by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Results not resistance. That’s what I think the American public was expecting when they brought Democrats back into power in the House.
But instead, echoing Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated 2016 strategy, the Democratic leaders so far have fully planted a flag in simply opposing legislation, funding and appointments under the theory that putting lead boots on President Trump is the best way to get him out of office, even if the country is put on pause for another two years.
This is a fundamental mistake, and just as going overboard with Spartacus moments opposing the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh backfired and strengthened the Republicans in the Senate, this strategy too is likely to throw away the best opportunity Democrats had to build a lasting majority coalition by producing the results the Republicans failed to achieve.
The public ultimately was fed up with Paul Ryan, and under him Congress had about a 20 percent rating. He couldn’t get anything done, leading a fractured caucus to nowhere. He ultimately quit, along with 40 other Republicans. They literally abandoned the House, and suburban swing voters – voters who for a long time voted Republican – switched over to the Democratic Party. These voters were turned off by Trump, and frustrated by Ryan, because they fundamentally support progress and compromise. They are moderate, not liberal voters. They are not dancing in the hallway with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.