Democrats boycott committee meetings so Trump Cabinet nominees can't get votes -- and then Republicans change the quorum rule (whereby the minority party must have at least two Senators in attendance for a committee vote to proceed) to ram nominees through committees anyway. I'm not ready to call this "unfair" -- Republicans have the majority, so they have wide latitude to change Senate rules. But I'm also not ready to call it a defeat. In changing the rules, Republicans also suffer the shame of having had to change the rules in order to get some really terrible people in office. And, you know, Democrats could have avoided all of this and taken the Senate back, merely by listening to the American people, and before the Trump ascension made doing so easier for them. And I think everyone knows by now that the only reason the Democrats have had any spine at all through this whole process is that we've given it to them. When these awful Trump nominees start destroying our government, we'll be waiting with our voices, and our will.
Laleh Khalili at TruthOut theorizes that the Trump Administration planned for "chaos" with its Muslim ban, but not "resistance." Of course, one of the reasons we reacted so quickly was because we've already lived through a President who wanted all-chaos-all-the-time, though he got off to a slower start (and that's probably how he lasted so damn long!). Do you remember when Steve Bannon said, "(w)e're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." No, of course you don't -- because that was Karl Rove, in 2004. (Personal to the folks still telling me to "let Trump do his job": his job is to execute our will, and I see no evidence that our will is to ban refugees -- the ones least likely to terrorize others precisely because they've been beaten down by terror themselves -- from nations that haven't even been sending us very many terrorists. That is pretty much exactly the opposite of how you'd handle thorny immigration issues.)
Farhad Manjoo at the New York Times describes "How Social Networks Empowered Mass Protests Against Trump." Today's "Resistance" uses Facebook and Instagram and the like not just to get in touch with each other, but to post photos of their works at rallies and protests, so when Mr. Trump says he has "the popular will," or that the Muslim ban is going swimmingly, photos of Women's March and airport protests refute him fairly decisively, and when he claims that "professional anarchists" do all the protesting, you can check your Facebook news feed and find it's actually people you know doing the protesting. One thing, though: I wouldn't call the anti-Trump resistance an "alt-majority," not just because the "alt-right" label (you know, the label that means "racist prick") has tarnished the "alt-" label forever, but because Mr. Trump's imaginary majority is the real alt-majority. No, I'd rather just call us the "the majority," since that's what we are, and calling yourself what you are is almost an act of courage in These Interesting Times.