Friday, January 06, 2017

January 6, 2017--Progressives, Let's Get Our Asses In Gear!

Some friends are no longer talking to me.

They are saying I'm cutting Donald Trump too much slack. I've been helping to "normalize" him by not joining in demonologizing him. They say that because of what they perceive to be his totalitarian tendencies. He doesn't deserve to be treated as a normal person or legitimate president elect.  I've been responding by saying that while keeping a wary eye on him, I am waiting to see what he actually does and before that am opting to focus on fellow progressives who helped Trump win the election.

Taking matters for granted, underestimating him, showing condescension to his supporters--that's what too many of us did and that's largely why Trump won. Also, it didn't help that Hillary Clinton turned out to be a terrible candidate.

I've also been hard on liberals who talked the good talk but when it came time to be directly involved in electing Hillary and stopping Trump, too many simply didn't walk the walk. They may have sent checks to the DNC and to Hillary but basically during the campaign season didn't work actively for her or other Democrats, and after Trump won immediately began to complain about how bad things are.

Well, they can get a lot worse.

Specifically, Republicans who have "only" 52 seats in the Senate are just eight votes short of having a filibuster-proof super-majority. Then we'll see how bad things can really get.

So it's time to stop agonizing abut how awful the next two or four years will be, get up off the couch, shut down the Internet, turn off MSNBC and PBS and get to work.

Get to work helping the 10 Democratic senators up for reelection in 2018 who come from usually blue states that Trump carried in November.

They are of two types--those likely but not certain to be reelected and those very much in peril--

The first group includes--

Florida's Bill Nelson
Pennsylvania's Bob Casey
Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
Sharrod Brown of Ohio
Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin

At greatest risk are the following quintet--

Montana's Jon Tester
Claire McCaskill from Missouri
Joe Donnelly of Indiana
North Dakota's Heidi Heitcamp
Joe Manchin of West Virginia

Here's what we might do, should do to help these good people get reelected--

Starting right now, focus on at least one of the most imperiled and raise money for his or her campaign. Host fundraising events at your home or rent a space and invite everyone you know to come to a fundraising lunch or dinner.

Contact an election committee or PAC group in a candidate's home state and volunteer to spend at least one day a week making canvassing telephone calls. This can be done from one's own home, no need to go to Montana to help Jon Tester, though Montana's about as beautiful a place as there is to spend time.

Doing this can help make the difference between things improving or getting worse. Minimally, if all else fails, we'll at least be able to look ourselves in the mirror two years hence and feel we did all we personally could to roll back the rightwing tide.

Senator Jon Tester

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