The fear of President Donald Trump’s steady erosion of democratic norms is causing an unusual uptick in cross-party organizing, as Democrats and Republicans quietly join forces to bring back a political center, according to a Thursday New York Times report.
Though much of the collaboration reportedly happens in secret meetings and private email correspondence, some of the network’s efforts have affected real change, including amicus briefs its members filed to block the AT&T/Time Warner merger and the bill passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller, for which members had lobbied.
Per the Times, this bipartisan coalition is quietly readying national protests should Trump egregiously infringe on Mueller’s work as one of its primary groups, Patriots and Pragmatists, watches its numbers rise. Another way for these people to convene is called the “Meeting for the Concerned,” a semimonthly and confidential forum.
Ian Bassin, a former Obama White House lawyer, told the Times of the real risk that exists for Republicans to get involved in distinctly anti-Trump endeavors. “There is a troubling dynamic happening where anytime a conservative expresses concerns, they get branded a Never Trumper and are excommunicated from the American right,” he said.
Nevertheless, as these groups’ ranks swell and discussion ranges from the ideals of democracy to funding a centrist challenger to Trump in 2020, a new brand of bipartisanship flourishes just under the surface of a historically fractured and contentious political climate.