Today’s post was inspired by this article in the Washington Post Democrats seek stronger social media presence to guard against potential Russian interference in midterms as well as the uptick of posting I’ve seen on Twitter by Democratic leaders. What I’m writing today is Twitter-specific, although most of it should translate easily to those who still use Facebook. As we gear up for the mid-terms, it’s helpful to consider how we, as individuals, can also gear up our messaging on behalf of the Party and the candidates we support. As per usual, I write, not as an expert, but as someone who has observed and learned over the years.
Senator McCain’s surgery and his as-of-yet unknown date of return to the Senate; a BCRA(p) bill that must be passed under the FY17 budget resolution, using the reconciliation process (thus preserving a FY18 budget resolution/reconciliation process for tax reform); senators announcing they are no votes on the MTP for widely-varying reasons; and a squabbling Republican caucus that is being “enticed” by McConnell in any way possible have combined to create a perfect storm for the Resistance. Every delay enables us to make more calls and create more pressure, and every delay brings us closer to the end of FY17, the adoption of a FY18 budget resolution, and the resulting loss of the ability to use FY17 reconciliation for the repeal and replacement of the ACA. In the event you’re starting to feel the Resistance Burnout Blues, today I’m comparing and contrasting the Democratic and Republican platform planks related to healthcare. Because of the timeliness, detail, and complexity of the topic, I will be covering healthcare in two separate posts, today and on Thursday.
Today, as the Affordable Care Act turns 7 years old, Republicans in Congress will be voting to repeal it. Not because the law does not make great strides in delivering on its promise of providing affordable care to all Americans but because it does deliver on that promise – the number of uninsured Americans is at an all-time low. Without the ACA, 36,000 people a year would die from treatable illnesses and thousands of families would be plunged into medical bankruptcy, forced to choose between caring for a loved one or paying the mortgage. The value of the social safety net has never been “settled law” in America and as long as Republicans are willing to put profits over people, tax cuts over children’s health, deficit reduction over common decency, Democrats will have to keep fighting with everything we have. We may not have political power right now but we have the power of the people behind us.
Here is a reminder of what happened seven years ago.
Yesterday, President Obama took a break from his August vacation to speak at a Democratic Party fund-raiser. Here is what he wanted to warn us about:
What I do want to emphasize is needing a sense of urgency and finishing the job of getting [Hillary Clinton] elected. And you notice I haven’t said much about her opponent. (Laughter.) Frankly, I’m tired of talking about her opponent. I don’t have to make the case against her opponent because every time he talks he makes the case against his own candidacy.
But what I do know is that this has been an unpredictable election season, but — not only because of anxieties and concerns that the American people have, but also because of the changing nature of the media and voting patterns. There’s still a lot of uncertainty out there. And if we are not running scared until the day after the election, we are going to be making a grave mistake.
President Obama: “This is my serious face”
Democrats are giddy over the latest polls and the projections showing a shellacking in the electoral college. But here are the words that accompany each poll:
“If the election were held today …”
Guess what? The election will NOT be held today – it will be held in late October when early voting starts in many states and it will be held on November 8, 2016 when most of us go to the polls and cast our votes.
Polls that measure our preferences do not elect a single person. But what they can do, if we don’t stay focused, is lull us into a false sense of comfort.
So listen to President Obama and “Stay Scared” until the job is done. That will be when the polls close in each time zone on November 8, 2016.
Thursday night, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party. She stands poised (in both senses of the word) to be the first woman to become president of the United States of America.
Secretary Clinton on activism and policy details:
It became clear to me that simply caring is not enough. To drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws. You need both understanding and action. So we gathered facts. We built a coalition.
But how do you make a [big idea real]? You do it step-by-step, year-by-year… sometimes even door-by-door.[…]
I sweat the details of policy – whether we’re talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs.
Because it’s not just a “detail” if it’s your kid – if it’s your family. It’s a big deal.
And it should be a big deal to your president.
On our nation’s history and making history:
“Stronger Together” is not just a lesson from our history.
It’s not just a slogan for our campaign.
It’s a guiding principle for the country we’ve always been and the future we’re going to build. […]
Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come.
Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between.
Happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.
So let’s keep going, until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves.
Because even more important than the history we make tonight, is the history we will write together in the years ahead.
On Wednesday night, President Barack Obama addressed the 2016 Democratic Party nominating convention. He asked us to celebrate what is good about our country – and ourselves – as he laid out his vision for the future; a future where the foundation set by his administration is built upon by President Hillary Clinton.
Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s precisely this contest of idea that pushes our country forward. (Applause.) But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican — and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems — just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.
And that is not the America I know. (Applause.) The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous. (Applause.) Sure, we have real anxieties — about paying the bills, and protecting our kids, caring for a sick parent. We get frustrated with political gridlock, and worry about racial divisions. We are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice. There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures; men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten; parents who wonder whether their kids will have the same opportunities that we had.
All of that is real. We are challenged to do better; to be better.
But as I’ve traveled this country, through all 50 states, as I’ve rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I have also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America. […]
This year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me — to reject cynicism and reject fear, and to summon what is best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation.
Secretary Clinton joined the president on the stage after his speech – the baton is passed, with a hug:
We don’t always see eye to eye, Democratic Party. Some of the choices you have made over the years have left me shaking my head.
But in my lifetime you have never once nominated someone completely unsuited, someone who rejects Democratic Party values, someone who I would be unable to vote for over concern that my country, and the world, would be damaged if they were to win the election.
Oh, you flirted with it: Strom Thurmond (actually before my time) and George Wallace come to mind. You sometimes allowed single issues to take priority over electability, leaving us out of power while Republicans hurt us and our causes, but you never nominated someone who I couldn’t vote for.
Last night, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton clinched the Democratic Party presidential nomination.
Before her victory speech, this video was presented to the assembled crowd (it had been shared on social media earlier in the afternoon)
It is a powerful statement about the history that has been made and will be made.
Hillary Clinton’s Victory Speech, June 7, 2016, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard:
Secretary Hillary Clinton on the historic nature of her victory:
Tonight’s victory is not about one person.
It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible. In our country, it started right here in New York, a place called Seneca Falls in 1848 where a small but determined group of women and men came together with the idea that women deserved equal rights. […]
And this, looking ahead:
We believe we should lift each other up, not tear each other down. … To be great, we can’t be small. We have to be as big as the values that define America. …
This election is [not] about about the same old fights between Republicans and Democrats. This election is different.
It really is about who we are as a nation. It’s about millions of Americans coming together so take we are better than this. We won’t let this happen in America. And if you agree, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, I hope you will join us in just a few weeks, we will meet in Philadelphia which gave birth to our nation back in that hot summer of 1776. Those early patriots knew they would all rise or fall together. Well, to day that is more true than ever. Our campaign will take the message to every corner of our country. We’re stronger when our economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.
With good paying jobs and good schools in every zip code and a real commitment to all families and all regions of our nation. We are stronger when we work with our allies and we’re stronger when we respect each other, listen to each other and act with a sense of common purpose. We’re stronger when every family and every community knows they’re not on their own. Because we are in this together. It really does take a village to raise a child. And to build a stronger future for us all. […]
Yes, there are still ceilings to break for women and men for all of us. But don’t let anyone tell you that great things can’t happen in America. Barriers can come down. Justice and equality can win. Our history has moved in that direction. Thanks to generations of Americans who refuse to give up or back down.
Now you are writing a new chapter of that story. This campaign is about making sure there are no ceilings, no limits on any of us and this is our moment to come together.
… if we stand together, we will rise together.
Because we are stronger together. Let’s go out and make that case to America.
Today, as the Affordable Care Act turns 6 years old, one of its provisions is being challenged in the Supreme Court of the United States. The contraceptive mandate guaranteed that women would have access to affordable birth control as part of their insurance coverage. But women’s reproductive rights have never been “settled law” in America and those attacking a woman’s right to choose the size of her family seem to always find judges willing to rule in their favor. Today, arguments in Zubik v Burwell will be heard by the 8-person Supreme Court; they will decide if religious freedom includes freedom to deny contraceptive coverage to your employees.
Here is a reminder of what happened six years ago.
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. For over 60 years, Democrats had been trying to pass a law that finally and firmly declared that health care was a right and not a privilege.
This historic piece of legislation was possible because we had Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress and a Democratic president.
It is why Elections Matter … and why all the rest is noise.