- The Washington Times
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The “i word” — impeachment — has already surfaced in the Democratic dialogue as the party rails against President Trump, its noisy message amplified by the mainstream media. In the words of Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, everybody is “fired up.”

Perhaps they are under the impression that the nation will stand back in awe and admiration of their combative tone and vigorous outreach. That may not be the case, however. Many voters are weary of political gridlock and discord.


“Most voters agree that it’s bad for America and bad for the Democratic Party if Democrats continue to flat out oppose everything President Trump does. Even Democrats are conflicted about their party’s scorched earth policy,” says a new Rasmussen Reports poll.

According to the poll, 63 percent of all likely voters say it’s better for the country if Democrats try to work with the president instead, while 29 percent think it’s better for the country if Democrats “oppose the president in every way possible.”

Naturally, 90 percent of voters who support Mr. Trump say the Democrats should be more cooperative. But a surprising 46 percent of the Democrats themselves agree with this, a sentiment that is on the rise. A similar poll conducted shortly after the November election found that 32 percent of Democrats favored cooperation.

Perhaps the party itself could use a little quiet time. The survey also found that 63 percent of all voters say the Democratic Party will be “better off” if they cooperate with the opposition; a surprising 45 percent of Democrats also agree.

SHADOW PRESIDENCY, PART 1

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee was launched in mid-January in preparation for “the most important turning point for the future of the Democratic Party” — a point in 2021 when states redraw their congressional and state legislative lines.

The organization, led by former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., has the task of building “a targeted, state-by-state strategy that ensures Democrats can fight back and produce fairer maps in the 2021 redistricting process,” according to a mission statement.

The effort is now advancing. In a press conference Tuesday, Mr. Holder revealed he had been in conversation with former President Barack Obama; the topic of fundraising and state level outreach came up. Mr. Obama appears keenly interested in the effort.

“He’s ready to roll,” Mr. Holder told the press.

“Barack Obama is getting closer to making his public reappearance in politics,” predicts Edward-Isaac Dovere, chief Washington correspondent for Politico.

40 DAYS THAT MATTER

“40 Days for Life” begins on Wednesday. Haven’t heard of it? This truly grass-roots pushback against Planned Parenthood features peaceful, 24-hour vigils outside abortion facilities in 340 cities in all 50 states and 27 foreign nations through April 9, which is Palm Sunday.

The effort has been endorsed by Pope Francis and other clergy, the Susan B. Anthony List, March for Life and Focus on the Family, to name a few, plus dozens of former employees of Planned Parenthood. It is a massive undertaking, though the outreach began as a small vigil staged in 2004 by four people outside a Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas.

Organizers are unapologetic and clear in their directives to participants.

“Want to end abortion? If you do, the first thing you must do is pray. Prayer is at the center of 40 Days for Life. During each campaign, we are calling on people of faith across the nation — and around the world — to fall on their knees before the Lord, asking Him to hear our plea and heal our land. Pray outside an abortion facility. Pray at church. Pray at work. Pray in the car. Pray at home with your family,” they advise.

Find the organization at 40DaysforLife.com.

DINNER WITH W.

During the eight years of the Obama administration, the phrase “Miss me yet?” frequently appeared in Republican circles, accompanied by a smiling photo of former President George W. Bush. He has been, for the most part, tending his presidential library in Dallas, and to date has only made a single comment about the new administration — an aside referencing President Trump’s contentious relationship with the media.

Mr. Bush has a new story to tell, however.

On Wednesday he appears at a sold-out dinner at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California — staged beneath the wings of a Reagan-era Air Force One and billed as a “conversation” with Mr. Bush. He has authored an intriguing new book titled “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors” — a collection of 64 portraits he painted of soldiers who have served the nation in trying times. The works have a definitive style and powerful cachet; an exhibit of the portraits opens at the Bush Library on Thursday.

“This is a tribute to men and women who volunteered, many in the years after 9/11, to defend our country. The greatest honor of the presidency was looking them in the eye and saluting them as their commander in chief. And I intend to support and salute them for the rest of my life,” says Mr. Bush.

The hourlong chat is followed by a sumptuous dinner. On the menu: Baby spinach salad with strawberries, oranges, red onions, goat cheese, candied pistachios and citrus vinaigrette; Napa Valley chicken, mashed potatoes, haricot verts and yam souffle, plus chocolate cake with blackberry-cabernet sorbet and fresh berries.

THE MCCAIN AND GRAHAM SHOWCASE

Two former Republican presidential hopefuls have a big say on Wednesday. Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham — a pair of outspoken lawmakers with distinctive styles — appear on the same stage for a prime-time event on CNN. The network stages a town hall at 9 p.m. ET moderated by chief political correspondent Dana Bash from George Washington University, complete with a live studio audience.

The two contenders will address President Trumps speech before Congress, along with “America’s place on the world stage, U.S. Russian policy, immigration and other national security issues facing Americans at home,” CNN notes.

POLL DU JOUR

56 percent of registered U.S. voters say that President Trump “has been keeping the promises” he made during his campaign.

50 percent approve of the job Mr. Trump is doing as president; 49 percent have a favorable opinion of him.

36 percent say he has accomplished “about what they expected” during his first month of office.

33 percent say he accomplished more than they expected; 20 percent say he accomplished less.

Source: A Morning Consult/Politico poll of 2,000 registered U.S. voters conducted Feb. 24-26.

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