Many of you may remember when President Clinton ran for the presidency he coined the phrase “it’s the economy, stupid!” in order to keep him and his staff focused on the central issue of the campaign. Now, more than 20 years later, following the inauguration of a new Republican administration which controls the White House, House of Representatives, and the United States Senate it can feel as though the country we liberals had become accustomed to in the Obama administration is crumbling around our feet.
Following a slew of executive orders, presidential memoranda, and proclamations covering everything from a Muslim travel ban, building a wall on the border with Mexico, repealing Obama care and gutting the ethics commission, to appointing a billionaire boys club of secretaries to staff cabinet positions including people whose lifelong work seems to have been to gut the very agencies they are being nominated to lead.
It is abundantly easy to get bogged down in despair, hand-wringing, blame and finger-pointing. Thankfully, for the most part, people have stopped trying to figure out who to blame for Hillary’s loss, at least publicly. We all waited anxiously to see who the Democratic Party would nominate to leadership positions within the House and Senate. Most of us “true liberals” were disheartened to see the emergence of Chuck Schumer in the Senate and the reemergence of Nancy Pelosi in the House. At least in the Senate, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were elevated to leadership positions as well, giving us at least a glimmer of hope.
This month the Democratic National Committee will convene to elect its new chair. The selection of that person should give us a pretty clear indication as to whether the Democratic Party will embrace any of the lessons it should’ve learned in the last election cycle, or whether it will continue to embrace the losing policies that led us to where we are.
What I learned, what many people learned, from the last election cycle is that the people can take back their government and it has to start now.
The midterm elections will occur in November 2018. We have 2 years to take back our government and restore some semblance of human decency to the governing bodies of our nation’s capital.
In 2018, 36 governorships will be up for election. 25 of those governorships are Republican. 33 United States Senators will be up for election, and all 435 members of the United States House of Representatives will be up for election.
The time of for hand-wringing has passed. The time for action is upon us. We need to be out there figuring out who is going to be filling these offices following the election in 2018. We need to be watching closely the votes of the 33 United States Senators who will be up for election in 2018. Click the link to see who they are. Chronicle their votes on Obamacare, on nominees to the president’s cabinet–especially Tom Price (Health and Human Services), Steven Mnuchin (Treasury), Jeff Sessions (Attorney General), and Scott Pruitt (Environmental Protection Agency). And let’s see who supports the nominee to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.
There’s not much chance to block any of these nominations. Hell, the Senate can’t even block the nomination of Betsy DeVos to Education Secretary! But we must know how the senate votes on these critical issues if we are to start taking our government back.
In the meantime, by all means get up out of your chair, get out from in front of your computer, take to the streets, protest, demonstrate–peacefully–be vocal, talk to your friends, post on Facebook and Twitter. Keep it positive, keep it uplifting and keep the movement moving forward. And when you settle back into your chair in front of your computer, send out some damn emails! To your Senators, to your Congressmen and women, to your governors and to your state legislative representatives! Let them know you are here. Let them know you are watching, and most of all let them know in no uncertain terms that you are holding them accountable.
And remember, above all,