Let’s get rid of one part of this in short order: Democrats in Congress should be resisting Trump every step of the way. That includes pushing hearings to crisis levels of antagonism, voting against every unqualified candidate, and, of course, filibustering his Supreme Court picks. It shouldn’t even be up for discussion. They will lose and lose, but Democratic House and Senate members would be fundamentally misreading their marching, chanting, raging voters if they fail. As for the fear that Republicans in the Senate will get rid of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations, you can be sure that the moment that Democrats do refuse to allow a vote on whatever right-wing nutzoid Trump tries to shove down America’s throat, skeevy powermonger Mitch McConnell is gonna change the rules with his disturbing semi-grin that’s a middle finger to his opponents. It’s a question of when, not “if” on the filibuster.
Democrats can spin this easily. They could say they won’t vote on things until the Muslim ban is halted. They could say that they won’t vote for Trump’s Supreme Court picks because a majority of Americans don’t think he should be able to do so. They could stand up for the judiciary as Trump keeps ignoring court orders.
Democratic voters are already fighting. They are mightily insulted and want active rejection of all things Trump. These are flames that should be fanned by Democrats in Congress until Republicans start to feel the residual heat and are afraid of getting burned.
That’s because, on some level, many Republicans realize that they own this presidency and its actions. Oh, sure, sure, they’re fine going along with a great deal of dirt that Trump does. Except for the pathetic, neutered goat bleatings of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and a handful of others, Republicans are either conspicuously silent or hee-hawing in support of the Muslim ban, and they’re drooling at the prospect of getting Scalia II on the court. But we’re now just two weeks into the Trump administration (insert your own retching sound), and we’ve got a Benghazi and multiple foreign crises. There’s only so long that you can keep your head in the sand until you just suffocate.
Actually, it’s unfair to compare the disastrous raid on al-Qaeda in Yemen to Benghazi. What happened at the consulate in Libya was an unexpected event. The Yemen raid was an American plan that had been rejected by the Obama administration and then approved by Trump despite the lack of intelligence that might have prevented all the deaths that occurred, including a Navy SEAL and several children. In other words, Trump’s first military test was a clusterfuck of fail. And not a single hearing has been scheduled nor have you heard a peep from Republicans.
And you might not, ever. You might not hear them say how utterly absurd it is that Trump is treating the president of Mexico like he’s a gardener who cut a shrub at Mar-a-Lago too short. You might not hear them even whisper that agitating China is just dumb. You might not hear them wonder why the hell Trump is pissing on our relationship with Australia, one of our most reliable allies in the world. You might hear them cheering on another useless war, this time with Iran, because that’d just fulfill a dream they’ve had since 1979. You will hear them crapping themselves over any threat that’s Muslimish while clamming up over domestic terrorists like white supremacists and Breitbart’s staff.
Still, we know that not only are Republicans cowards, but they’re liars and hypocrites who would dance on the corpses of dead children rather than admit their ideology has failed. They’d rather learn to breathe sand than lift their heads and walk upright because they’re gonna get to kick sick people off health insurance, discriminate against LGBT Americans, and force women into back alley abortions, the trifecta of quotidian cruelty they’re begging to inflict.
So how do we get through to them? Because, see, we don’t have two years to wait for the congressional midterms. Hell, all we need is one terrorist event in the United States, and Trump will declare martial law because he’s too dumb and deranged to know any other way to handle it.
Two plans: the first is already happening. Inundate the offices and phone lines, especially of GOP representatives. Make their lives miserable with people registering how angry they are. The reps, even in gerrymandered districts, are more vulnerable than most senators. We gotta get people running against them. Put these assholes out on the curb. And make the rest beg for mercy.
And our activism has to target people who voted for Trump. Yeah, I know, I know, they’re loathsome racists or racist-adjacent. But there are a hell of a lot of them who are regretting their votes – the wayward Bernie voters, the “take him seriously, but not literally” idiots, and the ones who realized that maybe getting into a war with Mexico is a little worse than Hillary’s emails.
Mostly, it all depends on the constant action of Democrats and non-aligned progressives. Make sure Republicans know that they will be held to account for what they do, not just Democrats. This is on the GOP. Make them pay.
Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on February 2, 2017, on The Rude Pundit, a website featuring commentary by Lee Papa. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Papa.