Sunday, April 16, 2017

Why Opposing Trump Isn't Like the GOP Obstructing Obama


Obama's nominee for the seat, Merrick Garland, is the only candidate in the history of the United States to be denied a hearing by the opposition. As one might expect, Democrats and progressives are outraged that Republicans effectively stole a seat that might have shifted the Court's ideological balance to the left for the first time since 1971. But the both-sides-do-it reporting we've seen makes their fury seem illogical, a simple case of sour grapes. It's pure gaslighting – making someone think they're crazy when their sanity isn't the issue. For the most part, it's unintentional, a natural consequence of the Beltway press's tendency to see everything in strictly partisan terms. But even so, it's maddeningly common in reporting on the resistance to Trump, both in Congress and among the grassroots. NPR's Lourdes Garcia recently asked former Obama adviser David Axelrod if Democrats are "being hypocritical" for supporting "obstructionist" tactics, much like Republicans did under Obama. New York Times columnist Andrew Rosenthal wrote that both Trump and Obama shared a "debilitating belief in their own public relations," and felt no need to reach across the aisle. And at Politico, Geoffrey Kabaservice characterized the anti-Trump resistance as a left-wing version of the Tea Party, and wondered whether Democrats "are becoming extremists."

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