The season of anti-Trump election backlash has begun

The season of anti-Trump election backlash has begun
© Getty

Tuesday’s election results — from Virginia to Boston to New York to New Jersey to Washington state including virtually every state-wide and local election — can be simply interpreted as this: The anti-Trump counter-revolution is energized and hungry, while the Republican side is divided and complacent.

Let’s lay it all out:

1. In virtually all these races there was a “passion differential” which helps determine winners and losers;

2. In other words, which side has more passion for or (usually) against someone or something?

3. Thus, which side is so ticked off that they will slog out to vote?

4. And which side has already tasted the champagne of victory and is a bit complacent and thus doesn’t vote in as high numbers as the other side?

ADVERTISEMENT
5. A year ago Wednesday there was strong passion against the political status quo — represented by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Dem pollster: GOP women have a more difficult time winning primary races than Dems Mellman: (Mis)interpreting elections MORE — and thus the outsider, now-President Trump, grabbed ahold of a political revolution that he misinterpreted into believing was all about him (“I alone can fix it,” etc.);

6. He was running against a listless, unlikable Clinton who inspired little passion, even among her own supporters;

7. Thus, a sizable amount of the normally-reliable Democratic base voters — women, blacks, Latinos and Millennials — stayed home figuring she’d win whether they voted or not;

8. They were wrong;

9. And so on Tuesday those very voters came out in droves to begin to correct what they see as their huge mistake in allowing Trump to win;

10. That was this week’s passion differential;

11. And it was everywhere;

12. In some races there were of course local issues at stake;

13. But the turnout was skewed in favor of the Democrats eager to make up for the past year and thus vote against Trump and the GOP;

14. This might very well be a precursor to the 2018 mid-term elections;

15. On Capitol Hill the following things are happening:

16. More GOP House members are thinking of retiring before what they fear will be an anti-GOP/anti-Trump election in November;

17. More GOP Representatives and Senators are re-thinking just how “close” to Trump they want to be going into an election year;

18. All Democrats are walking around with a lighter step than they’ve felt in over a year;

19. And they’re smiling because they finally won some elections;

20. Money will now be easier to raise;

21. And more Democratic candidates will now challenge Republicans for House seats next year;

22. Some Dems even dare to whisper that “2018 might be a wave election for us!”

23. Legislatively the GOP knows that they must pass a tax cut bill of some sort; they must have a legislative victory going into 2018;

24. If they fail at this, they believe they will get wiped out in the midterms;

25. As for President Trump, he has already misread the elections;

26. In typical Trump fashion, he immediately blamed Ed Gillespie for his loss in Virginia – as he blamed Alabama’s Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeRoby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism Once a Trump critic, Ala. rep faces runoff with his support Crowley surprise tops huge night for left MORE a months ago (he ignores the fact that he endorsed both);

27. But Gillespie was not the problem;

28. The difference was all those non-Hillary Democrat voters came out to vote this year to make up for last year;

29. The overall problem is this: Trump’s style and behavior is meant to assuage 37 percent of the electorate – thus leaving an alienated 63 percent available to the other side;

30. This first year of the Trump presidency and Republican control of Congress have driven the approval ratings of the president and the GOP to Nixon-near-the-end-of-Watergate levels;

31. If these numbers aren’t reversed — and soon — 2018 will be a bad year for the GOP;

32. Trump of course will never acknowledge that GOP losses are a reflection on him; instead he blames the losers for losing and that “Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for

33. More and more GOP elected officials realize that listening to and following Trump in fact is the problem;

34. They are in a bad situation and on a downward trending line: Trump has 83 percent support inside a party that itself has only 30 percent support nationally;

35. Why Trump and the Republicans don’t want to try to convert people — to convince people — to win over independents — to be liked by all voters is beyond explanation;

36. Politics is all about addition;

37. But the Trump GOP governs by a My-Way-Or-The-Highway mentality;

38. And, as we saw Tuesday, this is a losing style;

39. In the 1994 midterms Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonWhy did it take so long for Trump to drain the swamp of Pruitt? An orthodox legal life and the case for Judge Kavanaugh Ex-CIA officer: Prosecution of Russians indicted for DNC hack 'ain't ever going to happen' MORE saw his party get wiped out and Newt Gingrich become the rising force in American politics;

40. Clinton knew politics — he had lost his governorship in 1980 and adjusted his thinking and conduct and came back in 1982 to resume a brilliant political career;

41. By 1996 he had re-invented himself;

42. Step number one to solve a problem is admitting to the problem;

43. Trump is in total denial about the disastrous state of his presidency;

44. Until he sees his own downward trajectory and tries to adjust, his is headed toward being a historic, massive failed presidency;

45. The passion in America today is with the anti-Trump counter-revolution;

46. But will that continue in 2018?

John LeBoutillier is a former Republican congressman from New York and is co-host of "Revolution — The Podcast," available on Soundcloud and iTunes.