Democrats are vowing to oppose incoming President Donald Trump on everything — from his Cabinet nominees to his policy proposals, from his executive orders to his Supreme Court nominations.
They are doing so based on their mistaken projection of Trump as a nascent fascist; their hysterical and self-serving delusions about being “unsafe”; and their own faulty memories of Republican opposition to President Barack Obama. In do doing, Democrats are setting themselves up to continue to fail.
Dick Polman of Calbuzz makes the case for “no”:
[Republicans in 2009] resolved to thwart Obama’s efforts to fix the Great Recession … Cooperating with Trump, behaving as if he were just another Republican, would lend legitimacy to his authoritarian bent. Cooperating with Trump would “normalize” his racist populism and his serial lies. Such a strategy — tantamount to surrender — would be disastrous for a Democratic Party that has spent decades fighting for tolerance and diversity.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times chronicles Hollywood’s plans for cultural resistance. “Trump’s election was a gut punch to a liberal Hollywood that had backed Clinton.” While some in Tinseltown understand the meaning of the wake-up call, and are reaching out to the Americans they previously mocked and ignored, others have resolved to resist the Trump of their fevered nightmares, where he plays George Orwell’s Emmanuel Goldstein, the catch-all enemy, the target of Two Minutes’ Hate.
Here is the reality. Republicans were in disarray in 2009, with most in Washington seeking some way of accommodating to the new administration, which was not only a political but a cultural force. The New York Times‘ resident conservative at the time, Bill Kristol, argued that the age of conservatism was over, and the Republicans should give Obama’s “big liberalism” a chance to become, “as it was under F.D.R., a fighting faith, unapologetically patriotic and strong in the defense of liberty.”
But three things happened. The first was that a new conservative opposition had already begun to form, based on opposition to the Wall Street bailout of the previous fall. That backlash would eventually provide the foundation for the Tea Party, and for the Trump movement. The second development was the emergence of conservative media, to provide the ideological resistance to Obama that Beltway Republicans were unwilling to muster. And the third factor was Obama’s own arrogance.
Obama often cast himself as a moderate during the campaign, but declared before inauguration that “only government” could solve the country’s problems. Upon taking office, he proposed a stimulus nearly 20 times larger than the $50 billion he had proposed in the campaign, and aimed it directly at public sector unions, pet projects, and cronies. And he told Republicans he did not need, or care about, their ideas. “I won,” he infamously told Republicans — one of the few times he would meet them.
That was the environment in which Rush Limbaugh made his infamous declaration: “I hope he fails … his ideas and policies are what count for me, not his skin color … We’re talking about my country, the United States of America, my nieces, my nephews, your kids, your grandkids. Why in the world do we want to saddle them with more liberalism and socialism?”
In the House, Minority Whip Eric Cantor led unanimous GOP opposition to the stimulus. At the Chicago Board of Trade, CNBC reporter Rick Santelli called for a “tea party.” A new opposition arose — one Obama treated as illegitimate, fueling it further.
Today’s Democrats want to carry Obama’s tone-deaf, petty totalitarian posture — which led him to defy the Constitution itself — into the political minority. They are electing leaders — Pelosi, Schumer, perhaps Ellison — who will continue their isolation from the mainstream and from reality.
“No,” for its own sake, does have an occasional merit. Here, it is a guarantee of failure.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. 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.