The expression “hold my beer” has become fashionable as of late. It refers to a situation where a person is about to do something that is going to backfire on them as a one-upmanship response to another stupid action by someone else. I think this term is appropriate in describing how the GOP and the Dems are behaving. Everyone came out with predictions about the 2020 election after Trump’s ascendancy. The truth is that it was then and remains now completely impossible to predict the future with any accuracy. The primary reason for this is the constant “hold my beer-ing” taking place in American politics.
When one party does something that leads them on a path to defeat in the midterms and the presidential election in 2020, the other party responds with an even greater mistake. The Democrats for a long time refused to accept the outcome of the election. They marched in the streets, tried to subvert the electoral college, conducted recounts and so on. Additionally, they also refused to learn any lessons from how Trump defeated the odds to win. They didn’t acknowledge the economic dimension and doubled down on identity politics in an age when people have tired of it.
The Republicans responded by failing to take advantage of their momentum. Apart from confirming Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch through the nuclear option, what have the congressional GOP done for Trump? They even managed to fail multiple times to repeal Obamacare, in whole and in part. Getting rid of Obamacare was THE promise congressional republican candidates ran on, the midterms are going to be bloody to say the least. This might even lead to the GOP losing their congressional majority, opening the door for a Trump impeachment.
The Democrats recently began a pivot towards talking about the economy as a core of their message. Trump successfully baited them back to identity politics with his transgender military ban. It seemed Trump was on a roll by hiring Scaramucci, firing useless Reince Priebus and stopping the leaks. He then took a pump-action shotgun and blasted himself in his foot by promptly firing him and moving Kelly from DHS to WH Chief of Staff. Mike Cernovich has aptly pointed out that Scaramucci was precisely what Trump needed for improving his messaging with a guy understanding modern communication, social media, disruption as a tactic for controlling the news cycle and so on. Firing him was a tremendous mistake. It also seriously hampers the chances for successful people working for the Trump administration in the future by this paltry display of loyalty.
It will be interesting to see what the Democrats will do in response in terms of a dumb self-inflicted wound. As long as this kind of self-harm continues, predicting the midterms or 2020 is impossible. Almost like clockwork to this up-and-down cycle, Trump today announced long awaited immigration reform sure to please his base. We will see how long it takes for the up to become a down, yet again unfortunately.