It wasn’t a blue wave. But still, it was a decent Democratic splash.
To be sure, there were disappointments aplenty for the Democrats. Start with Florida, where incumbent Senator Bill Nelson went down to defeat, and race-baiting Ron DeSantis won the governorship. And then there was Texas. . .
But at a basic level, the nation made a vitally important change, turning control of the House of Representatives over to the Democrats. In that regard, President Trump was right that this election was about him. Although he will no doubt deny it, the results should be an unmistakable message. Despite a strong economy — one goosed by deficit-exploding tax cuts — American voters pulled hard on the reins of the governing party.
Led by female suburban voters put off by his tone and younger voters who opposed his short-sighted priorities, they said: Yes this election is about you, and no, we won’t give you a vote of confidence. Instead, they turned out in numbers that defied Republican gerrymandering and voter-suppression efforts and flipped enough House seats to elevate the Democrats to House control.
Thus ends the nation’s ill-fated experiment with single-party Republican rule.
Under Republicans, there has been little or no congressional oversight or accountability. House and Senate Republicans have acted more like valets and butlers to the president than like independently elected office-holders with important responsibilities of their own.
That now changes. This administration will now be put under the magnifying glass, and appropriately so. Prediction: The information revealed won’t redound to the administration’s credit.
Other than Trump, there was one other notable issue in these midterms. After a succession of election cycles in which the Affordable Care Act weighed down Democrats, ACA-repeal efforts became an albatross for Republicans. That’s because voters belatedly came to appreciate the benefits the law bestowed, including the vital guarantee that people couldn’t be discriminated against in insurance coverage based on preexisting conditions.
Tuesday’s results will end, at least for the short term, any serious effort to repeal the ACA.
And that, too, makes it a pretty decent night for Democrats.Scot Lehigh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeScotLehigh.