Democrats, weakened by November's election, are in many ways overmatched.
House Speaker Paul Ryan finally has the support he needs to enact his agenda, transferring trillions in national wealth from the less well off to the very richest, and dismantling the Affordable Care Act. The aggressive and highly skilled Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has an untested adversary in Charles Schumer, who, though a canny politician, is new to the cat-herding job of Democratic leader.
And, of course, the Orwellian machinations of President-elect Donald Trump and his team pose an unprecedented challenge, one outside the ken of American political experience -- Democratic or otherwise.
What Democrats need is time to assess the altered landscape and adapt. What they are about to get is a blur of ferocious activity.
Senate hearings for eight nominees for Cabinet posts are scheduled to take place from Tuesday to Thursday (plus the nominee for CIA director). By my count, half a dozen in this week's nomination batch are rods poised to attract political lightning.