The party of “Resistance” and canned outrage is already squandering its chance to work with a new kind of Republican in the White House who may just prove amenable to some of its long-stated policy beliefs.
Heading into a new Congress where the Democrats will hold control of the House, representatives such as Paul Tonko (D-NY) still believe that in America, “There’s a lot of healing that’s required and … leadership requires us to be those healers.”
This is exactly what the country does not need from its elected representatives. Members of Congress are not charged with providing psychiatric “healing” for the nation’s imagined social ills. They are charged with passing laws that address the real-life issues that affect Americans in their everyday lives.
It’s the American people who will lose if two more years of a do-nothing Congress run out the clock on the first (and maybe only) four years of what was supposed to be a Change Agent presidency, in favor of a never-ending Perpetually Offended Outrage War.
Oppose Not Propose
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) warned in a speech at George Washington University that the Democratic ranks are so filled with hatred for Trump that congressional Dems will be forced to push anti-Trump measures for the next two years. “In the House, I think the Democrats have unleashed some of the angriest voices on the Left,” Cruz said. “I think we’re going to see two years of investigations, of subpoenas, and we may well see impeachment.”
Progressive billionaire and top Democrat donor Tom Steyer is doing all he can to push the envelope on exactly that agenda. The Trump-obsessed Steyer has released a new ad urging congressional Dems to pursue impeachment in 2019.
Impeachment is a feel-good gesture to an irrationally irate Democratic base and only assures that the 116th Congress will do nothing meaningful over the next two years. Instead of wasting energy and political capital on what would merely be a symbolic victory, in the end, Democrats should instead prove that they can legislate like adults. The party could enter a new phase by simply attempting to work with the White House on issues of mutual concern, such as fair trade deals for American workers and a check on military adventurism overseas.
Democrats are the traditional pro-union party, and Trump’s vow to bring back U.S. manufacturing and use tariffs in the fight for an even international playing field should be right in synch with their economic policies. In fact, some trade experts believe the new Democratic House will back Trump on his tough stance with China over trade. One can only hope they are right.
“I think Trump has a free hand to pursue his aggressive approach,” Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told Reuters right after the Nov. 6 midterm elections. “If anything, the Blue Wave [of Democrats] will be as hawkish, if not more hawkish, than Trump on China.”
For similar reasons, Democrats should support Trump’s new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that scraps the disastrous NAFTA pact that has so harmed American workers. The wage mandates alone that Mexico is obliged to meet under the new pact should go far to protect American workers from the outsourcing of their jobs in the never-ending corporate search for cheap labor above all else. How can honest Democrats not be thrilled by Trump’s efforts here to push a pro-worker agenda?
But it is on foreign policy where Democrats most need to drop their Trump hatred. Dems now have a real chance to work with the president to put a permanent end to the nonstop military interventionism that has been the hallmark of 30 years of neoconservative leadership. Democrats have stridently opposed the “Bush Lied” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan throughout this 21st century, but now Democrats are insanely choosing to ally themselves with the neocons solely out of mutual anti-Trump spite.
As James Carden detailed for the leftist publication The Nation, progressives, and neocons are uniting in Washington, D.C. think tanks and “mainstream” media publications to form a “popular front” against Trump. Never mind that neoconservatism is manifestly unpopular with the American people today. How anti-war Democrats can bring themselves to embrace a man like Bill Kristol, who has never met a war he didn’t want America deeply involved in, is a breathtaking sign of Trump Hysteria that sees any opponent of the president as a friend – no matter how repellant his views may have previously been. Carden ably sums up this tragedy of progressive madness:
“By shunning a sensible, prudent, ethical foreign policy — one with roots stretching as far back as George Washington and John Q. Adams — in favor of what is essentially a policy of militarism run amok, liberals are demonstrating, in a phrase articulated long ago by Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz, a ‘boundless credulity, and an untiring readiness to be gulled.'”
Sadly, there is little evidence that Democrats are capable of acting responsibly on these crucial issues.
Instead of issuing silly demands like “Abolish ICE” that placate their base but have no chance of succeeding, Democrats should be working with Trump on far more obtainable and much more meaningful objectives such as “Abolish NATO.”
Sadly, there is little evidence that Democrats are capable of acting responsibly on these crucial issues. When it comes to a choice between seeking common ground with President Trump to improve the lives of the American people or finding the latest talking point to feed the 24-hour Outrage News Cycle, Democrats will opt to feed their howling base the anger pills they are so addicted to, every time.