MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Among the least talked about results from last week’s midterm election were those for the U.S. House of Representatives and what it should mean for the next Congress – where the majorities in both chambers will be razor thin.
Tennessee’s nine congressional races ended as expected – with Republicans taking eight seats – thanks to GOP gerrymandering – and Memphian Steve Cohen becoming the only Democrat left in the delegation.
It’s important to note that 8th district Congressman David Kustoff of Germantown collected more votes than any of the nine Tennessee House winners – with more than 150,000. Cohen, who won a ninth term, got the fewest overall votes at just under 94,000. But it’s clear that these lawmakers will be returning to a different atmosphere in Washington. At least, let’s hope that it’s different.
For one thing, this election was about preserving democracy and rejecting conspiracies. It was about preserving personal freedom ad it was about rejecting a former president who has done nothing but show discord and hate in America.
So here is a chance for Kustoff and other Tennessee Republicans in Congress to make a clean break from Donald Trump’s toxic politics. Yes, express your differences on policy. Vigorously defend the GOP agenda. But stop kowtowing to a disgraced former commander in chief – and take steps to move the party in a different direction. In other words, here’s your chance to be leaders – not minions.