Both parties can learn from midterm outcome

November 14, 2018

As the dust clears from the 2018 midterm elections, it’s clear the Democrats have wrested control of the House of Representatives from the Republicans, and the GOP has strengthened control of the Senate.

As of last weekend, the Democrats had gained 32 seats in the House, or nine more than the minimum 23 needed to take over. Republicans widened their control of the Senate and now likely will have 54 of the 100 votes.

Here’s some perspective on what happened Nov. 6. In 2010, in Barack Obama’s first midterm, Republicans gained 63 House seats and six Senate seats. In 1994, in Bill Clinton’s first midterm, Republicans gained 54 House seats and eight Senate seats and flipped both houses of Congress.

What do the national results mean? Likely gridlock. Because business often likes gridlock and predictability, markets immediately shot up.

What should happen is both sides should learn from the outcome. President Donald Trump might learn to moderate his rhetoric — even to say less. Praise more. Criticize less. Refrain from commenting on just about everything.

Democrats might learn, too, and give a grudging nod that the current policies are fueling a tremendous prosperity. Equities remain high. Employment remains high. Social Security increases will be the best in years.

That would be our hope for both sides, but don’t hold your breath.

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