Well before the polls closed on election day, the Wall Street Journal is dismissing any chance that President Donald Trump will rein in his worst impulses no matter how the election turns out and that he will likely get worse.
According to the editors, despite pressure from his own party, Trump is going to be Trump tweeting, blustering and changing directions depending on whatever catches his fancy.
The editorial got right to the point.
“You’ve read it a thousand times: Republicans haven’t spoken up loudly enough, or done enough, to rebuke Mr. Trump’s worst statements or impulses,” they wrote. “Ergo, put Democrats in charge of the House and Senate, and they’ll somehow put a muzzle on the man and force him to—do what exactly? Make him behave with the decorum of a typical President? Get him to lay off Twitter ?”
They went on to say that Democrats are unlikely to shut down Trump “with a Congressional resolution censoring him for this or that statement and then tormenting him into submission with subpoenas and multiple investigations.”
Then they made a prediction.
“Does anyone think that an impeachment investigation will suddenly make Mr. Trump less publicly combative, or more likely to agree to Nancy Pelosi’s terms of surrender?” they asked. “The likelihood—make that certainty—is that Mr. Trump will use a Pelosi House or Chuck Schumer Senate as political foils as he runs for re-election. He’ll spend two years telling voters that he’s the last man standing between a Democratic Congress and their complete hold on power in Washington.”
“As we recall, Mr. Trump has been constrained only when he thought a moment of self-discipline was in his political self interest—during tax reform, amid the Supreme Court confirmation battles (including for a while during the Brett Kavanaugh brawl), and sometimes even on immigration when a bipartisan deal seemed possible,” the op-ed continued. “But eventually he pops off again. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan did about as well as they could given the President’s impulses to fight and insult his opponents and to deny responsibility for anything that goes wrong.”
The WSJ then summed up the entire run-up to today’s election.
“Democrats have tried to make this election a referendum on Mr. Trump, and the President has been happy to agree. But he isn’t on the ballot, and neither is some fanciful “check” on his behavior,” they proclaimed.
You can read the whole piece here.