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Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Trump's 100 days: Democrat rage abounds
Amid the flurry of reports on Trump's first 100 days, one thing is for certain: the president has produced "100 days of Democratic rage," as a Politico column by Gabriel Debenedetti is titled.
Debenedetti contends that the furious display of outrage and resistance by the party base against President Trump has allowed the Democratic Party to delay a reckoning with its "serious problems":
Yet Trump's first 100 days in office appear to have resuscitated the party, if for no reason other than the rank and file loathe him so deeply and furiously. Grass-roots activism and organizing is surging.
... But while the president has generated a vibrant culture of resistance on the left, it's obscuring the depth of the hole in which the Democratic Party still finds itself.
The party's damaged brand was a factor in the party's narrow defeat in the recent Georgia special election, according to Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan: "We had a great candidate and great energy running under a very negative brand."
Politico observes that the party has "infrastructure" problems as well:
Democrats got dragged back into a redux of the presidential primary fight between Hillary Clinton and Sanders during the first month of Trump's presidency in the race for the DNC chairmanship between former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison.
With non-Democrat Bernie Sanders the de facto leader of the Democrat base, and party chairman Tom Perez shouting, "Donald Trump, you didn't win this election," it is no wonder that "the Democratic Party is viewed as more out of touch than either Trump or the party's political opponents," according to a recent poll:
Two-thirds of Americans think the Democrats are out of touch – including nearly half of Democrats themselves.
As the party struggles to heal its divisions amid the wreckage of the Clinton campaign and "the down-ballot massacreof the previous eight years," the necessary regrouping and rebuilding has not begun:
[N]o plan to conduct any sort of autopsy or accounting of the 2016 election cycle has been circulated.
While the Sanders base pulls Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's Senate Democrats ever farther to the left, West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, whose state Trump won by 68 percent over Clinton's 26 percent, points to the trouble ahead for Democrats if they stay on the current course:
Manchin said he told Mr. Schumer straight up that if his brand of Democratic politics can't win in these rural areas[.] ... Democrats would be in the minority forever.
With the Democrats in disarray and the media in a tither over Trump's 100 days, the president gets the last laugh by holding a Pennsylvania rally on day 100 of his term, as Jaclyn Cashman writes at bostonherald.com:
President Trump is once again trolling the media – and looking to turn tables on the big mockfest they had planned for him – by skipping the White House Correspondents' Dinner Saturday.
Trump is again sticking it to the professionals who get paid to cover him, this time by denying them the opportunity to get dressed up and hobnob with their colleagues, and yuk it up at his expense. He's fed up with their one-sided coverage, and he knows exactly how to hit them where it hurts.
Normally, the Sunday shows would focus on highlights from the dinner. Now Trump will own the news cycle. He's kneecapped the event known as "nerd prom."
What better way to celebrate 100 days of the Trump presidency than to beat the media at their own game?