The protest sign was perfect.

Against a red background in capital letters was “#STOP,” hashtag and all. In a white space beneath was the name “GORSUCH,” scrawled in blue marker. The holder of the sign had known for some time that he would protest President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. He just didn’t know whom would receive his jeers and outrage until the president made his pick. Protest was a constant in all this, a given. Only the specific awfulness of the person to be protested was for a time uncertain.

The sign embodied precisely the canned meaninglessness behind the protest movement that marches, tweets and self-aggrandizes under the melodramatic mantra, “#Resist.”

Resist what, exactly? Don’t worry if you don’t know yet, you can fill in the blank later.

These protesters pretend they’re resisting the unique flaws and threats presented by Trump. But even though Trump displays oddities of temperament and a wobbly respect for the rule of law, the #Resisters lack all credibility. They threw it away during the election campaign.

“I’m more worried about Sen. Marco Rubio than Donald Trump,” Matt Yglesias explained at Vox.com, arguing that the Florida senator was much more “extreme” than Trump. Liberals should “earnestly and patriotically support a Trump Republican nomination,” Jonathan Chait wrote during the primary.

Paul Krugman wrote one piece explaining Rubio was the one candidate who counted as a “scary character” whose “ideas on domestic policy are deeply ignorant and irresponsible, and would be disastrous if put into effect,” while Trump merely had “very peculiar hair.” Krugman later had a similar piece preferring Trump to Sen. Ted Cruz.

This stuff kept going during the general election, when then-President Barack Obama argued that Trump was just a standard conservative, and many liberals squealed that Gov. Mike Pence was worse than Trump.

Despite all this, the #Resist crowd pretends now that its obstruction and opposition is an extraordinary reaction to extraordinary traits particular to Trump. It would be more plausible if they hadn’t just spent the past year exposing that claim as a lie. The truth is that they would now be flying their self-dramatizing #Resist flag no matter which Republican had been elected president, from Pataki to Perry to Pence.

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#Resister Rep. John Lewis declared that Trump was so remarkably bad that he would boycott a presidential inauguration for the first time in his career. Yet it was quickly discovered, and Lewis was reminded, that actually he also boycotted George W. Bush’s inauguration. Perhaps the #Resisters actually fool themselves into believing that they are acting as they are only because current circumstances are so extraordinary. But they don’t fool anyone else.

When Trump took office, they scribbled in the names of his cabinet nominees on their hit list. Liberal activists have kept scorecards, chastising Democratic senators who vote for even a single Trump nominee. No matter who the person is, no matter how talented, decent, modest, diligent and qualified, if he or she is nominated by Trump, senators must vote no.

The magic marker resistance got its first martyr in Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. She engineered her own sacking by publishing a letter declaring she wouldn’t enforce an executive order on immigration.

In keeping with the style of the Magic Marker resistance, Yates opposed the rule without citing anything specific about it. She mentioned no law it violated and no problematic passage in it. She simply disliked it and she was going to leave her temporary job in a few days anyway, so she grabbed her Magic Marker, scribbled on her sign, and held it up in defiance. To the left-liberal fantasists standing up to the man, this turned Yates into a modern-day Danton, and they all expressed themselves shocked that she was swiftly sent to the guillotine.

When Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, an immensely qualified circuit court judge, for the Supreme Court, the resisters again got out their Magic Markers, double-checked their spelling (perhaps Googling his name for the first time) and rolled out their attacks.

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“Gorsuch represents a breathtaking retreat from the notion that Americans have fundamental Constitutional rights,” tweeted Democratic Senator Ron Wyden at the beginning of a mini tweet storm. The final tweet read, “No senator who believes individual rights are reserved to the people, not the government, can support Gorsuch’s nomination.”

What was going on here? Wyden gave no specifics in his tweets, cited no cases, provided no links, and often made no sense. It was word soup — claptrap from first syllable to last. And it was pretty much the same as the stuff that all the other Democrats pumped out Monday night. They crammed into their tweets and press releases the same slurs they hurl at every Republican nominee, waited until Trump said the word, plugged in the name, and hit send.

Sen. Jeff Merkley may have left his Magic Marker at home, because his press release on how the nomination would threaten “workers’ right to organize, women’s reproductive rights, and the rights of ordinary citizens to have their voices heard in elections” didn’t even name Gorsuch.

Tactically, opposing everything helps gum up the works of the Trump administration. Delaying votes on cabinet officials limits the input available for Trump’s executive actions, making new rules slower and weaker. Dragging out confirmation fights postpones the date when Republicans can turn their attention fully towards legislating.

So every little roadblock, protest, walkout, boycott, filibuster and delay serves a tactical purpose.

Politics ain’t beanbag. It never is. Partisan warfare of this sort is ugly, but in Washington it’s become normal. And what’s also become normal is liberals pretending it’s extraordinary.

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