Ezra Levin Profile picture
Jul 10, 2018 13 tweets 5 min read
Former congressional staffer here. I'm seeing a few different tactics/strategies being thrown out to #SaveSCOTUS, and a fair amount of misinformation. Here's a short thread on a few tactics that won't work.
1) Pressure on Senators who don't represent you. If you don't live in Maine, Sen. Collins doesn't care what you think. That's not even a knock on Collins - that's just how representative democracy works.

Exceptions: You are a millionaire, famous person, or big campaign donor.
2) Pressure on House members. Members of the House of Reps are very important for many things, but they have no vote on Supreme Court justices.

Exception: Could be worthwhile to get every Dem House member in red states to publicly oppose, creating contrast with GOP senators.
3) Petitions. Members of Congress frankly just don't care about petitions. Feel free to sign them if it makes you feel better, just know they have no impact.

Exceptions: Petitions can be useful at the local level and if delivered in person in a way that garners media attention.
4) Tweets, FB, etc. Social media just isn't that effective at pressuring Senators. They usually dismiss antagonistic social media as noise.

Exceptions: If it goes viral & gets them embarrassing press, or if you're using social media to recruit for real-world, in-state actions.
5) Fairy tale procedural tactics. Dems don't have the majority, so they can't copy McConnell's delay tactics on Garland. We MUST get 50 votes.

Exceptions: Minority Leader Schumer SHOULD threaten, cajole, twist arms - do EVERYTHING to unite Dems. NOW is the time for hardball.
6) Being sad and defeatist. BUCK THE HELL UP. This situation sucks, and the path to victory is narrow, but it's there. We don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We can win if we do the work, but ONLY if we do the work.

Exceptions: There are no exceptions.
So what works? Here's are three rules of thumb:
1) Focus on YOUR two Senators. Your senators (whether GOP or Dem) really only care about constituents (and rich/famous people). They wake up thinking about reelection - remind them that you only vote for leaders who #saveSCOTUS.
2) The more effort, the more impact. Calls are good; in-person actions are the best. The medium matters. When you demonstrate that you're willing to give up a couple hours to show up in person, it sends a strong message. If you just sign a form letter, it sends a weak message.
3) Get local media attention. Senators can ignore you, but they can't ignore press that makes them look weak. Out-of-touch, hypocritical senators who hide from their constituents have a harder time getting reelected. Local press coverage makes that threat real.
If you want to get plugged into (or set up) local events in your state THIS week, check out: savescotus.indivisible.org.

If you want to get plugged into more local advocacy opportunities, you can text "SCOTUS" to 977-79 (that's for @IndivisibleTeam)
Want to do more? Well, you can donate. In addition to @IndivisibleTeam, a TON of groups are fighting hard on this - @NARAL, @WeDemandJustice, @PPact, @nwlc, @moveon, @CAPAction and many others. Pick a favorite or a few, and fund them to run this campaign throughout the country.
But if the choice is between real-world action and money, PLEASE take action. It was a quixotic people power campaign that killed TrumpCare. People power will #SaveSCOTUS. Red state, blue state, purple state - doesn't matter. We need you in this fight with us now. /end

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More from @ezralevin

Jul 17, 2018
I'm not seeing NEARLY enough press on how much of a hero @SenatorBaldwin is. It's incredible. This Senator is up for reelection in a Trump-won state THIS YEAR. And she's demonstrating more leadership to #SaveSCOTUS than all these blue state Dems. Quick thread on what this means:
This is a huge deal because we're NEVER going to get Collins or Murkowski against Kavanaugh if we can't even get safe blue state Dems onboard. Hell, we're not going to get Heitkamp, Donnelly, or Manchin onboard if we can't lock up these safe Dems ASAP.
Remember, the strategy to defeat Kavanaugh is simple:
Read 8 tweets
Dec 20, 2017
OK, I’ve got 4 thoughts to share on the passage of this historically monstrous tax bill in the House and now the Senate tonight.

I know, it's past 1am (blame the GOP for these midnight shenanigans), but I just gotta get this out.
1st thought: this really, really sucks. I've noticed some progressives want to paint this as a “win” because this will “hurt” the GOP in elections next year. That’s not a where I start. This bill will have real and awful human consequences. This is tragic.
If it wasn’t clear before, it’s very clear now: the congressional GOP are ideological extremists. They cared less about their constituents and our democratic institutions than about raw political power and the enrichment of themselves and their donors.
Read 17 tweets

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