The Trump resistance movement, about which I have previously written, is showing no signs of abatement. It surely is the bright spot in our increasingly dark times.
in today's paper, the Star's Daniel Dale writes that rank-and-file Democrats are giving no quarter to those in Congress intent on supporting the Orange Ogre's platform:
Their primary goal, for the moment, is to protect the Affordable Care Act, the threatened health-care overhaul the Tea Party tried to prevent from coming into existence. More broadly, they want to show lawmakers there will be consequences for supporting virtually any part of the president’s program — at the very least, being pestered at every turn when they come home from Washington.One of the sharpest weapons they are wielding comes from an online manual called Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.
Written by about 30 former Democratic congressional aides and posted on Google Docs in December, it provides step-by-step advice, based largely on Tea Party tactics, on how to get members of Congress to listen.With at least two groups in every district, it
has racked up more than 16 million web views and spawned 5,300 Indivisible groups around the country.And the protesters are making there voices heard:
In Utah, [Utah Rep. Jason] Chaffetz, chair of the House oversight committee, faced a raucous chorus of demands to investigate the president. In Iowa, a pig farmer in a baseball cap warned Sen. Chuck Grassley that he wouldn’t be able to afford insurance without Obamacare. In Arkansas, a woman told Sen. Tom Cotton, her voice raw, that Obamacare was the only option for her dying husband.Some Congressmen are cancelling their town halls rather than face their constituents' wrath, while others have tried moving their gatherings to conservative areas of their state, to no avail. It didn't work for Brat, despite moving his meeting to
a conservative town of 3,500 where the mayor says people care more about NASCAR than politics. But he was greeted with a barrage of skeptical queries on health care, the environment, Social Security and Trump himself from constituents who drove up to two hours to dog him again.None of this is lost on the politicians.
When Brat said Obamacare was collapsing, they shouted: “No!” When he said he supports repealing and replacing the law, they shouted: “With what?” When he insisted that Obamacare hadn’t slowed the growth in health costs, they shouted: “You’re misinformed!” and “Fact check!”
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks said last week that the town halls might prevent Republicans like him who are against the Affordable Care Act from securing the votes for repeal.Perhaps one of the most remarkable aspects of this resistance movement is that many of those involved have never been politically active before. The installation of Trump in the White House has radicalized them, unleashing forces to be reckoned with.
“Because these folks who support Obamacare are very active, they’re putting pressure on congressmen, and there’s not a counter-effort to steel the spine of some of these congressmen in toss-up districts around the country,” Brooks told an Alabama radio station.
"Power to the people," it would seem, is becoming much, much more than a mere cultural slogan from an earlier time.
UPDATE: In a NYT op-ed today, Paul Krugman writes that democracy itself is very much on the line, and an outraged populace may be our last defense.