We’ve heard recent news that there is a “wave” of Republicans retiring from Congress and refusing to run for reelection in 2018. In fact, some are calling it a record number of retirements, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a hundred years. The conventional wisdom is that there is a Democrat “wave” coming in the mid terms and the Republicans would rather go back to the private sector (or wherever) rather than battle it out.
But buried in this news story is the fact that, in addition to low level congress critters, high level and extremely powerful committee chairs (and even the Speaker of the House!!!) are also announcing their retirement at an extraordinary pace. The committee chairs usually come from safe districts, are very well funded, and stand a very strong chance of winning reelection even in a tough political climate. So why are 9 of the most powerful politicians in the U.S., including the the person third in line to be president, also retiring and walking away?
It could be the “wave” everyone is talking about. Or it could be that these more powerful Republicans, who see a lot more information than the low level congress critters, know that there is big trouble brewing for the Republican party in terms of the Mueller investigation. Could it be that a slew of indictments against the President’s team are coming down such that they will destroy Republican chances of reelection and fundamentally destroy Trump’s presidency? Could it be that for congressmen like Nunes and Gowdy, two retiring chairmen who were also members of Trump’s political campaign and/or “transition team,” also see that they may personally have some exposure if Trump’s team goes down?
We don’t know, but there is a strong possibility that these retirements are due to something far more interesting than an upcoming “tough election.”