Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Coming Legislative Question For Democrats


As the knives on both sides of the legislative isle sharpen for the cutting programs, and/or cutting the throats of opponents, one wonders what the underlying strategy for Democrats will be. Certainly opposition of some sort, but to what degree? The kind of unyielding opposition the Republicans demonstrated for at least much of Obama's last for years will just as certainly be a tempting proposition.

Every action, or inaction, though comes with a political cost, and whether it will turn out to be big enough to make the Dems fold is anybody's guess. On the one hand, there will be a significant part of the party's core only too willing to give the Republicans a taste of their own medicine. There will also, however, be at least a few truly principled members who will balk at opposing simply for the sake of a stick in the eye of their counterparts, as well as an occupant of the White House nobody in the minority wants to do any favors for. So, the question might well come down to: how much will the Republican's have to compromise in order to give enough cover for swing Dems to go along? Or will there be enough Dems of sufficient backbone to keep from caving at the get go, and make the whole issue moot? Given the disarray of the Democrats anything is possible.

There will, of course, be a countervailing temptation for the majority to simply say our way or the highway, but that has significant cost risks as well; especially if one considers just how much pressure they're going to be under to get something done that can put the imprimatur of "Presidential" on a man who might never gain it, and preferably within the magick first 100 days.

This gets even more complicated if one considers that the core of obstructors the Dems might have will be claiming the argument "better to do nothing than something that big brand baby is behind" (the king of self serving after all), and given his penchant for ignoring facts that argument might not be so hard to sell at all, not to mention the fact that several of the legislative prizes the Republican's covet are simply very popular amongst the electorate. If the Republicans are pushed to start providing actual numbers on how many are going to be losing something significant, their aversion to the government doing anything as a program may well evaporate in a moment of sharp reality. And these same questions are going to be in place for SOTUS, and lower court appeals judges, as well as repeal of onerous laws, or the passing of perks to the new bevy of fat cats that will definitely be getting their voices heard.

In my view, if the Democrats don't get considerable concessions they'd be fools to do anything but obstruct.
See also:

McConnell shocked, shocked! that Democrats might block Trump SCOTUS nominee

By Joan McCarter