Ben Wikler Profile picture
Chair, Democratic Party of Wisconsin / @WisDems. Husband and dad of three amazing kids and one glorious doggo, Pumpkin.
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Oct 9, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
Tomorrow, Chuck Grassley is holding hearings for two Ohioan extremist Circuit Court nominees, Chad Readler and Eric Murphy. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) objects. For years, home-state senators had a courtesy veto over nominees from their states. But McConnell/Grassley eliminated that. 1/ Chad Readler leads the Civil Division in Trump's Department of Justice. He led DoJ's work to kill the Affordable Care Act, personally signing a brief so dishonest that the career attorneys wouldn't touch it. Now he's up for a lifetime appointment.…
Oct 5, 2018 7 tweets 3 min read
In the Kavanaugh fight, nobody knows for sure what's going to happen. The conventional wisdom in DC is that the GOP will have Kavanaugh confirmed by Saturday afternoon, and he'll be on the bench by Monday. But you know what? That was the conventional wisdom a week ago, too. 1/ Politics is unpredictable. The one thing you can control is whether you try to do something about it. And people *are* doing something—they're doing everything they can think of. Right now, for example: there's a #PeoplesFilibuster protest @ the Capitol that will go *all night.*
Oct 3, 2018 31 tweets 17 min read
Furious about Kavanaugh? Don’t just sit there. We need your power. The truth is, there’s a LOT you can do. We may only have four days until the final vote, and your voice is needed now. This is a thread about what’s coming, and how you can help. Please follow along and share. 1/ What's next with Kavanaugh? On Wednesday, McConnell sets wheels in motion by filing for cloture. Senate rules require an intervening day before cloture vote—so that vote will be Friday. Then 30 hours of debate & final confirmation vote as soon as Saturday night. Time is SHORT.
Sep 28, 2018 10 tweets 5 min read
Fri AM: committee vote. Sat: procedural vote. Mon: cloture. Tue: final vote. CALL: 202-224-3121. Gather @ Senate offices 12p Fri to tell say VOTE NO. Bring signs. Wear black. Tweet photos. Spread word. All hands on deck. Near Phoenix, AZ? Tell Jeff Flake to vote NO on Kavanaugh: meet at noon Friday 9/28 at his office at 2200 E Camelback Rd, Suite 120. Bring signs and friends, wear black, share photos.…
Sep 21, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
"The Trump administration says global slavery and child labor are bad — for American businesses
They give an “unfair advantage” to US competitors, according to the US Labor Department."
>> I see this as an instance of something good-ish. Lemme explain. 1/… What's happening with this report on global slavery & child labor is something that's happening throughout our government: mission-driven civil servants are figuring out how to keep pursuing their long-time goals by reframing them into language that resonates with Trump.
Sep 20, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
GOP seems to think that if Dr. Blasey Ford doesn't speak at their 2-witness hearing on Mon, she'll disappear. But per @JRubinBlogger, "Ford has another option: Hold a news conference with her own experts and make the case directly to the American people."… It is Dr. Blasey-Ford's right to decide how, whether, when, and where to share her story. It's unclear to me why Senate Republicans keep saying, and apparently believing, that they have the power to dictate terms to her. She doesn't have to play their game.
Sep 18, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read
In the forthcoming book "An Uncivil War," by @ThePlumLineGS (out 10/16! Pre-order:, I point out that elected Ds & Rs respond to very different media incentives. Ds hate criticism by mainstream media. For Rs, only Fox/Limbaugh matter. 1/ This plays out in a million ways. I tell the story of the DACA #TrumpShutdown in the book. But as @ThePlumLineGS notes, it particularly matters vis-a-vis "Constitutional hardball"—the extent to which each side is willing to flout norms in pursuit of substantive & political ends.
Sep 11, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Katrina & Maria both happened under GOP control of government. But after Katrina, notes a new report, the GOP House led an actual investigation into the disastrous response, leading to a 569-page blistering report w/ lessons learned. Post-Maria: crickets.… Don't just refresh Florence news. Read the @OversightDems / @RepCummings report—"A Failure of Oversight: How Republicans Blocked a Credible Investigation of the Trump Administration’s Response to the 2017 Hurricanes." & then work to take back the House.…
Sep 10, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
This is the story to read about activist pressure on Susan Collins right now. Hint: it's enormous, and growing.… If you're in Maine, here are the numbers to call Collins's offices (all 207). If you're not from Maine, please don't clog the lines w/ useless calls. This is go time.

622-8414 Augusta office
780-3575 Portland
784-6969 Lewiston
283-1101 Biddeford
945-0417 Bangor
493-7873 Caribou
Sep 4, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
Outside the Capitol, Alaskan superstar Jeff King—4x winner of the Iditarod—and a group of fellow Alaskan leaders takes the stage and makes the case for Murkowski voting to #StopKanavaugh. He tells us they made the same case privately to her earlier today. Soon to be first Native American woman elected to Congress, @Deb4CongressNM, takes the stage with a group of indigenous leaders. “I don’t want any of you to underestimate your power right now. Keep marching. Keep protesting. Make sure the rest of the country knows. Keep it up!”
Sep 3, 2018 6 tweets 4 min read
1/ A few years ago, a GOP pundit insisted to me that there was no way Elizabeth Warren could’ve risen to Harvard Law on her merits. He was sure she got hired bc of claims of Native Am heritage.

Total BS. @AnnieLinskey has the astonishingly complete story:… If there’s a way that a fair-minded person can fail to be convinced by the ultra deep reporting of this article, I can’t imagine it.
Aug 27, 2018 11 tweets 3 min read
Trump buckles; flag will be half-mast for McCain. This is one of those reminders that when the criticism is intense and universal enough, Trump *does* crack and reverse course. 1/ Trump's family separation policy was the other big example of universal condemnation followed by T losing his nerve. At first, Trump insisted it was outside his control. But when he couldn't take the heat, he ordered a halt. (Admin continues to fail to reunite 100s of families.)
Aug 27, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
In this op-ed, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd pronounces Rupert Murdoch "the greatest cancer on the Australian democracy." I'd take that a step further: he's the greatest cancer on democracy on earth. Far more damage than Putin or Trump.… There's little question that Trump wouldn't be president if not for Fox. In fact, a brilliant, peer-reviewed study of the Fox effect found that if not for Fox, *George W. Bush* wouldn't have been reelected. Dubious? Read about it:…
Aug 24, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
The GOP weaponizing a tragic murder—while, among other things, rewarding dirty fossil fuel backers & sentencing 1400 ppl/year to death by eviscerating the clean power plan—is GOP politics in a nutshell: fan hate to distract & divide while picking pockets & endangering the public. Democrats shouldn't shy away from nailing the GOP's racism. Instead, empirical message testing has found that it's an explosively powerful message to explain that the GOP deliberately fans racial anxiety to distract and divide while ripping people off.…
Aug 21, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Some time in the next few weeks, a notoriously conservative Texas judge is likely to rule to shut down DACA entirely. Other judges have already upheld it. So it'll go to the Supreme Court. Which is likely to split 4-4.

Unless Kavanaugh is on the bench.… If you have DACA, and if you care about Dreamers, keep this on your radar. The Texas judge who previously ruled against DAPA is set to issue an injunction to completely block implementation, nationwide, in conflict with other judges' injunctions.…
Aug 21, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Post-Pruitt, there's a DC guessing game about who will emerge as the Trump administration's poster child for corruption (other than Trump), of course. Many fine candidates. But it's looking increasingly like Wilbur Ross will emerge as the most astonishingly corrupt of the bunch. One weird thing about Ross: he can give exemptions from tariffs to specific companies. And he can also invest in said companies. Even Fox and Breitbart have gone after him about it this summer.…
Aug 20, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
Michiganders, you just lucked out: @Garlin is one of my favorite people on this earth. A great progressive, great dad, and a changemaker to his core. I’m *thrilled* that he’s reportedly be named as the Dem Lt Gov candidate tomorrow morning. Everybody vote!… If you want to get to know Michigan’s superstar next Lieutenant Governor better, I’d humbly recommend this podcast episode in which I interview @garlin about his life story:…
Aug 18, 2018 14 tweets 5 min read
At first, when Kavanagh was nominated, top GOP senators said that “it just seems to be common sense” that all his White House papers should be released.

Then, on July 24, they met with Trump’s counsel. Turned on a dime. Now, releasing the papers would be “a bridge too far.” 1/ What the hell happened at that meeting? What did the senators hear? We don’t know, because only Republicans were invited. Their lips are sealed.

@SenatorLeahy, ex-chairman of Judiciary Committee, wants to find out. Here’s the letter he sent today to Don McGahn, Trump’s counsel.
Aug 17, 2018 17 tweets 8 min read
So, uh, looks like Kavanaugh lied to the Senate during 2006 judicial confirmation hearings—even just going by the tiny fraction of documents that are publicly available. Said he knew nothing about Bush torture & rendition. But: was emailed talking points.… Republican superlawyer Bill Burck, who simultaneously represents Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, and Don McGahn in their dealings with the Russia probe, is also brokering access to Kavanaugh documents for the Senate. He's keeping a *very* tight lid on them.…
Aug 15, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
My first taste of real activism, when I was in high school, focused on the underfunding of WI public schools. Scott Walker has turned a problem into a full-blown crisis. Tonight, @Tony4WI, WI's education chief, won the Gov primary. This is it. Toss Walker out. It's time for Tony. Scott Walker has crushed Wisconsin's unions, backbone of the middle class. He's ripped apart hard-won protections for the environment. He's disgraced what was once the nation's finest civil service. He's a Koch puppet and a disaster. It's time for him to go. It's time for Tony.
Aug 10, 2018 11 tweets 1 min read
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