Perhaps you’ve noticed a fair number of protests, many of them violent, since Hillary Clinton was not elected president.
Perhaps you’ve also noticed the Democrat minorities in Congress opposing pretty much every single thing involving the man who was elected president Nov. 8.
A couple of questions: What is it exactly these congressional Democrats want instead? Besides Trump not being president, a long-settled legal question. And while we’re at it, what was the central theme of Clinton’s presidential campaign, the one thing everyone knew they’d get with the first female in the Oval Office?
Right! There is — and was — no main message.
That thematic void can be politically lethal in American elections. Americans are not, shall we say, the most attentive citizens when elections are on hiatus. Dancing competitions and bachelor competitions must be monitored, pregnant celebrities tracked and fictitious murders solved. We’re past Groundhog Day and there’s still a football game left.
Not that anyone is counting, but 641 days from now is the midterm election, a time when the entire House is up and Democrats must defend 23 Senate seats — 10 of them in states that Trump won big-time.
Remember Alexander Hamilton or maybe someone else saying, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything? Well, the converse is true too: If you oppose everything, you stand for nothing. And that’s the muddy path that Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and their Gang of No has taken
They didn’t pick two, maybe three Trump Cabinet nominees to scrutinize closely and predictably oppose. In fact, they didn’t select anybody. They opposed pretty much every single Trump nominee, even walking out on committee votes to show something. They knew all along that Americans have since Obama’s second year been sliding toward electing Republicans across the country. They looked flailing.
Under Obama, Democrats lost nearly 1,000 state legislative seats. Republicans now control 33 governor’s offices and in 25 of those states, the GOP runs both legislative houses, as they do in Washington. The GOP now runs more things political across the country than at any time in nine decades.
There is no D-bench producing bright, young candidates with statewide elective experience to compete federally. They’ve got Pelosi and her partners in their mid-70’s and Schumer, the kid at 66.
Trump critics have, accurately, knocked the president for picking fights via Twitter on too many issues that mean nothing, except to the billionaire’s ego. During his National Prayer Breakfast remarks Thursday Trump got to talking the gospel of his “tremendous success” on “The Apprentice” and its ratings collapse since he left. Amen.
Social media aside, Trump’s first two weeks — really, is that all it’s been? — have seen a blizzard of activity — executive orders, listening sessions, overseas phone calls, photo ops, a solid Supreme Court nomination out of central judge casting. All designed to highlight two themes: I’m doing a lot and I’m doing exactly what I promised.
You may not agree with many or any of his actions. Or like his loud style. But the strategic truth is, in creating just two main themes, the unpredictable media magnet Trump has lit so many fires that Democrats under their elderly leaders can’t decide which to fight. So, they’re fighting them all, none effectively. Everybody watching the not-exactly spontaneous protests and the on-camera anger has their own tolerance level for outrage. But at some point, everybody has one.
“We need to be guided by a positive message about economic growth for everybody and a country that includes everybody,” Connecticut’s lonely Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy said sensibly. “We can’t respond to everything. You have to decide what to respond to based on what your vision for the country is.”
Good luck with that these days in Washington.