I guess folks in Georgia will start getting phone calls and texts at some point in the not-too-distant future, and I’m trying to decide whether I’ll be one of the people calling or texting.
If I do, and I leave messages in people’s voice mailboxes, it’d include something like this:
“Republicans will tell you that we need the Senate to remain under Republican leadership to serve as a counterweight to President Biden and radicals like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but the fact is that the only effect of a 50-50 Senate is that Mitch McConnell’s “graveyard” of bills goes away. Bills passed by the House will get brought up for VOTES in the Senate instead of going into a cardboard box behind McConnell’s desk. [I probably wouldn’t put it quite that way.] The Dems in the Senate have their own very conservative members, such as Joe Manchin of WV, Kyrsten Sinema of AZ (who has voted with Trump about half the time), and Dianne Feinstein (who gave Lindsay Graham a hug after the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett), so it’s not like there’s a horde of wild-eyed radical leftists waiting to take over. Let’s let the Dems try it their way for a couple of years, and if you don’t like the results, there’s another election in two years that Dems will probably sleep through, and the Republicans will get the Senate back.”
And, if I get an actual human who picks up the phone and says “Yes, but the Dems want to pack the Supreme Court,” I’ll say something like, “well, first off, Joe Biden wants to have a six-month study to get recommendations on reforming the entire court system, not simply expand the Supreme Court. Did you know that we had a huge number of vacancies in the federal court system because Republicans intentionally blocked nominations before Trump came along, so that there would be a large number of vacancies in case there was a Republican president? So, the six-month study and recommendations will probably be fairly well thought through. Also, if Mitch McConnell hadn’t both blocked Merrick Garland in the last year of the Obama administration (claiming the American people should vote) and also confirmed Amy Coney Barrett in the last few weeks just before the election (without allowing the American people to vote), we’d probably have a 5-4 court now (still conservative) instead of a 6-3 court. Does what McConnell did seem fair to you?”
And if they say, “yes, but John, on your blog you’re constantly talking about re-apportioning the House and that would be a permanent change”, I’ll say “well, if we value democracy in this country, if we believe democracy is what makes us great, then shouldn’t we give people a true voice in their government? Right now, people living in states like Montana, Wyoming and North & South Dakota (which were created as two states on purpose to get two more senators) have more of a voice than people living in California and New York. I know you may not trust folks you think of as ‘big city’ folks, but they’re hard-working citizens the same as you, and don’t you think they deserve a more equal voice? Plus, even if we do get 50 Dem senators, don’t you think a big change like that might be hard to get through? Don’t forget the House has to propose that bill, too, and that’s a big structural change that would affect them directly, so it’s not so guaranteed.”
And if they say, “yes, but the big cities will totally overwhelm the lower-population states”, I’ll say “well, first off, where people live shouldn’t dilute their vote, and if there are fewer people in some places, they should get fewer total votes, right? But, secondly: the fraction of people living in ‘big cities’ in this country is much smaller than you think. «85% of the population of the United States lives in places with a population of fewer than 365,000 (the population of Arlington, Texas, the nation’s 50th biggest city).» (according to NationalPopularVote.com). All the ‘big cities’ combined only account for 15% of the people living in this country.”
And then they’ll say, “ok, you’ve convinced me. I’ll vote to send Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to Congress, and I’ll request an absentee ballot right now at https://ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov (because I know they start sending them out on Nov. 18) and I’ll track my ballot via https://georgia.ballottrax.net/, because Great Googly-moogly, I do not want to have this conversation again; now please take me off your call list.”
And all will be right with the world.
If I decide I want to put us all through that.
Update: still cogitating. https://twitter.com/oldladydem/status/1325522214217723910?s=20