Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel

Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel
© Greg Nash

Like a son who murders both his parents and then begs the court for mercy because he is an orphan, Senator Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRand Paul blocking Trump counterterrorism nominee On The Money: Trump, Senate leaders to huddle on border wall funding | Fed bank regulator walks tightrope on Dodd-Frank | Koch-backed groups blast incentives for corporations after Amazon deal Congress is going to make marijuana moves MORE is claiming that exploding budget deficits caused by Republican tax cuts need to be cured by cutting Social Security and Medicare. Can you say “chutzpah”?

With less than three weeks left until the midterms, McConnell may have just handed the Democrats the economic argument they had been longing for at the worst possible moment for the Republicans. According to the latest projections, the odds of Republicans retaining control of the House are fading. The number crunchers now peg the likelihood of a House controlled by Democrats at better than 83 percent.

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While the boomlet after the confirmation of Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughVermont Democrats cancel events with Michael Avenatti his arrest for domestic violence Avenatti arrested over alleged domestic violence: police Washington politics may change, but Donald Trump will stay same MORE may have saved the Republican majority in the Senate, it may have run aground in the House battlegrounds. When Mia LoveLudmya (Mia) LoveElection Countdown: Hyde-Smith's 'public hanging' joke shakes up Mississippi runoff | New lawsuits in Florida | Trump wants Florida election official fired | Mia Love sues to stop Utah vote count | Republican MacArthur loses NJ House race Mia Love suing to stop vote count in Utah Defeated Republicans mocked by Trump fire back at president MORE is running in a dead heat and the seat held by Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJordan on leadership loss: 'We knew it was an uphill fight' McCarthy defeats Jordan for minority leader in 159-to-43 vote The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Leadership elections in Congress | Freshman lawmakers arrive | Trump argues he can restrict reporter access MORE is no longer “safe”, the president and his party have plenty to worry about. That was before the Senate majority leader stepped on a figurative grenade and signaled that he was ready to throw granny from a moving train to placate the donor gods.

Even as the 2020 presidential campaign for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations: 'I have never struck a woman' Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa MORE vacuums up huge dollars, House Republicans are being treated like the neglected stepchildren of their party, being outraised and outspent by Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi and her opponents voice confidence over Speakership battle House Dems split on how to tackle climate change Overnight Energy: House Dems at odds over how to handle climate change | Trump shows support to California over wildfires | Zinke calls fires worse than Iraq war zones MORE and the Democrats at every turn. The latest campaign spending reports reveal that more than 70 Democratic House hopefuls have bested their Republican opponents in the race for campaign dollars.

The Democratic fundraising advantage appears to be historic, according to stats guru Nate Silver. This week, he tweeted: “Democrats have raised almost 2/3 of the total money for the House … Despite the fact that the GOP holds the incumbency advantage. Never been anything like that before in our House fundraising data, which goes back to 1998.”

The numbers fittingly tell the story. Democrat Max Rose bested incumbent Republican Dan Donovan by five to one in fundraising for Staten Island’s congressional seat. In New York’s Hudson Valley, Antonio Delgado, the Democratic challenger, raised $3.8 million in the last quarter. By comparison, John FasoJohn James FasoMcCarthy defeats Jordan for minority leader in 159-to-43 vote Defeated Republicans mocked by Trump fire back at president Feehery: With 2020 looming, Republicans must learn lessons from midterms MORE, the incumbent Republican representative in his first term, only added $1 million to his campaign coffers.

From the looks of things, it appears that Republicans are far more enchanted with their president than with the House Republican. It is also safe to say that only the Koch Brothers will miss Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJordan on leadership loss: 'We knew it was an uphill fight' McCarthy defeats Jordan for minority leader in 159-to-43 vote The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Leadership elections in Congress | Freshman lawmakers arrive | Trump argues he can restrict reporter access MORE when he is gone. To add insult to injury, McConnell inadvertently tossed the Democrats a lifeline just a day after Senator Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNearly six in ten want someone other than Trump elected president in 2020: poll Schumer reelected as Senate Democratic Leader Merkley seeking to change Oregon law so he can run for president and Senate in 2020: report MORE decided to share with the world that her DNA proved that she was of fractional Native American descent. His remarks also followed hours after a federal judge dismissed the Stormy Daniels defamation suit against the president. Before our eyes, “Cocaine Mitch” was morphing into “Buzzkill McConnell.”

As to be expected, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee seized on McConnell’s comments, and the pile on began. Senator Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenGrassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal Advocates draw battle lines over national privacy law Congress should pass bill to prevent stacked taxation of digital purchases MORE weighed in: “Here’s what this means: SOCIAL SECURITY is on the ballot. MEDICARE is on the ballot. MEDICAID is on the ballot.” Not to be outdone, Warren gave a campaign lesson of her own: “Step 1: GOP explodes the deficit with $1.5 trillion in tax giveaways to wealthy donors. Step 2: GOP uses the deficit they created as an excuse to slash Social Security and Medicare.” As a matter of fact, this time she was persuasive.

If the tax cuts had trouble gaining traction with the public before McConnell’s pronouncement, they will face an even tougher slog now. Early on, the cuts were the bane of wealthy blue America as the legislation effectively ended the state and local tax deduction upon which many Californians and New Yorkers turned to for relief. Now the rest of the country can detest them as well and look forward to Election Day.

Even before McConnell’s proclamation, the cuts were rejected by voters by a double digit margin. Contrary to Republican hopes and promises, the cuts have once again failed to pay for themselves. Now America is being asked to foot the bill for the Republican gift to the donor class. Nancy Pelosi’s hands must be tingling. The Speaker’s gavel is within her reach.

Lloyd Green was the opposition research counsel to the George H.W. Bush campaign in 1988 and later served in the U.S. Department of Justice. He is now the managing member of research and analytics firm Ospreylytics.