After my eighth invitation in two days to emergency calls, I thought it wise to pause and reflect on how we avoid the Whack-A-Mole trap and focus our energies.
In addition to the electoral strategies in 2018 and 2020 that we have to build starting now, I see three pressure points we need to leverage with greater thought and clearer strategy.
1 ) Leverage our collective economic clout
2 ) A disaffected Trump voters strategy ( compassion, not contempt )
3 ) Continued mass resistance
4 ) Laser-like focus on moveable GOP legislators.
This deals with number four.
Time to move from checkers to chess in opposing the divisive and dangerous Bannon/ Trump agenda. They want us lurching from one catastrophe to the next, shifting just as we gain traction. They want us fighting over which should take priority. They are counting on outrage fatigue as they test the boundaries of their power grab.
"He who defends everything defends nothing."Frederick the Great
Instead of being overwhelmed by each new calamity, we must see them as opportunities to expose Bannon/Trump and to recruit a whole new wave of activists and awakening Trump supporters ready to atone.
We know what he will do and we should stop acting surprised. Instead, we need to drop the breadcrumbs that lead people toward the inevitable conclusion.
He plans to ignore the judiciary and undermine the separation of powers.
He has undisclosed financial entanglements with Russia
He will destroy longstanding alliances and get them
He will greenlight Russian aggression.
He is using the Presidency to line his pockets.
He is going to take us to war.
He has given white nationalists control of his administration.
We have to look past each twist and turn to the choke point for their agenda in total.
The bottom line is this: We have a Senate made up of 48 Democrats and 52 Republicans.
That means we need Democrats to hold the line while we find three to five Republicans who will have the decency to put the country ahead of their party and the courage to stand up to the Bannon/Trump pattern of retribution. Depending on the issue we have eight to 13 GOP senators worth focusing on.
The GOP is gambling that they can get apply the brakes on the Bannon/Trump train after the extract everything they want. Instead, they are the frogs slowly boiled a degree at a time who will not be able to control what they have unleashed. These stakes are greater than any single issue. Bannon/Trump want to dismantle the rule of law, eliminate the separation of powers and divide Americans through fear and intimidation.
It is time to move the frame beyond the romantic notion of resistors. We are not a ragtag minority scampering in the shadows, plotting against the well-oiled machine. We don't just resist, we stand for core values that are the promise of America. We are the majority who reject the spiteful bigotry. We are the majority who believe we must protect the earth, clean the water and air. We are the majority who believe in civil rights and equal justice under the law. spirit and character of America protecting what makes us the beacon to the world.
We are the majority who believe religious freedom means we each can worship according to our beliefs, not that we may wield our faith as a weapon to curtail liberties of other. We need to prepare a place for the people whose health insurance is about to be gutted to know we are here, ready to fight for them even if they voted for Trump. We need room for the immigrant families who voted for Trump not realizing it would be their families labeled terrorists and deported. Bannon/Trump want us furious, distrustful and vengeful toward our fellow Americans. We must not allow them to divide us by race, religion, ethnicity or any other difference they seek to exploit.
We must be indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
Here is a list of the GOP legislators we should be calling, writing, meeting and swarming.
* = GOP senators who have denounced the Muslim ban.
! = GOP senators who have voiced concern about Affordable Care Act Repeal
# = GOP senators in districts Clinton won
^ = GOP senators challenging Russian interference
* Sen. Ben Sasse ( R-Neb. ): 202-224-4224
*!# Sen. Susan Collins ( R-ME ): 202-224-2523
*Sen. Jeff Flake ( R-Ariz. ): 202-224-4521
*^Sen. John McCain ( R-Ariz ): 202-224-2235
*^Sen. Lindsey Graham ( R-SC ): 202-224-5972
*!Sen. Rob Portman ( R-OH ) 202-224-3353
*Sen. Orrin Hatch ( R-UT ) 202-224-5251
*!Sen. Bob Corker ( R-TN ): 202-224-3344
! Sen. Lisa Murkowski ( R-AK ) 202-224-6665
! Sen Cassidy ( R-LA ) 202-224-5824.
# Sen Cory Gardner ( R-CO ) 202-224-5941
# Sen Dean Heller ( R-NV ) 202-224-6244
^ Sen Rand Paul ( R-KY ) 202-224-4343
Nadine Smith heads Equality Florida.