If you still believe that the Democratic Party will ever save us from Trump-ism then you have, unfortunately, not been paying attention. Here’s how well the so-called “Resistance” has performed on a few key issues.
DEFENSE SPENDING (2017)
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (H.R. 2810)
Total Cost: $700 BILLION
For all their bluster about the dangers posed by a Trump Presidency, you would expect Democrats to limit defense spending as much as possible. Trump’s a maniac with his finger on the button, after all… right?
Here’s Hillary prior to the election, warning about entrusting the nuclear codes to Trump.
And here’s Obama while still President, saying that Trump doesn’t understand foreign policy or the seriousness of nuclear weapons:
And finally, here’s Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat in the House, making it clear that Trump jeopardizes National Security:
Despite the tough rhetoric, not only did this record-high defense bill pass the House with 60% of Democrats in favor and 89% of Democrats in the Senate, but the bill included an additional $57.4 billion beyond what Trump requested. Yes, you read that correctly. The Democrats voted overwhelmingly to give Trump nearly $60 billion more than he even asked for.
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (H.R. 5515)
TOTAL BUDGET: $717 BILLION
As if to prove it wasn’t a fluke, the Democrats repeated their massive show of support for Trump’s military funding by raising it even higher to $717 billion, another record. The bill easily passed the House 351-66, with 131 Democrats (60%) voting in favor. In the Senate it passed 85-10, with 38 (89%) of Democrats supporting it.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program temporarily protected certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children through no fault of their own. Commonly referred to as the Dreamers, many were enrolled in school or already employed.
DACA was originally an Executive Order from Obama, not an actual law passed by Congress. Trump therefore had the authority to single-handedly end the program, which he did, but said that if Congress passed a bill to make DACA a law he would sign it. The Democrats threatened to shut down the government by refusing to support a vital spending bill if protections for DACA were not included. The Democrats were on the right side of this issue and had the support of the public.
Despite the tough rhetoric, the Democrats caved out of fear that they’d be blamed for the ongoing government shutdown and dropped the fight entirely. DACA was never renewed, leaving 700,000 young immigrants at risk for deportation.
Rather than take yes for an answer, Trump opted to use the situation to his political advantaged and mocked the Democrats for being so willing to turn their backs on their word to the Dreamers.
Here’s one of the most despised Democrats, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, as she attempts to explain what the Democrats got out of shutting down the government yet then ultimately caving on every issue:
THE BORDER WALL
During the fight over DACA, the Mexican border wall came back into play. Trump had long-touted building the wall along the Southern border to block off Mexican migrants, despite overall net immigration from Mexico being zero (meaning just as many are arriving as they are leaving, meaning there isn’t a problem). You’d think such an absurdist plan would be easy enough to oppose, but the Democratic “Resistance” actually offered to fund the wall in exchange for a renewal of DACA.
Here’s Chuck Schumer, highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate, admitting that the offer was made:
It should be noted that funding for the wall wasn’t remotely out of character for the Democrats. During President Bush’s second term, a proposal was made to build 700 miles of fencing along the border, including authorizing the use of more vehicle barriers, checkpoints and lighting to curb illegal immigration, as well as the use of advanced technology including satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles. The whole cost, including maintenance, was expected to cost $50 billion over 25 years. In short, the Secure Fence Act of 2006 was a complete waste of money. Yet it easily passed the Senate 80-19. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Chuck Schumer were among the 26 Democratic Senators that voted for it.
DEREGULATING WALL STREET
After the previous financial crash, the Dodd-Frank bill was passed to regulate our banking system and, in theory, prevent another disaster in the future. I cannot pretend to understand all the nuanced and technical details, but it is my understanding that Dodd-Frank did provide some important, albeit incomplete, protections.
The downside was that these regulations were equally applied to banks across the board, which left smaller banks (which didn’t pose much risk to begin with) struggling to afford the new regulations. The bigger banks more easily absorbed the regulatory costs. Because of this, the Big Banks bought up many of the smaller banks, allowing them to become larger as a result. While Dodd-Frank actually increased the size of “too big to fail” banks, it also imposed safeguards at the same time.
The Republicans seized on the negative aspect, citing that the partial repeal of Dodd-Frank would loosen the regulatory burden on smaller and medium-sized banks, allowing them to better compete with Big Banks like Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, etc. The downside is that the only banks still facing the full regulations of Dodd-Frank are those with assets of $250 billion or higher. Yet Countrywide Financial, one of the largest subprime mortgage lenders that failed and significantly contributed to the 2008 mortgage crisis, had roughly $210 billion in assets. Yes, it did make sense to loosen regulations on some smaller banks, but the threshold of $250 billion is beyond reckless and further ensures an already inevitable financial crash in the future. This didn’t stop the bill from passing 258-159 in the House (with 33 Democrats supporting) and passing the Senate 67-31 (with 16 Democrats supporting).
The retirement of Justice John Roberts means Trump has the opportunity to appoint a second Justice on the bench, ensuring decades worth of conservative-majority rulings. This puts issues like abortion rights, gay marriage, and other social issues in extreme jeopardy of being overturned. If there is one fight that the Democrats truly must win, this would be it.
The Senate requires 51 votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee, to officially take the bench. But with John McCain out of commission, the Republicans have only 50 Senators currently seated. If all 50 voted in favor, Vice President Mike Pence would deliver the tie-breaking vote to lock in Kavanaugh.
This means that the Democrats must unanimously vote against the nomination along with at least one Republican, likely either Susan Collins or Lisa Kurkowski. In addition to pressuring these two Senators to break ranks, the Democrats must be fully united in their opposition. Chuck Schumer, despite his moral flaccidity, knows damn well that this isn’t an issue that he can betray Democratic voters on without risking a severe setback leading into the 2018 midterms.
Asked whether he will stand by his own Party on Kavanaugh, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin replied: “No. I’m going to do my own thing.” When asked in a radio interview for his thoughts on Kavanaugh, Manchin said that he had “all the right qualities” for a Supreme Court Justice. Manchin is also quoted as telling Politico that he wouldn’t be influenced by Senator Chuck Schumer’s push to vote no, saying “I’ll be 71 years old in August, you’re going to whip me? Kiss my you know what.” Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) has commented: “My decision won’t have anything to do with Chuck Schumer”, while Claire McCaskell (D-Mo) said, “I’m going to do what I think is right. It has nothing to do with the party.”
All three of these Democrats voted for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s previous Supreme Court appointment, so expect the same results. Brett Kavanaugh will 100% be confirmed.
These aren’t the only issues that the Democrats have caved on, but between handing Trump more than he asked for to fund the War Machine, abandoning 700,000 immigrant kids, showing a willingness to fund the border wall, deregulating Wall Street, and helping to confirm not one but two Supreme Court seats is more than enough. The Democratic Party is capitulating fascism at a record clip. Only by ignoring reality can one continue to purport that the Democrats are part of any form of “Resistance”, let alone leading any such a movement.