No Mercy

Like Salon’s Heather Digby Parton, I can’t quite understand why any Democrat in his or her right mind would agree to work with Donald Trump on anything that would make the 45th President look good:

From my perspective it’s too early to know how to react to this freakish psychopath beyond trying to remain as clear in my mind as possible about what he is and what he is doing. It’s very easy to lose focus in this weird environment, everything is surreal and bizarre and it’s taking everything I have to maintain a sense of reality. So, I’ll document the atrocities as best I can and try to analyze what’s happening to the best of my ability in this chaotic environment.

But yes, one of the biggest dangers is that Democrats will see it’s in their interests to help Trump. I hope they don’t do it. Giving this man bipartisan cover is a mistake. I know it in my bones.

Parton cites the Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky, who references President Reagan’s first budget and President Bush’s Iraq War as two examples of Democrats being foolish enough to go along with Republican initiatives. (Progressive radio host Thom Hartmann has also cited the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act as another example of Democrats being dopey in the name of faux-bipartisanship.) It’s hard to see why Democrats would allow themselves to be played for suckers again.

As Paul Krugman has observed, it’s not as though Trump can be trusted:

Trumpists are touting the idea of a big infrastructure build, and some Democrats are making conciliatory noises about working with the new regime on that front. But remember who you’re dealing with: if you invest anything with this guy, be it money or reputation, you are at great risk of being scammed.

Trump would love nothing better than to go into a 2020 re-election campaign promoting himself to certain voters as a man who “brought Washington together” and “reached across party lines to get things done.” Why would any sane Democrat give Trump the ability to market himself in this manner?

Hartmann has long railed against the so-called “caucus room conspiracy” that Republicans hatched in January 2009 to obstruct President Obama at every turn. What often goes unacknowledged is that the “caucus room conspiracy” worked. By standing in Obama’s way and convincing their base that the 44th President was an existential threat to democracy, Republicans were able to motivate their minions, thus scoring huge, big-league victories in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections.

Turnabout is fair play, no? Why, pray tell, should Democrats give the other party’s President cover to depict himself as a figure of bipartisan bravery? What’s in it for them? Why shouldn’t the party give Trump the Della Reese treatment?

It’s as though Democrats have never heard of the old adage that it’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Is it not morally questionable to stand in foursquare opposition to a President whose agenda one finds obnoxious and objectionable. In fact, it would be morally questionable not to resist the advance of that President’s agenda.

Can anyone make a compelling case that Democrats should not do unto Republicans as Republicans have done unto them? An eye for an eye will not necessarily leave everyone blind. Why should any Democrat do the Donald a solid? Trump made it quite clear what he thinks of Democratic constituencies. He regards them as nothing more than pests in the American house. If Democrats collaborate with Trump on any issue–if they become quislings in a time of quandary–will those Democrats not declare, in essence, that Trump was right?

If you were a Democratic member of the House or Senate, would you genuflect to the grotesque figure who will occupy the Oval Office on January 20? Would you collaborate with such a cretin in any capacity? Or would you respond to his plans to make America grand by effectively giving him the back of your hand?

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.