People still don’t appreciate how ephemeral success is. ~Nate Silver
Success is never accidental. ~Jack Dorsey
The truth is being revealed in its own due course, with its own stubborn schedule that seems satisfactory only in retrospect. ~Steve Schmidt
If ever there was a week for a victory lap, this is it.
In just over a week, the Honoring our PACT Act, which supports healthcare for veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits, passed; the CHIPS and Science Act passed, which supports a $56 billion investment in producing semiconductors here in the U.S.; the US executed a successful airstrike that killed Osama Bin Laden’s number 2 guy, Ayman al-Zawahiri (with no civilian casualties); gas prices are down by nearly a dollar; the generic ballot average shows Democrats up for the first time since November 2021; in a Kansas stunner, nearly 59% of voters voted to keep abortion legal; and then over the weekend the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 passed the Senate. It’s the biggest investment in the climate we’ve ever made. It gives Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices – which will bring those prices down. It caps insulin at $35 a month for those on Medicaid (Republicans stripped out the $35 cap for people on private insurance). And It extends healthcare subsidies.
And then last night, for the proverbial cherry on top – the FBI conducted a search of Donald Trump’s private residence, Mar-A-Lago.
We will learn more about that search in the coming days, I’m sure. Early reports suggest it involves the boxes and boxes of classified documents that Trump took with him when he flew south. We shall see.
(An aside that it would be fitting if the former president – who certainly acts like a mob boss – is broken not by flashy charges of racketeering or fraud, but by the stoic and steady work of archivists. Not unlike the undoing of legendary mobster Al Capone, whose south Florida property was similarly searched for the tax documents that would send him to prison for tax evasion.)
Friend, it has been a good week. An excellent week. A week to savor.
Sometimes things move slowly until they move all at once. This week feels like one of those times.
Over the last year it has often felt as though justice, and progress, was moving at glacial pace. It has been frustrating. Maddening, even. It’s made some people question their votes, their allegiances, and even their life’s work.
But then, look at the lightning speed of the last week.
Let’s savor it.
And then let’s keep those talking points handy. (Of course, there’s more that you can add – I literally focused on just the last week.)
Too often we Democrats are our own worst enemies, by assuming that everyone knows the good work that has been done.
That is not how the world, or the human brain, works.
So much good has happened that none of it is getting the months-long victory lap that it deserves.
That means we run the risk of all of it being overwhelmed and overshadowed by the latest crazy statement (of which there will be many in the coming days). Leaving people to ask in the election’s closing days, “But what have Democrats done, really?”
Consider that the IRA – a signature achievement! – that passed the Senate on Saturday has already been completely bumped from the news cycle by the FBI’s search of Trump’s property (which we can and should admit is satisfying, to show that the rule of law still means something).
Let’s not allow these massive wins to go unappreciated by ourselves, and by everyone else, simply because there are so many of them that it’s hard to focus. How can we do that?
Simple. Just bring it up in your everyday conversations with friends and family and coworkers.
Mention how Democrats helped Veterans.
Mention how much better it feels to fill up your gas tank.
Mention how excited you are about the climate provisions in the IRA and how much you wish Republicans would not have stripped out that $35 cap on insulin for people covered by private insurance.
Mention how Democrats finally passed a bill that will make us more competitive with China on semiconductors.
Mention how great it is that the US has taken down Bin Laden’s second in command, showing the world that there is no safe place for terrorists.
These are things you can easily slip into conversations – even with Republicans. But especially with your fellow Democrats, so they can appreciate the monumental achievements of just the past week.
Their vote mattered. And your work matters.
Let’s take the victory laps, raise public awareness of Democrats’ achievements, and keep up the momentum that we’ve got.
The election is 91 days from today.
Let’s get to work.
Actions for the Week of August 9, 2022
Friday: IRA in the House!
On Friday, the House will take up the Infrastructure Reduction Act, which already passed the Senate (its biggest hurdle). PLEASE call your reps this week and encourage them to vote for it. Let them know we need to get this across the finish line! We are so close. Now is not the time to falter. Let’s finish strong.
Script: Hi, my name is ___ and I’m a constituent at ___. I’m calling to ask Congress(wo)man ___ to support the IRA. It means a lot to me, and to her/his constituents. Let’s get this legislation that helps the American people across the finish line!
Sign Up to Write Letters for the Working Families Party
The Working Families Party is beginning a large scale personalized letter program, with a goal of sending one million letters to AZ, GA, MI, MN, NV, NC, OH, PA, and WI, focusing on three topics: health care, worker pay and affordable housing. They send mostly form letters that include some personalization (a few sentences from you about why the issue matters to you).
When you sign up, you will receive a follow-up email with instructions, templates and directions to get access to your list of 50 letter recipients.
Note that you will be responsible for printing, modifying with personalization, signing, and sending these letters..
You can write about Health Care, Worker Pay, or Affordable Housing.
And you can choose to write to: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, or Nevada.
You will not be sending your letters until October.
*Note that it may take a minute to get your email instructions. My email came a few hours after I signed up.
Sign up HERE
Learn About the Origins of (and Fight Against) Extremism in State Legislatures:
As you know, I’ve been involved in state legislative work for some time, trying to support Democratic nominees who are fighting against Republicans – especially in districts that are not expected to flip. David Pepper is a fellow traveler, and an amazing advocate, writer, and political strategist. His book, Laboratories of Autocracy, is an insightful if chilling read that will get you up to speed right quick.
This past weekend David’s work in Ohio was featured by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker. It’s almost a Cliff’s Notes version of his book, and I highly recommend it. (If you encounter a paywall, you can simply bypass the prompt to subscribe and that should get you past it.)
Here’s a link to the New Yorker piece. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/08/15/state-legislatures-are-torching-democracy. You can also listen to an interview of Jane Mayer (which also includes snippits from her interview of David Pepper) here: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/tnyradiohour/articles/jane-mayer-ohios-lurch-right?fbclid=IwAR1v8Aq6hYmDWS2G-oJZSsCYrdRva62Fsx9GMffW9ERvC5INmvGITO88E4k
Then, after you’ve read all about the Ohio insanity, join the effort to support Democratic nominees in Ohio by joining the Blue Ohio community. It’s a group of folks (nearly 850 strong now!) who kick in a few dollars a month, 100% of which is then distributed to Democratic nominees. Blue Ohio uses a “bathtub” method of funding, where we support those nominees who need the most help first.
In practical effect that means that we’re making sure nominees who are fighting against the most extreme Republicans have resources to fight back! Traditionally those races are forgotten – and because of that they’re really in need of support.
As a Blue Ohio member donating $10/mo or more to the nominees you’re also automatically invited to our monthly brown bag lunches, where we get together and hear from special guests, talk about our progress, and amplify great work being done across the state. (All members have access to our meeting recordings.)
We will be sending out checks in the coming week to some really wonderful nominees who are fighting the good fight in red districts across Ohio. You really should be part of this wonderful community! Go here to join: https://contribute.blueohio.org/join_ohio?sc=sdd89 or here to learn more: www.blueohio.org.
Join Fetterman’s Social Squad
If you’re not following John Fetterman’s PA Senate campaign, you should! He has a signature (gritty) style and is taking Democratic messaging in a completely different and fresh direction. Note that he is a unique candidate! I’ll go out on a limb here and say that using the messaging strategy that’s right for a giant, bald, basketball-shorts wearing guy who didn’t even smile for his official Lieutenant Gov photo is not going to be the right one for, really, anyone else. But it’s a great example of a candidate using their own signature style in a way that captivates everyone.
If you would like to be more involved in Fetterman’s Senate race – which beyond being critical for PA is truly important for the entire country – you can join Fetterman’s social squad here: https://www.mobilize.us/johnfettermanforsenate/event/469331/.
You’ll be prompted to give your social handles and then invited to be part of their private FB group and their Slack channel. And honestly, if you’re working with any campaigns this cycle I recommend signing up for these – if for nothing else than to see what their team is doing and brainstorm how you might be able to use the same strategies.
WHEW! GO TEAM!
P.S.: Why don’t you make someone’s day and send this pep talk to a friend or two? I bet they need it.
If you’d like to sign up to get this pep talk and action list in your in-box each week, you can do that here. Welcome, friend!
Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. I read and respond to every email! We’re in this together. Don’t you forget it.