#WhipTheVote: Progressives Launch Campaign to Pressure 24 Democrats Who Still Haven’t Vowed to Oppose Kavanaughby Jake Johnson, staff writer Common Dreams August 29, 2018
Just 24 hours after thousands of Americans took to the streets nationwide to protest Brett Kavanaugh—President Donald Trump’s far-right Supreme Court pick—a coalition of progressive groups on Monday launched a campaign aimed at pressuring the two dozen Democrats who still haven’t committed to voting against the anti-environment, anti-reproductive rights judge.
“Democratic senators should be united in opposition to Kavanaugh, instead of letting Republican senators ram through the confirmation of a nominee who was selected to protect the president from prosecution.”
“Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has pleaded guilty to violating federal law and admitted to doing so at the direction of President Trump,” the groups note on their new website launched on Monday, which is called WhipTheVote.org. “It is stunning that there are two dozen Democratic senators who are still undecided on letting Trump handpick a Supreme Court justice while he is under federal criminal investigation, especially since his pick, Brett Kavanaugh, believes that a sitting president should be considered above the law.”
As the Washington Post reported in July, Kavanaugh “has argued that presidents should not be distracted by civil lawsuits, criminal investigations, or even questions from a prosecutor or defense attorney while in office.”
“Democratic senators should be united in opposition to Kavanaugh, instead of letting Republican senators ram through the confirmation of a nominee who was selected to protect the president from prosecution,” the groups add. “Every Democratic senator must announce their opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation immediately.”
The coalition’s new website provides an updated list detailing where every senator stands on Kavanaugh and links to sample call scripts Americans can use to pressure their representatives to “get off the fence.”
If Kavanaugh is to be confirmed, Republicans can’t afford to lose a single vote if the Democratic caucus unites against him. But uniting the Democratic caucus has been a difficult task, as several so-called moderates—including Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.)—are considering voting for Kavanaugh.
While progressive organizations like MoveOn, Indivisible, NARAL, and countless others have been forcefully mobilizing against Kavanaugh for weeks, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has indicated—despite intense backlash—that he won’t play “hardball” with the several centrist Democrats who are considering backing the right-wing judge.
“This is one of the toughest fights yet of the Trump era,” Elizabeth Beavers, associate policy director of Indivisible, said in a statement. “Every Democrat needs to come out loud and clear in opposition to this nominee, so that we can focus the pressure on moderate Republicans.”