To Clash or Cooperate: In California, Democrats Debate Response to White House

In States On

LOS ANGELES — After greeting the election of Donald J. Trump with a defiant stream of attacks, California Democrats are now divided over how best to deal with an administration whose policies on immigration, health care and the environment loom as a threat to years of established law here.

Many Democrats say they want to go to the barricades, arguing that this unconventional president will respond only to forceful opposition. But others are urging a more measured diplomacy, warning that confrontation alone could further isolate a state already viewed by the White House as the center of resistance to Mr. Trump.

This debate, which reflects a similar one going on among Democrats in Washington, has begun to shape next year’s contest for governor. Candidates seeking to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown see a political benefit in tough talk as they campaign for support from an overwhelmingly Democratic electorate.

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