Democrats May Have Gained Power, But They’re Still Out Of Ideas

Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Raul Grijalva in Phoenix to bash tax reform package in February 2018.

The Democrat takeover of the House is going to mean little for the American people, because a party that stands for nothing never delivers anything.

Despite winning the House on the back of a historically-average midterm election outcome, just about the only thing Democrats will do with their newfound power is launch investigations into the Trump administration while offering nothing of substance that will improve the lives of everyday Americans.

Indeed, Democrat leaders have already indicated that investigating the President and his top deputies will be among their first priorities come January, guaranteeing that vital congressional committees will be preoccupied with partisan mudslinging rather than considering actual legislation that might benefit America.

If House Democrats decide to launch a series of investigative witch hunts, President Trump has already warned that Senate Republicans will have no choice but to respond in kind, starting an unproductive cycle of congressional gridlock.

An even easier way for Democrats to harass the Trump administration, and one which Democrat leaders like prospective House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have openly mused about, is to exploit the House subpoena power.

“Subpoena power is interesting, to use it or not to use it,” Pelosi mused in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash about how she would deal with the White House as Speaker. “It’s a great arrow to have in your quiver in terms of negotiating on other subjects.”

Committee chairs can unilaterally issue subpoenas, meaning extremists like Maxine Waters, Elijah Cummings, and Jerry Nalder will have free reign to subject Trump administration officials to endless rounds of meaningless testimony and demands for irrelevant documents.

Despite Pelosi’s suggestion that subpoena power might be a negotiating tool, there is virtually no chance of political compromise, because the Democrats’ obstructionist behavior over the past two years has made clear that they have no interest in working with their Republican colleagues.

Congressional Democrats unanimously refused to work with the GOP on cutting taxes for American workers, solving the immigration crisis, or building up our military, and their 2018 campaign platforms contained virtually no substantive or realistic policy proposals to grow our economy, create new jobs, or solve the healthcare crisis.

Instead of proposing ideas that might gain bipartisan traction, many prominent Democrat candidates appealed to the furthest extremes of their base with promises of proposals like “Medicare for All” that will be dead on arrival if they ever reach the Senate, much less the President’s desk.

The best the Democrats can hope for, other than passing purely symbolic legislation that will never see the light of day outside of the House, is to prevent action on any of President Trump’s legislative priorities, such as Tax Cuts 2.0, border wall funding, and common-sense healthcare reform.

The Democrats may have won the House, but that doesn’t mean they get to run the government. Republicans still control the executive branch and the Senate — and President Trump’s two prior Supreme Court nominations mean there is already a solid conservative majority on the high court.

Democrats still stand for nothing, and that’s exactly what Americans are going to get from their new House majority.

Paris Dennard served as the associate director for coalitions at the Republican National Committee from 2009-11 and worked in the President George W. Bush White House.