As President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE continues to drive stakes through the heart of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTop nuclear policy appointee removed from Pentagon post: report Prosecutors face legal challenges over obstruction charge in Capitol riot cases Biden makes early gains eroding Trump's environmental legacy MORE’s legacy, the totality of the Democratic Party’s response has been to fight back for fight’s sake — not for God, not for glory, not for values, not for liberty, not for our children and posterity—but simply to remain unyielding at every turn and to consider that victory.
After the sun rose on Nov. 9, 2016, the shattering of the liberal dream had been so dramatic and that Democrats suddenly realized there was no one in charge.
Phones were silent.
DNC elites were scattering out of New York, and there were no signals from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE or Barack Obama to point the way forward. The flame was out.
In the course of one day, Obama’s grand progressive movement had ended and all that was left were crisis and chaos. Like a shocked animal, the Democratic Party became a feral beast lashing out blindly, indiscriminately — hoping a fang, a beak, or a claw would find its mark and make the world right again.
Forced to fend for themselves, Democrats succumbed to their most atavistic instinct — to drag the party more and more to the hard left — desperate to rediscover the trail of collectivist breadcrumbs Obama had littered throughout government and to find their way back to his promise of hope and change.
With the installation of Tom Perez as the new Democratic National Committee Chair (and Keith Ellison), the cockfight continues, in spades — most illustratively at Perez’s recent speech in Newark, New Jersey, where he whipped up a fawning crowd with familiar, liberal, ad hominem attacks.
“Donald Trump, you don’t stand for our values . . . Donald Trump, you didn’t win this election . .. Donald Trump, we will resist.” he ranted. And then in a fitting New Democratic coda, “Republicans don’t give a s**t about people. That’s what it’s all about.”
FDR, JFK, and LBJ must be so proud.
From The New Deal, The New Frontier, and The Great Society—the products of a Democratic Party that once had ideas and pragmatism — we now have The Socialist Stumble, an eight-year (and counting) failed collectivist experiment that utterly rejects any comity of politics.
Today, in their ire the New Democrats think it’s enough to profess the idea of economic and social justice — without defining it or its principles — all in the desperate belief that somehow some kind of Socialist revolution will make everything fall back into its proper communitarian place.
Who can forget how this mindset was exposed in high relief when former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was asked to define the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist. Embarrassingly, she couldn’t.
Similarly, Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol Democrats' do-or-die moment Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan MORE, the new Senate Minority leader, also squirmed and waffled when asked the same question.
And, famously, when the same question was posed to Hillary Clinton, she hemmed and hawed, finally sputtering, “Well, I can tell you what I am. I am a progressive Democrat,” and never answered the question.
When the Chair of the DNC, the Senate Minority Leader, and the Democratic nominee for President of the United States cannot differentiate themselves on the political spectrum—Houston, we have a problem.
Perhaps the New Democratic mentality is best represented by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who says of Trump, “I don’t honor him. I don’t respect him. And I don’t want to be involved with him”—and adamantly refuses ever to sit down and try to work together.
Not content to stop there, Waters has called for Trump’s impeachment — “The President is a liar, his actions are contemptible, and I’m going to fight every day until he’s impeached” — a charge she has denied making.
The President is a liar, his actions are contemptible, & I'm going to fight everyday until he's impeached.— Maxine Waters (@MaxineWaters) April 18, 2017
Yet there she was at the Tax Day protest in Washington, D.C., reiterating her contempt for Trump, vowing to fight for his impeachment, and leading the crowd in a chant of, “Impeach 45.” And who will ever forget Waters’ sweet, Sunday-go-to-choir tones on MSNBC’s “All In,” when she called some of the President’s cabinet and advisors “a bunch of scumbags”—all for the kiddies to see and hear on national television.
How has it come to this?
In two words: Barack Obama.
While Democrats and Republicans have been going at each other’s throats for generations, Obama turned it into a dangerous art form. Fortuitously bursting onto the national scene a few scant years after 9/11 and getting a bounce from the antipathy towards George W. Bush, Obama quickly rolled out his ambitious collectivist agenda of wealth redistribution, racial division, class conflict, police brutality, crushing regulations — not to mention America’s sins (past and present) for the whole world to see.
Blessed with a community organizer’s glibness, like many a demagogue Obama consolidated his power by exploiting popular prejudices, making false claims, and arousing passions and emotions with promises he would not and could not keep.
In the end, he was a leader defined and confined by his own political upbringing—a petty, vindictive rabble-rouser trained to shake down corporations, bully local governments, incite grievance mongers, and prop-up shady nonprofits—ultimately exposing him as a president whose basic skill set (and instinct) was always geared to dividing up the pie, never growing it.
From that genesis and a monumental political defeat, Barack Obama has wrought a New Democratic Party in total disarray — led by a motley crew of septuagenarians, socialists, bullies, obfuscators and whiners — whose sole mission and purpose is to burn down Trump and his administration by any means necessary.
Like their mentor from Chicago’s South Side, the New Democrats will continue to make noise and chant revolution — that in their heart of hearts they know will never come.
Russell Paul La Valle is an opinion writer whose work has appeared in the The Washington Post, The New York Times, New York Daily News, Newsday and The Village Voice. and many others. He is a former contributing editor to the philosophical think tank, The Objectivist Center.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.