Hey, apparently elected Democrats have noticed all the people protesting in the streets and airports and calling their offices to say “vote no on Trump’s appointees and agenda.”
“Part of what I think the Bernie campaign taught us, even the Trump campaign taught us, and now the resistance is teaching us, is just ditch the consultants and consult with your conscience and constituents first,” said Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, warning his fellow Democrats that “it’s a fool’s errand to try to plan this out like it’s a traditional political operation.”
Mr. Merkley boasted that “we’re doing things in the Senate that are less conventional,” efforts he said were aimed at conveying to anti-Trump voters that “hey, we’re here and we’re fighting.”
Of course there are those who worry or doubt—Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky is concerned that “They want us to impeach him immediately,” which isn’t under Democratic control. And the possibility of voters becoming dispirited by the extent of Republican control of government and little Democratic ability to block things is real. But what the base gets that Democratic politicians haven’t always gotten is that giving in doesn’t feel like a win. That’s a lesson that apparently Delaware Sen. Tom Carper is still having trouble with:
Senator Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, a middle-of-the-road Democrat up for re-election in 2018, cautioned that loathing Mr. Trump, on its own, was not a governing strategy. He said he still hoped for compromise with Republicans on infrastructure funding and perhaps on a plan to improve or “repair” the Affordable Care Act.
“There is this vitriol and dislike for our new president,” Mr. Carper said. “The challenge for us is to harness it in a productive way and a constructive way, and I think we will.”
You cannot compromise with Republicans to repair the Affordable Care Act if they are focused only on repealing it. The only thing that could possibly make Republicans look for compromise on that—or anything else—is if doing things their way would be too damaging. If Republicans are not moving as fast on Obamacare as they’d promised they would, that’s because they’re realizing it’s not the easy vote they thought it would be, and the thing making them realize that is not a bunch of Democrats saying “here, let us compromise with you on this.”
So there are still some Democrats who need to learn to fight. But enough of them are figuring it out that hopefully they can drag the slow learners along behind them.