Calling All Berners: Time To Flip The House
After a week in which Donald Trump’s campaign lost considerable ground and credibility, even among core Republicans, it’s become much more possible that we will see a Hillary Clinton landslide in November.
Given the high percentage of straight-ticket voting, a landslide would likely flip enough contested Senate races into the Democrat category to result in a slim Democratic majority in the Senate.
This rapid change in the landscape of the Presidential race opens up an exciting strategic possibility for Bernie supporters who are wondering where to focus next.
And that is to focus the full power of Bernie’s grassroots movement on flipping the House blue as well, something that few strategists are thinking is feasible, as it would require winning a net 30 seats.
However, Bernie’s campaign proved that grassroots power should never be underestimated. Focusing the power of millions of supporters into 40 or so House races could prove to be an overwhelming force, especially if Republicans’ enthusiasm continues to wane for the top of the ticket.
But why would flipping the House be so significant?
Having Berners lead the effort of turning the House blue would be the single most powerful way to advance the revolution Bernie started because it would likely lead to a situation in which Bernie is in a key independent role in a closely divided but Democratic Senate AND the House Democrats would owe their slim majority to Berners as well.
House Democrats are far more vulnerable in non-presidential election years due to lower turnout, so the candidates who did win entry to the House with Berner-backing would be motivated to not risk losing that backing two years later.
This would actually be the optimal scenario to create maximum change in the next two years AND have safeguards in place to prevent policies like TPP that Berners are deeply concerned about.
A President Clinton plus a narrow majority in the Senate (with Bernie in a decisive, tipping-point role) AND a loyal group of Bernie-backed representatives would be able to create more actual legislative and judicial change in the next two years than has been able to happen in a while.
It would be an ideal situation to advance a progressive platform AND have brakes that could be applied when needed. More progressive judges could be ratified from the Supreme Court to circuit courts.
Bernie would actually have MORE power to set the legislative direction for the United States than he would have had as President with a divided Congress. That’s because Congress actually creates the bills that become law and so long as it is gridlocked by politics, even moderate reforms can languish.
Flipping the House blue also gives a positive place to focus the many Bernie supporters who still have a strong dislike for Hillary and thus aren’t enthusiastic to be active in the Presidential campaign.
While the disappointment in many Bernie supporters is understandable, if that disappointment festers without a positive new direction, it’s likely that the revolution will squander the great passion and infrastructure already built.
Focusing on flipping the House into the Democratic category advances a lot of long-term strategic objectives of the Revolution.
It’s time for Bernie supporters to decide: are you in this for the long haul to create the changes you truly want to see?
Flipping the House blue could be the single most powerful strategy to turn exciting campaign rhetoric into actual laws that change lives.