February 2, 2017

Democratic Party Nihilism Reaches New Heights

The Democratic Party is having an existential crisis. After losing a presidential election many thought was a sure thing, and now out of power in both the executive and legislative branches, many Democrats have devolved into a reflexive nihilism, refusing to work on anything at all. Yet as CNN put it today, Democratic nihilism is stymied by one thing, they have “virtually no power in Washington”:

“Democrats are spending the opening weeks of the Trump administration trying to flex their muscle any way they can — boycotting confirmation hearings, refusing to work with Republicans on Obamacare and pondering a filibuster of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick. But as Democrats throw every procedural hurdle they can think of at Trump, they’re facing a bleak reality: they have virtually no power in Washington.”

The fact that Democrats have no power in DC hasn’t stopped their political allies from targeting Democratic politicians though. In fact, most of the activism from Democratic grassroots organizers hasn’t been against Republicans, but rather against “their own political allies”:

“Outraged demonstrators are lining up outside of senators’ homes. They’re disrupting town hall meetings. They’re jamming congressional phone lines — and they’re doing it to their own political allies. Taking a page out of the Tea Party playbook, liberal activists have started turning their ire against the people over whom they have the most leverage, demanding Democrats on Capitol Hill throw as much sand in the gears of President Trump’s agenda as possible at the outset of a high-stakes battle over new Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.”

This is a lethal combination for Democratic politicians. They have no power to actually stop the Republican agenda, yet rank and file Democrats expect them to. When Democrats inevitably fail, the people who will be targeted for primary challengers will ultimately be those Democrats who were insufficiently effective in the eyes of liberal activists. Democratic Senators up for re-election in 2018 are in for a rough two years.