To state the obvious, the main goal of the 2020 election will be to rid the White House of the Trump infection.  Trump is a singularly damaging and toxic force in our culture and a second Trump term would be even more catastrophic to our democracy and our republic than his first term.  But our secondary goal should surely be to flip the Senate.

“Moscow Mitch” McConnell has also been a disaster for our Democracy.  At every turn he has cheapened the Senate and sold its traditions down the river in exchange for political power and short term gain.  After Barack Obama was elected president and the GOP took control of the Senate in the 2010 midterm election, it was Leader McConnell who swore to block Obama any way he could.  And it was McConnell who stole a priceless Supreme Court seat from president Obama, defiling Senate protocol, tradition and decorum in the process.  McConnell continues to block all progressive legislation passed by the House, earning his self-affirmed nickname of “grim reaper” and his Senate the label of “legislative graveyard.”

In the Washington Post yesterday E. J. Dionne detailed the obstacles Democrats will need to overcome to take control of the Senate:

If Democrats won the White House, they would need a net three-seat gain to control the Senate with the vote of a Democratic vice president. It’s difficult to imagine this happening without the defeat of the three most vulnerable Republican incumbents, Gardner and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.).

Link to full article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/real-change-after-2020-depends-on-who-controls-the-senate/2019/08/18/7059d096-c14a-11e9-a5c6-1e74f7ec4a93_story.html

There are a number of things we can do as activists to help in the effort to flip the Senate–even though we don’t live in a swing state.  First, we can give money to Democrats running for the Senate in closely contested races.  Second, we can write postcards to Democratic voters in swing states urging them to go to the polls.  Third, we can send text messages to voters in swing states urging them to go to the polls, usually in conjunction with a group like Swing Left.  Fourth, we can drive to the nearest swing state and help with door-knocking or voter registration or yard signs (think Maine, to oust Susan Collins).  Fifth, we can give money to umbrella organizations like the DSCC or Swing Left.  Sixth, we can use social media to expose the truth about the horrible record of incumbent Republicans and dampen the enthusiasm of Republican voters.  And there are surely more things we can do.

If we elect a Democratic president but don’t flip the Senate, you can bet that Moscow Mitch will continue to block any progress, reject any legislation from the House, and hold up all judicial nominations like he did so shamelessly and destructively during the Obama presidency.  We can certainly repair much of the damage and restore many of the protections jettisoned under Trump, but we won’t be able to make the big changes we need to make on climate, health care, prescription drugs and gun control with Moscow Mitch in the way.

Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

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