November 23, 2022
Jennifer Rubin’s editorials are always perceptive, and occasionally, enthralling. Her gratitude column is one of her best. I will be especially grateful this year to you, Ms. Rubin, Heather Cox Richardson, and Joyce Vance for keeping hope alive. But I believe it started with you.
Deep gratitude to Robert and all of you who supported the Tending to Democracy Giving Circle with The States Project! As TSP writes, "For the first time in nearly a century, the party who holds the White House didn’t lose a single state legislative chamber." Here are the results:
In Michigan, we contributed 8x more than the next largest giver. You helped us play for chamber control in the Senate and House, where others said the majority was too far out of reach, but we insisted it was possible and funded races there accordingly. Turns out, we were right – we flipped the House and the Senate!
In Minnesota, we were the largest funder and similarly, stopped the focus from shrinking to only defend the House, believing we could also flip the Senate. We refused to leave any opportunity on the table. And now? A new Minnesota trifecta!
In the Pennsylvania House, the national party didn't spend a dime this year, but we thought a flip was possible… by 2024. We were all in, the top giver by far, spending 80x the next largest group. All we asked of candidates? Knock doors. And they did! Now, a flip is within 12 votes — not seats, votes!
In Arizona, we were the #1 contributor – spending nearly 30x more than the next largest giver. We’ve held ground in a state where no one else thought it was possible – and, right now, are 425 votes away from ending unchecked rightwing control.
In New Hampshire, the House will be decided on a razor thin margin. There are 7 races in New Hampshire that are within 10 votes.
In Maine and Nevada, major targets for the rightwing, we brought our toolkit to defend all 4 chambers. Voters reelected candidates who have improved lives with policies like paid family leave, an insulin price cap and salary fairness.
In Colorado, another GOP target, we partnered with NDRC and helped fill late funding gaps. In Wisconsin, we helped down the stretch to prevent a new supermajority by just 2,499 votes in the Assembly.
In North Carolina, we boosted Diamond Staton-Williams who won the tipping point seat that defended against a supermajority by ~400 votes, even as the GOP gained a supermajority in the Senate.
Yesterday, I canceled my NYT subscription and upgraded this subscription to “paid”. I did the same with Joyce Vance’s daily post. Along with Heather Cox Richardson, whose historical perspective has kept me sane for the past two years, I am exceedingly grateful for the daily dose of reason, knowledge, hope and insight that your writing provides (before I even have my morning coffee).
PLEASE reach out to your Senators to ask them to talk with Lisa Murkowski about why she should go on the floor of the Senate and ask for a reconsideration of her vote for the filibuster of H.R. 5746 in light of the needs of all indigenous peoples to have the same access to the ballot box regardless of which state they live in, and ask Senators Manchin and Sinema to reconsider in light of the Supreme Court's neutering of the power of Congress : Background:
The Rise and Fall of Voting Rights in the United States
The Supreme Court has effectively ruled that unless Congress acts directly and specifically, voting rights can be determined by individual state legislatures – potentially even overriding that state’s constitution.
But Congress does have the power to set national standards for voting rights, under the Constitution of the United States of America:
Article 1.4 grants to each State Legislature the power to set the times, places and manner of holding elections for US Senators and Representatives “but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations.....”
Cases now before the Court (Merrill v Mulligan and Moore v. Harper) threaten this power of Congress. Now is the time for Congress to guarantee full voting rights for all Americans.
Suspend the filibuster for voting rights, and pass the John R Lewis Voting Rights Act!! [or whatever is more relevant] Your ZIP code should not determine how you can vote!
How Did We Get Here?
The Rise of Voting Rights
• The 14th and 15th Amendments guarantees rights to citizenship and equal protection, regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
• Under the powers in Article 1.4, and 14th and 15th Amendments, Congress extended voting rights to Native Americans (1924) and Asian Americans (1952).
• The Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 declared that “No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure, shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”
• The VRA’s greatest impact was in its pre-clearance requirement for Federal Court or Justice Department approval before jurisdictions that had historically discriminated could change voting rules, processes or procedures. One result: Mississippi’s black voters up from 6% to 59% registered to vote by 1969.
The Fall of Voting Rights under Supreme Court decisions
• Citizens United v FEC (2010) unleashed the right for Corporations and Unions to use corporate money in politics.
• Shelby County v Holder (2013) held that the pre-clearance formula is unconstitutional. Impact: 1688 polling places CLOSED in previously covered States; 30 million voters purged from rolls; restrictive voting laws passed in many states.
• Rucho v Common Cause (2019) ruled that state laws permitting partisan (not racial) gerrymandering are “beyond the reach of the federal courts.”
• Brnovich v DNC (2021) stopped people from collecting ballots to deliver to precinct and stopped counting ballots from people who go to the wrong precinct.
To reiterate: The Solution
www.nationalvotercorps.org for more information.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. With regard to Herschel Walker's anti-LGBQT advertisement, a suggestion that he is doing what advisors tell him to do only diminishes him more. Walker is responsible for what is done in his campaign just as he is responsible for the other messes he has made of his life.
"Of all of the issues that confront the American people, Herschel Walker chose to continue the culture war on LGBTQ. The insensitivity and cruelty of the timing speaks volumes about who Walker is . . . or at least, who the people are who are telling Walker what to say." I think the very last phrase is telling: the people telling Walker.... That's it exactly. If Walker joins the Senate, he will be Mitch McConnell's lapdog with not an independent thought in his head. How can the GOP have come so low?
A wonderful newsletter today. Gratefully yours, Gailee
So important that we take in deeply the positive things that are happening to help defend our democracy right now, including so much that was accomplished with the midterm elections. There is so much noise out there, and many media sources who depend on ramping up the conflict and the challenges we continue to face. It is a delicate dance for sure, but worth it for everyone to seek out the positive, to not give in to the media machine that depends on the doom and gloom to make $. Wishing everyone moments of deep gratitude this holiday season.
Thank you for posting and alerting us to Jennifer Rubins editorial about being “ thankful”. We get so caught up in the drama of the day to day we never stop and think about giving thanks to all of the goodness we have.
I have been thinking about the threats by Majorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan about all of the proposed investigations and realized that if they did initiate these hearings they would be compared to J6th hearings and the image of a loud and angry Jim Jordan compared to Liz Cheney and her calm demeanor and fact based findings. These proposed hearings will be a remainder of the cruelty of the Republican Party and validate they cannot legislate or govern and I think this gives voters a sneak preview of what a return to power of a Donald Trump would look like. I am betting these hearings for the most part will not happen because sane Republicans after the midterms know these antics turn off voters and they will step up to prevent the from happening. Enjoy Thanksgiving the gathering of family and friends and please be careful and safe.
Catch the latest? Herschel Walker imitates Dr. Oz. Seems like Walker's residence is Texas. He takes a tax deduction in Texas as his primary home. He also has a spotty voting record, i.e., he does not show up to vote.
Maybe this will help put Warnock over the top.
I am grateful that the Biden Admin is also trying to build an economy that is based on building and expanding the middle class as opposed to continuing the supply-side trickle-down economic paradigm we've been in for the past 40+ years (includes the presidency of Clinton, and to a lesser extent Obama's). It's definitely been an uphill struggle as there are a handful of corporate Democrats (but mainly Manchin and Sinema) who have blocked key efforts, not to mention pretty much every elected Republican. There is much work to do but I think we are headed in the right direction.
I’m grateful for your daily letters, Robert. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
We are so grateful for your newsletters. Very grateful too for the link to Jennifer Rubin's gratitude column!
It's as if the GOP can't read the room.
Speaking of gratitude, I'm very grateful Mr. Hubbell for your newsletter and all it represents (your commitment to a better world, the community you have created, the opportunities to get involved big and small, for sharing your family highlights, for your health).
Thank you, Robert, for all your letters, pep talks and cautions. I am hopeful. To paraphrase Nina Simone’s “Work Song”, we still have so very far to go. But not as far as before.