Please signal boost, we may have won the election but action is needed if we don’t want to see the Democrats do what they do best, and turn to mush when it comes time to stand up for the middle class, working class, and poor, against unnecessary austerity measures that serve only to fund even greater tax breaks for the most wealthy among us.
Starting just the day after the election we’ve already seen a push in the mainstream media to make the narrative about how Obama needs to appease Wall Street. We’ve seen it declared all over that the election doesn’t constitute a mandate (when a margin less than half the size did, in the hands of GW Bush.)
Things are already moving and it’s going to take a push just as strong as the one during the election, to let the people we just sent back to Washington know that our support is not unconditional.
The reality (from AmericaBlog, emphasis mine):
▪ It’s a safe bet Obama wants this. He’s been angling for something like Simpson-Bowles for years. In fact, Simpson-Bowles is his commission. (For more on why I say this with such certainty, click here.)
Unless the Dems take the House, there are only two places this can be stopped — at the White House and in the Senate. The White House is likely — but not certainly — a lost cause (see above). In addition, Sen. Whitehouse said last month that if Obama doesn’t take a strong stand, many Dem senators won’t either. I take that as a request from Mr. Whitehouse, in public, for Obama to do what he fears Obama won’t do. More confirmation of the first point.
▪ In the Senate, Bernie Sanders has marshalled 29 Democrats who will “oppose including Social Security cuts … in any deficit reduction package.” He, they and 96 activist organizations are organizing a resistance to this lame duck catastrophe.
What to do about it:
1. Raise a constant and public stink about this. There are many actions being planned. You can start by signing Sen. Sanders’ petition here. This petition is now the central collection point for citizen names. Over 17,000 people like yourself have already signed. Later there will be organized actions around the country, and you can help out. (Updated: Earlier there was more than one petition. Sanders is now the main one.)
2. Barrage the 29 senators who signed Bernie Sanders letter, asking them (firmly but politely) to keep their word (see names and phone numbers below). We need them to go for the win and not the show. I know they are already being courageous by bucking the leader of their own party. (There’s a real price for this kind of opposition.) And if cutthroat use of Senate rules can’t produce a win, there’s no point in taking it down that road.
But if cutthroat use of Senate rules can produce a win, ask them to use the power they have to accomplishtheir own goal. Remind them that there are 29 of them, a large enough group to provide some protection against the inevitable Dem retaliation. Remind them that both Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer (who many think wants to be the next Harry Reid) signed the letter. The ask:
If this is really as important as you say it is, stand together for strength and go for the win. Take risks for the people you’re protecting.
You can call as many of these senators as you like, and you don’t need permission. Be sure to start by thanking them. They’re the ones who got this going.
3. Barrage the non-signing senators with questions and complaints (see names and phone numbers below). Some are up for re-election this year. Some are even self-branded “progressives” (for example, Amy Klobuchar, whose helpful staff can be reached at 202-224-3244). Be polite, but make it uncomfortable for them to stay off the team.
You can call as many as you like, and you don’t need permission.
4. Report your results so that what you do has resonance and amplification. There will be a whip-count page at Campaign for America’s Future in the next couple of days. I’ll edit this post with the address when it’s live. To report, simply email the results of your senatorial communication to:
Lame Duck Whip Count - A list of the status of every member of the House and Senate on this issue, complete with Phone numbers and instructions for making yourself heard.
Stop Dismantling Social Security and Medicare - Petition at SignOn.org, By Senator Bernie Sanders and Social Security Works (Contact) To be delivered to: The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama