Thursday, February 2, 2017

Only Trying to Help!

One of my liberal Democratic acquaintances recently attacked people who criticized Cory Booker for voting against Bernie Sanders' amendment urging our government to allow Americans to import drugs from Canada and thus save money.  He was, as is his custom, inventing excuses out of thin air when he claimed that Booker had good, complex reasons for voting against the amendment.  If so, Booker didn't say what they were: he only offered the argument given by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

My acquaintance claimed that those who criticized Booker were "helping Trump."  That accusation is familiar enough from last year's electoral campaign, when anyone who criticized Hillary Clinton could expect to be accused by Clinton loyalists as helping Trump, wanting Trump to win, etc.  My acquaintance has had little to say, however, about the Democratic Senators, mostly liberals' darlings, who've voted for Trump's cabinet and other nominees.

So let's say it bluntly: Voting for Trump's nominees is helping Trump.  Making excuses for the Democratic hacks who vote for Trump's nominees is helping Trump.

So is this:
As Glenn Greenwald remarked, "If you wanted to parody Dem politicians, this is what you would have them say, but in this case it's real."  The best way to deal with abject stupidities like this, I believe, is to dismantle them.  So, first, it isn't wrong to obstruct a nominee who is unsuitable or unfit for the position -- all the more reason to obstruct them, I'd say.  Second, Blumenthal confuses rejection of an unfit nominee with the Republican obstruction of certain of Obama's policies and programs, which was based not on their merits but on simple racism and partisanship.  If Trump is as bad as Democrats say he is (and he is), however, then it would make sense to dig in their heels and block him as reflexively as the Republicans did Obama.  If they want to be rational, however, they should be more selective and make sure that Trump isn't, by accident, pushing a good policy; it could happen.  So either Blumenthal can't tell the difference between principled opposition and mindless obstructionism, or he wants the public to be confused about it; in either case, he's helping Trump.

I expect to see a good deal more of this sort of thing in the coming months and years.  Any effective Democratic opposition to Trump, will evoke the popular (and also elite) nostalgia I saw during the debt-ceiling wars for the days when Democrats and Republicans were bipartisan instead of bickering and fighting all the time, and worked together for the good of the nation.  It should go without saying that voting for Trump's incompetent or bigoted nominees, or supporting his harmful policies, does not constitute working for the good of the nation.  But the Democrats are probably going to revert to their customary stance of collaboration with Republican efforts to do harm to most Americans; you can see its gravitational pull affecting them already.