Let Us All Now Come Together in Bipartisan National Unity. No Really.


This story from Jennifer Steinhauer has gotten a lot of attention from liberals over the past couple of days:

Congressional Democrats, divided and struggling for a path from the electoral wilderness, are constructing an agenda to align with many proposals of President-elect Donald J. Trump that put him at odds with his own party.

On infrastructure spending, child tax credits, paid maternity leave and dismantling trade agreements, Democrats are looking for ways they can work with Mr. Trump and force Republican leaders to choose between their new president and their small-government, free-market principles. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, elected Wednesday as the new Democratic minority leader, has spoken with Mr. Trump several times, and Democrats in coming weeks plan to announce populist economic and ethics initiatives they think Mr. Trump might like.

The general consensus in the progressive community is that this is a horrible idea. Democrats should take a page from the Republican playbook and oppose everything Trump proposes sight unseen. Maybe so. I’m still mulling this over.

But—here’s a question for you. Even if congressional Democrats did plan a campaign of scorched-earth obstruction, would they be wise to say so? Or should their public statements all be conciliatory and restrained? My guess is the latter. The public wants to hear that you’re planning to work in a bipartisan way for the greater good of the country. Then, when you end up opposing everything, you insist that it’s because Trump’s plans are all bad for the country.

That’s how Republicans did it anyway. Seems to have worked pretty well.