Fast Forward to Focus on Now

It’s 2026.

Two years have passed since Election ’24.

It’s different this time. After Trump won in 2016, his first years were bumbling, slap-dash affairs. He didn’t have the relationships to leverage, or even understand the levers of government enough to know which ones to push and pull.

Not this time. This time he’s been swift. The Republican Party has consolidated behind him.

He promised his supporters retribution.

He’s delivered.

In the first 100 days, he gutted the federal government and installed his America First Corps. Reinstating his “Schedule F” Executive Order removed employment protections from tens of thousands of federal employees. It made it possible for him fire fifty thousand federal employees with the sweep of a Sharpie.

He did.

Those mid-level civil servants had always been non-political – but they were immediately replaced by lackies vetted for their allegiance to Trump. Many were offered up by allies and corporations looking for an inside track.

Democrats and good government groups fought Schedule F – via a judicial system dominated by the same conservative judges Trump packed the courts with during his first term. It didn’t go well.

But Trump didn’t just gut the civil service – he targeted the generals and national security officials he considered “woke.” He summarily removed the top layers of the Justice Department and the FBI. He boasts that his Attorney General does nothing without consulting with him.

Last time he was frustrated that lawyers got in his way and argued that what he wanted to do was illegal. This time he came prepared to fill general counsel jobs across government – not just at the White House. They have been handpicked by Steven Miller, who made sure they would “aggressively implement Trump’s orders” and be skeptical of any career attorneys who claim his orders are unlawful or impossible.

He “reformed” the way security clearances were handed out and how documents are classified. It’s all up to him, now.

Relations with most foreign governments have chilled – especially with Mexico, which considers Trump’s military strikes against drug cartels on Mexican soil an invasion. Trump claims he’s waging war on the drug cartels and is supported by legislation sponsored by Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw and GOP darling Marjorie Taylor Greene in the House, and Senator Lindsey Graham in the Senate.

Trump’s love affair with autocrats has continued, and his relationship with Putin has never been better. With Ukraine under Russian control (Trump withdrew support from Ukraine immediately) Putin has been emboldened. Ukraine’s neighbors are nervous; in his first 100 days Trump unilaterally took the U.S. out of NATO, and it’s been hobbled as a result. Trump wonders aloud why other countries wouldn’t want to be led by such a strong powerful leader as Putin.

Trump’s Secretary of Education created the America First Education Certification program for teachers, which specifically lays out how to teach history and “promote[s] positive education about the nuclear family, the roles of mothers and fathers and celebrating, rather than erasing, the things that make men and women different.” Schools that stray from the approved curriculum lose federal funding, while those districts that abolish teacher tenure get funding preferences and favorable treatment.

Hospitals that provide or even suggest gender-affirming care can lose federal funding. Cancer care specialists warn that hormone therapies that are critical for certain types of cancer are being restricted because of these rules. So far, their warnings have fallen on deaf ears at the newly-gutted agencies.

Some of his policy proposals – like the direct election of local school principals – haven’t yet come to fruition. But state legislators and local Republican officials have taken the hint. The first high school principal elections will happen this spring.

Voting rights advocates have fought the Republican America First Voting Plan – Trump’s promise to eliminate early voting nationwide, require voter ID, and only use paper ballots. Congressional Republicans pushed it through the House. Now it’s lingering in the Senate where – after a trouncing in the ’24 elections – Democrats are trying to stave off the legislation even without having a majority.

As we had feared, Mitch McConnell’s first action upon reclaiming the Majority was to eliminate the filibuster, so Democrats have to appeal to Republican Senators’ sense of democracy. You can imagine how well that’s gone.

They’re having better luck fighting off the passage of AFVP than the national abortion ban, which was one of Trump’s major pushes in his first 100 days. It’s mired in court proceedings, but with the current Supreme Court it doesn’t look good. And because the FDA was overtaken by Trump’s America First Corps, FDA approval for drugs that may be used for medication abortion was revoked.

Having majorities in the House and Senate (and no filibuster in the way) enabled Republicans to amend the current Section 230 that protects social media companies from being sued for the content on their platforms. Now, only those social media companies that meet “high standards of neutrality, transparency, fairness, and non-discrimination” are eligible for protection. A “Truth Team,” which is comprised of Trump appointees, determines which companies deserve the distinction.

So far, only Trump-owned Truth Social has met their criteria.

Trump’s blitz against Democratic states and cities continued, with him sending the National Guard into Democratic cities that he claimed had a “complete breakdown of public safety.” (The cities included Atlanta, Chicago, Portland, L.A., and Saint Louis). Federal assets embedded in those cities use random stop and frisk to find anyone they suspect is “illegal.” Trump boasts that he “will use all necessary state, local, federal and military resources to carry out the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.” He also created a federal policy that unhoused people found “loitering” on federal property are taken to tent cities.

Trump continues to target political reporters, accusing them of bias unless they treat him favorably. White House press briefings happen only once a month, now, and no questions are taken unless they are approved in advance. Twitter has become a right-wing network. Nobody knows where to get real news anymore.

Everyone wishes that they would have taken him seriously in 2024, but nobody thought he would still get so much support after being indicted (and fomenting an insurrection).

Plus, Biden was so old and uninspiring. He did plenty of things right, and accomplished a lot of what he set out to do. But he didn’t live up to his promises, especially on immigration – and inflation was so high. The Saudis inflated the cost of gas, which increased prices on everything. Republicans blamed the debt default on Biden, and most people believed it, including Democrats.

It was hard to get people to rally behind him.

Now we all wish we would have done more to support him – or any other Democrat.

If only we could go back….


Friend, that hurt as much to write as it probably hurt to read.

This week I saw some criticism that Biden is old, uninspiring, and boring. It reminded me of criticism I heard about Hillary Clinton in 2016. In the days after the 2016 election I would have done anything to go back in time and do more to help Hillary Clinton.

So I thought I’d take you with me on a trip to a future Trump Presidency. A thought experiment to make this very potential reality more tangible.

I won’t make the mistake I made in 2016 twice. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure there is not a Trump II.

That said: Biden is not perfect. Far, far from it. We need to continue to push him and his administration to do better on a bunch of accounts and I’m not going to let him slide. But at the same time, we can’t lose sight of what we’re up against.

So this post is a fictional fast-forward to describe exactly that: what we’re up against. All of the fictional Trump/GOP accomplishments are based on reporting of what Trump wants, or says he wants, to do; or (like the FDA revoking approvals for certain drugs) they are the natural extensions of his proposed policies.

This isn’t a drill.

So whether your preferred candidate is Biden or someone other than Biden, let’s not lose sight of the fact that we’re all fighting on the same side here.

We’re all fighting against a second Trump Term, for Democrats, and – most importantly – for democracy.

Let’s not lose sight of the goal.

Let’s get to work.

Actions for the Week of May 2, 2023

Tonight! Join Senator Kaine and New Virginia Majority to Talk State Leg Races! (H/T Jessica Craven)

The 2023 Virginia state legislature races are coming right up. So join Senator Tim Kaine and New VA Majority tonight on Zoom at 7pm central to talk about keeping the current state senate majority and flipping the state house of delegates. (Link:

Per New VA Majority:

Virginia is a bellwether state, so maintaining the current state Democratic Senate majority and flipping the state House of Delegates will build momentum for 2024. US Senator Tim Kaine will join us to explain the importance of these races for the nation and for his own race in 2024.

Our other speaker will be Tram Nguyen, Co-Executive Director of New Virginia Majority, Like other grassroots organizations, New Virginia Majority works year-round to build relationships with under-represented minorities, youth, and low-income workers, empowering them to advocate for issues that affect their daily lives. In election season they build on these relationships to get out the vote for Democrats up and down the ballot. This is the perfect time to help New Virginia Majority and other VA grassroots organizations get out the vote in 2023 and prepare for 2024!

As always, you’ll have an opportunity to donate to Senator Kaine’s campaign and grassroots organizations, with no obligation to do so. (You can also click here and here.) Early money always has an outsize impact!   

After signing up for the meeting, check your inbox for a confirmation message with a Zoom link. The confirmation message also contains a “bring a friend” link that makes it easy to invite family and friends to this meeting.

Again, here’s the link to register:

Wednesday: Join Connie Schultz and Red Wine & Blue to Protect Abortion Access in OH

Nearly six million women in Ohio have their reproductive rights hanging in the balance – but Red Wine & Blue is stepping up this week for them and for women everywhere!

Here’s what’s happening: Ohio’s election board approved language for a ballot question that would enshrine reproductive rights in the state’s constitution. But before it can go to voters, we need 413,000 verified signatures from Ohio residents to get it on the ballot.

We know that the polls are on our side, and voters will choose to keep abortion safe in Ohio. But if the initiative doesn’t get on the ballot, extremist legislators have a six-week abortion ban – before many women even know they’re pregnant – waiting in the wings. So Red Wine & Blue is mobilizing its rockstar sisterhood of suburban women to collect signatures and get it done. 

This week RWB has launched a Week of Action to collect thousands of signatures, beginning with a training with the amazing Connie Schultz, journalist and wife of Senator Sherrod Brown. Hundreds of volunteers are staffing the polling places during this week’s primary election. 

Join Connie Schultz and the Red Wine & Blue team to learn about the Ohio ballot initiative and get trained on how to collect petition signatures. Join badass suburban women from all across the state on Wednesday, May 3rd at 7:30 pm ET to learn how we can put reproductive rights on the ballot in November. They’ll answer your questions and get you all the info you need to get started! Plus who wants to miss the chance to hear the wit, wisdom and sage advice of Connie Schultz, our favorite Pulitzer Prize winning journalist? Let’s get inspired, get trained, and get going!

Register Democrats in Wisconsin (Virtually)

Everyone recognizes that Wisconsin is a critical piece of winning the 2024 POTUS election. The work has already begun to make sure Democrats are registered and ready to vote! Join Wisconsin Dems and Call For Change to register Democrats in Wisconsin. No experience necessary and they’ll have training AND COACHES to support you every step of the way. Join them Sunday from 5-7 central.

Sign up here:

Want to Work With the Biden Campaign? They’re Hiring!

The Biden Campaign is actively seeking people in every state: We are seeking talent to help lead us to victory in 2024. If you are interested in joining our campaign to elect Democrats up and down the ticket, please fill out our questionnaire and submit your resume below. All levels of experience and fields of interest are encouraged to apply.

Here’s where you can learn more:


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 e-mail. (Really! I really do!) We’re in this together. Don’t you forget it.

P.S.: If you want to help support this work you can do so via Patreon at or via paypal at
My deepest gratitude in advance.

P.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.

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