Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Stand Down

I've been on the fringes long enough to know that Democrats hate activists they don't think they can control, and would generally have them not exist (as an organized force).

But it also left resistance to Trump with a clear leader and focal point, and House Democrats do not appear to be particularly interested in grassroots resistance work. They didn’t try to tap energy in the streets around the state of emergency or their own flagship political reform bill. And after vowing on the campaign trail to directly confront Trump’s corruption, in office they’ve proven surprisingly lackadaisical about going after his taxes and have apparently decided it would be inappropriate to go after Trump’s family even though the family angle is central to the nexus of corruption.

It’s not entirely clear why this demobilization is happening — grassroots leaders I’ve spoken to suggest it’s more a diminished sense of threat plus a lack of strategic focus from party leaders rather than a deliberate strategy — but it’s hurting Democrats in tangible ways.

Demobilization is a dangerous trend
One veteran operative who’s deeply involved in party-aligned work on corruption issues tells me he thinks congressional leaders have deliberately demobilized the resistance because they’re so afraid of the impeachment issue. Other Pelosi critics I’ve spoken to on the Hill paint a picture that’s more sins of omission — the top ranks of Democratic leadership are in a weakened state and simply not doing much of anything (Pelosi just hired a new chief of staff in perhaps a sign that she felt things were not going well) on a strategic level.

There isn't one single reason for this. There are understandable reasons, misguided reasons, and corrupt ones. But they tend not to want "your" help except fundraising and between Labor Day and Election Day every 2 years.