How "the Resistance" is tapping the tea party's playbook

It’s an approach Todd cribbed from a political memo that began making the rounds on social media in December. Known as the Indivisible Guide, it was drafted by a handful of former Capitol Hill staffers as a primer for liberals looking to influence Congress and push back against Trump. The message: Tea Party tactics work. In fact, they may prove even more potent in the Trump era than they did under Obama. With his squabbling over crowd-size at his inauguration and media coverage just a day into his presidency, Trump exposed perhaps his biggest political vulnerability: his intense sensitivity to public opinion. More than a Senate filibuster or other legislative maneuvering, this may be the progressive movement’s most potent source of leverage. That’s the lesson the so-called #Resistance is taking away from these early weeks of the Trump presidency.

A self-described political junkie, Todd first came across the Indivisible Guide when former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich shared it on Twitter, in the days after Trump’s victory. But it wasn’t until inauguration day “that I really felt like something needed to be done,” he says. Days later, Todd set up a Facebook page for a new group, Indivisible Roseville, and began posting news and events criticizing the New York real estate mogul. It now has more than 350 followers. And it’s one of 10 similar groups in a 10-mile radius of Todd…

Trump allies scoff that the rowdy crowds are the work of professional agitators, or in the words of White House press secretary Sean Spicer, “a very paid, ‘astroturf’ type movement.” And Republicans are rejecting comparisons to the Tea Party. “This is not the same thing,” Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry told reporters at a February 14 lunch. “Maybe some of the actions they take are similar, but when you see ads for—and they’re out there—for paid protesters to come, and when you see the signs, they’re not made in someone’s living room, they’re printed up in different languages. This is a very different operation.”