In 2008, after Obama won his first term, fully 59% of self-identified Republicans wanted their party’s congressional leaders to work with new president to get things done. Instead, a couple of weeks after he was elected but before he was inaugurated, then-House GOP whip Eric Cantor called a secret meeting for a no-honeymoon strategy of all out obstruction. Miss McConnell, then Senate Minority Leader, convened a follow-up 2 weeks later. According to Ohio Senator George Voinovich,”If he was for it, we had to be against it.” And that is how McConnell ran the Senate and Boehner and then Ryan ran the House for 8 years. The degree of systematic obstruction on every front is unprecedented, even to the point of Republican members of Congress knowingly causing pain to their own constituents, knowing they would, at least in part, blame Obama.
This year, perhaps in response, just 32% of Democrats, according to a Pew Research survey released yesterday, want their congressional leaders to work with Trump to get things done. The irony is that Republican leaders ignored their voters to sabotage Obama while Democrats– particularly Trump-crony Chuck Schumer– are ignoring their voters to cooperate with Trump. “[M]most Democrats would like to see their party’s leaders stand up to Trump rather than work with him. In fact, Democratic support for cooperation with the president-elect today is substantially less than GOP support for working with Obama eight years ago.
Nearly two-thirds of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters (65%) say “Democratic leaders should stand up to Donald Trump on issues that are important to Democratic supporters, even if means less gets done in Washington.” Just 32% want the party’s leaders to work with Trump if it means disappointing Democrats.
In November 2008– a time when voters generally felt much better about the election and its outcome– Republicans and Republican leaners were more favorably disposed to their party’s leaders working with Obama. Nearly six-in-ten (59%) said GOP leaders should work with Obama, while 36% wanted them to “stand up” to the new president.
And Democratic voters are now far more supportive of the party moving in a more liberal direction than they were after either the 2012 or 2008 elections. About half of all Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters (49%) say Democratic leaders in Washington should move in a more liberal direction, while nearly as many (47%) favor a more moderate approach. Following Obama’s victories, majorities favored the party’s leaders moving in a more moderate direction (57% in both 2012 and 2008).
A more liberal approach will never happen. Baked into the Democratic leadership cake– particularly cautious old reactionaries like Chuck Schumer, Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn– is a virulent anti-progressive/anti-populist streak. As we've shown before, had Schumer not interfered in Democratic primaries on behalf of establishment conservatives and against progressives, he would be about to begin 4 years as Majority Leader instead of 4 years (at least) as Minority Leader.
The Democrats lost at least 2 dozen contests for seats they should have won but lost only one incumbent in the House last week, far right “ex”-Republican Blue Dog Brad Ashford. Ashford was not just worthless garbage, he has the worst voting record– or most Republican voting record of any so-called Democrat in Congress. He has the lowest crucial vote score of any Democrat in the House, worse than fellow Blue Dog Gwen Graham and worse than Republican Chris Gibson. He lost 134,291 (49.4%) to 128,739 (47.3%); who wants a fake (or even an “ex”-Republican when you can have a full-blown real one? Not enough people to hold seats, something everyone in the world has figured out by now except openers: Nancy Pelosi. Her House Majority PAC and the DCCC wasted $3,553,238 trying to save Ashford's seat. Why? So he could have another 2 years of voting with the Republicans on almost everything? He voted against progressive positions nearly 70% of the time.
House Democrats should make a deal with Pelosi. Let me keep the leadership job if she agrees to relinquish the right to name a DCCC chair. After spectacularly failed chairmen Rahm Emanuel, Chris Van Hollen, Steve Israel and Ben Ray Lujan, isn't it time for Pelosi to step away from that lever of power that hayloft America helpless in the face Trumpism? The House Republicans elect their NRCC chairman. Isn't that novel? Democracy! But Pelosi grasps onto it tenaciously even though there isn't a person alive with two working brain cells they could rub together who would say she's any good at it. Let her stay– but let the Democratic members elect the next head of the DCCC, preferably someone who won't rehire the same staff that has learned how to lose and lose and lose and lose… and only lose.
|Haven't Democrats suffered enough of this crap?|
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis