Fair Game: The Resistance Puts Pressure on Complicit Democrats

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) takes questions after Democrats held an emergency caucus meeting on investigating former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on February 15, 2017. (Photo: Al Drago / The New York Times) Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) takes questions after Democrats held an emergency caucus meeting on investigating former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on February 15, 2017. (Photo: Al Drago / The New York Times)

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Donald Trump is not the only politician targeted by the blossoming progressive resistance movement in the United States. Establishment Democrats are now openly worried about being held accountable by left-wing activists when they cozy up to industry or aren’t steadfast in their opposition to Trump. The fact that nervous senior Democrats felt compelled to ask Bernie Sanders to “urge activists to redirect their anger at Republicans instead of at moderate Democratic lawmakers,” as The Washington Post reported, is evidence that the strategy is working.

The shock and awe of Trump’s presidency is no doubt a central reason for the nation’s collective anger and organized discontent. Democrats, however, would be wise to remember that what has come to be known as “the Resistance” did not spring up from nowhere the day Trump was sworn in as president. The Sanders campaign, the ongoing Movement for Black Lives and the Occupy movement, for example, grew well beyond expectations and emphasized structural problems that both parties were complicit in. With so much at stake, and armed with an increased consciousness of interlocking issues of class, race, gender and more, activists are taking action.

A chief concern is that the Democrats, compromised by private capital and broadly supportive of the neoliberal model, will serve as a weak opposition party and continue to ignore (and even attack) progressives. Indeed, some Democrats and pundits are already leaning on the dubious assumption that strongly opposing the GOP will somehow be “helping Trump” in the 2018…

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