The emerging Trump administration is a frightening mixture of free-market fundamentalists and C-list conspiracy theorists. This motley crew may well run headlong into political disaster. But Democrats should not assume that the Trump administration's incompetence will automatically result in a Democratic wave in 2018. Remember, Democrats are in their weakest position in national and state government since before the Great Depression.Perhaps the author doesn't realize that tens of millions of us across this country don't want what he wants. Perhaps he doesn't realize that it was the Democratic congressional stranglehold on the Congress from 2007-2011, along with President Obama from January 2009 to January 2011, that was so hideous, so brazen in its actions, so un-American in its outlook, that the American people returned Republicans to power in the House of Representatives after only 4 years of Nancy Pelosi's so-called leadership, and two years later returned Republicans to power in the Senate, and last month gave Republicans control of more offices and legislatures than that party has had in a century. Perhaps he doesn't realize that the American public does care about and understand their government, and they don't like what the Democrats in general, and President Obama in particular, have done with it.
So what should Democrats do? Take a page from the GOP playbook and obstruct everything.
One of the most galling things about the complete Republican takeover of American government that we witnessed last month is the way it rewarded the party's destructive behavior during the Obama years. Not only did voters never punish Republican leaders for pouring sand into the gas tank of representative democracy, they granted them victories in nearly every contested House and Senate race, proving incontrovertibly that voters simply do not care about or understand the ways that Republican leadership subverted longstanding norms of parliamentary procedure.
In perhaps the most brazen violation of democratic norms in living memory, the Republicans just stole the colossally important swing seat on the Supreme Court by obliterating precedent and refusing even to hold hearings for Merrick Garland. If Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer cannot continue their heroic work into their late 80s, the Democrats may be facing a hostile Supreme Court until most of Bernie Sanders' young voters are having their midlife crises.
But the Senate's Great Merrick Garland Heist is a symptom rather than the cause of our dysfunction. The towering mountaintop snowcap from which the swollen river of hateful, paralyzing, and destructive nihilism flows is the House GOP. The face of America's political torment is the smug visage of Utah's Jason Chaffetz, a man who epitomizes everything that is wrong with our politics, and who the Democrats have no realistic chance of ever unseating. Secure behind their ingenious 2010 gerrymandering plan, and the concentration of Democratic voters in big cities, it was Chaffetz and his minions who turned the tragedy of Benghazi into the 21st century's Scopes trial, and who decided to use the legislature's oversight responsibilities to hold a series of theatrical hearings about Libya rather than, say, holding President Obama accountable for his (morally outrageous and possibly illegal) policy of perpetual drone warfare.
Perhaps the Democrats should have considered, while they were using the federal bureaucracy to attack their political opponents, that the federal bureaucracy would not always be in their hands. And they should pray to the God that so many of them refuse to believe in that the Republicans don't return the favor, they should pray that a President Trump doesn't do to them what they hoped a President Clinton would do to Republicans.
After losing so handily, as the Democrats have, you might expect reasonable people to reassess what they've been doing. You might think they would be a bit more reflective. Doubling down on the hatred of the last 8 years--and let's be honest, that's what the author above is recommending--is not a recipe for his party's success. The American public--outside of coastal urban enclaves--has shown no stomach for what he is suggesting.
Believing that as I do, I hope the Democrats follow that author's advice. One rule about holes is: when you're in a hole, stop digging. A second rule about holes is: when your opponent is in a hole, give him the nicest, biggest shovel you can find. Take that author's shovel of hatred, Democrats. Please take it. I implore you.