The base's rage ill serves the Democratic Party

Democrats are basically bystanders on this vote. Like the Republicans on Obamacare in 2009–10, their advice and support have not been sought. They note that some recent polling shows, for the first time, majority approval for Obamacare, and hope that dissatisfaction with what the Republicans pass — or fail to pass — will work to their benefit.

Maybe so. But it’s also possible that Democrats have missed a chance to expand rather than contract government-supported medicine, as Democratic (but pro-Trump on immigration) blogger Mickey Kaus argues, in calling for lowering Medicare eligibility to age 55.

Last-ditch opposition to Gorsuch, re-litigation of the Russian-collusion charges aired already last fall, and refusal of any engagement on health care — these are all positions demanded by a furious Democratic base, but which may harm rather than help the long-term interest of the Democratic party.

Undoubtedly, some Democratic officeholders realize this but feel helpless to urge a different course, fearing the rage of angry and even violent crowds and the threat of primary opposition.