Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Democrats Must Become The Party Of No

Democrats need to delay, oppose and obstruct everything that Trump does.  Everything. 

Democrats need to oppose everything not because the Republicans did it.  Not because the Republicans repeatedly broke with all conventional norms in blocking much of Obama's agenda and thwarting his administrative and judicial appointments at an unprecedented rate.  Not because the Republicans stole a Supreme Court seat.  And not because the Republicans reaped enormous political gain from their obstruction.  (Although these are pretty good reasons)

Democrats need to oppose everything because everything Trump does is connected. One can't separate Trump's massive business empire and financial entanglements of which we know so little from his policy proposals.  One can't separate the machinations of his anti-Semitic, racist chief strategist from his directives and executive orders. One can't separate his trampling on traditional norms and constitutional principles from his appointments and nominations.  One can't separate his rejection of objective facts, dismissal of science and incessant lying from his stated goals.  Or, one can't separate Jeff Sessions from Steve Bannon from the unconstitutional Muslim ban that does not include countries in which Trump has business interests and that will undermine, not enhance, national security.   

Democrats need to oppose everything because Trump is a petulant demagogue who feasts on "winning," and whose claim to legitimacy will be strengthened with every political victory he attains.  Trump sees everything as a zero sum game and, at least with regard to his political power, he is right.  Democrats gain nothing by attempting to find areas of compromise.  When Trump wins, we lose. When we win, he loses -- and then loses his shit.  We can't let him win.  At anything.

Democrats need to oppose everything because Republicans need to own Trump, his hateful agenda and his madness.  They need to own his unqualified, corrupt cabinet appointees who seek to undermine the agencies for which they were appointed.  They need to own his abhorrent policies, his erratic and legally dubious actions, his racism and xenophobia, his mendacity, his corruption and conflicts of interest, and even his petty tweets. 

Democrats need to oppose everything.  And they should use whatever tools they have to slow down the things they can't stop.

This shouldn't be up for debate.  We shouldn't have to spend our time pressuring Democratic leaders to vote against all of Trump's cabinet nominees, to obstruct Trump's nomination for the Supreme Court, to oppose his policy proposals.  We shouldn't have to keep explaining over and over that this is not normal, that this is not politics as usual, that Trump is a clear and present danger to our democracy. 

But, unfortunately, we do.  Unfortunately, we can't take the resistance of our Democratic Senators and Representatives for granted. And, so far, we haven't. The massive grassroots mobilization of liberals and progressives at the Women's March, at the more spontaneous iteration opposing the Muslim ban over the weekend, and the phone calls, emails and demonstrations at lawmakers' offices are having an impact. We can't let up. We need to keep showing Democrats that we are enraged and engaged, and that if they don't oppose everything, we will oppose them too.


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