As you may know, Sen. Bernie Sanders has organized a coalition of senators who are sworn opponents of all cuts to Social Security. This post has three points. I want you to see the list of senators who are fighting for you and your children. I want you to see Sen. Sanders letter. And I’d like you to press your senator to join in.
■ The last one first — pressing your senator to join in. Sen. Sanders’ letter is the inside game to complement the outside game some of us are urging by our impertinent public comments and recommendations. We need insiders to throw their senatorial bodies on the tracks to stop this. (For why, see here.)
We have 29 senatorial bodies. We need 12 more for a filibuster. Is your senator on the list below?
- If so, write or call to say Thanks. Seriously, these men and women need to hear from you.
- If not, go thou, pick up the phone (or the pen) and give them what for — in your politest what-for voice, of course. They also need to hear from you.
Who is your senator? Click here to find out.
■ Now the list of signers to Sen. Sanders’ letter:
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Harry Reid (D-NV)
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Sherrod Brown ((D-OH)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
John Rockefeller (D-WV)
Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Dave Dayen provides a list of who didn’t sign (my emphases):
Notice the presence of Manchin there. So who didn’t sign?
Max Baucus, Michael Bennet, Jeff Bingaman, Tom Carper, Bob Casey, Kent Conrad, Chris Coons, Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Kay Hagan, John Kerry, Amy Klobuchar, Herb Kohl, Mary Landrieu, Joe Lieberman, Claire McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Mark Pryor, Jeanne Shaheen, Jon Tester, Mark Udall, Mark Warner, Jim Webb.
Durbin and Kerry are frequent surrogates for the White House. Attention focused on those two might get White House attention as well. If this issue rolls past the Lame Duck into the next Congress, the players change. Dayen thus adds:
Bingaman, Conrad, Ben Nelson, Kohl, Lieberman and Webb are retiring, and assuming they get replaced by Democrats (except for Nelson, because that’s not happening), I think we can expect Tammy Baldwin (WI), Martin Heinrich (NM) and Chris Murphy (CT), at least, to stand with the “no cuts” caucus. Tim Kaine not so much, and frankly I don’t know enough about North Dakota candidate Heidi Heitkamp to make a determination. There’s a “fixing the fiscal mess” section of her website so that’s not terribly encouraging.
Elizabeth Warren is probably in the “no cuts” caucus, so that’s a pickup. Shelley Berkley may or may not be, if she wins in Nevada. So the best case here is for five more votes out of the elections, if they break the right way. Tester, McCaskill, Bill Nelson and Casey, if they get through their elections, may change their tune a bit, but who knows.
Thanks, progressive insiders. Remember though — the proof is in the winning, not just the trying hard. Is it time to re-pimp my idea that progressives in office should form an Open Rebellion Caucus against NeoLib-DLC leadership? Enough of this quiet collegiality, say I. At some point the final whistle will blow, and we’ll still be saying:
No, after you, Gaston.
Perhaps we could name the go-along Dems the Alphonse-and-Gaston Caucus, just to shame them. Worth a thought.
■ Finally, to read and enjoy the letter from Senator Sanders, click here (pdf; opens in a new tab).
There’s work to do, folks. This doesn’t end with the temporary defeat of the AFP-controlled Republican Party in 2012. That’s just one battle. There’s an enemy outside the gate — and an enemy inside it as well. Gird and stay girded (say I).
To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius