Over the past month and a half since the election, LOLGOP and I have been exhorting folks listening to our podcast to activate and be present in the lives of their state legislators, members of Congress, and their U.S. Senators. In fact, the cold open to our last podcast is a recording of us calling Senator Debbie Stabenow’s office to thank her for her ongoing support of the Affordable Care Act.
Why? Because it works. And right now, more than ever, our lawmakers need to feel the power of their constituents to save Obamacare and to push back against the heinous things they are trying to do to our state and federal government. Here’s what the New York Times had to say about the power of constituents when it comes to reconciliation bills like the one that will be used to repeal Obamacare:
Yesterday, Congressional Republicans were forced to reverse themselves on a secret move they took just the day before to gut the power of the Office of Congressional Ethics. It was their first action of 2017 and can only be described as a complete faceplant.
And who did the media give the credit to? Donald J. Trump who tweeted (of course) a couple of tweets criticizing THE TIMING of the move, not the move itself.
What actually caused the abrupt reversal? People making calls:
[GOP] resolve crumbled Tuesday morning, as thousands of phone calls flooded lawmakers’ offices and both conservative and liberal ethics groups issued statements condemning the vote. Some Republicans joined in, saying the measure sent the wrong message to the public. (Internet searches for the words “Who is my representative” surged after news of the plan broke Monday night and peaked Tuesday morning, according to Google.)
Here’s what that Google spike looked like:
Here’s Robert Costa:
Most members tell me blizzard of angry constituent calls were most impt factor in getting the House to sideline the amdt
— Robert Costa (@costareports) January 3, 2017
Despite this, James Hohmann at the Washington Post doubled down on the idea that this is all Trump’s doing in a piece titled “Even when Trump shows backbone, his haters refuse to give him any credit”. “It took grit and gumption for Donald Trump to call out House Republicans yesterday,” wrote Hohmann. “So many on the left are so determined to deny Trump any victory, or even legitimacy, that they won’t give him any credit for challenging his own party – even when they agree with his aim and wanted the outcome.” I think I sprained my eyes, I rolled them so hard at these patently absurd comments. And it’s a disgusting diss of all of the Americans who exercised their civic duty and made their feelings known by contacting their members of Congress.
The truth is that the election of Turncoat Trump has galvanized Americans who are not going to let the Liar-in-Chief take this country in the wrong direction without a fight at every single juncture. And the same should go for our state legislatures, too, particularly in Democratic strongholds like Michigan and Wisconsin where gerrymandering has turned our governments over to tea party zealots who are taking us down the drain. Get yourself a pad of paper and write down the names and phone numbers of your state House representative, your state senator, your U.S. Senators, and your member of Congress. Then, anytime something significant comes up, take a few minutes to make your voice heard. It doesn’t take much time and it WORKS!
And, while you’re at it, make sure you tweet and email any news outlet that suggests Donald Trump should get credit for YOUR activism. That is, perhaps, the biggest insult of them all.
[Peace Monument photo credit: Anne Savage, special to Eclectablog]