Thursday, June 28, 2018

I am going to sweat the stuff I can do something about

Being as mad as hell is counter-productive unless it evokes meaningful and planned action.
We had a bad week. Making matters worse is all of the fund-raising emails and useless petitions I received from progressive groups. I do not like actions for the sake of action. I like to do things that might make a difference. There is no online petition that will affect the confirmation process of a nominee for Supreme Court Justice. Don't insult my intelligence!

I have a Senate split. When the time comes, I will send some snail mail to Senator Nelson, encouraging him to hold the line on Trump's Supreme Court nominee. If I have a specific issue in mind that might not be overly apparent regarding the nominee, I will send a letter to Senator Feinstein as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. I am not going to bother with Little Marco. He is a waste of time and postage.

There is also no sense spamming my former senator and Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer. There is nothing I can tell him that will be at all helpful. Chuck is a shrewd and experienced legislator. He will do whatever he can do to either slow the confirmation process down or enlist a couple of Republicans while holding the line on his caucus.

Presidents usually get their Supreme Court nominees confirmed. There is nothing that any of us can do about that other than contacting our senators where appropriate. Roe is at risk but Obergefell  is probably not. There is no compelling reason to overturn a ruling in such a short amount of time that has broad public support. The self-righteous Christians manufactured victims to oppose marriage equality and the Court took care of that with Masterpiece. There is no case currently in the federal courts to challenge Obergefell and Gorsuch has said that the matter is settled. Furthermore, there remains no coherent secular argument to oppose same-sex marriage. It was always about victims.

If I am wrong I am wrong. It is irrelevant because my opinion doesn't affect the decisions of the Court and there is nothing that any of us can do to alter any outcome. I was always amused when Brian S. Brown and others mount demonstrations near the Court. Those are a pointless waste of energy that have no effect on the outcome of anything. Mindless action for the sake of action wastes resources.

The most important and effective thing that any of us can do is to get out the vote in November. Some people believe that it is pointless: “We are already fucked.” No one said that there would be instant gratification. It takes time to reshape the Supreme Court. Perhaps we can flip the Senate in November. If everyone does what they are supposed to do it is possible. Perhaps not likely but possible. Control of the Senate puts Democrats in control of the Supreme Court.

Control of the gavels is everything. The worst, most pathetic Democrat is better than any GOPer even if he or she doesn't always vote with the caucus. They still constitute part of the majority party, controlling the agenda. What Mitch McConnell was able to do with Merrick Garland's nomination is evidence of what I am saying. He has to contend with people like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowsy but he still has the gavel.

Lately, the Human Rights Campaign has endorsed some LGBT-friendly Republicans. Doing so in this cycle would be profoundly stupid. At this point I would vote for a pastor at Westboro Baptist Church were he a Dem. Again, we need to control the gavels.

I did not invent tribalism. There is no better example than Congress's failure to contain Trump. Those people are terrified of a Trump tweet while our democracy is shredded. Little Marco Rubio would not even denounce Trump on immigration. If kids in cages doesn't get their ire, nothing will. Family values are reserved for white people.

Am I angry? Hell yes. My anger begins with people who either did not vote in 2016 or voted for a nonviable candidate to send a message. Those messages sure were effective. I am angry that Hillary Clinton did not run a better campaign. I am angry that Comey put the nail in her coffin. I am mad as hell that Trump colluded with Russia (and he did). I am furious with recent Supreme Court decisions. The attack on unions is an attack on their political prowess. I am angry with gerrymandering and all the other bullshit over the years that has put a Republican thumb on the scale.

Put all that anger in a glass jar and it won't heat the toilet in a camper. I am going to mail my letters and do what I can do to get out the vote. Most of you can do more than me (I am useless on the phone and will not go into crowds). Some basic management skills are in order if you really want to make a difference. I suggest that you figure out what you can do; then what you will do and then plan how — and when — to do each part.

An MBA is not necessary to realize that the more of the plan that you put in writing the more likely you are to carry it out. Creating a timeline forces you to think through the details and how to enlist the help of others. Do what you do best and ask others to help where you need it — and try to know the difference between the two.

We will get through this. Better days are ahead. We all have a role to play in making them better.

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