Many readers are asking me what you can do right now to help save our democracy and break the grip of the MAGA infested GOP which is no longer a political party. Instead, it has become an undemocratic authoritarian force in our country. Many of us are worried that our country is becoming the Divided States of America. Trump is back at rallies spewing his Big Lie and saying out loud that he wanted Pence to overturn the election. Numerous statehouses under Republican control are passing laws making it harder and harder for people to vote who are likely to vote Democrat, while Congress fails to pass national voting rights legislation thanks to the filibuster and DINOs Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin.
It might seem like saving our democracy is hopeless. Not so.
I want you to know about some important successes that you might not have heard about yet, and I hope you will keep reading to the end of this post to know how to be impactful with your donations at any level right now.
There is cautious good news from the National Democratic Redistricting Commission. Litigation to force fair maps in gerrymandered states is going better than many expected. Because of the NDRC, which Eric Holder created in 2017, commissions were set up in many states committing those states to fair maps in advance of redistricting. Supreme Court rulings striking down racial and even partisan gerrymandering are helping litigators challenge unfair maps based on census data.
The NDRC litigation team is having some real success in states that have come out with obviously unfair maps in Ohio, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas. Where the census recorded undeniable increases in blacks and Hispanics, for example, the litigation team is arguing that in certain states with gerrymandered maps these populations must be represented more fairly. Courts are listening to these arguments and agreeing. There are also states that cannot agree on maps: “impass states” and the litigation team is working hard to force fair maps there as well. This is a dog fight. But the Democrats are in surprisingly good position so far when it comes to holding congressional seats. So far Democrats stand to hold 153 seats to 149 seats for Republicans. Reports of the overwhelming demise of Dems in the House of Representatives has not materialized – at least not yet. The fight goes on. Donate to NDRC here: https://democraticredistricting.com/
MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA
Media Matters for America has been fighting disinformation. This has been trench warfare. After Biden won you might have noticed that Fox moved further to the right with Tucker Carlson leading the way as a purveyor of fake news about vaccines, intimidation of Dr. Fauci, and pro Putin commentary about Ukraine. Why did that happen? Because Fox was competing with OAN and each was trying to appeal more to the extremist right wing MAGA base to garner market share. The result was that OAN pulled Fox further to the extreme right.
Media Matters saw that OAN needed to cement a relationship with Direct TV. So, Media Matters went to war exposing OAN to Direct TV and successfully hammering that platform for allowing OAN to get away without accountability for inaccurate reporting. Direct TV has banished OAN. A huge success! Now OAN is trying for Dish Network and may try for other platforms, but Media Matters is going to pursue them to the ends of the earth to keep OAN off of any platform. After that Media Matters will pummel Fox to become a more mainstream fact based network by appealing to subscribers with their Unfox My Cable Box
initiative and by appealing to advertisers to stop supporting Carlson and other Fox hosts who peddle lies. Donate here to help crush OAN and Fox “News”.https://www.mediamatters.org/
TRUMP GETTING MORE AND MORE EXPOSED
In case you live under a rock and have not yet heard this breaking news, Trump is directly implicated in some damning recent disclosures:
1)Trump has openly said he wanted Pence to overturn the 2020 election on January 6th.
2) Trump campaign memos expose Trump’s engagement in the early beginnings of the plan to try to stop the peaceful transfer of power to Biden by using alternate slates of electors that Pence was supposed to use to create chaos on January 6th, allowing Trump to stay in office.
3) Trump tried to get DHS, the Pentagon and DOJ to seize voting machines (as well as some election officials in key states).
Hey, Merrick Garland, are you listening? How about an indictment of Trump for his role in the seditious conspiracy? Hope it’s in the pipeline! Trump and the information coming fast and furious from the January 6th Committee just gave you guys at the DOJ some great big gifts with bows on top.
The January 6th Committee is getting cooperation from Mike Pence’s team including Mark Short and others who were in the room with Trump as he did his damnedest to stay in power and thwart the will of the voters. Public hearings are coming this spring. But I think the first criminal indictment of Trump is likely to come from Georgia’s special grand jury. Fani Willis, the States Attorney in Fulton County, is said to be communicating closely with the January 6th Committee. Shared information will help the Georgia special grand jury compile testimony helpful to the Georgia prosecutor to prove Trump’s state of mind and intent when he made two phone calls asking the Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensberger, to find just enough votes to put Trump over the top in Georgia.
THE SENATE WORKING ON LEGISLATION TO THWART TRUMP’S CHEAT TO WIN PLAYBOOK NEXT TIME
To the surprise of many, a bipartisan group of Senators appears to be determined to alter the Electoral Count Act’s confusing language so that Donald Trump cannot use the John Eastman cheat-to-win playbook he tried in 2020 and will try again in 2024 if he gets the chance. Angus King, an Independent, is one of the Senators leading on this legislation.
(Angus) King’s proposal would clarify the vice president’s role as ceremonial, which is necessary. But that isn’t what would thwart a coup rerun, because on Jan. 6, 2025, Kamala Harris will presumably be vice president.
However, other things in the King proposal likely would thwart a future attempt.
One danger is that a single GOP governor and/or state legislature could send a fake slate of electors to Congress, defying a Democratic popular vote win, in a state set to decide the election.
A GOP-controlled House could count those sham electors. Under the current ECA, a single slate only gets tossed if both chambers vote to invalidate it. In that scenario, the Republican might win.
So the King bill would trigger a new process of judicial review if electors are appointed in defiance of a state’s previously existing procedures. When courts declare those electors invalid — and validate the winner’s electors — the King bill would require Congress to count the right ones.
Another danger: A GOP-controlled House and Senate could refuse to count a state’s legitimately appointed electors. So King’s bill would raise the threshold to invalidate electors from a simple majority to an elusive three-fifths in both chambers. The bipartisan group also appears supportive of such a fix. (Washington Post- Greg Sargent)
WHERE TO INVEST NOW! TO SAVE DEMOCRACY
David Pepper, who wrote the book, Laboratories of Autocracy, has written compellingly about the need to work super hard to get Democratic representatives into state houses. State legislators are often unknown to the voters in their state. Do you know who your representatives are? We all need to know who is running and what they stand for. For decades, at least 40 years now, the right wing has been stocking state houses with people who do not care about the interests of the voters in their district. Instead these people have agreed to do the bidding of the ultra right wing in exchange for money and power.
The level of corruption in state houses is shocking and yet I bet you kinda knew this was happening all along given the crazy, anti democratic legislation these GOP led state houses are churning out, right? The will of the majority is being thwarted by Republican led state houses. David uses his experience in the Ohio state legislature as a cautionary tale about what the GOP is doing to gain control in every single state including blue states. The GOP succeeds in dominating state legislatures because voters are simply not paying attention to state and local races. This lack of knowledge is helped by the fact that independent local news coverage is also shrinking.
We can have an impact on state houses through: The States Project.
It’s a PAC that researches key state legislatures and identifies where funding will be most impactful to help prevent a GOP super majority, or alter the balance of power in state houses so that regressive legislation will not pass. Instead, state legislation will align more closely with the will of the majority. Early money is crucial. You can help! Donate here https://statesproject.org/
FUTURE BLOGS TO HELP YOU KNOW HOW TO BE IMPACTFUL
The reach of The Markin Report is up to 236,272 with high engagement at 89,502. I hope you will keep sharing these posts to inform people who want to save our democracy. In the next few weeks and months I have asked a number of guest bloggers to write posts to help you know about their organizations so that you can be targeted with your donations and your time. There are so many groups out there it is hard to know about all of them.
As I learn about groups that are engaged in impactful work to save our democracy that I trust and endorse, I will ask them to introduce themselves to you and explain what they do so that you can make a decision about whether you want to help them to help our country. Watch for these future blog posts.
Some of these groups are doing “Stacey Abrams style deep canvassing” and they need support right now to be maximally effective.
Deep canvassing groups identify low propensity often cynical potential voters who would be likely to vote Democratic, based on an assessment of their backgrounds that has been a reliable predictor. They then help these people solve problems that interface with local and national government such as helping them get rent relief or helping them sign up for a Medicaid program or health insurance. By doing this they create positive engagement and relationships with potential voters. Working America, which is connected to the AFLCIO then encourages these people to join their group. The group then helps these voters get to the polls.
Many of these deep canvassers are paid, not volunteers, and the more they do this work the better they become at doing it. Please support these groups at whatever level you can and share this information broadly with others.
FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION
On Monday I attended a Zoom Meeting with Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11). She talked about her trip to Ukraine as one of our congressional leaders. She reported that everyone she spoke with in that country was deeply committed to maintaining their democracy in the face of Russia’s imminent threat. Ukrainians are not going to roll over and give up their democracy.
Neither should we.
Let’s get active. Failure is not an option!
Please share The Markin Report with people you know who want to preserve our democracy. Thankyou!