The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Party of "No"

Donald Trump has been president for all of 14 days. His style is, well, Trumpian—coarse, reflexive, and sometimes grating. During these two weeks, he has done some really dumb stuff, but he has also done some things that are lauded by the majority of the country—beginning to re-establish border controls, taking a harder stance on terrorist-sponsor Iran, reducing regulation across the board, re-examining trade deals, approving pipelines that actually improve environmental protection rather than destroy it, ... the list is actually quite long for only 14 days. He has appointed generally impressive people to his cabinet and has nominated a truly impressive judge for the Supreme Court.

The Democrats, however, see absolutely, positively nothing good in all of this. Potential DNC chair, Keith Ellison (himself a very questionable character) has already characterized Trump's administration as a "failed presidency." That's like saying that after the N.Y. Mets lose the the season opener, the remainder of their season will be a disaster. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have likewise suggested that Trump's presidency will be characterized by "incompetence and chaos" (not recognizing the irony of this charge given the less that stellar performance of the previous administration).

David Cantanese comments on all of this:
In the frenzied opening days of the rebellious Trump era, top leaders in the Democratic Party have taken a posture of relentless, immovable, caustic opposition – assailing the commander in chief at every turn and often employing extreme rhetoric to punctuate its impact. It is a cold-blooded approach that's required for this precarious moment, they say, given the severe changes Trump is attempting on everything from how the U.S. should deliver health care to who should be allowed to become an American citizen.

But there's a risk in outright, perpetual obstruction as well and it's simmering below the surface in conversations between Democratic lawmakers, leaders and strategists as the party debates the most effective path forward: If Democrats protest everything with hair-on-fire outrage, will anything end up sticking with the American public beyond their infinite indignity? If they cry wolf every 12 hours, will the effect of their urgency wane over time? Instead of presenting an alternative vision, will they end up looking simply like a party of outrage?

"We need to be guided by a positive message about economic growth for everybody and a country that includes everybody," says Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who has expressed concern about the party's focus in reacting to Trump. "We can't respond to everything. You have to decide what to respond to based on what your vision for the country is."
At the moment, it appears that the Democrat vision is clouded by hysteria, anger, and deep regret. They continue to dig the hole that Hillary Clinton began. They reinforce the notion that they are the party of the political elites by smugly rejecting the country's middle. They, not the G.O.P., are grievously out of touch and as a consequence, they have become what they once condemned—the party of "no."