in a midterm election six years into his presidency. Gingrich, who made the election a referendum on impeaching President Bill Clinton, resigned after the loss. Clearly, voters had sent the signal, “Don’t do it” . . .
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has cautioned against making the midterms a referendum on impeachment. But that is an electoral strategy, not a plan for when she gets the speaker’s gavel. And even if she declines to go straight to impeachment hearings on Day 1, a Democratic-controlled House would still be a nightmare for the White House. Any hope of passing a conservative agenda would die instantaneously. Worse, once Democrats gained the power to subpoena documents and compel testimony from members of the administration, the Hobbesian internal politics of today’s White House would look like a company picnic by comparison.
In short, the only hope for the Trump presidency is for the GOP to maintain control of the House.
According to various reports, the GOP thinks it can hold on by running “against the media” in 2018. As pathetic as that would be, it might work. Though I doubt it. A better strategy would be to actually get things done.
And the only way for that to happen is for both houses of Congress to get their act together. Voting bills out of the House may be enough to justify a Rose Garden party, but it will do little to sway voters who’ve been told for years that the GOP needs control of all three branches to do big things. Trump won’t be on the ballot in 2018, but his presidency will hang in the balance. (Read more from “Trump Will Be Impeached If Republicans Lose the House” HERE)