If Republicans achieve veto-proof control in 38 states, they can do something that has never been done before—hold a constitutional convention, and then ratify new amendments that are put forth. They could outlaw the New Deal and its social democratic programs. And if they get crazy enough, they could end separation of church and state and undo other portions of the Bill of Rights.
If other social movements are any guide, the biggest challenge the anti-Trump resistance faces in the weeks and months ahead is bringing some structure and strategy to these fragmented groups. On the flip-side, too much streamlining risks losing the grassroots authenticity that gets the attention of politicians.
Many right-wing media figures have accused anti-Trump protesters of being “paid” on a widespread basis to demonstrate against President Donald Trump. Not only do these allegations lack any evidence of a systematic effort, they also ignore the fact that the conservative tea party protests of the early 2010s were “astroturfed” — heavily supported and organized by large, outside groups like the Koch brothers.
Author and Harvard government professor Theda Skocpol argues that the Democratic Party is our best — and possibly only — hope to combat the “strong possibility of a long-term authoritarian right turn in US politics.”
The greatest weapon the American public has to fight Trump and his minions is the central institution of our representative democracy: the legislative branch. Progressives must threaten their representatives with removal if they don’t heed the majority that finds Trump repugnant, and they must organize that majority to speak unambiguously in November 2018.
Many Democrats hope the massive demonstrations against Donald Trump will evolve into a Democratic tea party. Sloppy rollouts of incoherent policy dressed in malevolence can rile people up. But Democrats must first understand what made the tea party powerful. Its great success came not from the members’ anger, but from the ability to turn that anger into a show of force on Election Day.
Given his cartoonish faults, his relentless scapegoating and his petty vindictiveness, it’s easy to not take him seriously. And now we have to take him for at least four years and face the realization that he actually is engaging in a strategy that may offend you, but was convincing to the 75,000 Americans in three key states he needed to secure his minority presidency. And in 2018, Democrats face a Senate map with 10 swing states, nine of which Trump won.
Trump’s weird post-inauguration obsession with puffing up the numbers of his celebration might seem like a baffling, insecure tick. It is — he’s just advertising that insecurity via an established right-wing media tactic. The pattern of lying about how many people assemble en masse enjoys a long history within the right-wing media; a history Trump has revived.
On Saturday we marched. This week, the work continues. Multiple progressive groups will continue to issue specific calls to actions, call scripts, and meeting guidelines for various appointments and legislation in the coming days. Get ready. The Resistance is a marathon, not a sprint.
Yes, the left needs a movement that rivals the Tea Party movement’s passion, reach and influence. But rather than happening with the encouragement and funding of the party’s rich donors, it might have to happen in spite of them.
The clash of deeply felt racial and class grievances, compounded by cultural wounds on both sides of the identity divide, is crowding out the progressive brand of populism that America once had and so sorely needs.
Paul Ryan spent the weekend at Mitt Romney’s donor summit listening to Ebay CEO and former Republican candidate for governor California Meg Whitman warn that, according to the Washington Post, “Trump is the latest in a long line of historic demagogues, explicitly comparing him to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.”
Failed campaign behind him, Ted Cruz will now recast himself as a party leader whose legislative agenda was endorsed by donors who backed him and citizens who cast their votes for him in primaries and caucuses. After reading 55 bills and 115 resolutions filed by Cruz, here’s the takeaway. Cruz is a destroyer.
Koch money courses through the veins of conservative politics: consultants, think tanks, academic chairs, advertising agencies, politicians: Everyone knows the Kochs, everyone fears the Kochs, everyone listens to the Kochs.
On Tuesday, a list of 426 groups singled out for extra scrutiny when applying for tax-exempt status was made publicly available. Why the extra scrutiny? Because these 501(c)(4)s are supposed to be primarily focused on “social welfare,” they are legally allowed to keep their donors secret.
What first seemed a joke, then an unsettling possibility and then a troubling likelihood, became a grim certainty last week as Donald Trump, real estate developer turned reality show ringmaster turned would-be president, won an emphatic victory in Indiana’s Republican primary — leaving Trump the de facto nominee of what used to be called, with some pride, the Party of Lincoln.
The extreme left now mirrors the extreme right, each reflecting the anger and unbending rigidity of the other. And the idea that politics is the art of compromise, where everybody gets something but nobody gets everything, seems a lost artifact from a distant age.
The Republican base is a deeply divided one. The moderates are increasingly marginalized in their party as Evangelical and Tea Party segments grow more defensive of views that are increasingly unpopular and under threat nationally.
If conservatives win the White House, they’ll have the power of the nation’s highest court to go along with both houses of Congress and more state legislative seats than at any time since before the Great Depression. This week, they finally acted as if they actually understand this.