The Democrat dreams of hegemony over America might have come true if it weren’t for Donald Trump.
Democrat dreams failed to materialize because the Republicans won the election. But a recent story in Bloomberg reminds us of how we dodged a devastating bullet.
Jamie Raskin has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for less than a week, but he isn’t joining a newly energized and resurgent Democratic caucus like he hoped. Instead, he’ll be a freshman member of a party stuck in the political wilderness.
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“For me, it’s a bit of a cold shower,” said Raskin, a former Democratic leader in the Maryland state legislature. “I had hoped I would be part of a big blue wave overtaking Washington and giving us the opportunity to make progress on many fronts in national politics.”
After a disappointing election where Democrats fell short, Raskin and the 193 other House Democrats he joins in Congress’s new session are trying to revitalize their demoralized base. They also want to win back Rust Belt voters who bolted for Donald Trump.
It’s a tough task. They serve in a chamber where rules and traditions give the minority party virtually no ability to get measures on the floor or even amend what the governing party offers.
Notice that the entire point of the article is for us to feel sorry for these Democrats who would have happily dominated over us using these same “rules and traditions.” I highly doubt that a losing Republican Party would get such sympathetic treatment from Bloomberg. Back in 2008, when Democrats had both houses and the White House, I don’t remember the media writing showing any concern for how Republicans were a minority without much power.
The good news is that it looks like the Democrats will probably not be able to make a comeback any time soon. They want to win back the rust belt but they don’t have a way of doing so. Their usual methods of promising to raise the minimum wage and protect or increase entitlements are not enough.
Here’s Raskin posturing as a savior of small businesses as well as promising to back Trump’s plan to spend on infrastructure.
The only thing that I think will bring back Democrat dreams of dominance is if Republicans break their promises. Hopefully, they realize how important it is to fulfill their promises. In fact, one Democrat told Bloomberg that he is hoping for a civil war among Republicans.
Peter Welch of Vermont, who as a chief deputy whip helps Democratic leaders count votes, says that they should start by simply sticking together. Democrats picked up a mere six House seats in the elections, leaving Republicans to govern with a 23-seat margin.
Welch is counting on the Republicans to be more fractured than his party — and he’s hoping that united Democrats can exploit Trump’s splits with some conservatives on infrastructure spending, trade and other matters.
The House’s most conservative lawmakers “won’t provide their votes unless they get their way,” said Welch, who was first elected in 2007 when Democrats took House control from Republicans. House Speaker Paul Ryan “has to decide whether he will accede to their demands or find reasonable Democrats who are willing to work on bills,” the Vermont lawmaker said.
As you can see, Welch is positioning conservatives as the troublemakers and encouraging Paul Ryan to work with Democrats.
Will it work? I hope not! Time will tell.