The Least Important #Resistance Figures of 2017

The election of Donald Trump was dismaying to every decent person. But out of the ashes of Clinton’s loss blossomed something magical: The #Resistance, that dedicated group of Americans determined to fight back against Trump’s evil empire. The Women’s March and the March for Science filled the streets in Washington, D.C.; subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post soared as they reported doggedly on the new administration; and a bunch of guys on Twitter did a lot of very dramatic tweeting.

Of course, every sensible and conscientious person opposes Trump. If you do not oppose Trump, you are bad! But there is resistance, the act of opposing Trump and his agenda, and the #Resistance. The politics of the latter boil down to: “Not Trump,” and those politics often lead it to support warmongering blood demons like Bill Kristol, as long as they agree that Trump is bad, and express a lot of ahistorical affection for George W. Bush. They consider the Russia story the most important story of the day every day, and usually think Trump is going to jail any moment now because of it. They believe they are in Dumbledore’s Army because they shared something on Facebook.


The real resistance figures of 2017 are mostly not individually famous, or seeking fame: the disabled protestors who got themselves dragged out of Congress to stop the Trumpcare bill; DACA protestors; Heather Heyer. These people are heroes.

What follows instead is a list of people who make absolutely no impact on the fight against Trump, but are widely praised and shared for doing so regardless.

Russia Hysteria Division

Eric Garland

No list of inexplicably well-regarded #resistance figures would be complete without Eric Garland, who has fallen spectacularly from the brief heights he reached last year. Garland, a “strategic intelligence advisor,” went viral in December 2016 for an unhinged, 2849-word rant about Trump and democracy, all written in deeply embarrassing mid-2000s blog style, which garnered praise from journalists like Brian Stelter and David Fahrenthold. These days, Garland still has a lot of followers, but no influence. People don’t even ridicule him that much anymore. But he did yell at Adrian Chen, the reporter who exposed Russian troll armies in the first place, for not taking Russian influence seriously enough. That was cool.


Louise Mensch

Mensch is another in the long line of ignominious grifters who cross the pond once every back home in the U.K. realizes what a fraud they are.


At the beginning of the year, Mensch was not entirely a figure of ridicule; in March, she had an op-ed in the New York Times. (JESUS CHRIST THAT HAPPENED.) Since then, she has lost most, if not all, of her credibility, though not before she gifted us all “marshal of the Supreme Court” jokes. I honestly find myself missing Louise a bit these days. Maybe I’m not following the right people, but I feel like, as with Eric Garland, people aren’t even taking the piss out of her anymore? Perhaps it’s because jumped the shark when she said Trump and Bannon may be facing the death penalty for their crimes against America, and at that point, even the most die-hard Menschie would have to take a step back. Right? Right?

Seth Abramson

An English professor who does overdramatic million-tweet threads about how this Russia shit is about to blow WIDE open, eighteen times a day. The threads are bad and he sucks. He also lists Facebook shares on his CV. Stop retweeting him for the love of God!!!


Grifter Division

Rogue Government Agency Twitter Accounts

After the Trump administration briefly banned all Interior Department agencies from tweeting in January, dozens of accounts purporting to be government insiders who hate Trump sprang up. The most prominent of these was the Rogue POTUS Staffer, which claimed to be run from inside the White House itself. They extremely were not, but hundreds of thousands of easily-duped Twitter users, most of whom probably just really wanted to believe there was someone on their side in the White House, got on board. All they ever did was tweet vague shit that anyone who reads the news could ascertain.


But it was all worth it for the time they tweeted a photo of an elevator pulled from Google image search to prove that they really were in the White House.


Media Division

Lauren Duca

Lauren Duca writes the column “Thigh-High Politics” for Teen Vogue, which “provides resources for the resistance, and just generally refuses to accept toxic nonsense.” Duca went viral for a few things within a short span: Her appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show, where he was rude to her; Martin Shrkeli’s vile harassment of her; and an article she wrote titled “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America.” She received substantial media attention, including a New York Times profile, as the “Teen Vogue writer who took on Trump.” To be clear, Duca is a perfectly competent online politics writer. What was maddening about the media frenzy is that she is nothing more than that. There was more than a whiff of condescension in the profiles—a girl? writing about politics?? for a Teen Magazine???—that managed to elevate her #brand as countless other women did actual reporting, and more substantive analysis and commentary, across the media, to little acclaim.


So what does Duca do for the resistance? Her latest column, a retrospective on the year in resistance, includes this piece of advice: “Stay informed. Figure out a media diet that works for you and stick to it. My rec: The New York Times and The Washington Post are two of the best places to start.”

I am physically hurt by how utterly meaningless that advice is. Learn the news... in the two biggest newspapers in America?

In fact, the “To Do” section of her column tends to include the same advice every time: Call your member of Congress; run for office; subscribe to the Washington Post and the New York Times; donate to a nonprofit.


Just to be clear: Subscribing to the Washington Post is not an act of resistance.


Hillary Dead-Ender Division

Peter Daou/

Peter Daou, a former political consultant and former editor of David Brock’s “Breitbart of the left” propaganda site Shareblue, was a prominent enemy of Bernie Sanders supporters and leftists in 2016. This year, he founded the website, “Media for the 65.8 Million” (Clinton voters). The site’s unique selling point is that it’s supposed to fix fake news by issuing a “Verrit code” for each fact/story it posts, allowing users to check that the fact... is really on No, it’s not just you: it makes absolutely no sense. No one reads it and it looks like shit.


Philippe Reines

A close and longtime adviser to Hillary Clinton, Reines left his consulting firm to #resist Trump full-time, saying: “It’s stand in front of the tank time.”


So far he seems not to have stood in front of any tanks, but he has been promoting his own tweets on Twitter. That’ll show ‘em!!!


He also got very mad at Kirsten Gillibrand for saying that Bill Clinton should have resigned over the Lewinsky affair, saying: “Over 20 yrs you took the Clintons’ endorsements, money, and seat. Hypocrite. Interesting strategy for 2020 primaries. Best of luck.” There is no greater offense to Reines than treating the Clintons with anything less than total devotion. In his many years of service to Clinton he has never done anything that made her look good, even once, which is a remarkable achievement on its own.

Disappointment Division

The guy who deleted Trump’s Twitter account

For 11 hilarious minutes in November, Trump’s Twitter account was gone. A cry went out across the land: what hero did this, and is he single? Alas, the ex-Twitter employee behind the prank revealed himself, and said he made a “mistake.” Panties back on, everyone.



What the fuck did I do to resist Trump? I joined the Democratic Socialists of America after the election and then never went to a meeting. I spent the whole year making ice cream, taking pictures of my cat and playing 20 year old Nintendo games. Useless.


[Republican], Welcome to the Resistance Division

John McCain

McCain has repeatedly received glowing media coverage for his largely meaningless opposition to Trump: Chris Cillizza wrote repeated fawning articles claiming McCain was trying to “wake people up” to the dangers of Trumpism. He also got a lot of praise for giving a speech during the healthcare bill debate about how the Senate should restore regular order, which he didn’t give a shit about when Mitch McConnell blocked Merrick Garland from being confirmed to the Supreme Court for no reason other than politics, and even promised to continue to block Supreme Court nominees if Clinton won. Though he was unable to vote for the final tax reform bill, he voted for an earlier version this month.


John Kelly

Two tweets should do this:




Fuck right off!!!!

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About the author

Libby Watson

Splinter politics writer.