LOS ANGELES — The Democratic Party continued its rollout of “Resistance Summer” on Friday with a rally on the campus of the University of Southern California.
About 150 gathered inside the United University Church on campus on a sweltering afternoon to hear Democratic National Committee Deputy Chair Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) pitch their party’s post-2016 prospects as part of a nationwide campaign.
Ellison presented a list of policies the Democrats oppose, answering each with the refrain: “We will resist that!” He also argued for “universal healthcare for all,” at which point protesters in the audience began chanting: “Single payer now!” Ellison reminded them that he had co-sponsored single-payer legislation, and regained some control of the meeting by asking the audience to applaud for ideas they agreed with, eventually overcoming the hecklers.
California Democratic Party leader Eric Bauman was neither so lucky nor so adept: he was totally drowned out by “Single payer now!” chants and other heckling from the audience, as arguments broke out throughout the church.
Rep. Lieu received an enthusiastic welcome, having risen from relative political obscurity to left-wing notoriety by trolling President Trump on Twitter. He told the audience that Democrats aimed to win the U.S. House in 2018.
“I did not set out to resist the president,” Lieu said, but noted that he later boycotted Trump’s inauguration because “I saw him systematically challenging the institutions of our democracy,” including the press and the judiciary.
Trump is “taking us down the road to authoritarianism,” Lieu said. “That is a danger to the Republic. That is why I resist him.”
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), who is pushing for President Donald Trump to be impeached, also addressed the gathering. “We need scientific fact, not alternative facts,” he said. “Global climate change is real, pre man-made, and if we don’t reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we’re going to lose our forests, our breaches, our health — our entire country hangs in the balance.”
Sherman described the case for Trump’s impeachment, calling the hacking of the DNC’s email during the 2016 campaign “Watergate 2.0.” Somewhat tentatively, he said he “looked forward” to seeing the results of investigations into Trump’s conduct, to see whether it amounted to obstruction of justice.
According to the “Resistance Summer” website, the effort is geared at recruiting and training Democratic Party volunteers, and claims to be “inspired and influenced by 60 years of civil rights organizing and resistance.”
The campaign is also an effort to take advantage of the burgeoning left-wing protest movement against President Donald Trump, which calls itself the “Resistance” — despite criticism, even from Democrats, that the term evokes violence and refers inappropriately to the Nazi occupation of Europe.
California Governor Jerry Brown — no fan of Trump — rejected the term in April: “I don’t use the term resistance,” he told the New York Times. “That was a term I associate with the French underground and people who risked their lives. So I don’t know that that’s a fair, apt metaphor for the latest contretemps over policy.”
Likewise, conservative David Gelertner argued in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this week: ““Resistance” is unacceptable in referring to the Trump opposition because, obviously, it suggests the Resistance—against the Nazis in occupied France. Many young people are too ignorant to recognize the term, but that hardly matters” (original emphasis).
After an enraged leftist shot and wounded five Republicans at a baseball practice last month, the term “Resistance” came under new scrutiny. Still, the Democratic Party continues identifying itself with the movement and its name.
One of the organizers at the event defended the term, declaring: “Resistance is the language of patriotism.” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis led the gathering in a chant: “Resistance! Resistance! Resistance!”
Ellison launched the “Resistance Summer” in May. The DNC’s goal is to engage voters, especially young people. A DNC email advertising the rally stated:
Resistance Summer started strong on June 3rd with more than a hundred events in all 50 states, kicking off our summer of organizing. Folks came together to talk about how we’ll reach every single voter on the issues that matter to them — from health care to education to jobs and economic opportunity. And we’re just getting started.
This movement is the force that will propel Democrats to victory in communities all across the country, from city council to Congress — but only if we all get involved!
As Breitbart News has reported, the left-wing MoveOn.org is running a parallel campaign with a similar name.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.