To be clear, Donald Trump did not have a hard job on Wednesday.
As detailed here last night, the fabled “Blue Wave” didn’t really come to fruition on Tuesday evening – or at least not if you define “Blue Wave” as the groundswell of anti-Trump sentiment the GOP feared might play out on the heels of the President’s divisive midterm strategy.
Yes, Democrats retook the House, but Republicans had no trouble holding onto the Senate and you didn’t get the feeling that things went entirely according to plan for a Democratic party that was hoping for a resounding, across-the-board victory.
Read full election recap
We were (very) quick to note that however distasteful it most assuredly was, Trump’s midterm strategy of playing on voter fears by making the elections all about the caravan “invasion” worked pretty well. Indeed, it certainly seems like the absurd jingoism and wild xenophobia that helped win Trump the White House still resonates with the base and Trump wielded those tools masterfully to safeguard the Senate and avert a complete debacle in the House.
Of course simply stating the obvious isn’t enough for Trump. The rational thing to do on Wednesday would have been for the President to simply say something like this: “We did better than many expected on Tuesday, and while we lost the House, the Senate remains in Republican hands and I’m grateful to voters for their continued support of my administration’s agenda.”
But this is Trump we’re talking about, which means the rational, measured response wasn’t forthcoming. Instead, the President said this:
Received so many Congratulations from so many on our Big Victory last night, including from foreign nations (friends) that were waiting me out, and hoping, on Trade Deals. Now we can all get back to work and get things done!
Got that? Trump would have you believe that leaders from “many nations” called him up to congratulate him on what he’s pitching as a “Big Victory”.
Obviously, that is not any semblance of true. He lost the House. It wasn’t a “Big Victory”. It wasn’t a loss either, but the idea that foreign governments were falling all over themselves to phone Trump and tell him how impressed they were that he didn’t lose the Senate is patently ridiculous.
“Those that worked with me in this incredible Midterm Election, embracing certain policies and principles, did very well, those that did not, say goodbye!”, Trump continued, shrieking at nobody in particular, before doubling down on the “Big Win” characterization and then throwing in the obligatory jab at the media who he called “Nasty and Hostile!”
He was hardly finished. Trump went on to accuse unnamed “pundits and talking heads” of “not giving us proper credit for this great Midterm Election”. That, the President shouted, is evidence of “FAKE NEWS!”
As far as the newly-Democratic House inundating the White House with investigations, Trump was anything but conciliatory.
“If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level”, the President said, before driving the point home in his best grade school voice: “Two can play that game!”
But the best tweet of all actually came at 1:27 AM, when Trump quoted Ben Stein as follows:
Mr. Trump has magic about him. This guy has magic coming out of his ears.