Thoughts for the morning after

You can’t always get what you want. But you get what you need:

1. The House. If we didn’t get past 218, the ACA and more would have been in huge trouble.

2. The House committees’ powers to subpoena, to hold public hearings, to hire Mueller if he is fired, then impeach. So Mueller has more job security than ever.

3. The overall national House vote was Democratic +8.5, a huge 54-46 split. I have always worried about Trump’s re-election chances. I am less worried today. That 54 percent, much of it booming in the swing states Trump won, is a strong showing for 2020, and you can’t gerrymander away that majority.

Look where Dems did well: the key 2020 battlegrounds. PA and Michigan swung back solidly. Wisconsin voted out Scott Walker (who had survived repeated recall attempts). Hillary’s purple states VA, NH, CO and NV stayed solid.

Those 7 states are the road to victory.

Am I disappointed about Beto/Cruz, Abrams/Kemp, Gillum/DeSantis, and the Senate? Of course. Painfully disappointed!

But let’s take a lesson that the country isn’t persuaded that Trump is a criminal, and we need to proceed thoughtfully and incrementally with investigation. Don’t rush impeachment at all. Maybe don’t impeach at all, given no chance of Senate 2/3 removal. Focus on winning 2020. Don’t impeach Kavanaugh. Stop talking about increasing size of Supreme Court. (We couldn’t even increase our own Senate share). But absolutely investigate Trump and all his co-conspirators. Use the House committees to get information and publicize it. But remember that much of the country doesn’t see these scandals the way we do. We need to focus on persuasion and outreach for 2 years – and every year thereafter.

Author: Jed Shugerman

Legal historian at Fordham Law School, teaching Torts, Administrative Law, and Constitutional History. JD/PhD in History, Yale. Red Sox and Celtics fan, youth soccer coach. Author of "The People's Courts: Pursuing Judicial Independence in America" (2012) on the rise of judicial elections in America. I filed an amicus brief in the Emoluments litigation against Trump along with a great team of historians. I'm working on "The Rise of the Prosecutor Politicians," a history of prosecutors and political ambition (a cause of mass incarceration), and "The Imaginary Unitary Executive," on the myths and history of presidential power in America.

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