It certainly feels like we're in a lead-up-to-the-Iraq-War kind of moment when Democrats who vote the wrong way in order to placate their friends in Congress or show some deference to a new president are going to be regretting their votes for the rest of their careers. Local progressive firebrand, Season of the Witch scribe, and new (temporary) Chronicle columnist David Talbot has a few choice words today for these Dems, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, who fell in line last week and cast "yes" votes for two of Trump's cabinet nominees, Mike Pompeo as CIA director "despite his noxious support for those agency personnel who participated in the torture program (he calls them “patriots”) and his bigoted views conflating Islamic leaders with terrorists"; and John Kelly as Homeland Security secretary "despite his pledge to crack down on San Francisco and other sanctuary cities." And, Talbot adds exasperatedly, "even progressive hero Elizabeth Warren voted for Ben Carson as housing and urban development secretary."
These votes certainly feel like betrayals, but in the minds of these politicians they are perhaps just courtesies, given that the Republican majority is in charge now and their "no" votes are only going to serve as gestures of protests. Perhaps there's a strategy, and knowing they can't win all these fights they're saving their no votes for gestures that might count more, or that might sway a Republican or two, though that is probably an empty hope now. (For her part, Feinstein at least announced she'd vote against confirming Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general today.)
But Talbot isn't having it:
It’s not enough to issue flowery statements on behalf of sanctuary cities and our constitutional values. Thugs like Trump and his political mastermind Steve Bannon only understand force. The Democrats who emerge as the leaders of the future will be those who mount the most fierce and unbending resistance to this extremist administration.
He's equally outraged at accused Trump collaborator Travis Kalanick (whom he unfortunately misnames as Travis Karalnick), who announced that he would join Trump's economic advisory team in order to advocate for Uber and Silicon Valley from the inside. But that move blew up when Uber then got caught in the crosshairs during a New York taxi strike on Saturday in response to Trump's immigration ban.
Once again in our recent history it seems like a time for the Democrats to show some balls and resist wherever and however they can and that goes double for corporations who don't want to face boycotts and protests by those on the Left whose anger is not likely to abate soon.
Says Talbot, via a conversation with new D9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen:
Many Americans already think that the Democratic Party —and the corporate elites that took control of it — sold them out, said Ronen. If the party doesn’t fight back tooth and nail against Trump’s attack on the most vulnerable in our society, then Democrats will continue down their path to oblivion.