Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Uncategorized

Refresh, Review, and Prepare for the 2018 Elections (GOP Tax Bill-Related Briefing, Postmortem Edition)

This OTYCD entry originally appeared in December 2017.


Refresh, review, and prep for the 2018 elections following the vote on the GOP tax bill.


The GOP tax bill passed both chambers between December 19 and December 20, after some glitches that forced a revote in the House of Representatives.


John McCain did not vote–he had to go home to Arizona to recuperate from complications from his brain cancer treatments. But the yes votes on the final bill included Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.


Let’s review what we should do now.


First–Much has been asked of you lately. You have worked hard. If you need a break nowrightnow, take it. If you need to purge politics from your life for a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, do it. Tend to yourself. Do whatever you need to do so you can come back, refreshed and ready to fight. If you can hang on until Congress adjourns on December 22, do. If you feel yourself fraying, step away now, before you have a chance to unravel. Remember, you matter, and your voice matters. We need you to stay here and carry on the fight.


Next, call your MoCs again and either thank them for holding firm against the bill, or berate them for passing it.


Check this New York Times article to see how your House Rep voted (if you have a Republican senator, and that senator isn’t John McCain, your senator voted yes):


Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter–you’re following her, right?) tweeted the reason why you should make a final call on this topic on December 20:


Go call your reps right now, and be ANGRY. You know what happens when people don’t call after contentious votes? We shrug and think, “Ok, what’s next?” But if you call, it forces us to pause and wonder how to address it.

Call your MoCs on this issue last time if you haven’t already. Yes, we know you’re sick of calling about this, and you might be despondent over the passage of the bill. We get it! We’ve been beating the drum about the GOP tax bill since early November. But if the pressure disappears the instant the bill passes, your MoCs might downplay the protests. Force them to pause and wonder how to address it.

Also, it’s perfectly OK to be mad or sad over this, but don’t let your emotions derail you. Put them to use. Again, Celeste Pewter tweets wisdom:

Channel your frustrations into the tax bill into rage right now. Angry tweeting is cathartic, but will not solve anything in the long run. What are actionable steps you’ll take OFF line? Think about it, and do it.

Here also is a string of tweets from Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt):
My view on last night’s tax vote: don’t dwell too long. They think they are just be getting started. 1/
I believe last night’s vote was baked months ago, seen internally to GOPers as necessary for party survival. Collins, Rubio, Flake & Corker vote had more to do with fraternity than ideology. 2/
Negotiating for something for themselves or to show their power was all they ever intended. The fact is they were all crap negotiators but once AL flipped & McCain was hospitalized, demands dropped & everybody fell in line. 3/
The fact that the bill was unpopular was an irritant, that every economist & deficit hawk saw it as a clear disaster just had to be lived with. The prospect of passing no legislation in what felt like a closing window was unacceptable for a simple reason. 4/
It costs $20 million or more to run a Senate race or a competitive House race and those dollars generally don’t come locally and they don’t come without promises. The single fact that 6000 lobbyists worked on the bill is the one I will remember. 5/
The immediate agenda once the tax is signed is all that matters now . . . 6/
CHIP and DACA and the size of zmedicare cuts are immediately on the agenda with the CR coming on Friday. As are the reinsurance and CSR amendments Collins asked for. 7/ [Editor’s note: CHIP is the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which serves more than nine million American children, and has gone unfunded since expiring on September 30; DACA stands for Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, a program that helped people who are Americans in every sense except the paperwork; CR stands for ‘continuing resolution,’ a maneuver that will furnish the funds that let the government pay its bills for a set period of time. The current CR expires Friday, December 22; many are urging Democrats to make the next CR contingent on reauthorizing CHIP, protecting the DACA folks, or both.]
GOP has focused so much on the tax bill and so much of that agenda they don’t like that much of it will get kicked to January. The dynamic is horrifying.8/
In the new party roles, anytime something is done for people, Republicans want something in return. Example: CHIP, DACA, Medicare all have price tags on them. Republicans insist on cutting the ACA, a border wall, and Defense spending.9/
And we are weeks for 2018…Republicans are ready to reach for much more. Graham & Cassidy have already begun the process of trying to recruit Collins or Murkowski to do ACA repeal next year. The White House and Paul Ryan promise to cut Medicaid and other poverty programs. 10/
Going into 2017: Most Americans didn’t know what CHIP was until the GOP decided not to pass it; weren’t focused on Medicaid until the GOP tried to slash it; and thought pre-existing condition protections were safe until the GOP tried to end them. It’s different now.

Other things to know:

Most people realize how bad this bill is, and most see how it’s Robin Hood in reverse–not just “liberals”.

See this December 20 tweet from Michael Linden (@michaelslinden), a tax expert:

Honored to be part of a tele-town hall with small business owners hosted by this evening. If this call is any indication, small business owners are super upset about the tax bill. It’s so complicated, and it benefits corporations over them, and they know it.

Also see these articles, which are just a few of many on how bad the bill is:

The team behind the Trump Tax March and Not One Penny are ready with a call to Repeal the Trump Tax:

We’ll devote posts to that as they develop, but for now–know that Paul Ryan and his minions plan to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security next.

If they try to do that, they should be met with a loud and forceful response: Repeal the tax cuts you just passed, and apply the money to those programs.

Now, having said all that: It was clear before the bill staggered to the finish line, and it’s clearer now that it has passed:


All Republican senators have to go.


All. Of. Them. Without exception.


Maybe there are some decent ones in the House of Representatives, maybe, but the Senate? They all have to go. All of them.


You now have to start thinking seriously about what you will do to help get all those Republicans out of office.


We’ve wrangled a bunch of links to past posts to cover things you should consider doing, and things you can start doing.



First off–if you haven’t seen the page on The Most Important Thing You Can Do, go there and read those four posts. (Yes, there are four Most Important Things You Can Do. #SorryNotSorry.)



Only one-third of the Senate is up for re-election in 2018. Defending Democratic Senators helps the cause just as much as defeating Republican incumbents.

Start scouting for senators who you can donate time and money to in 2018:



Also, think about which House of Representatives members to support or oppose in 2018. All of them are up for re-election, and some incumbents are retiring. Watch the Democratic primaries, see who you can get behind, and do it. Again, you need to commit time, money, word-of-mouth support, or some combination of all three.



Trump and his minions are going to try everything they can to suppress the vote. Once you are sure you’re registered, and once you’ve started talking to friends who were eligible to vote in 2016 but chose not to do so, look into other ways you can support and defend the right to vote.



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