As the dust settles on the 2018 elections locally, statewide and nationally, Democrats look forward with far more optimism toward further success in the 2020 presidential election cycle.
Winning the House of Representatives back by flipping at least 40 seats, Democrats can now clearly observe Trump feeling the heat and becoming ever more irate and desperate to kill the Mueller investigation that is now focused on the Oval Office. We can anticipate his increasingly radical and unconstitutional acts aimed at undermining the electoral process, the Justice Department protecting him, his family and his campaign co-conspirators from the numerous (we’ve lost count) investigations and continuing legal challenges to his failing presidency. At the same time, he’s creating a cadre of Republicans with full, personal allegiance to him and his sinking ship. With 22 Republican senators up for re-election in 2020 and only 12 Democrats, regaining control of both Houses of Congress is well within our reach, especially as Trump descends deeper into the morass.
To the extent Congressional Republicans will allow themselves to be dragged into the swamp with Trump, at some point he may force them to finally say “Nyet” to his demands for unquestioning political loyalty and cover for his extralegal and illegal actions.
At the state level, both Houses of the Maryland Legislature now have stronger Democratic veto-proof majorities. Governor Hogan will be forced to play by the Legislature’s rules and that bodes well for average Marylanders on both sides of the Bay.
In Talbot County, Democrats are disappointed that Holly Wright’s gallant effort to unseat Addie Eckardt fell short. Holly’s campaign stuck to the facts and demonstrated without vitriol how Eckardt is abandoning the best interests of average residents.
We now have a Democrat on the County Council and we came within a couple of hundred votes of placing two other Democrats on the Council. Ultra-conservative Republican groups bitterly fought the Utterly-conservative Republican groups during the campaign over just how little the revenue cap should be raised and how the County was about to be turned into an urban sprawl with intolerable noise pollution. The Price coalition publicly feuded with the Williams coalition and now, Price squares off with three of the Republicans her supporters eagerly sought to remove. It may well take incoming Democrat Pete Lesher to become the voice of reason and compromise on the County Council.
Of course, the real losers in this Republican-dominated county are the average voters who again saw a failed effort to raise or eliminate the revenue cap which severely hamstrings the public schools, public safety and public health infrastructures throughout the county. The wealthy few who can afford to buy full-page ads in the Star Democrat and who vehemently protest virtually any raise in the revenue cap won a temporary victory. Average citizens who rely on the severely constricted public services may well suffer as services are further stretched.
While Jesse Colvin lost to Andy Harris in the Maryland District 1 race for US Congress, Colvin’s message resonated in this county well enough for him to win here locally by 4 percent. Kudos to the County Democratic organization, Republicans, and Independents who voted for Colvin in their own best economic, health and environmental interests.
Depending upon how much more unhinged Trump becomes and just how far Republicans will blindly follow him will determine how much the Blue Tsunami of 2020 will dwarf the Blue Wave of 2018 in both Houses. As for the Big Prize, the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, 2020 can’t come soon enough for Democrats and democracy. At this rate, the SS Republican Party is listing heavily to starboard and becoming dangerously swamped.
Dominic “Mickey” Terrone is a board member of the Talbot County Democratic Forum (demforum.com). He writes from Oxford.