With President Trump, that is changing, and fast. He came into office losing the popular vote by the biggest margin ever, with a substantial assist from Russian spies and an even bigger one from the FBI, and now Republicans are seizing the chance to jam through a huge raft of horribly unpopular legislation. Ordinary rank-and-file Democrats are seething with fury, and demanding no compromise with Trump.
Anybody who’s up for reelection is going to have to channel this energy.
Senate Democrats are, most of them, extremely confused by this sentiment. They are the first target of liberal outrage, since they have to vote on Trump’s cabinet nominees. They don’t control the chamber, so it mostly doesn’t matter in substantive terms how they vote — but it’s still a powerful symbolic act. (Though they could have come close to picking off the wretched Mike Pompeo as CIA director, since Rand Paul voted against him.)
But not a single Democratic senator has voted against every nominee, as Paul Blest points out. Only Kirsten Gillibrand and Tom Udall have come close, voting against five of six. Six other caucus members have voted against four of six: Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, and Elizabeth Warren. On the other hand, fully 14 Democrats had voted for all six of Trump’s nominees — and some of those in safe blue states, like Dianne Feinstein (California), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island), and Chuck Schumer (New York) — who is also the Minority Leader.