WASHINGTON – Reduced to their weakest state in a generation, Democratic Party leaders will gather in two cities this weekend to plot strategy and select a new national chairman with the daunting task of rebuilding the party's depleted organization. But senior Democratic officials concede that the blueprint has already been chosen for them — by an incensed army of liberals demanding no less than total war against President Donald Trump.
Immediately after the November election, Democrats were divided over how to handle Trump, with one camp favoring all-out confrontation and another backing a seemingly less risky approach of coaxing him to the center with offers of compromise.
Now, spurred by protests and angry phone calls and e-mails from constituents, Democrats have all but cast aside any notion of conciliation with the White House. Instead, they are mimicking the Republican approach of the past eight years and wagering that brash obstruction will pay similar dividends.
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, vice chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said there had been a "tornado of support" for wall-to-wall resistance to Trump. Inslee, who backed a lawsuit against the president's executive order banning refugee admissions and travel from seven majority-Muslim countries, said Democrats intended to send a stern message to Trump during a conference of governors in the nation's capital.
Some in the party fret that a posture of hostility could imperil lawmakers in red states that Trump won last year, or compromise efforts for Democrats to present themselves to moderate voters as an inoffensive alternative to the polarizing president.
And Democrats have few instruments to wound Trump's administration in the manner their core voters are demanding.
Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress and 33 governorships, and they are preparing to install a fifth conservative, Neil Gorsuch, on the Supreme Court.
Further, because of changes to Senate rules that were enacted under Democratic control, the party has been unable to block Trump's Cabinet nominees from being confirmed by a simple majority vote.
New York Times