The Fired Up Democratic Base: it’s not Occupy Wall St
There remains the standing debate-are the new anti Trump protesters more like a liberal Tea Party or Occupy Wall St?
The answer is clear: it’s the liberal Tea Party.
“Democrats, taking cues from their base, have given Trump’s key Cabinet nominees the smallest level of support from an opposition party in history. They have joined and sometimes led protests, organizing more than 70 rallies against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and joining activists at airports to help travelers affected by Trump’s executive orders on immigration and refugees. The scale has even impressed some Republicans.”
“The march the day after the inauguration probably exceeded any of the tea party marches,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told The Washington Post in an interview for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” series. “But like Occupy Wall Street, it’s not real focused, as far as what exactly they want.”
Rand Paul is engaging in wishful thinking. I guess he can only face so many hard truths at once. He admits it’s exceeding the Tea Party marches-which was the wave he ran on. It’s tough enough for him to admit that which he does. So he has to make up for it by claiming that the marches are ‘unfocused’ like Occupy Wall St.
The protests are focused but more on opposition to Trump and the GOP than a list of issues. Which actually makes it more powerful. If it was a list of issues it would run the risk of devolving in to sectarian food fights and litmus tests.
“Yet even now, at every level of national Democratic politics, the discussion of how the party can win back voters it lost is subsumed by the argument about how to oppose Trump. The answer is always: as much as possible. And for the moment, that does seem to be engaging a broad, new population of activists. In the race for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, even Thomas Perez, the former secretary of labor viewed skeptically by some supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has said that Democrats should hit Trump “between the eyes with a two-by-four and treat him like Mitch McConnell treated Barack Obama.”
Yes, that’s the answer to the question. Forget ‘winning back’ white voters in the Rust Belt. Follow the energy. You have all these motivated Democrats. What do you want to do-look the gift horse in the mouth to chase white votes in the RB? How do you know the future of the Democrats is not elsewhere-the Sun Belt, in former Red States turning purple or blue down South?
Yes we have all these fired up constituents but let’s ignore them and have a discussion on how to win back the Rust Belt.
Again, the fact that the movement is more anti Trump than anything and that this is engaging the activists is s feature not a bug. If you come up with say 3, 5, or 10 issues then it becomes a litmus test. Those who may disagree with some or much of the items are effectively locked out.
This is better as it’s just about opposition to Trump. If you fear for the future of this country-and you are opposed to the GOP desire to destroy our healthcare in exchange for huge tax cuts for the rich-then join us. You want to cast as broad a net as possible.
By the way, this is why those who see this movement as a corollary or a continuation of Bernie-like Ryan Cooper or Dave Weigel-miss the point.
Bernie had a hard list of positions you had to take to be a real progressive. The anti Trump movement is the opposite of this. Peter Daou is right here:
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) February 12, 2017
The fact that the movement is lead by women underscores this point. There is outrage about how Hillary was treated and bitter disappointment that we don’t have our first female President despite her winning by 3 million votes. If not for Comey, she would be President.
Adding to the outrage is that in her place we have the most sexist man in history elevated to the Presidency.
“Three weeks into President Trump’s term, the Democratic Party and progressive establishment have almost entirely adopted the demands of a restive, active and aggressive base. They are hopeful that the new activism more closely resembles the tea party movement, which embraced electoral politics, than the Occupy Wall Street movement, which did not.”
It’s already clear that the anti Trump movement is totally focused on electoral politics. Occupy Wall St. eschewed electoral politics as too sordid and dirty to touch. It was focused on a ‘Let’s burn down the banks’ mentality. It had a list of policies on financial reform.
The anti Trump protests are focused on, well, defeating Trump which is an issue of electoral politics. They clearly are Democrats-though they warn Dems not to waver in resistance. There is no ideological test-unless you support single payer, free college, a $15 MW, and take no corporate donations you are not a progressive. Just so long as you resist Trump at every turn.
The protests have warned Dems to stay strong and they have targeted GOP for their plans to steal the health insurance of millions.
They chant ‘Vote him out’ at Jason Chaffetz. Many of us have protested for the first time or are looking at other ways of getting into politics for the first time. Either donating, or starting a group, or running for office ourselves, etc.
I-as I’ve noted in a few recent posts-am considering challenging Peter King here in the NY 2nd Congressional district. I am first commissioning a poll of the district to gauge how his constituents really feel about his embracing of Trump’s Islamophobic agenda-he’s been defending the Muslim ban? I’ll also see how they feel about him supporting the GOP plan to destroy Obamacare.
By the way, I love the new GOP rationalizations: these protesters have to be from out of state or out of district because this is a red state/red district. Key word is: it has been. That you have people in a red district protesting you might be a reason to reconsider. At least you might want to be sure they aren’t ‘from around here’ before you slander them.
I always urge my readers to donate if they enjoy my content. A donation now will be even more helpful-as this poll is not cheap. SurveyUSA is willing to give me a discount, but even $4,900 is pretty tough for me to reach.
P.S. If you enjoy my blog and my support of #TheResistance-I’m also considering a 2018 run against GOP Congressmen Peter King of the NY 2nd district-then please consider a donation.