10 days from now, on November 30, Democrats in the House of Representatives will decide on a leader.
Nancy Pelosi from California has been the Democrats’ leader for the past 14 years. She is the first woman to be leader of either party in Congress and the first woman Speaker of the House.
Challenging Pelosi is Tim Ryan from Ohio. He began serving in Congress the same year Pelosi was elected party leader (2003). He represents counties in Ohio that had been reliably Democratic until Trump won them in 2016. Ryan says the Democrats will experience more election disappointment without a change of leadership.
What can Democrats do to reverse their fortunes? And how can they do it during the presidency of Donald Trump?
What Democrats Owe the Country
E.J. Dionne – The Washington Post
Senate Democrats think they can hold Donald Trump accountable by challenging him to deliver on issues where he has made populist noises.
Supporters of this strategy insist that offering to work with Trump where he shares Democratic goals is the best way to split the Republican Party or, alternatively, to expose Trump’s flimflam if he fails to deliver for working-class Americans whose cause he rhetorically championed.
In normal circumstances, this approach might be just the ticket. Unfortunately, this moment is anything but normal.
Millions feel vulnerable to Trump’s moves on immigration and doubt his commitment to equality before the law. We should be alarmed by his flouting of widely accepted norms governing conflicts of interest and the right to dissent. There is good reason to ask Democratic leaders to send unambiguous signals of resistance.
The Democrats Terrible Trump Dilemma
Jeff Spross – The Week
Democrats have spent years bemoaning the Senate majority leader (Mitch McConnell’s) reflexive obstruction of President Obama’s agenda, but now that they’re the ones out of power, they might need to become the “Party of No” themselves….
McConnell once explained, “When you hang the ‘bipartisan’ tag on something, the perception is that differences have been worked out, and there’s a broad agreement that that’s the way forward.”
In other words, if things are going well — if Congress is passing legislation, if problems are getting solved and livelihoods and communities are improving — then voters assume the country is on the right track, and that the people in power are doing a good job and should stay there. Conversely, when there’s gridlock and the economy isn’t doing well, voters assume the people in power — usually understood as the president’s party — need to be given the boot.
The Right Way to Resist Trump
Luigi Zingales – The New York Times
Now that Mr. Trump has been elected president, the (former Italian Prime Minister Silvio) Berlusconi parallel could offer an important lesson in how to avoid transforming a razor-thin victory into a two-decade affair….
Mr. Berlusconi was able to govern Italy for as long as he did mostly thanks to the incompetence of his opposition. It was so rabidly obsessed with his personality that any substantive political debate disappeared; it focused only on personal attacks, the effect of which was to increase Mr. Berlusconi’s popularity….
Only two men in Italy have won an electoral competition against Mr. Berlusconi…:Both of them treated Mr. Berlusconi as an ordinary opponent. They focused on the issues, not on his character.
The Democratic Party should learn this lesson….an opposition focused on personality would crown Mr. Trump as the people’s leader of the fight against the Washington caste.
WATCH: After being elected Minority Leader, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) discusses how Senate Democrats plan to work with Republicans and Donald Trump as president.
Democrats Should Dump Pelosi, Abandon Ellison for DNC
A.B. Stoddard – Real Clear Politics
Democrats must acknowledge what they did to send blue-collar workers into the arms of the GOP instead of smugly wishing Trump’s victory away, confident that demographic trends will correct this one-off soon enough. The party can pass off the fact they nominated a lemon in Clinton, but if they keep talking only of climate change, police brutality, transgender bathrooms and abortion rights, Democrats in largely rural counties or states Trump won won’t stand a chance….
Democrats, locked in the Clinton era for decades and unable to win without President Obama on the ballot in 2010, 2014 and 2016, have a chance to course-correct and grow their party. They won’t get another one like this for a long time. They should choose wisely.
Liberals Should Welcome Republican Allies in the Age of Trump
Walter Shapiro – Roll Call
If it is this Trump the Terrible who emerges from the chaos of transition, the Democrats have only one choice — reach out to Republicans of good will who are equally appalled by the careening conduct of the 45th president….
But that requires liberals to temper their expectations and dial down their rhetoric on those days when Trump is merely wearing his conventional Republican garb. If every Trump appointee is denounced as a “racist” or a “sexist,” what part of the English language would be left if the new president tries to register Muslims? Or if the president wants to stifle a free press with draconian libel laws?