Tuesday night, with his speech before a joint session of Congress, President Trump raised the stakes, making obstructionist Democrats look foolish at best – at worst, unpatriotic.
Their resistance to the Trump administration has been over the top, from opposing nearly every single cabinet nominee (a new low in partisan incivility) to calling for his impeachment.
Like schoolyard bullies, they have called the president names and insulted his family. They have ridiculed his policies and platform, and worked to undermine his legitimacy.
Tuesday night they refused to applaud his optimistic vision for American renewal. Really, they are opposed to a stronger economy, more jobs, better schools, safer cities and the many other aspirations laid out by the president? They don’t like childcare credits or investments in women’s health?
Democrats have dug deep trenches of petty defiance, even as polls show that such moves are unpopular with voters. A poll by Harvard-Harris ten days ago showed that 73 percent of Americans want Democrats to work with Trump.
A more recent Rasmussen survey indicated that two-thirds of likely voters think Dems should work with Trump for the good of the country; only 29 percent thought the U.S. would benefit from ongoing opposition. Though it was close, even Democrats thought they were better off finding areas of cooperation.
Is Chuck Schumer listening? Is Nancy Pelosi or Tom Perez, the new head of the DNC? Not on your life.
Democratic leaders have clearly decided to cleave to the fringe agendas of progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. For them, any cooperation smacks of compromise.
The hypocrisy of their stance is breathtaking. After eight years of preaching the costs of GOP obstructionism, they now embrace even more absolute resistance. Even on policies they presumably embrace, such as spending on infrastructure, they have cut themselves adrift.
Ask yourself, who are they appealing to? Are they reaching out to the blue collar workers who deserted their party in droves and gave the election to Donald Trump? Those workers who want to build the Keystone Pipeline and who want a border tax that will lift manufacturing jobs? Don’t they get it that Trump is making even more inroads with that vital pillar of the Democratic coalition as he successfully meets with union leaders in the Oval Office, and when he promises to reduce the inflow of undocumented workers who help drive down wages?
In 2016 Union workers swung to Trump in greater numbers than for any Republican candidate since Ronald Reagan; they will stick with him if they see him jawboning corporate CEOs to bring jobs home and promulgating tax policy intended to boost U.S. production. They applauded him walking away from the TPP, and believe he’ll lead the fight for fairer trade pacts. They like that he puts America first.
A Rasmussen poll last week showed that 45 percent of likely voters think the country is on the right track; that’s more than for any single week of the Obama presidency.
President Obama talked in eloquent and grandiose terms about Hope and Change, but neither generated the former nor produced the latter.
It is Trump who has caused optimism in the land to surge and has produced a whopping stock market rally. Small business optimism is now at levels not seen since 2004.
Bloomberg reported just a day ago that consumer confidence leaped “unexpectedly” in February to the highest level since 2001, a 15-year high. "Unexpectedly" to Bloomberg maybe, but not to Trump supporters, who see him following through on his campaign promises and walking away from the boneheaded progressive agenda of President Obama. Very few people seem to think that the federal government’s highest priority should be dictating which restrooms transgender children should occupy.
The enthusiasm for Trump’s agenda is remarkable, given the ongoing savaging the president receives daily in the liberal media. Americans see through the clutter of negativity, and are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt -- the honeymoon that is normally granted a new occupant of the Oval Office. His address to the Joint Session of Congress Tuesday night was critical for several reasons, among them that it provided another occasion for him to speak directly to the American people, without the smudged filter of the media.
It also reminded Republicans in Congress that Trump is a power to be reckoned with. He wants to carry through on his promises of tax reform and ObamaCare replacement. If Congress dithers, and tries to score political points by resisting these measures, they will suffer for it in 2018. The country wants action, and has given the GOP all the tools necessary to comply.
But mainly it is Democrats who need to take stock, take a deep breath and figure out what the heck they’re trying to achieve.
Trump cannot be laughed off; he isn’t going to disappear, as some loons on the Left have predicted.
He has marshalled the energy and optimism of the country. If Democrats continue to stand in the path of the Trump Train and they will be crushed.