I posted this on my Medium thing, and I’m putting it here, too, for today’s Daily December.
There’s a lot of triumphant “get over it you Libtard you lost” going around. I understand that. I get it. It’s shitty, and it’s obnoxious, but I understand that impulse. In 2008, I felt so relieved that President Obama was elected, because I felt like it was a chance to repair a lot of the damage done by the Bush/Cheney administration. I really wanted to believe that voters — that America — had repudiated Bush and Cheney. The vote totals certainly told us that. The polling certainly told us that. Unfortunately, when President Obama had majorities in both houses of congress, and progressive policies could be passed with relative ease(relative to the unprecedented obstructionism that was to come), the Democrats and the president didn’t really seem that invested in doing that. They seemed to be infuriatingly focused on “healing the country,” and making the Republicans who ran deceitful, hateful campaigns feeel better, which is something that right wingers always call for when they lose elections. Hey, how did appointing Republican James Comey to head the FBI work out for you? And taking that public option off the table? Letting Lieberman off without any consequences? All good, right? Yeah.
I understand why the deplorables are walking around with their dicks out, setting couches on fire and flipping over cars every chance they get. They know that nobody is going to stop them. They are as empowered as they’ve been in a generation, and they’re just getting started.
This isn’t about that election, but it’s an introduction to give context to this: I understand why the deplorables* are walking around with their dicks out, setting couches on fire and flipping over cars every chance they get. They know that nobody is going to stop them. They know that they can get away with it. They are as empowered as they’ve been in a generation, because even though they didn’t actually win a contest of ideas, and there’s a ton of evidence to support the contention that voter suppression efforts in states controlled by Republicans worked exactly the way they were designed to work, they still won. If you thought those shitbags were obnoxious when they were relegated to the gutter where they belong, just wait and see how terrible they can really get.
But I understand their impulse. It’s got to feel really great to know that even if only 25% of the country agrees with you, you still get to have your guy in the White House, and you make life miserable for the majority. Everyone gets a trophy, but your trophy is even bigger than the one that was earned by the actual winner. Congratulations!
Democrats, who will be the opposition, have all but disappeared since November 7th.
Nothing Matters and Everything is Terrible
I keep pointing out that they are the minority, because that is important. Or at least it should be. It should matter in a democracy (cue pedants to tell me that we live in a republic) and it’s depressing, and defeating, and infuriating that it doesn’t. The people who have given Congressional majorities to right wingers are significantly outnumbered all over the country, but that doesn’t matter, because they have a majority of state governments, and have gerrymandered themselves into a House that makes that majority pretty much untouchable. It doesn’t matter, because the simple fact is that Republicans play to win, and fuck the rules because rules are for losers and Democrats. Just look at what’s happening in North Carolina right now for an example.
Republicans never let facts get in their way, (climate change and voter fraud come to mind) so even though Trump and his basket of douchebags can not claim any real and meaningful mandate, they will govern like they have one.
They can do this because the facts just don’t matter (again: climate change). Even though Cheeto Hitler lost the popular vote by the largest margin in history, even though he will take office with the lowest approval rating in this century, the deplorables will convince themselves that he has a mandate. And why shouldn’t they feel that way? Democrats, who will be the opposition, have all but disappeared since November 7th, and the Republican majorities in Congress are so amped up to tear apart the social safety net and destroy what’s left of a progressive tax code, they have no reason to say or do anything that will check or balance what Cheeto Hitler and the Deplorables (which is the name of my Ted Nugent cover band) want to do.
So we get “Fuck you, libtard! We won! He said he’d drain the swamp and even though he’s filling up his administration with insiders and put a Goldman executive in charge of the Treasury department, we won! WE WON AND YOU LOST AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS!”
He has designated former Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon as his senior White House strategist, Goldman veteran Steve Mnuchin as Treasury secretary, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as Commerce secretary and billionaire activist Betsy DeVos as Education secretary.
Even though he has never held a public office, or cared about anyone other than himself in his life, he and his toadies will do everything they can to destroy the popular, progressive achievements of the last century that have made life better for tens of millions of Americans, they will enact policies that will greatly harm the very people who voted for him, and undermine our national security so that Exxon can make more money. None of this matters to his voters, because they won. People all over America — including Trump voters — who have genuinely benefitted from the Affordable Care Act are going to lose their health insurance, struggle financially, and some of them will die, but they don’t care because they won! Yeah! Fuck you, Liberals and Feminists and SJWs! We won! HASHTAG GAMERGATE HASHTAG FREE MILO.
Part of me that’s still Bargaining continues to hope the Electoral College will stop the most dangerous and unqualified person to ever run for president from taking office.
I know it isn’t going to happen, even though the daily evidence continues to mount that Donald Trump is not just profoundly unqualified to be president, but poses a legitimate and clear danger to the safety of Americans and the stability of the world. And I know that once he is sworn in, we are fucked. Democrats don’t have the numbers to really do anything to assert themselves, even if they suddenly became a bloc of people who didn’t back down from a fight for the first time in over twenty years. Congressional Republicans who couldn’t fund enough investigations into every breath Hillary Clinton took are suddenly too busy to look into Russian meddling in the election. Jason Chaffetz, who promised “years of investigations” if Hillary Clinton was president just doesn’t think it’s a big deal to find out what Trump knew and when he knew it. And who cares if Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State has no experience with diplomacy, is close friends with the leader of a hostile foreign country, and has consistently put the interests of his company ahead of America’s national interest? They’re finally going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with … something. Maybe. The important thing is, they won, and they put that uppity bitch Hillary Clinton in her place.
What did Trump know about Russian meddling in the election, and when did he know it?
Trump will treat the presidency like he is a king, and if you look at the people he wants to head up government agencies, especially his nominee for Secretary of State, you’ll see that he doesn’t give a fuck about America or Americans. He is going to do everything he can with the power of the presidency to enrich himself and his family, even if it means the destruction of America as a respected leader in the world. He lied to his voters, they were played for chumps, and now they’re going to be serfs in his kingdom. Paul Ryan is going to take the garbage heap that is Atlas Shrugged and use it to tear apart every last thing that makes the American Dream possible, so unless you’re already wealthy or part of a wealthy family, try not to get sick and if you do, at least try to die really fast, as they say. And I hope you aren’t into public education, national parks, and any scientific research that challenges right wing orthodoxy, because the agencies that are responsible for all of those things are about to be headed up by people who want to destroy those things.
But maybe we aren’t fucked.
It’s really easy for those of us who see through Trump, who care about the integrity of our elections, who believe scientists and experts on everything from climate change to public health policy, to feel despondent. I mean, I move through the stages of grief on a daily basis and today I’m clearly doing anger. I’m sure that the deplorables are loving that we feel this way, and why shouldn’t they? If something happened to make a neonazi unhappy, I’d feel pretty great about that.
So even though it’s really easy to feel terrible (especially since it looks like Democrats are going to roll over and do nothing to fight back and protect the same people they send hysterical fundraising emails to every election cycle), there is some hope.
And this has all been a very long introduction to what I wanted to share in the first place: A group of former Democratic Congressional Staffers have put together a document that outlines a solid and tested plan to fight back against Trump and Trumpism, and it’s intended to empower citizens who are fed up with their members of congress doing fuckall to represent and listen to them. It’s based on the phenomenal success the Tea Party had disrupting President Obama’s popular agenda, and everyone who cares about starting a resistance so that we don’t need a rebellion, should read it and pass it around, so we can use it to disrupt and defeat Trump and Paul Ryan’s unpopular agenda.
Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen.
Donald Trump is the biggest popular vote loser in history to ever to call himself President-Elect. In spite of the fact that he has no mandate, he will attempt to use his congressional majority to reshape America in his own racist, authoritarian, and corrupt image. If progressives are going to stop this, we must stand indivisibly opposed to Trump and the members of Congress who would do his bidding. Together, we have the power to resist — and we have the power to win.
We know this because we’ve seen it before. The authors of this guide are former congressional staffers who witnessed the rise of the Tea Party. We saw these activists take on a popular president with a mandate for change and a supermajority in Congress. We saw them organize locally and convince their own members of Congress to reject President Obama’s agenda. Their ideas were wrong, cruel, and tinged with racism — and they won.
We believe that protecting our values and neighbors will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda — but a resistance built on the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness. Trump is not popular. He does not have a mandate. He does not have large congressional margins. If a small minority in the Tea Party can stop President Barack Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump.
To this end, the following chapters offer a step-by-step guide for individuals, groups, and organizations looking to replicate the Tea Party’s success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents. The guide is intended to be equally useful for stiffening Democratic spines and weakening pro-Trump Republican resolve.
We believe that the next four years depend on citizens across the country standing indivisible against the Trump agenda. We believe that buying into false promises or accepting partial concessions will only further empower Trump to victimize our fellow citizens. We hope that this guide will provide those who share that belief useful tools to make Congress listen.
This isn’t going to be easy, but we have to start fighting back right now. If we don’t, we are fucked.