How do you negotiate with someone who calls you a Nazi? How do you reach a compromise with someone who calls your base racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamaphobic on a weekly basis? How do you reach a consensus with someone who is actively advocating for your impeachment despite there being no evidence? The short answer is there isn’t a way and this has left many Democratic lawmakers in impossible positions going forward. Generally with the election of a new President the table is more or less reset, the rhetoric of the campaign trail is dialed back and there is lip service being paid to calls for unity as Americans and the need to move past the divisive election to put the good of the country first. However, as we have seen this election cycle this has not happened. Instead Democratic lawmakers choose to pander to the very vocal radical left of their base and amplify their attacks against President Trump from the moment he won the election.
This strategy has placed these Democratic lawmakers in very precarious positions as they have painted themselves into corners from which there may be no escape. I do not know if the Left has seemingly misplaced their collective minds because they lost an election that they thought they had in the bag or if they have repeated the attacks so many times that they honestly believe President Trump to be the caricature that they have created. Regardless with Republicans controlling the majority of Governorships, State Legislations, the House, the Senate and the White House, Democrats are not in the best place to put themselves on war footing and if the New York Times is to be believed that is exactly what they are gearing up for in the coming months, Total War. In the NTY article “Weakened Democrats, Opting for Total War on Trump, Bow to Their Voters” it notes that “A handful of liberal groups have already sprung up threatening to wage primary challenges against incumbent Democrats who they see as insufficiently militant against Mr. Trump, raising the prospect of the same internecine wars that plagued Republicans during Barack Obama’s administration.”
Now I am not going to take the obvious bait and run down the rabbit hole discussing how these snowflake protests are only vaguely similar to the Tea Party protests of 2009, and no flatulence bag Michael Moore they are certainly not better. No I want to deal with the ominous undercurrent in the implication of the above statement that despite being outgunned, outmanned and in an inferior position to attack that is exactly what the Left is planning. The Democrat Party is essentially declaring total war and by doing so is only promising more of the same. The “same” being character attacks and identity politics and having no real discussions on policy issues unless they are sorties for personal attacks. At this point they are conceding their place at the table of governing in order to pursue petty agenda driven talking points that will not serve their constituents, but instead only stoke the egos of the more radical members of their movement. This has been their strategy for the last eight years and only one politician ever benefited from its deployment, Barrack Obama.
This refusal to deal with the reality of their precarious position is not limited to the political elite. As I conclude these politicians are being herded by the more radical elements of their base and hedged in by political commentators like Charles Blow to draw the battle lines where they dictate instead of where they would be prudent. As he recently wrote in his NYT column, “There is no more a compromise point with those who accept, promote and defend bigotry, misogyny and xenophobia than there is a designation of ‘almost pregnant’, Trump is a cancer on this country and resistance is the remedy. The Trump phenomenon is devoid of compassion, and we must be closed to compromise.” Besides the fact that this commentator ignores the blatant hypocrisy of his own bigoted words, there is no more compassionate movement than Conservatism, but we generally choose to exercise our charity through our own free will and not through government mandates enforced by guns.
Even more appalling than Mr. Blow’s bigoted generalizations and incorrect facts is where he as a Democrat has drawn his battle lines; around every single issue. For the hard Leftist Democrats and Punditry Class there can be no retreat and no surrender on any given issue and compromise will be seen as treason. They openly advocate resistance on anything President Trump. Now if all you had to go off of was the mainstream media you might believe that this would be a winning strategy, but you would be wrong. This strategy may allow Democrats to pick up some meaningless victories along the way, but it is not a stratagem that will have long-term success with the American public at large. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can achieve the Presidency without the support of the independents in the middle. This hard line resistance while it may fire up the base will do very little and in many cases actually harm the Democrats relationship with Middle America because it relies solely on input and issues that are primarily important to the coastal elites of the party. As a recent Harvard-Harris Poll has released 73% of Americans want Democrats to work with President Trump.
In essence the Democratic version of ‘Total War” to isolate any potential allies with your buffoonery, insult any voter that at one point voted for Barrack Obama and might one day cross back, continue to select leaders from the more radical elements of your base and give the middle finger to Middle America. Someone needs to get the Democrats a copy of War for Dummies because this is not the way to fight your way back to power. As Sun Tzu said, “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” Fighting every issue is not the answer. If the Democrats want to have any relevancy before the 2020 election then they must pick and choose which battles are the most important to fight, which ones they can compromise on and where to cede the field to gain political capital to be used later.
Those with leanings right of center you can rest easy. The Democratic leadership has already invested too much in the Attack Trump strategy to turn back now without looking the fool. They plan on doubling down with attacking until either they find something in his past or he has a mistake upon which they can then justify all the hate and divisiveness. If they fail to find this before the mid-terms and President Trump has a solid economic track record then I predict that Democrats will hemorrhage more seats across local, state and federal elections. Democrats find themselves out of touch, out of power and facing an administration that unlike previous Republican administration is not afraid to throw down as Bannon communicated to CPAC this week. “If you think they are going to give you your country back without a fight, you are mistaken. Every day, it is going to be a fight.” This may not be a fight that the Democrats are able to win at this time and the smarter play may be to regroup, but I do not see this happening anytime soon.