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Wednesday, 07 November 2018 18:24

The US Mid-Term Elections

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Prior to the election, the Republicans held 235 House seats, the Democrats held 193, and there were 7 vacancies. The Democrats needed to pick up 23 seats in the House to take control, and at this stage it looks like they may have gained just over that. Now it looks like the Republicans will have around 205 seats, with the Democrats just squeaking past the 218-seat majority number. In the Senate just prior to the elections there were 51 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and 2 Independents. Now the Republicans control the Senate by a slightly bigger majority: by at least 53 seats. In the gubernatorial races, prior to the elections there were 33 Republican governors,16 Democratic governors and one Independent. Now there seem to be around 28 Republican governors. Here are some highlights:

Senate good (if you are a conservative): -Ted Cruz won his re-election in Texas, beating Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke -Prolifer Mike Braun defeated a pro-abortion Democrat in Indiana -Prolifer and investigator of Planned Parenthood Marsha Blackburn won in Tennessee -Former governor Rick Scott was elected to the Senate in Florida, beating Bill Nelson -Mitt Romney became a new Senator in Utah

Senate bad:- Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has got back in -Independent socialist Bernie Sanders was returned in Vermont

Senate washup:- Some of the moderate Republicans are gone, and some of the more conservative Republicans got in, so Trump will get an easier run in the Senate -It seems that all the Democratic Senators who voted against Judge Kavanaugh have lost -Remember, the Senate votes on SCOTUS nominations. Now it should be easier to get more conservative justices unto the highest court

House good: -While the Republicans lost control of the House, it was certainly not a massive landslide for the Democrats

House bad: -New York leftist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won -With Nancy Pelosi almost assured of becoming Speaker of the House, she has promised to pass the LGBTQ “Equality Act” – a hugely worrying bit of homosexual legislation -Several Muslims won House seats

House washup: -A small turnaround occurred with the Democrats reclaiming the House of Representatives  – the first time in eight years -The question is whether they will legislate or investigate. If they spend all their energies on getting rid of Trump and pushing other political agenda items, they may have a short-lived majority. -Leftist Maxine Waters from California may well head up the financial services committee

Governors good: -Florida lefty Andrew Gillam lost to Republican Ron DeSantis -Iowa Kim Reynolds won her re-election -Wisconsin governor Scott Walker looks like he MAY be narrowly re-elected

Governors bad: -The Republicans have lost some state seats, but they may still have a slight majority with perhaps 28 governors now -Jared Polis elected in Colorado, America’s first openly homosexual governor

Overall washup: -In a sense there were not too many surprises here. Historically the majority party tends to lose seats in the mid-term elections -The “blue wave” fizzled -Voters turned out in record numbers -Obama getting on the campaign trail did not help all that much -Rural voters tended to favour the Republicans while suburban voters tended to favour the Democrats -Sarah Sanders’ view seems accurate overall: “It’s been a good night for the President” -Also, there were 38 states that had over 160 referenda covering a whole range of issues (abortion funding, drug legalisation, etc) -The Trump Effect – with all his election speeches, eg. – can clearly be seen in the results Patrick Buchanan, writing just before election day said this about a House win for the Dems:

But even if they do capture the House, the rewards may be fleeting. A Democratic House will be a natural foil for President Trump, an institution with responsibility but without real power. And should the economy, which has been running splendidly under a Republican Congress and president, start to sputter under a divided Congress, there is no doubt that the Democratic House majority, with its anti-capitalist left and socialist ideology, would emerge as the primary suspect. Also, if Democrats win the House, Maxine Waters could be the new chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, Adam Schiff the chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Jerrold Nadler of New York the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the repository for resolutions of impeachment. Does that look like a winning lineup? 2019 is thus shaping up to be a year of gridlock on Capitol Hill, with the Senate attempting to expeditiously move through Trump’s nominated judges and a Democratic House potentially hassling the White House and Trump administration with a snowstorm of subpoenas.
Finally, Chuck Colson once said this in a radio broadcast about the importance of Christians getting out and voting:
So, have you voted yet? If so, well done. If not, as soon as this broadcast is over—or as soon as you’re off work—I want you to go and fulfill your Christian duty to be a good citizen and go vote. And while you’re at it, call a few of your Christian friends. Find out if they’ve voted yet. If not, tell them that you’re going and you’ll be glad to stop by and pick them up. And let me say this. The next time you hear someone tell you that Christians ought to take a vacation from politics, tell them to go fly a kite! Listen, it’s our duty, as citizens of the Kingdom of God to be the best citizens of the society we live in. If your pastor no longer has energy or courage to motivate his flock to speak out on public issues, maybe you can lovingly “buck him up.” Remind him or her that God’s people are to love their neighbors, to desire the best for them, to pursue the common good. And we can’t do that on the political sidelines. When a rabid secularist tells you to stop forcing your religion down his throat—simply correct him. You might say, “Excuse me, but who is suing the government to remove crosses from cemeteries? Who has filed lawsuits to remove ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance? Who’s trying to tell doctors and nurses and pharmacists that they have to participate in medical procedures that violate their religious conscience? Who’s banning Bibles from schools? In other words, who is forcing their point of view on whom? We Christians are simply trying to PRESERVE and PROTECT the rights and liberties that we Americans have enjoyed from the founding of our Republic. We are the ones who take seriously our nation’s founding creed: that “all men are created equal and endowed by their CREATOR with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, meaning virtue.” Our founders recognized that true rights come not from government, but from God Himself. Government must not take those rights away. And to protect those rights, we must vote. Yes, the elections are upon us. Don’t be intimidated. Do not retreat to the sidelines. Go out and vote for the candidate of your choice. Vote as your conscience informs you. And yes, allow your faith to inform your conscience.
Bill Muehlenberg

Author, Blogger and Speaker 

Bill Muehlenberg, who was born in America, lives in Melbourne. He is married to an Australian, Averil, and has three sons. He has a BA with honours in philosophy (Wheaton College, Chicago), a MA with highest honours in theology (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston), and is working on a PhD in theology. He is Secretary of the Family Council of Victoria. He was formerly the National Vice President of the Australian Family Association. He was formerly the National Research Coordinator at Focus on the Family.

He currently continues an independent ministry in pro-faith and pro-family activism. He is head of an apologetics/ethics ministry called CultureWatch, started in January 2006. This interactive blogsite features over 3,300 articles and 52,000 comments.