Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the narrowest of votes this week, requiring a rare tiebreaking vote from Vice President Penceafter two Republican senators bucked their party's nominee. If any of President Trump's Cabinet picks have inflamed the passions and political activism of the political left more than the others, it's DeVos, without question.
But for anybody who thinks the passions may have subsided after the vote this week, think again.
As The Washington Post's Emma Brown reports and the video above shows, DeVos was prevented by protesters from entering a Washington public school on Friday morning. After the demonstrators blocked the staircase she was trying to use and shouted at her, DeVos returned to her car, escorted by an aide. She later used another school entrance and went about her work.
It was a pretty striking scene. Here's a sampling of the protests (with a warning that there is some vulgar language):
What's remarkable about this is that we're talking about a Cabinet secretary here. Yes, there have been controversial nominees over the years, but the passion we've seen from the political left in going after Trump seems to be filtering down in an extraordinary way. DeVos, due to her support for school vouchers and her wealth (which she previously spread around to the senators who later confirmed her), has found herself singled out as someone the left will try to make life very difficult for going forward. And there are plenty of people nationwide who feel very strongly about public schools who could be spurred to action by DeVos's confirmation.
Make no mistake: Democrats have a strong sense of righteousness right now about halting Trump's policy moves — almost in a truly religious sense. We've seen it with their opposition to Trump's Cabinet nominees and the Supreme Court pick. We've seen it in their chants that Trump isn't their president and in the historic Women's March on Washington the day after Trump's inauguration. Republicans may have thought President Barack Obama was a socialist who would expand government; Democrats believe Trump is a bigot and a dangerous man.
Whether their appetite for protesting and obstructing remains over the long haul is an open question. But scenes like the one Friday suggest a new political paradigm.
Reprinted from Aaron Blake's article in The Washington Post on Feb. 10, 2017
February 10, 2017
Addendum. This is a note to Aaron Blake. Yes, this is a new paradigm, and we will resist Trump, his policies and his appointees over the long haul, until he is no longer in the White House. Comment below if you agree.