After slogging through weeks of some of the most volatile political debate in the United States Senate’s recent history, all of it related to newly sworn Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Cavanaugh, America now turns its collective attention to the next big political dog fight—the midterm elections on November 6th. What will happen is still anyone’s guess, but Republicans are better positioned today than perhaps at any point since Inauguration Day.
Democrats lost all ability to claim “they go high” after getting their hands dirty in the Cavanaugh battle, and Republican voters, even many of the so-called “Never Trumpers,” are united in their resolve to push back against the leftist hoardes that reared their ugly heads to oppose his nomination. What’s more, the gift Democrats were hoping would land in their laps from Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s probe hasn’t arrived. Perhaps it never will. What’s more, President Donald Trump has kept cool and not overstepped his bounds with the Justice Department – a move that would surely hand Democrats a constitutional crisis to run on.
Telling Mueller and Rod Rosenstein, “you’re fired,” while tempting, would result in voters sending the same message to Republican candidates in November. Where Trump goes these final weeks, so goes the Republican high road. With the Rick Scott – Bill Nelson Senate battle deemed a toss-up and numerous other races excruciatingly tight, we need voters to recognize that Republicans remain the party that best represents the principles they hold dear.
Like many fellow Trump supporters, I recognize that the President occasionally lets loose comments that don’t help win the hearts, minds and votes of middle-of-the-road Floridians, at least when out-of-context snippets are reported by an unfriendly media. Trump must continue to exercise restraint and extreme caution for the next few weeks, and in particular, avoid the temptation to say anything inflammatory about the mess that is the special counsel investigation.
That may be difficult, because it is such a deep mess. With partisan liberals infesting the investigation, and Democrats desperate for campaign fodder, President Trump must face down these final three weeks of the midterms without losing his cool. Mueller himself will almost certainly do his part in these final weeks. Love him or hate him, he has a reputation as a by-the-book prosecutor who will ensure his team lays low until at least November 7th. The last thing Mueller wants is a repeat of the FBI’s public relations disaster caused in 2016 by the political jockeying of then director James Comey.
With no real substantive developments coming from the Special Counsel between now and election day, Democrats will flail about trying to spark something, but it will be vapid and impotent – as long as the president avoids pouring fuel on the fire.
Mentioning the special counsel will continue to rile up the Republican base, but we are already adequately riled. And the fight now isn’t about the base. It’s a battle for the hearts and minds of swing voters and the purplest parts of Florida.
When the dust settles on November 7th, all eyes will immediately turn back to Mueller and his investigation into Russian meddling. The president would be wise to let it play out, let Mueller have his say, and then we can watch the president do what he does best: dispatch political opponents in a single soundbite. America can then put the entire sordid mess behind us and focus on the final two years of Trump’s first term. I think it’ll make his 2020 re-election all the easier.