Progressives appear to be dismayed over the bipartisanship shown by Democrats this week. Markos Moulitsas, who founded the leftist DailyKos website, wrote yesterday “Resistance means resisting” in reference to the vote by Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to confirm Housing and Urban Development nominee Ben Carson. "All those people in the streets last Saturday didn't march for Democrats to make nice with the GOP. They marched to resist—whether it's Trump, or his acolytes like Carson. And if even progressive champions like Warren can't figure that out, we really are in trouble."
Progressives are also miffed by the fourteen Democrats in the Senate who voted to confirm Rep. Mike Pompeo to lead the CIA. Looming over Democrats is the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a colleague, as attorney general, as well as the still unannounced replacement for the deceased Justice Antonin Scalia.
Charles Pierce wrote recently at Esquire, "Any Democratic senator who votes to confirm Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as Attorney General should immediately be rendered dead to the party and to every Democratic voter in the country." Continuing, Pierce said, "[R]esistance to the Sessions nomination is a bright line in the sand beyond which should be found nothing but exile."
According to the leftist Common Dreams website, “...progressives have reason to fear that Democratic opposition to the Trump administration is weaker than it needs to be—even in the face of a fervent and growing resistance movement.”
In reference to the January 21 Women’s March on Washington that sparked copy-cat rallies in cities across the country and in some foreign countries, Shaunna Thomas, who founded the UltraViolet online advocacy group, told Huffington Post, "Senate Dems' response to millions taking to the streets is beyond disappointing," adding, "It is outright shameful."
An article at Common Dreams opined, “It's not enough for Democrats to call themselves The Resistance. They must also explain what it is they're resisting. Is it simply Trump? Or is it the ideology that helped put Trump in power?”
When Republicans faced waves of Tea Party and populist protests in 2009, the GOP did a direction check towards the center. Currently, progressives and leftist are similarly ranging further to the left than some Democrats are so far wanted to go. For example, while most of the House Democrats boycotted Donald Trump’s inauguration, all of the Democrats of the Senate showed up. Disarray among Democrats in the face of the pace of Trump’s activity is increasingly evident.
Citing an article in the Huffington Post, Common Dreams noted that the energy seen on the left is “‘driving throngs of people into the political process―and it's quickly being turned against Democratic politicians for being soft on [President Donald] Trump, whether it's by approving his cabinet nominees or signaling a willingness to work with him.’"
Senate Democrats have thus far proved to be more conservative than their House counterparts and seem to be less willing to heed progressives. This week, the Senate passed on the following nominations: Carson; Pompeo; Nikki Haley, Wilbur Ross, Elaine Chao, that followed last week’s votes on James Mattis and John F. Kelly.
In The Nation, Frances Fox Piven recently provided a suggestion to the Democratic party. She wrote "Movements can mobilize people to refuse, to disobey, in effect to strike." She called on Democrats to “throw sand in the gears of the institutions that depend on their cooperation."
Movements such as the demand for a $15-dollar minimum wage, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter, Piven said, “point the way forward.” The crowds that turned out for the Women’s March did so, Piven wrote, because they wished to identify themselves with a specific values statement. “Their actions teach us what it means to do politics—and warn us against defining politics in electoral terms alone.”
“The Democratic Party will continue to fail unless it understands this. The victims of its failure won't be Hillary Clinton or David Brock but vulnerable Americans whose survival depends on the party's ability to oppose Trumpism.” Leftists must reject calls for unity, Piven wrote.
Whether Senate Democrats will show the level of bipartisanship they have shown thus far when confirmation hearings for Trump's coming Supreme Court nominee remain to be seen.