Kevin De Leon has won half of his argument with Dianne Feinstein.

Feinstein counseled patience, politesse, compromise and the virtue of seniority in countering President Trump and the rising white nationalists in what used to be the Republican Party.

Current events has shown that doesn’t work. She is up against people who simply won’t play fair or compromise. Her seniority counted for nothing as she watched Trump impose two justices of questionable legitimacy on the Supreme Court. Her conversations with Trump hasn’t stopped the president from constantly slurring her state or protecting it. Her negotiations with the Trump administration didn’t stop the president from imposing judicial nominees she had opposed. And now Trump is leading chants of “Lock her up” at his rallies, and the person his brown shirts want locked up is Feinstein herself.

In the process of suffering defeat after defeat, Feinstein has provided a significant public service: she discredited the notion that patience, conversation, compromise, seniority, and the norms and tools of the constitution will stop Trump. Indeed, she’s made such patience a national punchline (see her doppelganger on Saturday Night Live).

It’s time to move on from her and her ways. But California may not, in part because: it’s not clear what the alternative strategy is.

De Leon is a deeply flawed politician and person who accomplished a lot as a Sacramento legislator. And he is part of a larger movement that has changed California politically, most notably and nobly in prioritizing protection of immigrants. (The movement hasn’t really bothered to fix California’s governance system, and hasn’t figured out how to provide the levels of education and health care the future requires, but that’s another story).

That movement won mostly by perseverance over the years – slowly building alliances, changing perceptions and electing people like De Leon. But that was a process that took more than 20 years.

It’s not clear the United States has that kind of time if it’s going to save its republic from the Trumpians.

De Leon hasn’t clearly explained what his strategy would be – other than 1. To fight 2. To align with many other groups in protests.

Those are both important things, and more than Feinstein – who was not a team player – was capable of. But those two things don’t comprise an anti-Trump strategy. De Leon is also vague. What kind of fighting? Trump actually used Democratic attacks—particularly ill-considered ones – as ballast. And what kind of protests? Undisciplined protests seem to have helped Republican Senate candidates in recent weeks.

This is a hard problem. My strong suspicion is that change in Washington will require incredibly well-organized and massive protests – with millions of people in the streets for long periods of time, effectively shutting the capital and parts of the country down until something resembling normalcy is restored. And these protests will have to send a message of great warmth and reassurance, and not inspire fear in Americans, which will only help Trump fuel more division. The protests will have to avoid name-calling, they’ll have to include people from across the political spectrum, and—this part if painful–they’ll have to show respect for Trump and his white supremacist allies even as they demand their ouster.