What will House Democrats fight the Trump administration on first?
Guest today are Jacob para killers deputy head of the US and America's program Chatham house, and Michael Goldfarb, the journalists and broadcast welcome both. And as promised an extended look tonight at the first US midterm elections that anybody bother candidates unusually punk tilles citizens and friendless cranks has ever cared about. Not for the first or last time president Donald Trump's in addressing effect on politics has not had quite the outcome. He might have desired. The Trump has failed the vote as a big victory. This is a little like hailing Eric Trump as a future Nobel prize winning physicist. I e an active heroin optimism, though, Trump's Republicans consolidated their grip on the Senate. They did lose the house of representatives that press conference from which we played a clip at the top of the show is ongoing as far as it's possible to tell Trump has not yet started hurling the actual furniture at the assembled journalists. It does seem to be only a matter of time. Jacob does Donald Trump actually have any reason to celebrate. I think the the Senate is I mean, he has reason celebrate it's not unpredictable reason celebrate the Democrats did pretty well in the Senate relative to the number of races that were actually up for election. Relative to where those elections were being held many of them being in states that went for Trump just two years ago that said the looks like depending on the outcome in Montana. Arizona it looks as though Mitch McConnell will be commanding at least fifty two and possibly fifty three or at a stretch fifty four votes, which means that he will have an even freer hand to pass through nominees from Trump, whether those are future cabinet officials federal judicial appointments even potential next supreme court Justice. So that is a reason celebrate and if he's thinking in longer term since the twenty twenty and twenty twenty two cycles quite as rosy for the Republicans. It gives them a little bit more leeway. It means that the Democrats have to work that much. Harder to take back the Senate and potentially face a second term, President Trump with a unified Democratic Congress. But the house is a disaster for him. There's no sugar coating that on which subject Michael that is the one thing we do definitely know for sure is that the Republican party no longer control the house of representatives. How constrained does? I mean, obviously constrains any president. But this particular president how constrained is he likely to be by Democratic Congress. Well, it depends first of all let me put a caveat in on any outsor- here. It depends on if if the Democrats can get themselves together and had some big if. And and behave in a you know, like they have a backbone, and it's not clear, you know, what? I mean, Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the house in coming in in theory. But she may face the challenge, she's seventy eight she knows more about where everybody's skeletons are hanging, and that's very useful. But you know, there has to be a changing of the guard. Sometimes having said that let me answer your question. Andrew the house, oh has become the battleground going back twenty five years to nineteen ninety four when Newt Gingrich and led the Republican charge on the contract with America congress. Most people listening to this probably still in grade school when that happened, but it has more than set the tone for the following quarter-century. They have accumulated power in the house to do two things in a really important one is subpoena. Power. And I can I can envision a sequence where Robert Mueller who who's been. You're not related. We are not no he has been decorous point during this election because he's a decorous kinda guy. He's a Republican of the old school Mueller will eventually produce his report the Democrats control the house now, they control all the committees. If there's a question about banking. You will see subpoenas about banking? If there's a question about Trump's relationship with the Russians you will see the foreign relations committee subpoena hang him about that. They will tie her up in more paper than Donald Trump's lawyers used to tie up people trying to get paid by Donald Trump back in the days when he was just a real estate developer.