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100 Days of Trump: Democrats have become slaves to the Trump-hating kook fringe

It’s sometimes said “moderation is a virtue,” though in our incredibly polarized times it’s hard to see how very many are taking the concept to heart. The vast majority of people today are gravitating to one extreme or the other, basically doing the opposite of tempering themselves.

Calls for “toleration” – at least from the left -- are essentially code for “you should accept what I believe or you’re a bigot.”

Trump protestsSuch is certainly the case for those in opposition to President Donald Trump. Though Trump would not necessarily be called “moderate” in any sense of the word, the people who don’t like the new commander in chief are going to the “extreme” in letting their feelings be known.

John Fund of National Review writes, “[P]ractical considerations are being pushed aside in the rush to portray Donald Trump as some kind of ‘fascist in chief’ occupying the White House. In California, Democratic assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer of Los Angeles has predicted that the anti-Trump resistance will be ‘a looming, long, ferocious and hard-fought legal war with bloodshed stretching from the Golden State to Washington D.C.’

“If Democrats believe that this kind of hyper-partisan opposition will carry the day or appeal to moderates, I say, ‘Good luck with that.’ Donald Trump has a knack for alienating many voters and saying stupid things. But his biggest asset may be that his over-the-top adversaries are even better at painting themselves in negative terms.”

Yes indeed. The more fanaticism that’s associated with liberal causes the more “moderate” Trump starts to appear to American voters. Congresswoman Maxine Waters even said Trump will need to be impeached because of the way he is “acting.” She’s been in Congress over a quarter of a century.

One of the issues Democrats are encountering in effectively addressing Trump is they’re not quite sure where to strike. Like a military commander having to choose between which holes in the line to plug, Trump’s legislative offensive has opened up so many new fronts that Democrats are literally spinning around trying to figure out where to concentrate their fire.

For the leftist protesters, they use “real” fire – but I’m guessing their actions are leaving a decidedly negative impression on the vast majority of Americans. Even those who might otherwise be inclined to oppose Trump will begin to see him as a more sympathetic character when he’s going before the nation (as he did last week with the Neil Gorsuch nomination ceremony) and preaching unity on behalf of all citizens while a group of thugs burns public property, throws rocks at police and pepper spray innocent bystanders on live TV.

Of course the “extreme” elements on the left are intending to wreak havoc. They’re attempting to portray the country as being so distressed and volatile in their rejection of Trump and his conservative administration that the riots are just a naturally occurring spontaneous byproduct of the new president’s policies.

While there don’t appear to be many Democrats who are open to anything Trump has to say, the people “out there” living in the towns and suburbs, farming communities and rural areas see crazed anarchy as threatening and ugly. It violates their values.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That’s exactly what’s going on in American politics today. And if the Democrats aren’t careful, they’re going to be victims of that “reaction.”

Take Wisconsin as an example. Governor Scott Walker was elected as part of the Tea Party wave of 2010 promising to reform the public employee pension system that threatened to bankrupt the state and also to allow state employees to opt out of their unions if they so choose.

The reaction of the left was swift and intense. Protests rimmed the state Capitol Building. Sit-ins were organized. National unions poured money into Wisconsin trying to generate pity for the poor oppressed state employees and to fan opposition to the governor and Republican state legislators.

It didn’t work. Not only did Wisconsin pass many if not all of Walker’s proposed reforms as-is the governor himself survived a recall effort that was coordinated by many of the nation’s most powerful liberal interest groups.

The lesson? Leftists can gather in public places all they want, scream as loud as they can and claim that changing the status quo will bring great hardship to some group or favored establishment constituency. But the voters aren’t buying it.

In the process Wisconsin has all-but flipped from a solid blue state twenty years ago to a red state that’s beginning to go rosy in hue. Walker is in the final two years of his second term. The state assembly now has a 65-34 Republican advantage and the state senate is comfortably GOP as well at 20-13. And as everyone knows, last November Wisconsin went Republican in the presidential election for the first time in decades and Senator Ron Johnson defied the polls by winning re-election.

No one is necessarily claiming the fringe kooks who protested Walker so unreasonably in 2011 are the sole reason why Wisconsin is going Republican in a big way now. But if you need a case study on how the “extreme” elements of the left are slowly nudging public opinion, look no further than what’s happening in the Badger State and all over the Midwest.

The movement started long before Trump; and his emphasis on common sense reforms and “Making America Great Again” culturally is likely to shift these places even farther away from the kooks.

That’s a dilemma facing the national Democrat party in a big way as personified by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Susan Ferrechio of the Washington Examiner reports, “Schumer, who is in his first term as Senate Democratic leader, is in a difficult political position as the Senate considers the nomination of Gorsuch, a highly respected jurist currently serving on the bench of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“With five vulnerable Democrats and eight more seats on the verge of being competitive in 2018, Schumer must find a way to satisfy the Democratic base by fighting the nomination without jeopardizing the re-election prospects of a big portion of his caucus who have to run for re-election in states that Trump won.”

As revealed by his tear-filled crying fit a little over a week ago, Schumer is no doubt feeling overwhelmed by the pace of Donald Trump’s successes. Thus far despite a massive quantity of hot air expelled by his fellow Democrat caucus members he hasn’t managed to stop a single Republican cabinet nomination – and he won’t unless more weak-kneed Republicans jump off the Trump train.

Schumer also has to contend with potential defectors within his own party, such as West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who seems to have little patience for the leftist kooks making such a stink about Donald Trump.

No matter how you look at it, “moderation” doesn’t appear to be in great supply in the Democrat party these days. It’s something that can and likely will cost them not too far down the road.

With Trump in the White House who is really in charge of the GOP?

It’s safe to say there were many times during the 2016 campaign where you had to wonder how the Republican Party and Donald Trump would ever get along should the New York outsider manage to win the nomination and then the election.

Trump steered his own ship all throughout the campaign, dispensing with tradition as well as the typical party establishment “rules” of decorum that other nominees reflexively adhered to. Trump was a Republican, yes, but were members ready for Trump to lead the party?

To some extent, the mystery still exists.

Rebecca Berg of Real Clear Politics writes, “There is no guarantee that Trump will continue to endorse the RNC as the leading force for his political objectives. After President Obama’s 2008 victory, Obama opted to empower his own campaign organization, Organizing For Action, to continue rallying his base around policy objectives — stripping some power and personnel from the Democratic National Committee.

“If Trump has shown himself to be skeptical of the RNC, however, he has not built out a political organization to rival the party’s, likely ensuring the committee’s continued dominance. And Trump has stacked his White House with former RNC bigwigs who could defend the committee’s role to him: Reince Priebus, the outgoing chairman, is now Trump’s White House chief of staff, and Katie Walsh, former RNC chief of staff, continues as Priebus’s deputy. Sean Spicer, now the White House press secretary, is another prominent RNC alum.”

Trump also has close personal advisors like son-in-law Jared Kushner working with him in the White House. There’s a good mix of ideologies and motivations there.

In pondering the question of the RNC’s role under Trump it should not be forgotten it was only about a year ago that Trump the candidate was openly questioning whether the party itself was “rigging” the primaries against him. Then-party chair Reince Priebus fought against the notion and eventually the tension subsided.

Of course Trump ended up winning and people have short memories, but there’s bound to be tension developing between the president and the people who run the party machinery at some point, especially if there’s a feeling Trump isn’t doing enough to raise money or support party candidates.

He can be the star but he’s still got to travel and play with the team.

Normally there wouldn’t be such concerns, though Trump has never hesitated to use Twitter to make an example out of someone who he views as having crossed him. Up to now it’s only been a few senators and a candidate for state party chair in Ohio. But somewhere down the road there will be conflict.

There are already signs Trump is moving to get Congress in line.

Scott Wong of The Hill reports, “The White House won't only be working back channels with congressional leaders and rank-and-file lawmakers. Allies say Trump will likely bring his bully pulpit on the road, holding campaign-style events that specifically target vulnerable Democrats in red states like Montana and West Virginia.

“Then there's his Twitter account: Hill Republicans say Trump will have no problem singling out through social media lawmakers he feels are standing in the way of his agenda.”

Wong’s article indicates most of Trump’s push will be aimed at Democrats, but if history is a guide, the president won’t hesitate to make an example out of Republicans as well. One can only imagine the chaos that would ensue if Trump decides to get involved in individual primary races.

There would be more fireworks than the Fourth of July, I’d imagine.

But if the establishment folks are smart, they’ll give Trump some leeway to do things a little differently in hopes of growing the party beyond its traditional base. If Trump can’t do it himself, his policies will. While it’s true that Trump lost the popular vote, he is particularly strong in areas of the country the GOP will need to remain viable both nationally and in Congress.

Having Reince Priebus in the White House certainly carries with it some dangers for the conservative agenda, since the party establishment is seated at Trump’s side. But so are conservatives Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon and Vice President Mike Pence.

By all appearances there’s a harmonious relationship between the new president and the Republican Party. We can only hope it lasts.

Forget the protesters, the potential 2020 Democrat candidates are the real angry ones

While the country looks on in disgusted fascination at the leftist protests of President Donald Trump, his nominees and his agenda, the people who will likely be competing for the Democrat presidential nomination in three years are trying to demonstrate to the party base how ticked off they are.

And why not? It’s their major selling point.

Gabriel Debenedetti of Politico reports, “The Democratic base is so roiled and enraged after only two weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency that a take-no-prisoners posture toward the White House is emerging as the price of entry for the 2020 primary...

“Leading Democratic strategists warn that the first signs will appear in midterm elections, in which the primary electorate will demand more than just marching outside the White House or grabbing a bullhorn at an arrivals lounge. They’ll be expecting something close to 100 percent rejection of Trump’s agenda — making the coming years complicated for members of Congress, who have to vote on it, rather than the governors and mayors who get to assume a more offensive posture.”

In emphasizing the degree of anger Democrats feel towards Trump it’s become obvious the central argument for defeating the Republicans in 2020 will not be some sort of positive airy “hope and change” theme led by an inspirational candidate who promises to halt the rise of the oceans and make sure every transgender individual has a safely identified gender neutral bathroom to relieve himself/herself/itself in.

No, the campaign will focus on how much rage and demonstrated opposition to Trump the candidate provided to the party base. Already the possible line-up of Senate hopefuls – Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders (again), Corey Booker and Kamala Harris – is each making herself or himself known to the kook fringe that will dominate the 2020 primaries.

Meanwhile leftist groups are demanding rubberstamp opposition to Trump’s agenda as a precondition for support the next time around. Poor Elizabeth Warren – she’s already had to apologize and explain her “yes” vote on HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s nomination.

California’s Kamala Harris has only been in the Senate a month and she’s regularly appearing at various events. In her case I don’t think conservatives have anything to worry about – she’s not nearly as articulate as Obama. Leftist kooks don’t care as long as she says the right things though.

If Hillary Clinton didn’t have a theme to run on other than “I’m a woman!” in 2016, then don’t expect the 2020 group to be any different. Brace yourself now for the ideological war to come. It ain’t going to get any easier, folks.

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