Talk about an emotional rollercoaster: In the past week, as the Stowaway-in-Chief refuses to concede, I’ve ricocheted between blissful fluff about how Joe Biden’s German shepherd Major will be the first rescue dog to live in the White House and a sobering crash course in “How to Beat Back a Coup.” On one hand, I’m anxious about Trump’s recent purge at the Department of Defense and his subsequent installation of GOP loyalists; on the other, the pesky autoimmune disorder, diagnosed by my dentist as stress-induced, magically has disappeared. And not even the crushing reality that 70 million Americans voted for Trump’s re-election can eclipse the joy of knowing that the Biden Harris ticket won — racking up the highest percentage of eligible voters in about half a century. Such are the mental gymnastics of navigating what late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel dubbed “Squattergate” starring a toddler POUTUS incapable of saying the “L word." We don’t need Mary Trump to tell us that her Uncle Donald will never say he “lost" the election. Graciously acknowledging defeat is just another norm Trump has flouted; one which, fortunately, is not required for a peaceful transfer of power. Instead, Trump and his ragtag cohorts continue to file scattershot Hail Mary lawsuits alleging voter fraud in states Biden won even though the Department of Homeland Security just concluded that the November 3 election was “the most secure in U.S. history.” Not to mention that our national security is increasingly being jeopardized by Republican lickspittles who are abetting their dear leader’s constitutional vandalism. On Friday, the Biden team ratcheted up their warning about the consequences of the incoming administration being stonewalled. “We’re not interested in having a food fight with the GSA administrator or anyone, really,” Jen Psaki, a transition adviser, said on a call with reporters. “We just want to get access to intelligence information, to threat assessments, to the ongoing work on covid, so that we can prepare to govern.” As President Obama warns on tonight’s edition of “60 Minutes,” Trump’s latest hissy fit has serious consequences. “It's one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration but democracy as well — and that’s a dangerous path,” said the former president. The good news is that Trump’s latest con is largely a bust. The courts keep rejecting his campaign team’s lawsuits as much ado about nothing. And a Reuters-Ipsos poll conducted after the race was called last Saturday found that “nearly 80% of Americans, including more than half of Republicans, recognize President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the Nov. 3 election.”
The bad news is that Republicans are hoodwinking 20 percent of voters, many of whom seem to be confused about the results: 13 percent said the election has not yet been decided, 3% said Trump won and 5% said they do not know, Reuters-Ipsos found. Before the race had even been called for the Biden/Harris ticket, Democrats were already in their signature circular firing squad formation and trading barbs about why the eagerly anticipated congressional blue wave was a washout. As WaPo writer Paul Waldman observed, "for a party that just resoundingly won a presidential election everyone said was the most important of our lifetimes, Democrats sure are a gloomy bunch, sniping at each other about why they lost seats in the House and failed to win outright control of the Senate as they hoped.” In his analysis, Waldman focuses on three key reasons behind Democratic losses in the House that have nothing to do with the ideological split within the party. "First, in these polarized times, ticket-splitting is rare, and House votes closely match presidential votes," Waldman said. "Second, this election featured extremely high turnout among both Democratic and Republican voters. Finally, the 2020 election followed a midterm in which Democrats made huge gains, including in Republican districts.” That's crucial, he noted, because wave elections such as 2018 invariably leave Democrats holding seats that naturally belong to Republicans. In 2020, Democrats had to defend 30 seats in districts that Donald Trump won in 2016, often by large margins. Still, Republican deployment of one of the dirtiest words in politics — “socialist" — undeniably was a factor in some House losses. That, plus the GOP’s savvy weaponization of the world class misnomer “defund the police” — which served as the focal point of 70 different versions of Republican attack ads -- cost many extraordinary public servants their seats. So it’s not surprising that the Democratic debate over how to craft a message that repels such assaults and brings new blood into the party is already heating up. Stay tuned for a deep dive into the Democratic Party’s messaging wars in a future post. But, for now, let’s turn to the next electoral frontier that’s on everyone’s mind: Georgia. Our fantasy to ditch Senator Mitch McConnell and deliver a Democratic-majority in the Senate to our president-elect last week seemed to crash on the rocks of concessions by Democratic senatorial candidates Dr. Al Gross and Cal Cunningham. But, miraculously, we still have one final path to flip the Senate: it runs through Georgia and the January 5 runoffs between Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock and incumbent Republican senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Here’s how you can help in Georgia: Volunteer Activities: First, local Georgia organizers are urging wannabe volunteers, no matter how well-intentioned, not to converge on the state. There’s fear that an influx of out-of-state folks who want to rally support for Ossoff and Warnock could backfire among Georgians who might resent outsider influence. So curb your enthusiasm for that road trip to Savannah and stay home. Phonebanking/Text Banking/Postcarding/Candidate Websites: Instead, sign up for a phonebanking with Flip the West here — text banking options are here. If you’re a postcarding fan, the activist who launched countless postcards and a popular movement — Tony the Democrat — wants you. Since Tony’s based in Georgia, no doubt he’ll be pulling out all the stops for the January elections. Volunteer with postcardstovoters.org Volunteer directly to help Jon Ossoff’s campaign here Volunteer directly to help Raphael Warnock’s campaign here If you want to donate money: It’s a given that Ossoff and Warnock will set fundraising records. So I’m looking at these pivotal runoff elections through a new lens. Rather than focus on direct contributions to the candidates, I’m whipping support for non-partisan, tax-exempt organizations dedicated to registering new voters and getting out the vote. One of the silver linings of the 2020 cycle may be the lesson that we shouldn't just throw money at a race and hope for a win. Instead, we have to build an enduring Democratic infrastructure that maximizes our odds of success while simultaneously creating a springboard for future campaigns. Despite our zeal to defeat political villains like Senators Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell, the dearth of established Democratic frameworks in South Carolina and Kentucky stacked the odds against us. Ultimately, to broaden our base we must replicate the methodology Stacey Abrams used to turn Georgia purple in as many other states as possible. While it’s hardly a quick fix, it’s the only way to ensure that Democrats can not only widen the playing field but also level it. In the case of Georgia, unless we augment the voter base and turnout model that helped flip the state to Biden, Warnock and Ossoff might as well be printing money and it wouldn’t necessarily buy victory. On Friday, I joined a call to learn about three very impressive 501(c)3 tax-exempt groups — Fair Count, The New Georgia Project and The People’s Agenda — which are all committed to registering new voters, getting out the vote and maximizing our shot at winning both Georgia Senate seats. The good news is that, even if we don’t prevail in the two Senate races, contributions to the following tax-exempt organizations will be the election gift that keeps on giving for years to come. Donate - 501(c)3 tax-exempt organizations that register new voters and get out the vote (GOTV) Fair Count - Fair Count worked on the 2020 Census but has transitioned to Ballot Chasing/Vote By Mail (VBM) organizing and is increasing its field capacity to reach as many new voters as possible. Rebecca DeHart, who runs the organization, was previously the head of the Georgia Democratic Party. Also on staff is Stacey Abrams’ sister, Jeanine Abrams McLean, who left the CDC to help build Fair Count. Make a tax-deductible contribution to Fair Count here. Fair Count Website New Georgia Project - This non-partisan organization founded by Stacey Abrams is dedicated to registering new voters -- primarily young people and people of color as well as stoking turnout. In advance of the November 3rd election, NGP registered some 400,000 new voters. Now they’re scrambling to register the estimated 23,000 who will turn 18 before the December 7th registration deadline that will enable them to vote in the January 5 runoffs. Make a tax-deductible contribution to the New Georgia Project here (watch the video on the landing page) New Georgia Project Website The People’s Agenda - provides a range of voter education activities including registration, mobilization initiatives to get out the vote and election security and voter protection programs. Despite the fact that the Nov. 3 election went smoothly, voter suppression tactics are baked into the Georgia electoral laws and this organization is on the front lines of the battle to revise repressive requirements like mandatory ID and exact signature match. To make a tax-deductible donation to The People’s Agenda go to the home page of their Website (You will need a PayPal account or call them at (404) 653-1199) Finally, I want to thank you for restoring my faith in the conviction that there is a silver lining to this hideous four-year nightmare — namely, you. Your commitment to the cause of protecting our democracy and your constant engagement have been an ongoing source of inspiration. Your resilience, your grit and your sense of humor have lifted my spirits -- repeatedly and resoundingly.
You have sustained the passion and the energy and the resolve that started in the streets of the 2017 Women’s March when I led a group under the banner “Don’t Tread on Us,” which gave birth to the logo for this newsletter. We united to mobilize against the existential threat personified by Trump and vowed that we’d defeat him in 2020. And, we did. Did we get everything we fought for in the election? No. But, never forget that largest number of Americans in history voted to help correct the country's moral arc back toward justice, empathy, decency and democracy. Shifting that trajectory is the stuff of legacy. My hat’s off to you. Now, let’s forge ahead and win those two Senate seats in Georgia with a variation of the November 3rd mantra that powered our victory: When you wake up on January 6th, will you be able to say you did everything you could have? If past is prologue, we might be on our way to ditching Mitch and flipping the Senate. Onward, Jane