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Democrats Begin Scorched-Earth Tactics Against Trump
01/26/2017 Democrats Lesley F
keywords: Trump Opposition

Any grace period that President Donald Trump may have been entitled to after taking office appears to have expired in the minds of many Democrats as most elected officials in the Democratic Party are beginning to take a policy of scorched-earth opposition to the new President's policies.

Party leaders and elected officials with the Democratic Party had been engaged in months of internal debates about how to approach the Trump administration following his victory in November's presidential election. While some Democrats had hinted at the possibility of taking a high-road approach in contrast to Trump's own polarizing rhetoric, recent interviews with key Democratic Party leaders seem to reveal that the actions taken by Trump during his transition and first days in office have guided the Party to adopt a hard-line opposition stance. 

Among those advocating strong opposition is Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who stated that "the damage to the credibility of the presidency has already been profound...it's been worse than I could have imagined, the first few days." Similarly, when asked by reporters whether Democrats should look for opportunities to work with Trump, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley responded, "That's a question that's absolutely ridiculous."

However, some leading Democrats have expressed concern that a combative, no-holds-barred stance in opposition to Trump might end up hurting the Democratic Party, particularly the 10 Democratic senators up for election in two years in states that Trump won. 

Meanwhile, the most hard-line anti-Trump Democrats are concerned that certain key members of their party such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are too willing to pick their battles with Trump. While Schumer has focused his opposition on eight particularly controversial Cabinet picks, those Democrats most committed to strong opposition against Trump believe that Democrats in Congress should oppose all of Trump's Cabinet nominees.

In any case, the Trump-era Democratic Party appears to be united in opposition to Trump, whether taking a total scorched-earth stance or allowing for some level of agreement where possible with the Trump administration. Some Democrats have already staked out an oppose-at-any-cost strategy, such as the members of the House Democratic Caucus who declined invitations to Trump's inauguration ceremony. But many Democrats are in agreement with the sentiments expressed by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy: "There are going to be some things we can agree on...but we’re not going to agree to discriminate, we’re not going to agree to make poor people poorer, we’re not going to agree to turn our back on our international obligations."


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