The Democratic Party is employing tactics that the Washington Post says constitute "an unprecedented break with Senate tradition" to slow walk the confirmations of President Trump's Cabinet nominees. And while those tactics are bolstering the careers of presidential hopefuls such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and placating the party's liberal base, they are setting up vulnerable Democrats for failure in 2018.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, recently warned his party it needs to take a "chill pill" because they weren't retaking Congress in 2018. He also emphasized the need for the party to moderate instead of turning more progressive. But instead of heeding that advice, the Democratic Party is hunkering down and stoking the liberal base by opposing Trump on every single action he takes.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is encouraging the filibuster of the president's Supreme Court nominee. That rare move would mark only the second time in modern history that such an attempt has taken place; the first was led by President Obama against Justice Alito in 2006. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has declared that she can't work with Trump.
But as Democratic leaders push their party further to the left, 10 Senate Democrats are, in 2018, set to run in states Trump won in 2016. Five of those Democrats are running in states that the president won by double digits, including a 42-point victory in West Virginia and 36 points in North Dakota. In the House, the National Republican Congressional Committee has launched an aggressive strategy to target 36 Democrats in blue-collar districts they believe Trump could help put into play.
Even though the antics of the Elizabeth Warrens of the world make for good political theater, the future of the Democratic Party hangs on those 10 vulnerable senators. Over the course of the next few months every vote those vulnerable Democrats cast could come back to haunt them. If they oppose President Trump's economic policies that were mandated by voters in their states, that will hurt them. If they decide to block the Supreme Court confirmation vote of Neil Gorsuch, who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2006 to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, they will face the retribution of voters.
That is why it is so foolish for the Democratic Party to play such a high stakes game of political poker. They may be charging up their base, but they do more harm to their party as a whole. The more seats the Republican Party controls in 2018, the easier it will be to move forward legislation.
The Democratic Party has been catering to its liberal base for the past eight years, which has led to historic losses at the state and federal level. As a result, the party has been relegated to the coasts, and specifically to the blue states of California, New York and Massachusetts.
Their liberal gamble has already failed them, and now they are doubling down.
Lisa Boothe is a contributing columnist for The Washington Examiner and president of High Noon Strategies.