Celebrate, but keep it real, here come the Congressional Mod Squad

by Wade Rathke

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

New Orleans   Victories have a thousand fathers and defeats are orphan children, or something like that. ACORN, the Voter Purge Project, and Labor Neighbor are glad to count coup in Georgia for our small part in an enormous an historic victory in Georgia. Where we worked against suppression in Clayton County the vote went from 85% for Biden to 88% and 89% for Ossoff and Warnock respectively. There were bigger players and mountains of money, but we were on the ground, on the phones calling and texting, to do our part, and in races this close, every little bit mattered.

Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated incumbent Republican Senate appointee Kelley Loeffler making history as the first African-American Senator elected in Georgia, and one of the first in modern history in the South. This is sweet, partially because Loeffler had made herself so craven in her ambition to retain her seat by crawling up Trump’s nose. A rich woman with a Wall Street husband who was appointed to the vacancy by the governor based on her donations suddenly is wearing jeans and a red puffy everywhere to convince people she’s a country girl from Illinois in a hard sell to the rightwing base even as she mouthed every conspiracy theory as her own. Warnock will have to run again in two years, but that’s then. Meanwhile Jon Ossoff leads with votes still coming in from strong Democratic precincts in metro Atlanta suburbs. All the numbers favor a victory sweep here. #byeMitch is trending on terrible Twitter as the Democrats line up to take over the Senate on a 50-50 split with Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris the tie vote.

Celebrate now for sure, but keep your feet on the ground. This is not the revolution. This is a changing of the guard and with an even split in the Senate it really is likely to mean moderate-leaning government at the best. A new mod squad of Senator George Romney (R-UT), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will keep big dreams from happening, and assure that even Supreme Court picks, if they come in the next two years, will be solid, but not expansive choices. They will have to be made happy, so we need to take a chill pill once we finish happy dancing.

I don’t want to be Debbie Downer. We’ll win plenty. Cabinet nominations should be secure making the bureaucracy work for people again. We’ll get a minimum wage increase, and it will be a good one. We’ll get a better labor board, better climate and environmental regs, better workplace safety, civil rights, and maybe even housing programs. We’re likely to get another stimulus to save the economy.

The list is long, but it’s not endless, and it’s not going to be a Sanders and AOC world, but a Biden-Harris middle road with the new Mod Squad pushing the edges and the whack right yelling to the roof beams, while we try to hold the line in 2022.

The work pays off, but it never ends.


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