A brief one today, but we wanted to update you on the election, express continuing concerns about a possible coup and offer strategies to counter it. Plus we discuss a brilliant strategy to remedy the Supreme Court travesty from The Nation.
Retake On KSFR 101.1 FM and Streaming from KSFR.org Saturday, October 17, 8:30 am, in Conversation with Think New Mexico’s Kristina Fisher and Fred Nathan on why TNM vigorously opposes Amendment 1 and why they are advocating for legislation to limit small lending interest to 36%. They have prepared a brilliant report on the predatory lending industry which we will feature in our Tuesday post. We will post our recording of the radio show on this page at about 10 am on Saturday.
Download Voters Guide. Click here to review our down ballot voter’s guide. We’ve heard from dozens that they take it with them to vote. Do It.
News In Briefs
- The New York Times: “Corruption, Anger, Chaos, Incompetence, Lies, Decay: End Our National Crisis, the Case Against Donald Trump.” Simply put, this is the most comprehensive, strident Op-Ed I’ve read on most any topic. This is Sunday’s NY Times Op-Ed, an Op-Ed that introduces the entire Sunday “Review” section full of other articles calling for everyone in the nation to rebuke this demon on Nov. 3. Even if you have read more than enough about how bad this president is, reading this one piece is certainly validating…..and very well written.
- The Nation: “There Is Only One Solution to the Amy Coney Barrett Debacle: Yes, Democrats must expand the courts. Here’s why, and here’s how.” The Nation’s solution is rather simple, win the White House and the Senate and tell Mitch McConnell you insist on bipartisan support to expand the Supreme Court to 29, with a commitment to nominate 11 liberal judges and nine moderately conservative judges. Tell McConnell to either support the plan or be prepared for the expansion to occur over his whining but then with 20 progressive judges that he can watch approved helplessly. The expansion to 29 seems excessive, but the reasoning behind such a number is genius. A very short piece, well worth review. I’d be happy with the same strategy, just adding 10, but the concept is brilliant. What is especially nice about this strategy is it allows me to fantasize about Amy Coney Barrett spending the next 30 years writing minority reports as one banner justice initiative after another sails through the courts.
- The Atlantic: “Joe Biden has Changed: He’s preparing for a transformative presidency” The quote below is from The Atlantic piece. I must say, that while reading it, I was somewhat reassured that Biden just may rise to the occasion and was also reminded of his longstanding support for labor and unions. We will certainly need to push, but read the article and see if you are also a bit reassured.
“Biden not only sat still while his opponent spectacularly self-destructed, but also underwent a metamorphosis. He entered it [his Delaware bunker] a cautious pragmatist, yearning for a reversion to the time before Donald Trump; he left convinced of his chance to become a latter-day Franklin D. Roosevelt.”The Atlantic: “Joe Biden has Changed: He’s preparing for a transformative presidency”
So the map below has improved since I last dropped it into a post ten days ago. Biden has increased the number of solid blue electoral votes by 20 and bumped his total blue from 279 to 290. But the still better news is that polling in the three major toss-up states is trending toward Biden with NC leads of 4-8%, Florida + 3%, and Georgia, Biden + 2-5%. To be fair there are also some polls showing those races narrowly for Trump, but most show Biden leading. If Biden carries those states, his electoral total vaults to 375, a total landslide. But it gets better, in some polls, Biden has also pulled even with Trump in Iowa and Texas. Needless to say, unless Trump continues to disintegrate (which he seems hellbent to do) Biden is unlikely to take all those states. But, at the moment, things look promising, as long as the voter suppression/intimation efforts suppress the vote don’t lead to a coup. The reference to Trumpian coup efforts leads to the next piece in today’s post. Read on.
In Defense of Democracy
Many of our readers, for very, very good reason, are concerned that whatever vestiges of democracy remain, are hanging by a very slim thread with increasing threats of resistence and even violence coming from the White House. While Retake is cheerily posting polls pointing to a landslide and finding more and more comfort in the increasing number of prominent Republicans distancing themselves from Trump, there is good reason to be vigilant and prepared. Hence our September 26 post with excerpts from The Atlantic article, “The Election That Could Break America,” which laid out in detail all that Trump and the GOP are planning.
Karen Bentrup, an ABQ activist, has done a tremendous job of assembling resources, training and links designed to prepare us to act and to organize. She is organizing a NM-wide readiness effort. I am sharing only a small portion of what she has shared with me. To view her entire summary, Click the link below.
Retake will track this and in the next week or so see if one strategy seems to be emerging around which we can organize. For now, though, I feel the best strategy is our GOTV strategy through which you can make damn sure your friends have a plan to vote that syncs with their state and county. Read on. Prepare!
Choose Democracy • Count Every Vote • Hold The Line • Stop the Coup •
KEY TRAININGS + SESSION VIDEOS & SLIDES – free/online
HOLD THE LINE – Trainings to Defend Democracy
About: The authors of Hold the Line: A Guide to Defending Democracy are leading workshops to help people organize local election protection groups and ensure that the results are respected. We are researchers, organizers, and activists who’ve seen how people-powered movements have protected freedom and democracy around the world. We review potential scenarios that might unfold between Election Day and Inauguration Day. Then we offer evidence-based strategies to respond, and steps to plan nonviolent resistance if attempts are made to subvert the election.
- Two 90-min sessions (7:30-9:00pm EST).
- Oct. 15+22 – More info and sign up: bit.ly/holdthelinetraining2
- Oct. 20+27 – More info and sign up: bit.ly/holdthelinetraining3
- Read the Hold the Line guide to get up to speed: http://bit.ly/holdthelinepdf
- Slide deck #1: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1BvtB2Fd7HIR5jwQVrsXjap_7ctDf53i_jShR9kZ8Rfc/edit#slide=id.g9af0c054c8_0_135
- Slide deck #2: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/10u7rEoOQury0HkhrHJ5nKJtnVMX0VBsiZ5QsybbUzp0/edit#slide=id.g9af0c054c8_0_135
- Chat links from 10/13: https://docs.google.com/document/d/130_gOsRy2_XLXFrw27hOPTfua7gpyLxGloG2RHq9XJk/edit
CHOOSE DEMOCRACY – repeat trainings
- Oct 16, 21, 22, 27 at 5:30-7:30pmMT
- Slide deck – https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1wdGm91pIWtYMnO1reJfx8JZVNMX5eSpQcApmxq9K1ws/edit#slide=id.g35f391192_00
350.org – Climate Democracy Defenders, from Oct 14
About: If Donald Trump threatens the integrity of our elections, we need to be ready to hold him accountable. That’s why we’re launching the Climate Democracy Defenders Program to mobilize voters, protect every vote, and take immediate action to demand a peaceful transition of power.
- Video: https://350org.zoom.us/rec/play/la2fMYINW7tYLdj7XQ4zlCzdsVtkBWdp_pwt34u39rqjQCysyqAjfeCaQy327j8zQ1uESYckvFaSbiRH.BFYeq9MEAZZPqYkV?
- Transcript: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15_aTuWDBSUvrCn0aeOFAnLLZwIcyDVDXMms1bNsX3ug/edit
- Slide deck: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1O4w7Qc_uy5rE0WBqnJ5EvKXF_GhrUXRyj-GnZzs1_d4/edit#slide=id.p1
“CountOnUs”: How to Defeat Trump and Defend the Election (repeated)
Count On Us – very accessible overall strategy – of organize, vote, strike.
- Mass Non-Cooperation: Become ungovernable & withdraw our consent for upholding status quo
- Organize: In addition to collective organizing, establish “Count On Us Squads” with 5-7 of your people. Small groups committed to action are essential building blocks of movement!
- Organizing Guide: https://secure.everyaction.com/pocd1RF0vUm7bAavuk-TEQ2
- Vote: GOTV plus election protection
- Voting Triple: volunteer to be outside polls and ask folks right there to text 3 people to vote
- Red Line: If Trump tries to disrupt the vote or counting, we move into Daily Actions.
- Go to locations where counting votes, stay until all votes counted and certified
- Strike: Overall – non-violent, mass non-cooperation with
- Red Line: If Trump shifts into a coup, “we call a national Youth Strike.”
- Tactic – Target – Location: organizing tools to aim you efforts – use at any level of action.
- Pledge to Vote and Strike, get your friends trained with us.
Bernie Sanders: “Lastly, and most importantly, the American people, no matter what their political persuasion, must make it clear that American democracy will not be destroyed.” https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/24/warning-us-democracy-under-threat-never-sanders-outlines-plan-stop-trumps)
Sanders outlined a number of steps that he said will be necessary in “the struggle to preserve American democracy”:
- First, it is absolutely imperative that we have, by far, the largest voter turnout in American history and that people vote as early as possible. As someone who is strongly supporting Joe Biden, let’s be clear: A landslide victory for Biden will make it virtually impossible for Trump to deny the results and is our best means for defending democracy.
- Second, with the pandemic and a massive increase in mail-in voting, state legislatures must take immediate action now to allow mail-in votes to be counted before Election Day—as they come in. In fact, 32 states allow for the counting or processing of absentee ballots—verifying signatures for example—before Election Day. All states should do the same. The faster all ballots are counted, the less window there is for chaos and conspiracy theories.
- Third, the news media needs to prepare the American people to understand there is no longer a single election day and that it is very possible that we may not know the results on November 3rd.
- Fourth, social media companies must finally get their act together and stop people from using their tools to spread disinformation and to threaten and harass election officials.
- Fifth, in the Congress and in state legislatures, hearings must be held as soon as possible to explain to the public how the Election Day process and the days that follow will be handled. As we count every vote, and prevent voter intimidation, everything possible must be done to prevent chaos, disinformation, and even violence.
- Lastly, and most importantly, the American people, no matter what their political persuasion, must make it clear that American democracy will not be destroyed.
In solidarity and hope,
Paul & Roxanne
Categories: Election, Political Reform & National Politics