Right Hooks

Dem Ambition Turns to Grand Humiliation

Voters to leftists: We're just not that into you.

Jordan Candler · Nov. 10, 2016

Tuesday was stunning in more ways than one. Not only did Donald Trump accomplish the unthinkable by taking down the Clinton machine, but Republicans retained their House and Senate majorities by margins better than anyone expected. (Voters also delivered the GOP strong returns at the state level also). For Democrats, the prevailing narrative was that Election 2016 would be a blitzkrieg — Hillary Clinton would take the helm, backed by, at a minimum, a Senate majority and, with a little luck and elbow grease, the House too. But ambitions and expectations don’t always translate into reality.

This truism is especially harsh for Democrat leadership in Congress. In September, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, without realizing she’d be foretelling her own party’s failures just weeks later, said, “I think anything is possible.” She later proclaimed, “You make your own wave, and that’s what we’re doing. … I feel very confident that the makings of a wave are there.” She reiterated her overly optimistic position in October: “I believe that we would [win a House majority] if the election were held today. We’d have a good chance to do so.”

The media thought so too. The Washington Post, which was initially cautious about buying into such bold predictions, eventually took the bait: “Earlier this year, we called out House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for her pie-in-the-sky prediction that Democrats could win the House in November. Republicans have their biggest majority since World War II, the pickup opportunities were limited, and the idea was ‘far-fetched,’ we wrote. That was then. Now, we’ll give credit where it’s due: Pelosi was right. There is a legitimate chance that Democrats could take control of the House in November.”

Senate leadership had similarly giddy expectations. In the spring, retiring Minority Leader Harry Reid exclaimed, “We only need four [seats] to take the majority. With the numbers I’ve given you, it’s going to be a fairly certain thing that we can do that.”

Little did either of them know that Nov. 8 would result in another damning repudiation of the outgoing Obama administration. It was an electoral kick in the teeth — and a prediction as bad as Pelosi’s and Reid’s “leadership” in Washington.

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