We Are Not the Resistance

Donald Trump is the one who is pushing back against the new nation that’s struggling to be born.

.. Unlike the Tea Party, which was born after President Barack Obama’s inauguration and which spawned a proliferation of well-funded, loosely affiliated right-wing groups determined to hijack the Republican Party and push it further to the right, the only common denominator for “the resistance” today is a commitment to resisting Donald Trump — the man, not necessarily his mission.
.. The writer was quick to clarify that he or she was not part of the “‘resistance’ of the left.” Quite to the contrary, the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the expansion of the military-industrial complex and, by extension, the slashing of vital social services were not only fine by him or her but a cause for celebration.

One might argue that the big tent of “the resistance” is its greatest strength: A massive united front becomes possible when the barrier to entry is so low. If you’re revolted by Trump’s tweets and feel terrified by his access to the nuclear codes, you too can join the resistance.

.. Resistance is a reactive state of mind. While it can be necessary for survival and to prevent catastrophic harm, it can also tempt us to set our sights too low and to restrict our field of vision to the next election cycle

.. Viewed from the broad sweep of history, Donald Trump is the resistance. We are not.

.. the long, continuous yearning and reaching toward freedom flows throughout history “like a river, sometimes powerful, tumultuous, and roiling with life; at other times meandering and turgid, covered with the ice and snow of seemingly endless winters, all too often streaked and running with blood.”

.. Harding was speaking about black movements for liberation in America, but the metaphor applies equally well to the global struggle for human dignity and freedom.

The Guatemalan mother desperately fleeing poverty and violence in her home country stands at the border, young child in her arms, yearning for freedom no less than the American mother hundreds of miles away who puts her hands to the plexiglass in a prison visiting room, desperate to hug her child who sits quietly on the other side.

The movements that have arisen to honor the dignity of both women — movements to end mass incarceration and mass deportation — are separate streams feeding the same river.

.. Donald Trump’s election represents a surge of resistance to this rapidly swelling river, an effort to build not just a wall but a dam. A new nation is struggling to be born, a multiracial, multiethnic, multifaith, egalitarian democracy in which every life and every voice truly matters.

.. Confederate statues are coming down as new memorials and statutes are going up in Montgomery, Ala.

.. For many, the election of Barack Obama to the presidency symbolized the imminent birth of this new America, and many whites feared their privileged status, identity and way of life would die in the transition. The reaction was swift and fierce. It shouldn’t have been surprising.

.. As the historian Carol Anderson documented in “White Rage,” every single advance toward racial justice in this country has been met with virulent, often violent, resistance.

.. Every leap forward for American democracy — from slavery’s abolition to women’s suffrage to minimum-wage laws to the Civil Rights Acts to gay marriage — has been traceable to the revolutionary river, not the resistance.

.. In fact, the whole of American history can be described as a struggle between those who truly embraced the revolutionary idea of freedom, equality and justice for all and those who resisted.

.. There’s a reason marchers in the black freedom struggle sang “We Shall Overcome” rather than chanting “We Shall Resist.”

.. Similarly, those who opposed slavery didn’t view themselves as resisters; they were abolitionists.

 

‘The sleeper cells have awoken’: Trump and aides shaken by ‘resistance’ op-ed

The stark and anonymous warning was a breathtaking event without precedent in modern presidential history.

“For somebody within the belly of the White House to be saying there are a group of us running a resistance, making sure the president of the United States doesn’t do irrational and dangerous things, it is a mind-boggling moment,” historian Douglas Brinkley said.

.. In the Times column, the official writes about the late senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) in heroic terms, describing him as “a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue.”

This invocation angered Trump, who in his private talks with advisers and friends expressed particular dismay because he has long viewed McCain as a personal enemy

.. The president was already feeling especially vulnerable — and a deep “sense of paranoia,” in the words of one confidant — after his devastating portrayal in Woodward’s book. He was upset that so many in his orbit seemed to have spoken with the veteran Washington Post investigative journalist, and he had begun peppering staffers with questions about who Woodward’s sources were.

.. Trump already felt that he had a dwindling circle of people whom he could trust, a senior administration official said. According to one Trump friend, he fretted after Wednesday’s op-ed that he could trust only his children.

.. channeled her boss’s rage and echoed some of his favorite attacks on the media.

Her statement began by invoking Trump’s 2016 election victory and noting, “None of them voted for a gutless, anonymous source to the failing New York Times.” Sanders went on to demand that the paper apologize for what she called the “pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed,” and urged the anonymous author to leave the White House.

“The individual behind this piece has chosen to deceive, rather than support, the duly elected President of the United States,” she said in her statement. “He is not putting country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people. This coward should do the right thing and resign.”

.. The outing of the op-ed’s author is virtually inevitable, according to forensic linguists, who work in both academia and private industry, figuring out the authors of anonymous texts in lawsuits, plagiarism cases and historical puzzles.

.. “a problem with public people is that a lot of their published work is edited, so it’s like mixing fingerprints or DNA. You don’t always know who the real author is.

.. Brinkley, the historian, said the most analogous example of disloyalty and advisers disregarding the president’s wishes was in Richard Nixon’s final year as president. He explained that Nixon would “bark crazy orders” to aides that they intentionally disregarded.

“You’d have to go back to Hans Christian Andersen, ‘The Emperor Has No Clothes,’ to see this syndrome where the president’s reality happens to be so different from his own senior advisers,” Brinkley said.

Trump’s Post-Helsinki Poll Ratings Portend a Nasty and Divisive Election Season

If you thought that Donald Trump’s bowing and scraping to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki would put a big dent in his approval ratings, think again.

.. That’s a testament to the unprecedented level of polarization in the American electorate. And it suggests that, as the midterms get closer, Trump will descend further into race-baiting and demagoguery as a way to keep his supporters engaged.

.. It isn’t that all G.O.P. supporters were blind to what took place in Finland. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll published on Sunday, almost a third of Republicans disapproved of Trump publicly expressing doubts about U.S. intelligence findings. By recent standards, that’s a significant defection from the pro-Trump line

.. . In the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, eighty-eight per cent of Republican voters said that they approved of the job he’s doing.

.. Some analysts see it as a reaction to the negative media coverage that Trump receives, especially after controversial incidents like his press conference with Putin.

.. “The more Trump gets criticized by the media, the more his base seems to rally behind him,”

..  the proportion of self-identified Republicans has declined significantly since Trump was elected, suggesting that some anti-Trump G.O.P. supporters may have left the Party, leaving him to garner a bigger share of support among a smaller base.

.. new poll figures will surely only encourage Trump to believe that his incendiary tactics of attacking the media and fanning resentments about immigration, race, and unfair foreign competition are working. As we get closer to Election Day, he seems certain to escalate this strategy.

.. Steve Bannon, Trump’s former campaign manager and political strategist, told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria last month that the midterms would be a “base-plus” contest. Bannon argued that Trump should seek to “nationalize the election” around his signature theme of immigration.

.. his Twitter feed, continues to emphasize “strong borders,” his proposed wall, and the threat represented by the MS-13 gang.

.. In addition to whipping up fears about nonwhite immigrants, Trump appears eager to rekindle his dispute with black football players.

.. For all his support among self-identified Republicans, he is still one of the most unpopular Presidents in history—if not the most unpopular.

.. will only provide more fuel to the Democratic “resistance,” whose entire strategy is based on turning the election into a referendum on his Presidency.

 

 

 

The Omen of Alabama

Doug Jones’s defeat of Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate special election is yet the latest signal that the accommodators of Donald Trump, those who have normalized and bolstered him, the gutless, schismatic conservatives who abandoned principle to follow a pariah, will have hell to pay in 2018.

Yes, Roy Moore was defeated, but it can never be fully erased from history or memory that he was endorsed by this president and supported by the Republican National Committee. All of Roy Moore’s sins are their sins, and they will wear that scarlet R straight into the midterms.

.. Moore still won the Republican vote and the white vote and, yes, the “white born-again Christian” vote. These people contorted their faith to support a man accused of unthinkable transgressions.

They made a mockery of Christian faith and moral fidelity.

.. they are motivated and insistent that the past will not defeat the future.

.. black voters, particularly black women, have been summoned to save America from its worst impulses and to establish that they are the most loyal and crucial constituency of a Democratic Party that still doesn’t grant them enough respect or deference

.. The Resistance has its own Southern Strategy.

.. It proved that Trump was a fringe candidate who tapped into an American ugliness and rode it to a fluke victory with the help of a foreign adversary.

.. Republicans must brace for the reckoning. If the Resistance can maintain its intensity — and there is no sign of it weakening — the midterms may well amount to a purge.