- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

We have heard much about Democratic depression and despair over Hillary Clinton‘s loss during the 2016 election. There’s been weeping and sighing; former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean himself warned of youthful angst over President Trump and his administration, telling MSNBC that “young people were traumatized by Trump.”

Physicians and therapists now seriously refer to this phenomenon as “post-election stress disorder” — shortened to an official-sounding “PESD.” One Republican lawmaker in particular is taking issue with the idea.

“There’s a big missed opportunity in naming it ‘post-election stress disorder.’ I would have preferred they name it ‘post-inauguration stress disorder.’ That way they can call it PISD. There’s a big difference between being pissed off about things and what happens on the battlefield,” Rep. Brian J. Mast of Florida told Fox News on Tuesday.

Mr. Mast is a former Army bomb disposal expert who lost both legs during a mission in Afghanistan. After his recovery, he continued to work in counterterrorism for the Department of Homeland Security. PESD is not PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder and post-election stress disorder have no similarities, Mr. Mast says.

“I have empathy for the stress in people’s lives in the election. But that does not mean their stress has any real comparison to service members who have been targeted by snipers or blown up — who have taken the lives of their enemies or had their uniforms stained by the blood of their friends — or who have had to bury friends year after year after year. There’s not a comparison here,” Mr. Mast concludes.


Introspection is underway among Democrats following the election. What went wrong? Alec Ross, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton, says the Democratic presidential campaign message simply could not reach voters.

“Our party has become too technocratic and too incrementalist. We need big, bold ideas that people in West Virginia, western Michigan and Pennsylvania can see themselves in. I think they have really pushed back against a lot of what they see as technocratic speak,” Mr. Ross tells PJ Media.

“I think Bernie Sanders in certain respects had a lot of it right. He called for things like free college — which may not be at all feasible, but the reason why it was appealing, in part, was because it was big, bold and un-nuanced. And I think we’ve become too much the party of technocratic incrementalism, which just does not resonate with blue-collar America,” he says.


When in doubt, demonstrate. President Trump‘s most outspoken critics can’t get enough of it, perhaps. Unbeknownst to many Americans, the nation is in the middle of “Resistance Recess” — a weeklong series of “actions” organized by MoveOn.org during the first recess of the 115th Congress.

Lawmakers typically use the time to go home and appear at friendly local events, shake a lot of hands and make optimistic speeches. The progressive organization has other plans, however.

“We will show up at our elected officials’ events, town halls, other public appearances, and even plan our own events if they refuse to meet with us — to make it clear to those who represent us, as well as to the media, that tolerance of Trump’s hurtful agenda is unacceptable and politically toxic,” the group advises.

But wait, there’s more. Wednesday is also the “National Mayors’ Day of Action,” according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The mayors of 51 cities will gather in their respective towns with residents and activists to face down “threats to the Affordable Care Act.”

Among the many mayors with plans: Bill DeBlasio of New York City, Martin Walsh of Boston, Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C.

Their justification: “The effects of repealing the health care law “will be felt most heavily at the local level.”


Those seeking insight about the current mindset of the Democratic Party may get some intel Wednesday. CNN will broadcast a “Democratic Leadership Debate” between current candidates vying for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.

Political correspondent Dana Bash and anchor Chris Cuomo are the moderators; the topics include strategies for the 2018 midterm elections, “how to rebuild the Democratic Party” and the role of the DNC under the Trump administration.

Airtime is 10 p.m. EST. Who will be there? Here’s what the network stated:

“CNN has not yet announced which candidates will be attending. To receive an invitation to the debate, a person must be recognized by the DNC as a candidate for chair as outlined by its 2016 memo and must have appeared in at least three of the four DNC’s Future Forums held in Phoenix, Arizona; Houston, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; and Baltimore, Maryland.”

The possible participants are U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota; former Labor Secretary Tom Perez; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and South Carolina Democratic Chairman Jaime Harrison.


Some space news on Wednesday? Could be. NASA will host a news conference Wednesday “on a discovery beyond our solar system.” It has to do with “exoplanets” — that’s all the federal agency will reveal. Part of their mission is finding “unmistakable signs of current life” elsewhere, “another Earth” or “life as we don’t know it,” according to a mission statement.

NASA scientists and astronomers from here and abroad will be involved. See it for yourself streamed live at 1 p.m. EST at NASA.gov/NasaTV  C-SPAN is also covering the event, which says something.


80 percent of U.S. voters say cities that arrest illegal immigrants for crimes should be required to turn them over to U.S. authorities.

75 percent favor an “increased border patrol” in the U.S.

53 percent support President Trump‘s order to suspend the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and restrict travel from some nations.

52 percent support Mr. Trump’s executive orders to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, to hire more immigration officers and to revoke federal funds from sanctuary cities.

51 percent say the U.S. should accept a lower number of Syrian refugees in the future.

Source: A Harvard University-Harris/The Hill poll of 2,148 registered U.S. voters conducted Feb. 11-13.

• Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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