In the days and weeks after Donald Trump’s election, you heard one or two Democrats suggest that while they were committed to being on the front lines of the “resistance” when it came to agenda items like the WALL, they were willing to work across the aisle with the new administration of a few things. Infrastructure, for instance, was one of the issues Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer brought up when asked if there was any room for compromise with Trump.
Those Democrats were roundly bashed by the liberal base.
And now, there’s no more of that kind of talk. According to a new story in Politico, Democrats are more certain than ever that they’ve found the key to their 2018 comeback, and it doesn’t involve compromising with the Trump administration.
“There is zero chance of any of this working out that way, and it doesn’t matter who you’re changing,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) told Politico. “At the end of the day, this is Donald Trump, and we don’t want to work with him.”
Democrats are, of course, emboldened by the Republican Party’s failure to pass healthcare legislation. And why wouldn’t they be? There are talks coming out of Washington right now that seem to signal that a new vote on the repeal and replacement of Obamacare could be around the corner, but come on. This was a gimme. The GOP has been talking about scrapping Obamacare for years. How could they have been so unprepared? If they didn’t get ANYTHING else done this year, that was in the bag! But no. They had nothing. And now they don’t even know what they want.
So there is ample cause for Democrats to feel like they hold all the cards, even though they hold exactly zero government power. After all, they managed to block Trump’s border wall funding when it came time to come together on a spending bill. One measly billion dollars, and they balked. And Republicans didn’t even threaten a shutdown. They just caved. Instantly. WHY would Democrats think about compromising with Trump when the GOP is still trapped in the failure-mode of the last eight years?
The Republicans hold both houses of Congress and the White House, and yet it still feels like the Democrats are in charge. The only bright legislative spot came when Mitch McConnell rammed Gorsuch through to confirmation. If Democrats don’t want to play ball – and they clearly don’t – then perhaps it’s time for McConnell, Trump, and Paul Ryan to just start swinging for the fences.