The Corner


Yes, It Matters if Republicans Lose the House 

I don’t share Jonah’s sangfroid about the prospect of losing the House. It’s true that it seems unlikely that Republicans will be able to do much with a diminished majority and Trump could use Speaker Pelosi as a foil, but at the margins of policy—for instance, on spending—it will surely matter. As for oversight, I think Republicans could have done more—a factual look at the response to Hurricane Maria would have been a good idea—but Democratic oversight will inevitably lurch into lunatic obsessions that won’t be good for anyone. As a general matter, we don’t know what unforeseen events will arise over the next two years, and it will be much better to have (presumably) Speaker McCarthy in the chair than Speaker Pelosi. Finally, looking ahead to 2020, it will be imperative that Republicans hold something in Washington to check an inflamed Left should a Democrat win the White House, which is why every seat in the House and Senate tonight is important. It’s a better jumping off point for the big fight two years hence.


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

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