WASHINGTON – It’s nothing like Washington has ever seen.
Political observers are describing what amounts to an all-out, no holds-barred war on a new president.
Something uniquely different and far greater than the normal opposition by the party out of power.
But one astute political observer has outlined a strategy in which President Trump could turn the tables on the Democrats and prevail in this unprecedented war on the presidency.
Still, he warns, Trump will have to play it extremely smart to survive the revolt that’s already fully in motion.
WND described on Wednsday how Democrats have launched what former clinical psychologist turned columnist Timothy Daughtry called the “Left’s War on Reality,” resulting in a series of frenzied and sometimes threatening protests largely based on misinformation.
WND also described how political analyst Byron York portrayed the Democrats’ unprecedented resistance as aiming to “create a sense among voters and potential Trump supporters that enacting the president’s agenda will come at an enormous cost in peace and public safety.”
Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Michael Goodwin, who spent 10 years at the New York Times and was executive editor of the Daily News, says it is much more than mere “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
“It’s not a temporarily insane reaction, it’s a calculated plan to wreck the presidency, whatever the cost to the country,” he ominously observed, writing in the New York Post.
So how can Trump overcome an opposition that seems willing to do anything and everything to derail his agenda?
Goodwin has a plan.
He outlined a strategy for Trump based on this key bit of advice: “He must pick his fights with discretion and wage them with smart, methodical moves that bring clear results.”
Goodwin thinks that will work because it will put the public on the side of the president.
“Most Americans will conclude he is honestly trying to fulfill the mandate he won and that the fevered rush to destroy him is neither principled nor patriotic.”
Goodwin also believes the Democrats’ revolt against the president’s legitimacy will backfire as long Trump produces results, boosting his popularity. And, if that happens, Goodwin predicts the Democrats will have dug their own grave in waging their unprecedented war.
However, the journalist says there’s a catch that makes it imperative Trump move fast and sure to quell the revolt by smartly advancing his agenda: “Our cultural impatience won’t give Trump endless time or big room for error.”
Equally key, noted Goodwin, is the president can’t become a prisoner of Washington: “While social media is important, he must get out of town regularly to meet people where they live and remind them that he’s fighting their fights.”
The journalist also advised Trump to court Democrats, especially union members and minorities.
“If he does all that, and if he’s lucky, America will be great again,” Goodwin predicted.
Trump seems to be following that advice and is willing to meet the Democrats head-on in their all-out war. He has already acted quickly to enact his agenda, with a flurry of executive orders, appointments and policy announcements.
And, on Wednesday, Trump indicated willingness to use perhaps the biggest weapon in his arsenal: the so-called “nuclear option.”
That would be a Senate vote to remove the filibuster as a tool Democrats could use to try to sink the confirmation of the president’s Supreme Court nominee.
Immediately after Trump announced Tuesday evening that he had selected 49-year-old appellate judge Neil Gorsuch, Senate Democrats announced they would filibuster the nomination. That is considered extraordinary and against Senate tradition, having been done only once before in modern times. Democrats, including then-Sen. Obama, unsuccessfully filibustered the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in 2006.
Overcoming a filibuster requires 60 votes, and the Republicans only have 52 Senate seats. However, Republicans could eliminate the filibuster using a majority vote to change the Senate rules, a precedent set by Democrats (on other federal judgeships and executive appointments) when they were last in charge of the chamber. Republicans could then use their simple majority needed to confirm the nominee on a final vote.
And, on Wednesday Trump urged Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to “go nuclear” on Democrats if they follow through with their filibuster threat.
Constitutional experts with whom WND spoke earlier in the week saw this coming.
Former federal prosecutor and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy predicted, “I believe it will be necessary to resort to the nuclear option to get a nominee confirmed. It is anticipated that 2018 will be a tough cycle for Senate Democrats because a number of them have to defend seats in states won by Trump. But it will be a tall order to peel the necessary number to beat back a filibuster.”
Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton held out hope the nuclear option would be avoided, telling WND, “I think Democrats are going to want to preserve the filibuster for other purposes, as the minority in the Senate, and won’t want to see it undone.”
So, how did things so quickly get to the point that the political equivalent of a “nuclear” weapon might seem a rational option after less than a fortnight of a Trump presidency?
Much of the vitriol expressed at the Women’s March protests in big cities the day after Trump’s inauguration stemmed from Democrats’ perception that Trump’s presidency was illegitimate because he didn’t win the popular vote while capturing the presidency with his victory in the Electoral College.
That protest has now become a sustained resistance.
But a resistance with such fevered and often menacing anger it has even included death threats.
On Wednesday, WND detailed its many manifestations, with protests ranging from threatening to hypocritical, to misinformed, to unintentionally comical, and with more than a few appearing to veer far from reality.
Goodwin saw signs of the same unprecedented all-out war declared on the presidency that WND reported Wednesday.
“Things never seen in the modern era are now rapidly becoming common,” he observed. “Impeachment talk already is rumbling in the party’s hothouses, and Trump was met with a lawsuit the minute he took the oath.”
The journalist accused the Democratic Party of taking “a dangerously different path” than the traditional role of loyal opposition that uses checks and balances to oppose the president.
Goodwin cited the extraordinary boycott of the inauguration, boycotts of committee votes on cabinet nominees and the threat to filibuster any Supreme Court nominee.
He accused top Democrats Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., of behaving more like community organizers than legislators by leading a raucous protest rally at the Supreme Court on Monday night.
“And,” he observed, “Obama couldn’t bear the irrelevance after eight days out of office and felt compelled to encourage disruptions.”
Bottom line? The Democrats are not acting like democrats.
“This is Third World behavior, and it’s now the M.O. of one of America’s two political parties,” charged Goodwin.
The Pulitzer Prize winner also blamed the mainstream media for acting like a wing of the Democratic Party and blasted “the toxic sludge that passes for straight-news coverage in the Washington Post, the New York Times and others.”
“Look,” he wrote, “at the Twitter feeds of editors and reporters from those papers and the major networks. You’ll see their embrace of everything anti-Trump, further evidence they are part of a movement to obstruct the president, not cover him.”
Goodwin added that top Trump aide Steve Bannon “was on target when he called the Washington media ‘the opposition party.’”
Former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., was even more pointed than Goodwin in her criticism of the left.
“Obama’s Marxist coalition has declared war on the American people’s choice for president,” she told WND earlier in the week.
“Congressional Republicans need to wake up and understand whom they are dealing with,” she added.
“The Marxist left was used to running American policy, both domestically and foreign, for eight years through the Obama administration,” observed Bachmann.
“This immigration backlash is only the first stage,” she warned, referring to the protests over Trump’s temporary travel ban from seven countries.
“Marxists are fully engaged in the political battle for keeps. Their ultimate goal is to destroy American sovereignty by every means at their disposal.”