Avenatti, said former Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), is “tapping into a Democratic rage that Trump must be defeated and it doesn’t matter how.”

“They think the low blow beat the high ground in 2016,” Israel said, adding that Trump has created “an electorate that is angrier, nastier and more desperate.”

That likely means more attacks and a pugnacious 2020 primary season, say Democrats.

“We have no other choice,” said one political strategist who has been having preliminary conversations with candidates about running for the presidency. “You can’t kill him with kindness. That doesn’t work. So you have to go the other way.”