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Let’s Not Roll Over



Two days ago, in a round of calls to my representatives asking them to vocally organize against Bannon, I talked to an employee of incoming Congressman Adriano Espaillat named Martin Smith. When I said what I was calling about he literally burst out laughing at me, and said there was very little they could do. The congressman would decide the best way to respond. He then told me we needed realism right now. He had taken six constituent calls that morning, and had already told a woman worried about her son, an (undocumented?) immigrant who had been in trouble for drugs already, that there was very little they could do for her son. I tried to communicate that my state of mind was not exactly optimistic at this moment, but that that didn’t argue for defeatism. He gave me the an email address to use to express my concerns. So Espaillat has someone working for him who is just telling all callers that we’re all screwed. I mean, we are, but only behaving like it is possible for us to exercise power will ever create that possibility.

So let’s do that!  I think Bannon is a very important target for organizing right now. It seems at least possible to win, and in so doing to send a message that there are limits. If Bannon stays, it bodes ill, to put it mildly. Some things you can do are: call your reps and urge them to be very forceful in denouncing him, if they have not already, or thank them if they have. Contact journalists and media outlets who use normalizing or “both sides do it” language about him. If you know influential people, reach out to them, and ask them to speak out against him.

Below the fold, more detailed recommendations from some provenance I don’t know, but I think they’re good.

On my list for immediately after class this afternoon: Cut & paste to share: PLEASE SHARE WIDELY!
#stopbannon DAY 3: NEW ACTION STEPS
We are making great progress — over 150 members of Congress have now called for the appointment of white supremacist Steve Bannon to be rescinded — but there is still work to be done and we can’t let up. Here are some ideas for today.
1) As far as I’m aware no GOP leaders have come out against Bannon. Let’s contact them, starting with those who have criticized Trump, and urge them to do so. Republican pressure is going to be important. Here is a partial contact list:
Sen Jeff Flake 202-224-4521
Sen John McCain 202-224-2235
Sen Ben Sasse 202-224-4224
Sen Mike Lee 202-224-5444
Rep. Mia Love (202) 225-3011
2) Some key Democratic leaders have now spoken out to denounce his views, but that is not enough. Several of them have made frustratingly bland statements and they need to be urged to call for his removal. Bannon has zero place in our government. Urge them to join their many colleagues, like Harry Reid, Barbara Lee, Jeff Merkeley, and Ron Wyden and others, who have demanded his immediate removal.
Sen Kirsten Gillibrand 202-224-4451
Sen. Chuck Schumer: 202-224-6542
Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 202-224-4543
Sen. Bernie Sanders: 202-224-5141
Rep. Nancy Pelosi: 202-225-4965
Rep. James Clyburn: 202-225-3315
3) Continue to call and/or fax your representatives and senators to say that Bannon’s appointment is completely unacceptable. If they have already called for the appointment to be rescinded, thank them for speaking out.
4) House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are trying to avoid commenting on this issue. Let’s keep the pressure on them. McConnell looked awkward and silent when asked about this yesterday and Ryan refused to criticize him.
Speaker Paul Ryan (202) 225-3031
Majority Leader McConnell, (202) 224-2541
*They are making it difficult to get through so be persistent. Call their local offices if necessary.
5) Reach out to any people of influence you know – faith leaders, community leaders, college presidents, you name it – and ask them to speak out publicly in favor of Bannon’s removal.
6) Contact any media source that you see normalizing the Bannon appointment by failing to call him what he is: a white supremacist, anti-Semite, and misogynist. At the same time, publicize the many strong stories that are increasingly appearing, like the Chicago Tribune editorial, “Keep Steve Bannon, Professional Bigot, Out of the White House.”
We can do this — we need to #stopBannon, and we need this win. #blockBannon #firebannon

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  • SgtSchmaltz

    I called the offices of Pete Sessions, John Cornyn, and Ted Cruz yesterday, being in Texas and all. Cornyn’s staffer took a message, Sessions’s ran quickly away from the topic, and Cruz’s DC line was so busy I couldn’t get through. So I called the North Texas line and got a weary-sounding woman who told me she’s getting a LOT of complaints about Bannon, and she assumed she should put me down as “opposed.” I told her, as I told the others, that I hope to hear a full-throated denunciation of Bannon from the Senator, as that is pretty much the only honorable thing to do, particularly if (as Sessions’s staffer said) you don’t “condone or agree with everything Mr. Bannon has said”.

    I like your list better. I’ll try those tomorrow!

  • If you get an unhelpful response from your rep’s DC office, try calling the district office (or vice versa).

    Where is that list of 150 members of Congress against Bannon?

    (For my part, I called Rodney Davis and Dick Durbin’s offices yesterday. Neither had an official position, but they took my message and Durbin’s staffer said they’d been getting a lot of calls.)

  • science_goy

    Thanks for doing this. Lots of people don’t realize that calls from constituents can actually have an impact, especially if they get a tsunami of them about a specific issue.

    Being in DC, unfortunately, I’ve got nobody to call.

    • When I worked for a MoC, we had multiple metrics we used to track contacts from constituents, and it was part of our weekly report to the Congressman. Since he was considered a vulnerable member–district had been held by a Democrat only 4 of the previous 92 years–we also had to report it to caucus to prove we were on top of what we needed to do. Not every member of Congress cares about constituent contact, but many, probably most, do.

  • I am happy to see that my representative, Anna Eshoo, has specifically condemned it and demanded his appointment be rescinded. I will make sure to send her a message thanking her for it.

  • wfrolik

    SEK’s family has put out a request for donations on Facebook to help cover Scott’s medical bills. Apparently it’s been a long road to recovery and there’ve been some bumps but he *is* starting to get better. They have 2 grand raised so far-the goal is 100,000 so everyone please donate whatever you can even if it isn’t much-every little bit helps. I just donated myself.

    • Katie Surrence

      There will be a post on the blog about it; don’t worry.

  • efgoldman

    I never thought I’d see this as GOOD news!
    Of course it has nothing directly to do with Hermann Bannon, but still.

    • I don’t know what he’ll do, but I think McConnell would be making a big error to get rid of it. There are crazy things he knows would be bad, but that at least now his caucus would think it has to support to avoid being eaten by the base. He could let Dems block some things he knows are crazy, and blame the Dems for it.

  • lizzie

    O/T is it appropriate to share a link for a GoFundMe for SEK? I just saw it on Facebook but not everyone uses Facebook.


    • Juicy_Joel

      Holy shit. Get well soon SEK.

    • Katie Surrence

      See above — we have a post planned.

      • lizzie

        Oh good, and thanks. I figured you guys would but I was so alarmed after reading the info at the link I couldn’t help posting.

    • Coconinoite

      Jeez. I hope he recovers quickly. Please let us know his cats are ok, too.

    • pseudalicious

      Jesus. Just donated. Get well, SEK.

  • Joe_JP

    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made these back-to-back comments on Bannon via her Twitter account:

    Many #NY’ers have expressed grave concerns about Donald Trump’s selection of Stephen Bannon as his Chief Strategist. I share those concerns.


    Thank you for raising your voices & speaking out. I stand ready to oppose the forces of hatred, bigotry & intolerance at every turn.

    [less bland]

    • ASV

      The timidity I’m seeing out of national Democrats the last few days makes me think I should’ve given money to Alan Grayson in the primary.

      • Joe_JP

        Hard for me to include Gillibrand there given her net work but if you want to give money to a flamethrower like Grayson, okay. Me, I wished they found a third choice since darn (maybe not — don’t know Florida politics) you’d think there was someone who could have defeated Rubio. People like Grayson are better off in House seats, putting aside some things about him that seem iffy even there.

  • Ellie1789

    Advice I’ve seen is:
    1) call the local/district office over DC offices
    2) present your concern in the form of questions the staffer has to answer
    3) press for an answer or a public statement (don’t let them take your name and “get back to you” individually—you’ll just get a form letter)
    4) keep calling


  • Philip

    I’m in Pelosi’s district, and her statement was great (“There must be no sugarcoating the reality that a white nationalist has been named chief strategist for the Trump Administration”), so I’m definitely going to call in to express support.

  • Calming Influence

    Thanks, I’m passing this around. There are A LOT of people who want to take some sort of action and don’t know what to do; this is doable.

  • cleek

    those headlines, which Bannon probably didn’t write himself, are no worse than things Trump actually said.

    • Katie Surrence

      I was trying to decide on an image to go with the post and eventually just decided not to think too hard because it was preventing me from putting it up.

      Let me be more explicit: Trump having a dedicated racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic propagandist of this type working with him closely will only organize and amplify the hatred in this country. To what eventual outcome, I don’t know. His choice is an accurate signal to white supremacists that he is on their side, and emboldens them further. They see it that way. If it could be stopped, it would be a show of (a little bit of) strength by anti-racist forces. It might slow down the mainstreaming of this ideology, although constant struggle will be required to stop it.

  • Ghostship

    Which would LGM readers rather have? Steve Bannon outside the presidential tent pissing in? Trump may have just neutered the alt-right. I’m going to wait and see as it’s more likely Trump will now at least make it to the inauguration.

    • Rob in CT

      Stupid is as stupid does, I guess.

    • Matty

      Yes, actually, I would rather have actual fucking white nationalists outside any tent, thank you for asking. How the fuck is making someone the #1 or #2 staffer (depending on who’s asking and what the President’s whim is that day) count as “neutering” their faction? I usually think you’re just arguing in extreme bad faith, but I think now you might actually just not understand a damn thing.

      • Ghostship

        Don’t Americans read Machiavelli anymore? It all depends on who actually advises Trump if indeed anyone does. Bannon would not have taken a lowly post in the Trump administration but ostensibly #1/2 would reel him in.

  • Mike in DC

    What we really need are about 5 million extra Democratic votes, concentrated into about 100 Republican held districts, 2 years from now. Any actions that promote that outcome are to the good.

  • Steve LaBonne

    Trump, with the attention span of a 3 year old, doesn’t have the capacity to effectively organize a fascist regime. Bannon has both the ability and the will. Finding a way to force Trump to ditch him is Job 1.

    • Katie Surrence

      Plus a million. I said something very similar elsewhere.

    • Crusty

      Good point. I was torn thinking whether energy should specifically be devoted to Bannon, and it should, because Trump is a cipher and if Bannon is in his ear, that’s no good.

  • sharonT

    I read a post on The Medium by a former House staffer and she said that calls to District offices are an effective way to get your Representatives ears. Calls are logged and discussed by staff.

    • Mike in DC

      Hand-written letters still have an impact, too.

      • Rob in CT

        Typed & hand-signed works too, I hope, ’cause my handwriting is terrible.

  • NewishLawyer

    Schummer came out with a strong statement against Bannon. Gildebrand was more tepid.

    I don’t see Trump backing down when he made his choice.

    • Katie Surrence

      I don’t see Trump backing down when he made his choice.

      At this point, if someone suggests an action, and someone else wishes to express skepticism about it, in my opinion it now behooves that someone to suggest a different action they regard as more likely be useful, or at least a different direction of effort.

  • Origami Isopod

    For quick reference:

    Sen. Chuck Schumer
    Washington, DC (202) 224-6542
    Albany (518) 431-4070
    Binghamton (607) 772-6792
    Buffalo (716) 846-4111
    Melville (631) 753-0978
    NYC (212) 486-4430
    Peekskill (914) 734-1532
    Rochester (585) 263-5866
    Syracuse (315) 423-5471

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi
    Washington, DC (202) 225-4965
    San Francisco (415) 556-4862

    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
    Washington, DC (202) 224-4451
    Albany (518) 431-0120
    Buffalo (716) 854-9725
    Hudson Valley (Mahopac) (845) 875-4585
    Long Island (Melville) (631) 249-2825
    North Country (Lowville) (315) 376-6118
    NYC (212) 688-6262
    Rochester (585) 263-6250
    Syracuse (315) 448-0470

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren
    Washington, DC (202) 224-4543
    Boston (617) 565-3170
    Springfield (413) 788-2690

    Rep. James Clyburn
    Washington, DC (202) 225-3315
    Columbia (803) 799-1100
    Kingstree, SC (843) 355-1211
    Santee, SC (803) 854-4700

    Sen. Bernie Sanders
    Washington, DC (202) 224-5141
    Burlington (802) 862-0697
    St. Johnsbury (802) 748-9269

    Speaker Paul Ryan
    Washington, DC (202) 225-3031
    Janesville office (608) 752-4050
    Toll-Free: 1-888-909-RYAN (7926)
    Kenosha (262) 654-1901
    Racine (262) 637-0510

    Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
    Washington, DC (202) 224-2541
    Louisville (502) 582-6304
    Lexington (859) 224-8286
    Ft. Wright (859) 578-0188
    London (606) 864-2026
    Bowling Green (270) 781-1673
    Paducah (270) 442-4554

    Sen. Jeff Flake
    Washington, DC (202) 224-4521
    Phoenix (602) 840-1891
    Tucson (520) 575-8633

    Sen. John McCain
    Washington, DC (202) 224-2235
    Phoenix (602) 952-2410
    Prescott (928) 445-0833
    Tucson (520) 670-6334

    Sen.Ben Sasse
    Washington, DC (202) 224-4224
    Lincoln (402) 476-1400
    Kearney (308) 233-3677
    Omaha (402) 550-8040
    Scottsbluff (308) 632-6032

    Sen. Mike Lee
    Washington, DC (202) 224-5444
    SLC (801) 524-5933
    St. George (435) 628-5514

    Rep. Mia Love
    Washington, DC (202) 225-3011
    West Jordan, UT (801) 996-8729

  • busker type

    I called my congressman… DC office was unhelpful, but the district office new exactly what I was talking about so at least that’s good.

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