The Democratic Party appears to be taking a tough stance against President Donald Trump's administration, according to interviews with party leaders and officeholders, Politico reports.
"They were entitled to a grace period, but it was midnight the night of the inauguration to 8 o'clock the next morning, when the administration sent out people to lie about numerous significant things. And the damage to the credibility of the presidency has already been profound. They were entitled to a grace period and they blew it. It's been worse than I could have imagined, the first few days," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told Politico.
Democrats decided to take the stance after private meetings and conference calls.
"I predict the coming divide in the Democratic Party won't be ideological so much as it will be between those who resist and oppose and those who accommodate and appease," strategist David Brock said at a Democratic donors' meeting in Florida last weekend, Politico reported.
According to Democrats, giving Trump the benefit of the doubt is at an end. When asked if the party should try to work with Trump, New Hampshire party chairman Raymond Buckley said, "That's a question that's absolutely ridiculous."
"If you saw the millions of people who marched in the streets this weekend and participated in it, they are looking to the Democratic Party. We have an opportunity as a party to be that place of resistance. So we have to form a solid resistance as a party. And no, it is not working with Donald Trump," television commentator Jehmu Green said in Politico's report.
Focusing too much on opposing the president comes with a risk, according to Democratic National Committee vice-chairman R.T. Rybak. "We need to remember that one of the reasons young voters, especially, were uninspired is you can't have a message of 'I'm not him,'" Rybak said in Politico's report.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa agreed: "Focusing too much on what he says — every absurdity, every misrepresentation of fact, every lie that comes out of his mouth or his tweets — makes no sense to me."
The DNC's anti-Trump director Zac Petkanas said that Trump's administration is releasing a "cacophony of terribleness," but the party will prioritize its efforts to take him on. "We look at our jobs as focusing in on what we think are the most objectionable things," Petkanas said, according to Politico.
Some Democrats believe that they must oppose Republicans on all fronts, which appears to run counter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's plan for the cabinet confirmation process. "Opposing every nominee was not seriously on the table, it never has been. That's not a test of whether or not you're resistant," Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz said in the Politico report.
Policies from Trump that Democrats can agree with do not seem likely, according to opposition research group president Jessica Mackler. "So far we've seen no evidence that this is a choice we're going to have to make," she told Politico.
"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," Gov. Inslee said.
The new president puts Democrats in a unique position. "We've never seen anything like him," Villaraigosa told Politico.
The New York Times reported Monday that Democrats were studying the Tea Party's playbook in seeking out ways to respond to Trump, such as focusing on state campaigns and expanding informal groups outside the party.
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