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The old and the new

December 1, 2016

As noted here on Monday, there seems to be a teensy bit of denial going on in the Democratic Party.

That was reinforced on Wednesday, when House Democrats voted again to keep Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader.

Unlike her unopposed election in 2014, it wasn’t unanimous. Sixty-three legislators or just a little under one-third of all House Dems voted to oust her. Representative Tim Ryan, D-OH, heretofore known mostly for leading nonpartisan meditation sessions, mounted a surprisingly strong bid on very short notice to unseat her.

Now, it’s not wrong to want a functioning opposition party. After all, the founding fathers designed the whole system to foster spirited debate on issues to forestall the creation of a dreaded monarchy such as the one they had just repudiated.

If that’s your deal, opposition is Nancy Pelosi’s strong point. This is a lady who would oppose free turkey dinners for the homeless if she thought there was a political advantage to be had in doing so.

For Republicans, some of those 63 dissenting House members could be seen as potential allies in the future, not that that they necessarily need them to pass legislation.

They could also become defectors in the case of votes requiring a 2/3’s majority, given reports of dissension in the ranks.

Contrast this retreat to the old playbook with what is sure to be a presidency as unconventional as the campaign that preceded it.

It’s just more fun than stirring an anthill with a stick to watch the establishment political class flounder around trying to handle President-elect Trump like any other politician.

Take the static surrounding his business dealings.

It isn’t as though no one knew he had extensive business holdings or ties to other large business entities. He spent 16 months telling us that he had interests throughout the world, as part of his pitch to win all the marbles. Even a cursory internet search for “Trump properties” yielded an impressive inventory.

In fact, part of the reluctance of some eventual supporters was in figuring out how he would insulate himself from accusations of the same sort of dirty dealings his rival was suspected of committing.

Nothing he does short of panhandling on a street corner will ever be enough for his opposition, but presumably on December 15, he’ll tell what he has done to handle the problem.

Quite frankly, at this point his adherents only care that he isn’t distracted by outside interests while he tries to make good on his campaign promises.

While Ms. Pelosi is springing along with her 132 votes, the President-elect is off to thank 62.6 million Americans for theirs.

While it is for sure that his Secret Service detail probably wishes he had stayed with Twitter or YouTube for that,  this most unlikely people’s President seems to think they might appreciate hearing it face-to-face.

Is it a grandstand play?  Maybe, but who doesn’t like to hear “thank you?”.

Will it matter at the end? That remains to be seen.

In the end, every one of those 62.6 million people will judge this President by the same yardstick they have always used.

Did he keep his word to make things better in and for America?

Nothing, repeat nothing, about the way our soon-to-be-sworn-in 45th President will handle this stodgiest and most tradition-bound elected office will borrow much from the past.

The hope is that the one thing he will harken back to is the old-fashioned idea that the people are more important than the office.

So far, that novel approach seems to be working.

In fact, there are at least 1,000 Carrier  workers who are sure it is.

From → op-ed

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