As President Trump nears his hundredth day in office, the large majority of the American public still has no idea what to make of the presidency. Small successes by the new administration, such as beginning to roll back regulations and filling the Supreme Court with a conservative justice, have been overshadowed by failures to fulfill key campaign promises, like repealing the Affordable Care Act or reforming the tax system.
Indeed, it’s fair to say turmoil has begun to take hold in the White House, with some new revelation, power struggle or lawsuit popping up everyday. Combined with the outspoken nature of Trump, the political charades we’ve come accustomed to from the election are a full circus.
Or at least it has for the right-wing of America. While establishment Republicans, tea-partiers and nationalists fight for control over conservatism, the left has sat back and watched relatively quietly. And to some extent, that has worked extremely well.
Republican infighting can be described no better than by a special election held Tuesday in Georgia to fill an empty seat in the House. While about 48 percent of voters rallied around a single Democratic candidate, with less than a percentage point spilling to other liberals on the ballot, 11 Republicans fought for the second place spot in the polls, with none winning more than 20 percent of the vote.
Unfortunately for the Democrat, 30-year-old Jon Ossoff, he did not get the 50 percent of the vote required to win the election outright and instead triggered a June runoff between him and the top Republican vote-getter. However, simply the fact that Ossoff was able to get even close to half the votes in a district that elected former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaks volumes to both the energy of Democrats and problems with the Republicans.
This extends well beyond suburban Georgia as well. In Kansas, a Democrat nearly won a similar special election in a congressional district that voted for Trump by 27 points. Montana’s lone congressional district is now a close contest between an establishment Republican and a liberal folk singer-turned-politician. Democrats have found the energy that they were missing in the general election last year.
However, as I mentioned earlier, the leaders of the left, minus progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), have basically watched the entirety of politics from afar for the past three months, including with this upcoming special election. With the exception of the Georgia contest, where Ossoff received over $8 million dollars of financial support, the Democratic National Committee has sat on the sidelines for the other elections, a move that possibly cost them the Kansas race and very well could cost them the Montana one as well.
In times like these, where the ruling party has defied common sense in nearly every single move they’ve made, it is not okay for the Democrats to sit aside and rely on their supporters to do the work for them. As much as big money and politics shouldn’t mix, it’s fair to say that these are times when the DNC needs to open their checkbook and encourage allied Super PACs to do the same.
Not only do the Democrats need to add more resources onto the map, big figures need to get behind the normal people already fighting the battle in massive rallies and town hall meetings. While the far-left, led by Sanders, have been turning out to protest conservatives in massive numbers, more centrist liberals, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have quietly sat back and watched instead of motivating their end of the party. In response to this, more and more progressives are beginning to turn on Democratic leadership, demanding more resistance to Trump and looking for candidates to replace centrist liberals.
It’s interesting to watch this all happen, considering the exact same energy, activism and calls for new leaders were exploding from the Tea Party Movement back in 2009. That ended with Republicans winning back the House, Senate and close to half of all state governments come the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections.
Maybe it’s about time a similar thing happened, only this time pushing the country to the left. Considering the mess in the White House right now, that wouldn’t be too bad.