National Review’s Jim Geraghty argues in his NR “Morning Jolt” today that the Wymyns March on Saturday is the nucleus of a potentially effective Tea Party of the left for the Trump years. Even though the march was an incoherent stew of contradictory and fringe-y causes, it is united by the simple impulse to oppose Donald Trump, which Geraghty thinks will be sufficient to hold it all together.
Maybe so, and certainly Henry Adams’s great line that politics is the systematic organization of hatreds comes to mind, as the left has hatreds in abundance. But we already went through what was supposed to be the Tea Party of the left: it was called “Occupy Wall Street,” and it fizzled totally because of its incoherence. Will the presence of Trump cure the various civil wars within the left that we have been tracking here on Power Line?
Take in James Hohmann of the Washington Post today on the same idea:
THE BIG IDEA: The massive marches this weekend will be remembered as the starting point of a massive protest movement against President Trump, but what will become of the sleeping giant that has awakened?
If the extraordinary energy that was on display across the country is effectively channeled into electoral politics, some of the long-term demographic trends that Trump’s victory obscured will accelerate. He could be the last Republican elected president for a long time.
But a new protest movement could also upend the Democratic establishment, just like the tea party movement did eight years ago. With the president viewed as illegitimate by so many progressive activists, even small compromises will be viewed as apostasy. This could fuel nasty primary challenges, without a president in the White House to stop them, and prompt a lurch to the left that would make it harder to topple Trump in 2020.
In other words, Hohmann’s “Big Idea” is that he has no idea what will happen. But his last paragraph seems more likely to me. Since the anti-Vietnam War movement disrupted and transformed the Democratic Party 45 years ago into what it is today, what would a new round of further-left, super-charged identity-politics disruption do to the Democratic Party now? Probably just blow a bigger bubble for themselves. I think it is more likely that Democrats will have trouble electing another president for a long time, just as Republicans floundered in 2012. Especially if they nominate Elizabeth Warren, who makes George McGovern look like Patrick Henry and John Paul Jones. (Much will depend, of course, on conditions in the nation under Trump. Remember always the Harold MacMillan rule: “Events, dear boy, events. . .”)
Pro tip: If the left version of the Tea Party wants to be as potent as the Tea Party, maybe they could start by cleaning up after themselves as the Tea Party did, instead of leaving their signs and trash for someone else to clean up after they’re done shouting: