Opinion: Democrats May Be Too Optimistic About 2018 Gains

The redrawn congressional districts in North Carolina turned out to be too racially driven for a Supreme Court dominated by conservatives — with Justice Clarence Thomas siding with the majority.

Who’d have thought it?

But the fact that it’s arguably a toss-up, in some judges’ reasoning, how much the Republicans in the state legislature used race or pure partisan advantage while doing their dirty work highlights how difficult it will be for Democrats to retake the majority in the House — Trumpian scandals and a proposed budget that hurts many in the GOP base notwithstanding.

Will the Democratic South rise again?

It was almost but not quite like being in the middle of the action on Inauguration Day. If you opened the door of the restaurant on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol, you could practically hear echoes of President Obama’s speech and Beyonce’s rendition of the National Anthem, real or lip-synched. But it was all a little muddled. You could say the same about the state of the Democratic Party in the South.

I watched the inauguration ceremonies on big screens in the eatery, surrounded by Southern Democrats with a plan. I listened to strategies designed to re-establish the party’s dominance in the region it once owned. Because of issues of race, social issues and habit, for starters, it won’t be easy.