“Not only is the base there, but the politics of the moment demand it. Democrats are looking for members to take a stand,” said Democratic strategist Jim Manley, a former top aide to Harry Reid, who altered the filibuster rules in 2013 to approve then-President Obama’s stalled executive appointees. “To the extent there is any peril, it would be struggling to find a way to vote for the guy.”
Those of us who have spent years listening to movement conservatives (and religious ones) have heard “taking a stand” until we’re sick of it, especially when the results never improved. Now the Democrats are going the principled, obstructionist route, which is the mirror image of the Freedom Caucus’ torpedoing of Ryan’s health care bill. (That failure is a real gift to the GOP, although it will take time for that to become obvious.)
You can’t win by “standing” on anything, principles or otherwise. You have to go on offence. Movement conservatives were great at taking stands, but ultimately the Republican electorate got tired of waiting for results and nominated Donald Trump. For the Democrats to come up with an unconventional candidate will require forcing same on their risk-adverse (dare I say anal) elites, and that’s easier said than done.