Democrats have a new goal: not just to defeat Republican nominee Donald Trump in the November election, but also to “destroy” the movement behind him.
The New York Times reports Thursday that Democrats, encouraged by Trump’s struggles to deal with the controversy surrounding Khizr Khan, hope to press their advantage to “squash Mr. Trump’s movement.”
The Times cites David Plouffe, an Obama adviser-turned-Silicon Valley lobbyist, urging Democrats to “destroy” Trump and “his kind.”
It is not enough to simply beat Trump. He must be destroyed thoroughly. His kind must not rise again.
— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) June 13, 2016
Recently, California’s Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, made similar remarks, saying that even if Trump won, his campaign marked the “beginning of the end” for the Republican Party.
The Times elaborates with quotes from other Democrats, indicating the same ambition:
“The first order of business is winning,” said Geoff Garin, a strategist for Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 campaign who now advises Priorities USA Action, a pro-Clinton “super PAC.” “But the larger stakes of the election are putting the country on a path where Trump’s views of the world are far in our rearview mirror.”
Senator Barbara Boxer of California said that a Democratic win in November was far from guaranteed, but that she hoped for “a complete revulsion of the Trump wing” that would lead to a “realignment” of the Republican Party.
The Democrats’ goal is not particularly new. President Barack Obama said after the 2012 election that he hoped the “fever” of Republican opposition to his policies would break.
He was drawing on his experiences in Chicago in the 1980s, where Mayor Harold Washington faced tough — and often racist — opposition from Democrats until special elections gave him a tie-breaking vote.
Obama misunderstood the motives of his conservative opposition, who largely held the line. But this time his party thinks it will succeed.
The signs are evident in efforts to delegitimize Trump — efforts such as an Internet petition by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), who seeks to have the Republican party force Trump to undergo psychiatric evaluation.
The irony is that some of the issues animating Trump’s supporters — such as opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal — are also issues that motivate the Democratic Party’s base. And Trump now attracts the small donors who were crucial to the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
And the danger is that the methods used by Democrats to undermine grass-roots conservatism — such as the intimidation in the IRS scandal, and the ongoing bullying of organizations opposed to climate change regulations — violate the fundamental freedoms of the Constitution, in letter and spirit.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.