Congress is figuring out what it looks like when we pay attention.
If we hadn’t put Sessions in the spotlight through calls to our MoCs (Members of Congress), do you think Rob Portman and other Rs would have so quickly called for Jeff Sessions to recuse himself once his ‘mis-statements’ about meeting with the Russian ambassador were brought to light? Would so many now be calling for an investigation into Russian interference?
If we had not hounded our MoCs about improving, not repealing, the ACA, would so many Rs, like Mo Brooks of Alabama, be saying that our objections might now prevent Congress from passing a repeal bill?
The March 6 New Yorker story, “What Calling Congress Achieves,” adds the weight of history to the power of resistance. The story starts with a reminder that our Constitution gives us the right to complain to our elected officials, and traces the history of how constituents have made themselves heard over the years. It explains that there is no standard protocol as far as how MoCs track and report our opinions, and affirms that most MoCs are not used to be being watched. It concludes with the assertion that, throughout our history, when enough people pay attention for long enough, things happen: “The deluge of constituent pressure … is a viable long-term strategy, but only if it is a long-term strategy—that is, only if those doing it choose to sustain it.”
There’s that word again, sustain. We are just getting started. The most effective ways to reach MoCs will keep changing, so we need to remain agile!
Many MoCs are now calling for an investigation of Russian interference in the election. I’m still sorting through the implications of who should lead: Department of Justice, Special Prosecutor or Senate Intelligence Committee. Yesterday, Marco Rubio almost sounded like a statesman when he made the commitment to gather the facts no matter where those facts lead. I think it would restore some measure of faith in our institutions if Ds and Rs on the Senate Intelligence Committee commit to work together, rise above Party and do their jobs.
To review: This is a weekly email focused on effective ways to resist. The goal is to make being an engaged citizen a habit, and pace ourselves so we don’t burn out.
- Tell your MoCs to demand a fully transparent process for any legislative action on ACA. It is especially important that any bill be scored by the Congressional Budget Office so we know how much it will cost. Use your own words (scripts don’t carry much weight with staffers) and be clear: No Score. No Vote.
- Tell your MoCs that Jeff Sessions must be fully investigated. If you believe he must resign, tell your MoCs.
- Demand a full investigation into the Trump administration’s connections with Russia. Now that Sessions has recused himself, Trump’s nominee for Deputy AG, Ron Rosenstein, will likely be responsible for any investigation. Tell Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown to demand that Rosenstein commit to appointing a special prosecutor.
Rob Portman: 513-684-3265 or Other Portman office numbers
Sherrod Brown: 513-684-1021
Brad Wenstrup: 513-474-7777
Steve Chabot: 513-684-2723
Heads up for next week, March 15 has been declared #TheIdesofTrump. The idea is to flood DJT with postcards to express your personal opposition.
Rob Portman is still asking for Obamacare stories and still only wants disaster stories. While our phone calls supply our MoCs with data (“I oppose” or “I support”), personal stories have the potential to make an emotional impact. Staffers are more likely remember stories and relate them to their bosses.CONNECT Weds. March 8, 4:30-6:30p International Women’s Day Rally at Piatt Park, Cincinnati.
Final thought this week: I loved this poll: It breaks down the voting population into four categories (Believers,Conditionals, Curious, Resisters). While party affiliation is a necessary vehicle to get elected, it is, for me, and increasingly meaningless way to understand voters. Speaking of understanding voters I am also interested in Knock Every Door. The site explains, “Groundbreaking political science research suggests that long, open-ended conversations … can actually change people’s minds – maybe even Trump supporters. They’re also the best way we can think of to get a better understanding of why some Obama voters didn’t vote this year or flipped to Trump.” Knock Every Door is clearly organizing communities against DJT, but is not affiliated with the D party. Anybody know more about this?
This site is worth repeating — I sent the wrong URL last week: WhatTheFuckJustHappenedToday