This coalition hasn’t been easy, but the GOP will be fine. But what Trump has done to the Democrats and the establishment media won’t be undone for a long time. He has radicalized both into engines of extremist rhetoric and policy. They will blame Trump, of course, for their outrage and sputtering, and he deserves a lot of the blame (or credit, depending on your point of view). Trump intentionally incites his opponents with mockery and disdain. So did Barack Obama. So did all of the legions of George W. Bush opponents when politics began going off the rails.
So here’s the question facing the voters this fall: Do they vote to ratchet up this culture of conflict and chaos, or to return Republican legislative majorities that have figured out how to work with this most unusual of presidents?
Electing Democrats to a majority in the House or the Senate at the height of the party’s lurch left would be a disaster: Impeachment, demands for massive income tax hikes and the effort to abolish ICE would follow, while also throwing the military rebuild into reverse and the economy into paralysis because of the inability of business to predict the future with anything like certainty. A radicalized Democratic Party puffed by a Trump-loathing Manhattan-Beltway elite wouldn’t bring us a political environment as fraught as 1861 or even 1968, but the Clinton impeachment and the Watergate scandal eras are fair parallels to the atmosphere that would follow if Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) returns to power or Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) gets his wish to run the Senate.