Storm clouds gathering for the GOP as midterm elections approach – but the prognosis is not clear

On Tuesday, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., was indicted for allegedly using campaign funds for personal use, the left; Michael Cohen, center, pleaded guilty to tax evasion and violation of campaign Finance law, and Paul Manafort, right, was convicted on 8 counts.


History can’t repeat itself. But it rhymes.

The war in Iraq is not going well in the autumn of 2005 and beginning of 2006. A federal grand jury indicted top White House aide Scooter Libby. House majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, charges faced and was forced to step aside from his leadership position. DeLay aides Tony Rudy and Michael Scanlon criminal charges in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. So, I Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio. Ney went to prison. Rep., Duke Cunningham, R-Calif., back time came and, after pleading guilty to bribery and fraud charges.

But not one that sealed the deal for the rival party in the midterm elections.

Then, word emerged, on the two last days of September 2006, Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., sent inappropriate text messages to male, teenage House pages. The Foley news broke in the last hours of the Congress,, wrap-up work in Washington and go home to campaign for the elections.

The voters will forgive Democrats in both the house of representatives and the Senate, in November.

It is unclear whether, in November, we will look back on Aug. 21 the same way we saw the last days of September, about 12 years. But the potential is there.

In the span of three hours, a Federal jury convicted the former trump-campaign-manager Paul Manafort. Former Trump’s lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a different set of fees. Then the feds indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., R-Calif., and his wife Margaret Hunter on charges of using campaign funds for personal expenses.

After the Manafort and Cohen stories, you could almost part of the Hunter story in the category, “And in other news …”

The charges against hunter have nothing to do with what went on with Manafort and Cohen. But it is noteworthy that Hunter was one of President Trump, the earliest and most enthusiastic supporters in 2015 and early 2016. This is when there are only a few Republicans were on Capitol Hill always behind the President. Hunter was among them.

This would be not so interesting if it were not for the fact that the authorities only Rep. Chris Collins, R-arrested-NY, on insider trading charges two weeks ago. Like Hunter, Collins was one of the presidents of the other original Congress supporters. The Collins fees are not in any way a reference to Hunter and are in no way with anything with Manafort and Cohen

But, as in 2006, people can just look at the mess and pull the lever in the other direction.

Collins is not a choice addiction. The seat could be play now, because the Republicans can’t pry him from the vote.

Hunter’s attorney, Gregory Vega wrote a letter to a favorite GOP whipping boy, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Vega argues that justice rush was a Ministry, “to Congressman Hunter for trial.” Vega claims that the prosecution was motivated by “political”, because the hunters, the early endorsement of President Trump. As a result, Vega contends that the indictment is, “a solid Republican district to be handed over to a Democratic candidate.”

Hunter’s counsel was not the only one, to speak Tuesday. So Cohen was a lawyer Lanny Davis.

“Today, he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump is for him to commit a crime by the payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election,” Davis said Cohen. “If these payments were not a crime for Michael Cohen, then why would you be a crime for Donald Trump?”

Now, let’s step back for a moment.

A thunderstorm churned up to trump for a long time. In 2016, Democrats, and critics thought there was no way he could win. He was coarse. It is the “Access Hollywood” Band. You can call it that. And yet Trump is sitting in the White house.

In other words, all the usual problems, which could endanger not trump influence many politicians seem to be. His approval rating is even on the rise of late. There is chatter about a democratic “wave” this fall. But no one is really sure.

If we accept the 2006 model, the Republicans are probably toast. Democrats would argue that the house-win by many-and perhaps even the Senate. If Democrats earned control of the Senate in 2006, they did so by picking up six seats, marshaling a 51-49 edge. If Democrats have a chance control of the Senate this fall, they will do it by a seat or two at best.

But, history doesn’t repeat, necessarily. So, be careful, if you are suggesting that the events of Aug. 21 offer keen insight on the midterm elections.

Yes. Democrats do great and pick up a few house seats in Pennsylvania and California come November. But there are too many uncertainties, such as the seats in the game in Virginia, Texas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Nevada and Minnesota.

A day like Aug. 21 yield some clues to the mid-term elections. But not all of it.

A lot can still happen.

Somewhere beer is an “October Surprise.” Some piece of information to tip the election one way or the other.

The possibilities to consider:

It is hurricane season. The devastation that hurricane Katrina in 2005 contributed to the Republican downfall in 2006.

School is back in session or soon will be. The left organized according to the last winter shooting in Parkland, Fla. A further mass shootings shortly before mid-term elections voters could influence in November.

The international stage is far from agreed. Great problems coloring with Russia, Turkey, Iran, North Korea and Syria. No one can exclude the possibility of an international crisis.

And you never know what to say trump can or do.

“He’d better not talk about pardons for Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort tonight or warned any time in the future,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY headed, as President, at a campaign event in West Virginia.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., that “would speak out against reaction” of pardon for Manafort or Cohen “Watergate written all argued about you.”

Still, this is not 2006. Or 1974, for that matter. The convergence of things, to the failure of the Republicans convicted in 2006, may be irrelevant this year.

But it rhymes.

Capitol attitude is a weekly column by members of the Fox News Capitol Hill team. Your article, you take in the halls of Congress, and they cover the spectrum of political topics, presented, discussed and voted on.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular