The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Pivot

If Republicans hadn’t passed the tax bill, they’d be in a free fall right now. Instead, they just won a shutdown fight against the expectations of conventional wisdom, the generic congressional ballot is looking better, a drumbeat of encouraging economic news — some of it related directly to the tax cut — offers hope of lifting the national mood, and the Bannon insurgency is much diminished. For the last, we have Michael Wolff and largely Steve Bannon to thank, but another big legislative failure would have certainly given a boost to kooky candidates. The tax victory also tilted Trump away from Bannon and toward the congressional leadership, which delivered him a big win. None of this is to say that Republicans are going to have a good November — we’d be talking of a 24-seat House majority being in peril even with a more normal and popular Republican president — but it is possible that the Democratic wave is now diminishing rather than growing.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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