Thursday, April 27, 2017

Trump resistance tries to channel its anger

In the middle of mass protests against Donald Trump’s travel ban in January, the crowds outside the White House chanted at the president: “We will not go away! Welcome to your ninth day!”

The Trump resistance hasn’t gone away, but it has taken on a vastly different form since those frothy first days of his presidency. The millions-strong nationwide protests have given way to an array of smaller but still effective forms of opposition: packed town halls to warn Republican members of Congress against repealing Obamacare, a full-court pressure campaign that persuaded Senate Democrats to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and higher-than-expected turnout in a pair of special House elections that put solid red districts in play.

The first three months of the Trump administration have demonstrated that the energy and anger of the electorate has shifted unmistakably to the left as Democrats assume the role of opposition party after eight years of controlling the White House.

But the movement is decentralized and diffuse, lacking a singular leader and splintering into multiple fronts. Ask more than a dozen progressive activists to define the goals of the Trump resistance, as POLITICO did for this story, and receive almost as many different answers. The liberal revolt is being channeled through a variety of projects — from health care to climate change — and each tribe is “showing up for each other’s stuff,” as one activist put it. Trump isn’t necessarily their sole reason for being, but instead serves as a powerful motivator and a symbol of what they oppose.

These organizers and strategists, from groups like Indivisible, MoveOn.org, and the American Civil Liberties Union, do agree on at least one thing: To fight on as much turf as possible. They may lose major battles under a Republican-controlled government — Gorsuch was ultimately confirmed and Democrats failed to win either House special election this month — but they say eventually their efforts will pay off.  Read full post 

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