Newt Gingrich Predicts a Red Wave in 2018

While even Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal is seeing signs of a potential blue wave in the 2018 midterms, Newt Gingrich has decided to go the opposite direction with his prognostications.

The great political surprise of 2018 will be the size of the Republican victory.

After members of the elite media have spent two years savaging President Trump, lying about Republican legislation, and reassuring themselves that Republican defeat was inevitable, the size of the GOP victory in 2018 will be an enormous shock.

Gingrich starts off by referring to two articles. One of them is by a guy named Barry Casselman, who suggests that the Doug Jones victory in the Alabama special election was a good thing for Republicans.

As I, and some others, have already pointed out, to the contrary, the defeat of far-out rightwinger Roy Moore was a victory in disguise for the Republicans who, had Moore won, would have been forced wear him around their political necks like the proverbial albatross.

There’s some truth in that. But it completely ignores everything from the overwhelming wins by Democrats in the November elections to the fact that McConnell will have to contend with an even smaller Republican senate majority in 2018. Even so, Casselman is a lot less optimistic than Gingrich.

It is too early to tell the color of the approaching wave. All we can see now is the white of the distant breaking surf. But a wave is coming — in one color or another.

The other article Gingrich points to is actually quite entertaining. In it Scott Adams lists 20 items and suggests that if you ever believed 15 of them, “you might want to consider never saying anything about politics out loud again for the rest of your life.” Let’s take a look:

Trump will never win the GOP nomination.
Trump will never win the presidency.
Stocks will drop if Trump is elected.
President Trump will deport ten million illegal immigrants.
Trump will be gone (impeached, jailed, or quit) by end of 2017.
Trump’s immigration ban on several Muslim countries will be found unconstitutional.
Trump colluded with Russia, and that’s a crime.
Trump obstructed justice (a crime) by firing Comey.
Trump’s skills as a “con man” might get him elected but it won’t transfer into doing the job of president.
Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will cause huge problems.
Trump’s tweeting will cause huge problems.
GOP will never embrace Trump.
Trump will get nothing important done.
Trump will not work effectively with leaders of other countries.
GOP senators will vote against GOP priorities because of President Trump’s mean tweets.
Trump will not nominate qualified judges to the Supreme Court.
Trump is incompetent.
Presidential approval polls are a good predictor of how a president will perform.
The military won’t follow Trump’s orders.
GDP will never stay above 3%.

Phew…based on my score, I get to keep talking about politics, because I never claimed 10 of those things. On the first two items, I have to admit “point taken.” Many of us were wrong about those. But the remaining 8 items are either demonstrably true or are likely to be proven true over time. So the whole list is mostly a joke.

Anyway, to get back to Gingrich, these two guys are quoted to make the point that things are going just swell for Republicans when it comes to next year’s midterm elections. But he actually wants to zero in on what a boon the recently passed tax cuts will be for Republicans.

1. The American people will be positively surprised and pleased by the degree to which Republicans kept their word and actually put more money in taxpayer pockets.

2. The news media’s dishonesty will be vivid at a personal level. People will be able to compare their personal experience with the news media’s fake reporting and endless bias.

3. Democrats who voted against the bill will live to regret it as people look at their family budgets and realize Democrats in the House and Senate wanted Washington bureaucrats to have more money, rather than hard-working Americans.

Keep in mind that all of that rests on the false notion that people will experience a big windfall of reduced taxes prior to the election in November 2018. While it’s true that Republicans are promising that the IRS will adjust withholding staring in February of next year, that will be a rather paltry trickle that most people won’t notice. One of the examples that Gingrich gives is of two college professors whose joint income is over $150,000. Their big tax cut will be $650, or about $12.50/week.

As I’ve been saying all along, I don’t think Republicans will pay much of a price in 2018 for their tax cut plan. But I don’t see any way that it will be a boon for them, other than their donors will now pony up with the big bucks. The elements of the developing blue wave started way back on the weekend of Trump’s inauguration with the Women’s March and have been building ever since. The growing resistance pre-dated the tax plan by months and will likely be unaffected by its passage.

I have no idea whether or not Gingrich actually believes this nonsense he wrote for Fox News. But it doesn’t really matter. He is simply rallying the troops that live inside the epistemically sealed bubble of right wing news. As Obama would say, “Please proceed, Mr. Gingrich.”

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.