Whenever I think things are going down the toilet because Trump is our president and doing damage to our democracy every day with the help of a complicit GOP, I try to look on the bright side. It is hard, I grant you. But there IS good news out there despite all the crummy news. And we sometimes miss it because the bad news and Trump’s twitter-feed and the media reverberations about what Trump just said jam up and clog up the airways.
So, take a minute, breathe deeply and enjoy some good news.
Here we go:
- A lot of rotten people got kicked off Facebook – white supremacists and anti-Semites including Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, Laura Loomer, and Milo Yannopoulos. They were kicked out for being “dangerous individuals and organizations”. (Hey, when will Facebook and Twitter kick Trump off for being dangerous? He is the worst offender.) YouTube is still giving these creeps a platform. Wake up, YouTube. You should kick these guys off and Trump too.
- Two more heavily gerrymandered states- Michigan and Ohio, will be forced by court order to redraw their maps which will help Dems have their votes count for something in those key swing states. Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and North Carolina maps are also being redrawn to be fair. This is a big deal. These states were the key to Trump’s surprise presidential win. Most important is that the 2020 map shows that if Dems can get turnout in these Midwest states that went for Obama and then tried Trump in 2016, the Dems could win the presidency. These states matter a lot!!
- A number of groups of progressive donors will be banding together to help the Dems win in many of these same key swing states. American Bridge PAC is going to send videographers to key swing states to get the stories of “Trump triers” who have turned against him because they have been personally hurt by his policies, trade wars, the tax bill for the rich, and the lack of infrastructure help, and more. These videographers will be getting the stories from the voters and helping others in the community hear these stories from their neighbors.
- The DNC is gearing up to recruit and train hundreds (possibly thousands- depending on the financial support they can get) of community organizers in key swing states who will engage the voters in their states the way Stacey Abrams did in Georgia, going door to door and listening to voters, drawing out the concerns of the voter and explaining how the Democrat’s policies and plans will help make a difference to them in their own lives. I think of this as a kind of “voter therapy”. Done right, it is an authentic conversation and connection between the voter and people who look like them at their door who come from their own state and community who explain the reasons for going to the trouble of voting at all and for voting for Democrats. This is a way to combat the cynicism that is rampant right now in our country because of the mess in Washington.
- Indivisible is also gearing up to do the crucial work of door knocking in all 50 states.
- The Center for Reproductive Rights is fighting against the Louisiana state legislature that passed restrictive laws requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals. There are only 4 clinics in Louisiana that do abortions. Unchallenged, this new law would force three clinics in Louisiana to close leaving only one doctor in the entire state to do abortions. This runs counter to Whole Health, the Texas case that upholds Roe v Wade and says it is bogus for a state to force doctors to have to have hospital privileges in order to do procedures. The Louisiana case has essentially the same fact pattern. The Supreme Court is going to hear the case. I have met and spoken with the attorney who will argue that case before the Supreme Court. Everything could come down to Justice Roberts and whether he wants the American people to continue to have faith in the Supreme Court as an apolitical body. Roberts was the fifth vote to allow the Louisiana case to be heard by the Supreme Court. Because of that there is some hope that he did so because he wants to uphold the precedent set in Whole Health.
- Kansas (of all states!) has decided that women have the fundamental right to control their bodies and that includes abortions based on the liberty clause in their Bill of Rights. The decision is very interesting because it could create a road map for additional states to determine, state by state, without reliance on Roe v Wade, that the state supports self-determination when it comes to a person’s own body based on a state’s constitutional grounds. This could be a game changer especially if Roe is overturned or crippled. It might be the way national legislation could be framed, based on a person’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That could mean, for women, the fundamental right of control over their own bodies, the “liberty” to live their lives as they see fit.
- Following the money holds promise to eventually bring Trump down and the Dems are finally! on the money trail. Even better, the federal courts are fully supporting the House and will continue to do so. The courts understand the need to rule quickly and are doing so. With or without an impeachment, the way to destroy Trump is to expose his corruption and criminality in open hearings to educate the public which is more likely to happen now because the House is following the money.
- This is why Trump is so unhinged, by-the-way. He knows what he has done and is continuing to do. We are going to finally understand why Trump is Putin’s lap dog. We are going to understand why that vile Saudi Arabian prince, MBS, is Trump’s bestie and what Kushner’s role is too. Trump is alleged to have deep foreign entanglements that, once out in the open, will make it a whole lot harder for Republicans to continue to hug him. Exposing Trump’s corruption and nefarious financial ties could eventually bring him down more than the Mueller report because it will become clear that he is not out for the American people but out for himself. Trump will not be able to stop that information from getting into the public space as long as the courts keep ruling as they are.
- Three federal district court judges also ruled against Trump and re-asserted the power of the House to obtain requested materials from the executive branch (in two cases) and in the the third case, the judge told Trump, again, that NO, you may not use funds for your border wall not so designated by Congress. Our courts are standing up to Trump.
- Trump and Trumpism is causing a huge backlash and firing up the progressive side of the political spectrum. Many people are sick of Trump and disgusted by his meanness, lies and hate speech. His hateful rhetoric is empowering a wave of hate crimes, it is true, but it is also creating a strong counter response from Americans to be less racist and less divisive. Lawmakers I talk with say they have never seen this level of engagement in the progressive electorate in their lives. This would not have happened without Trump.
- Fewer people are engaging with Trump via Twitter. I think we are all sick of him. Even some of his followers seem be dropping off. Trump’s tweets might have shocked at first, but now they are more like left over pizza that sat out overnight and got half eaten by the dog.