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Making “Good Trouble”

Ted Vaill: Democratic Senators whom we elected must forget about the “collegiality” that the Senate prides itself with, and respond to the Republican Senators’ moral bankruptcy with total guerrilla warfare.
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It’s time. Time to really mess up the Senate to prevent them from ramming through a fanatical right wing Justice who would swing the Supreme Court to a total of six conservatives and three liberals (seven of the nine would be Catholics, and two are of the Jewish faith). A 6-3 right wing majority on the Court will endanger the following American rights over the next few years:

  • Obamacare, including coverage of preexisting conditions;
  • Voting rights, including the possible return of poll taxes;
  • Further destroying campaign finance laws;
  • Women’s rights, including preserving the right to choose;
  • LGBTQ rights;
  • Protection of the environment, and letting climate change go unchecked;
  • Increasing Income inequality;
  • Gutting of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid;
  • Reversal of desegregation efforts;
  • Erosion of free speech and other aspects of democracy; and
  • Destruction of public school education.

Democratic Senators whom we elected must forget about the “collegiality” that the Senate prides itself with, and respond to the Republican Senators’ moral bankruptcy with total guerrilla warfare.

We have less than six weeks before the election, and the Democratic Senators whom we elected must forget about the “collegiality” that the Senate prides itself with, and respond to the Republican Senators’ moral bankruptcy with total guerrilla warfare. If they operate over the next six weeks with “business as usual”, Trump’s oligarchical tendencies and ultimately his embrace of fascism will prevail.

Here is how the Senators can do it:

  1. Forget about “unanimous consent”

The Senate operates on passing legislation and procedural interim steps by doing almost everything by “unanimous consent”. The Democrats must object to every “unanimous consent” request made by the Republicans between now and the election, insisting on the vote of every Senator, who must come to the floor of the Senate to vote. There are 23 Republican Senators up for reelection, versus 12 Democrats. Only one or two of the Democrats are in danger of losing, while five or six of the Republican Senators are in deep trouble. Force them all to stay in Washington rather than going home to campaign for the last six weeks. Or force Moscow Mitch to push the confirmation of the new Justice to after the election, into the “lame duck” Congress. Minority Leader Schumer has already started do this, objecting to holding by “unanimous consent” a debate on the floor of the Senate regarding security and intelligence matters. 

2. Make “quorum calls” every hour or so

Any Senator can state at any time when the Senate is in session that there is not a quorum of Senators on the floor of the Senate and can make a “quorum call”, which requires each Senator to come to the floor. This will disrupt all Senate business repeatedly. And the Senate is only scheduled to be in session for eight more days before the election (although this could be changed by “Moscow Mitch”). 

3. Filibuster

Although McConnell’s “nuclear option” allows cloture against lengthy speeches (filibusters), shutting them off by a majority vote of the Senators, Democratic Senators can repeatedly filibuster with lengthy speeches and force the Republican Senators all to come to the floor to vote cloture. They will be spending all day shuttling back and forth between their offices and the Senate floor to vote, vote, vote.

4. Disrupting Committee hearings

After a Supreme Court nominee is anointed by Trump on Saturday, Senator Lindsey Graham, who is Chair of the Judiciary Committee and is also up for reelection in South Carolina, will have to hold confirmation hearings on the nominee, according to Senate rules. Senate rules also prevent without unanimous consent any committee hearings from proceeding for more than two hours a day. So Democratic Senators should continually object to holding hearings on the nomination for more than two hours a day. 

5. Trash the Nominee

Whomever the nominee is, she (and it will be a “she”), must go through a difficult vetting process, as Justice Kavanaugh found out. If it is Eleventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, she is a member of a strange Catholic cult, the People of Praise, which patterns itself after the weird dogmas shown to the world in “The Handmaid’s Tale”. This sect believes that the husband rules the family totally, and that there is a female sect “Handmaid” who is detailed to tell the wife what to do with her life. Ask her detailed questions about this cult, and have other witnesses testify as to its weird practices. If Judge Barrett is not the nominee, put every available resource into finding the buried trash in the nominee’s background. 

6. Boycotting

The Democratic Senators can fail to show up for hearings in Senate committees, and unless all the Republican Senators show up, a quorum may not exist and the hearing must be adjourned for lack of that quorum. Stop all other Senate business, especially on bills that must pass before yearend. Fun, fun, fun… 

7. Shutting down the Government

A deal has been worked out by Nancy Pelosi and Moscow Mitch to continue to finance the government until December 11, 2020. If the nominee has not been confirmed by that date, shut down the government for the rest of the year, by pulling a Republican trick and refusing to finance its operation after that date. If not yet confirmed by 2021, the nominee’s path to become a Justice will be derailed, and will have to be resubmitted to the Senate in the new 117th Congress, which hopefully will have a Democrat majority. The nomination will be dead

What You Can Do

And here is what you can do:

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 Bombard Republican Senators with faxes, twitters and phone calls

A number of Republican Senators up for reelection in 2020 have been completely hypocritical by refusing even to give Judge Garland a hearing in 2016, while eagerly supporting ramming through an arch-conservative Justice to replace the beloved RBG. Here they are, for your phone call, fax, or twitter pleasure:

Cory Gardner (CO)
Badly trailing Democrat ex- Governor John Hickenlooper
Ph- 202-224-5941
Fax- 202-224-6523

Lindsey Graham (SC)
Chair of the Judiciary Committee; tied with Democrat Jaime Harrison
Ph- 202-224-5972
Fax- 202-224-3808

John Cornyn (TX)
#2 Republican in the Senate; within reach by Democrat MJ Hegar
Ph - 202-224-2934
Fax- 202-228-2856

Tom Cotton (ARK)
Will be reelected unless he has a sex scandal
Ph- 202-224-2353
Fax not listed

Steve Daines (MONT)
Tied with Governor Steve Bullock
Ph- 202-224-2651
Fax- 202-224-1236

David Perdue (GA)
Slightly behind Democrat Jon Ossoff
Ph- 202-224-3521
Fax- 202- 228-1031

“Moscow Mitch” McConnell (KY)
Republican Majority Leader; slightly ahead of Democrat Amy McGrath
Ph- 202-224-2541
Fax- 202-224-2499

Also worthy of being contacted with your thoughts and comments are:

Susan Collins (ME)
Trailing Democrat Sara Gideon
Ph- 202-224-2523
Fax- 202-224-2693

Joni Ernst (IA)
Losing to Democrat Teresa Greenfield
Ph- 202-224-3254
Fax- 202-224-9369

Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS)
Within reach by Democrat Mike Espy
Ph- 202-224-5054
Fax- 202-224-5321

Martha McSally (AZ)
Trailing badly Democrat Mark Kelly
Ph- 202-224-2235
Fax- 202-228-2862

Dan Sullivan (AK)
Within reach by Independent Al Gross
Ph- 202-224-3004
Fax- 202-224-6501

Thom Tillis (NC)
Losing badly to Democrat Cal Cunningham
Ph- 202-224-6342
Fax- 202-228-2563

Also up for reelection is appointed Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler, who is in a jungle primary with Loudmouth Doug Collins, Joe Lieberman’s son, and a black Democrat pastor. Top two will fight for the seat in an election to be held after the Senate reconvenes in January, 2021.

If you wish to express your views on this article to the Senate Democratic leaders, here are their contacts:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
PH- 202-224-6542
Fax- 202-228-3027

Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein
Ph- 202-224-3841
Fax- 202-228-3954


Please comment after this post to let me know what adventures you had contacting these Trumpster Republicans. And send the Democratic candidates money if you can…

Ted Vaill