One-click messaging to your Senators about the RBG replacement

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has set up a site where, if you just enter your name, address, phone and Zip code, it automatically emails a pre-written message to both of your Senators. (You can modify the message, as I did.)

The site is below (click on screenshot), and you can either email or call your Senators by clicking on the email or phone icon. (If you phone, it will make the call for you, I believe.) I sent emails, and I modified the message because both of my Senators are Democrats. But it’s worthwhile anyway.

Here’s the boilerplate message that you can modify:

As your constituent, I demand that you oppose the nomination and confirmation of any Supreme Court nominee before the 2021 inauguration. The election is happening now. Early voting and mail-in voting has already started in some states. Under no circumstances should the Senate move to fill the vacancy until after the results of the election are finalized.

Of course, if you’re a big fan of Mitch McConnell, you can ignore this message, but you should also ignore this website.

50 Comments

  1. Posted September 21, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Given what was done at the end of Obama’s administration, it would be the most flagrant hypocrisy for the Senate to push through a successor to RBG. Which means, of course, that they’re more than likely to try to do so.

    As for being a fan of McConnell…speaking for myself (of course) I’m a fan of his in much the same way Hannibal Lecter is a fan of census takers.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted September 21, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      The US of A, where 8 months is too short, but 6 weeks long enough.

    • Posted September 21, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      I just read an interesting comment by Jonathan Last in The Bulwark on how this is not hypocrisy but something worse (https://thetriad.thebulwark.com/p/this-isnt-hypocrisy):

      Hypocrisy is good.

      Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. It is one of the guardrails against nihilism.

      Example: Senator Hornswaggle says, “I believe in family values. A man shouldn’t cheat on his wife or live a double life where he’s a husband and father sometimes and a carousing lout on Saturday nights.”

      And then we find out that Senator Hornswaggle has been catting around and living a double life.

      That’s hypocrisy. And it’s a good thing.

      Why is it a good thing? Because it’s a sign that the culture still has ideals and norms which people are ashamed to violate in public. It’s a sign that we believe in virtue.

      What if we lived in a world where Senator Hornswaggle felt liberated to say, “Yeah. I like strippers and I’ve got some shorties stashed on the side and so what? LOL nothing matters.”

      That’s nihilism. That’s a sign of a culture that’s circling the drain.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 21, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Nihilists?

        • Posted September 21, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, that struck me as wrong too. Sounded better than “assholery”?

      • veroxitatis
        Posted September 21, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Suppose a politician has to express belief in God and the Bible to get elected but secretly believes the whole shebang to be crock of shit. That’s hypocrisy. Pretty well 100% of US members of Congress fall into that first category. How many are hypocrisy I have no idea. In the UK no one standing for election needs express any belief in God or any other unlikely being and their holy dogmas. Indeed quite the reverse: As an aide to Tony Blair PM said when Blair was asked a question by a reporter about his religious beliefs, ” We don’t do God “.
        Are you saying UK politicians are nihilists?

  2. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    As a foreigner I guess I do not qualify. But I support the initiative.

    • jezgrove
      Posted September 21, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Ditto!

  3. Andrea Kenner
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I wish I could still click Like on your site, because I definitely like this post!

  4. Type Logician
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I added the following text:

    Bear in mind that we have not forgotten how the same Senate leadership that now seeks to rush through a SCOTUS nomination in the waning days of an active Presidential election blocked the Obama administrations efforts to proceed to a vote on the nomination of Merrick Garland on the grounds that no such nomination should be acted on in an election year. The sheer, baldfaced *hypocrisy* of the Senate leadership is so blinding obvious that it can only be interpreted as a message to the country at large: *We have no political ethics or principles other than to do the President’s bidding*. This behavior seems to begging for a severe correction, and I have no doubt that if the Senate proceeds along the course its leadership seems to be pursuing, that correction will come—possibly very, very soon.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I sent to both Senators but do not have much hope for either. Unfortunately this is Kansas, home of the pro-life idiots. Senators are Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran both white bread Trump toadies. Now, Pat Roberts is being replaced this year, not running again so you would think he can do whatever he wants. But as I said, fat chance.

    • Posted September 21, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      I think writing will matter only if the seat is contested. If your Senators are Democrats, like mine, there is no need. If they are safe Republicans, like yours, they won’t care.

    • C.
      Posted September 21, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m a Missouri neighbor. I feel your pain. We are both stuck with republican ideologues who are nothing wrong with hypocrisy so long as it benefits themselves. I still sent my message for all the good it (won’t) will do.

    • C.
      Posted September 21, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      I already got my form letter reply from Josh “horseshit” Hawley. Somehow I just don’t feel like he really does appreciate hearing my thoughts on issues important to Missourians. Maybe I’m just being too cynical.

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted September 21, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Ditto, but like you, it won’t make any difference although for the opposite reason. I’ve never lived in a state that wasn’t pretty much fixed (CA, TN and IL), although in flipping directions)

  6. Blue
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    D O N E this day.

    Blue

  7. Caldwell Titcomb IV
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    …if you’re a big fan of Mitch McConnell, you can ignore this message, but you should also ignore this website.

    I’m not a fan of Mitch McConnell or any other politician, but because of many posts like this one I wish I had the willpower to ignore this website, to which I’m drawn because of the posts about nature, optical illusions, comics and such.

    Although I’m an atheist, I’m glad to not be associated with the FFRF in any way because of their grotesque “demand” that Senators NOT do the jobs they were elected to do, as defined in the Constitution they swore to uphold.

    • Blue
      Posted September 21, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Ah, I for several thousands, Ms or Mr Caldwell Titcomb IV,
      happen to a c t i v e l y BE
      .U B E R ” GLAD. TO be associated with
      the FFRF in .E V E R Y way. ”

      And shall continue until I no longer can,
      TO respond in every way possible to what
      the ( smashing ) attorneys and others of
      the Freedom FROM Religion Foundation request
      that I do. ONE of those requests IS and HAS BEEN
      that, as re the freedom in the United States to say whatever we / y o u want but also
      for which it and the the ACLU labor as well,
      that is, http://www.aclu.org/other/tribute-legacy-ruth-bader-ginsburg-and-wrp-staff?fbclid=IwAR1QL00HAS7NmY1gaNT4ICK1Kx5mXKcBtsPvJAA2a75ahEmtKwctASIXswI
      to ” DEMAND ” that the USA’s e l e c t e d officials
      conduct themselves within their
      E G A L I T A R I A N obligatilons
      AS IF they are performing THE Right Thing(s).

      Blue

    • Filippo
      Posted September 21, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      ‘Although I’m an atheist, I’m glad to not be associated with the FFRF in any way because of their grotesque “demand” that Senators NOT do the jobs they were elected to do, as defined in the Constitution they swore to uphold.’

      Instead of “demand,” I would prefer something on the order of, “as a matter of principle (and precedent, referencing noble Mitch McConnell), I request . . . .”

      I perceive that members of Congress are NOT doing their jobs a great deal of the time. E.g., the U.S. constitution provides that, with certain exceptions, the two Houses can make their own rules.

      One rule is that a bill has to be voted out of committee (released) in order for the full House to vote on it. So, according mainly to the desires of the committee chairperson (and “party discipline”) a bill can “die in committee.” In the House of Representatives there is a rule whereby 218(?) members can sign a co-called “discharge petition” to force a bill out of committee. (I don’t know if the Senate has such a rule.) Of course, there’s where “party discipline” really kicks in.

      Would that at least an attempt had been made to at least censure if not impeach Mitch McConnell. How could he alone have the constitutional power to not consider ANY Obama SCOTUS nomination?

  8. Historian
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Adam Jentleson is the former chief-of-staff to former Democratic senator Harry Reid of Nevada. He knows the ins and outs of the Senate’s arcane rules. He offers several suggestions on how the Democrats can possibly block Trump’s nomination. If that doesn’t work, he is all for “structural reform” of the Court, which means packing it should the Democrats win the presidency and take back the Senate. Also, the filibuster will have to be ended. His conclusion: “This is a dark time for Democrats, but it has the potential to be clarifying. The Senate is awash in myths and misconceptions about norms and traditions, most of which were invented to serve narrow political interests. Republicans’ naked hypocrisy will reveal that much of what senators assure us is grand Senate tradition is just hardball politics.” I love what he says because he echoes what I have said: it is time for the Democrats to play the hardest of hardball. I hope that Biden and Schumer get the message.

    • Posted September 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      The filibuster protects the minority party in the Senate from the majority ramming through legislation and confirmations. Given the rural bias of the Senate elections, the minority party is more likely than not to be the Democratic party. Of the past twenty Congresses, the Dems have controlled the Senate only eight times, and sometimes barely. The future does not look that much better.

      It is true that the filibuster, by imposing a supermajority for cloture, is anti-democratic. But the Senate is NOT a democratic body. It is biased toward low population, usually Republican, states. The filibuster provides a check on a Senate majority elected by a minority of voters.

      IMO, the Democrats screwed up in 2012 or 2013 when they abolished the filibuster for all but SCOTUS court confirmations. They opened the door for the Republicans to use the nuclear option, which they did for Gorsuch and ever since. We are in the current mess because the Dems, while temporarily in the majority, enabled future Republican Senate majorities to ride roughshod over them.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 21, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        The Dems will be in a stronger position to control the senate once there are two senators each from the Commonwealth of Columbia and the State of Puerto Rico.

        That’ll also mean six more electoral votes (unless the nation comes to its senses and abandons the EC) from PR alone and five additional congressional seats in the House (four from PR, one from DC — one who actually gets to vote, unlike its current House “delegate,” Eleanor Norton Holmes, who must make like a potted palm when a rollcall rolls around).

        Plus, the Republican Party is moribund. Sure, it’ll still hang on to the red states where hardly any humans live, where Donald Trump runs 10 or 20 points ahead of his national average. But Texas and Georgia are at a tipping point (as Virginia and Nevada were not long ago, and as Arizona is now). And once the GOP loses those crown jewels, when it comes to the exercise of national power, it is, as the French say, le fucked.

        • Posted September 21, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          I hope that you’re right. Even so, perhaps the Dems should have clung to the filibuster until that happy day arrives.

          BTW, what hurdles have to be jumped to add states?

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 21, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            The Democrats haven’t abandoned the filibuster rule yet (except as regards lower federal court judicial appointments; the Republicans added SCOTUS appointments in 2016).

            The process for admitting new states to the union is set out in Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the US constitution.

            The bare minima required is for the proposed state to request admission (usually by adopting a state constitution making it part of the union) and for congress to ratify that request.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 21, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Good piece by Mr. Jentleson. As I mentioned this morning, it’s time to go full Monkey Wrench Gang on these unprincipled pricks.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I sent modified messages to my two Republican senators, Rubio and Scott, but hold out little hope that either will break ranks when their Janus-faced, unprincipled master, Moscow Mitch, cracks the whip.

    • veroxitatis
      Posted September 21, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Ken, do you know if Sen. Lindsey Graham has clarified his position? Thanks.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 21, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        He’s been offering up the lamest of excuses for his mendacity on his twitter account and in a letter to Democratic senators. It’s arrant BS:

        • veroxitatis
          Posted September 21, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          Thanks. Completely contradicts what he said ( On Friday record ) in that interview!

          • veroxitatis
            Posted September 21, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

            the record.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 21, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          I note that The Atlantic Forum interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in which Lindsey Graham gave his word that he would NOT consider filling a SCOTUS vacancy during the final year of Donald Trump’s first term occurred on October 3, 2018, a full month after the senate judiciary committee hearings on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, so even Sen. Graham’s BS excuse for his “different view” is on its face patently false.

          I also note that the so-called “Biden Rule” regarding the confirmation of SCOTUS nominees (which Graham made-up, then endorsed in his 10/3/18 interview) was “adopted” in 1992 when George HW Bush was standing for reelection — so even that lame excuse falls of its own weight, too.

          • Posted September 21, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            Graham will use the Walt Whitman defense.

            Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Donald Trump, based on no evidence at all, has accused Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s niece of lying about her aunt’s dying wish not to have Trump name her successor, claiming she was put up to fabricating the story by Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Adam Schiff.

    There are no words left to describe the utter baseness of this man.

  11. BJ
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I encourage anyone who is truly invested in this — as we all should be — to write their own letters to their Senators. Politicians know that these things are just one-click emails with messages already created for the sender. Actual letters and emails written by individuals are far more valuable.

    Please, if you care about this issue, take the small amount of time required to write your own message from your own account or, even better, send a letter. Don’t just basically add your name to a list. This kind of thing is one step up from a change.org petition.

    NOTE: I am not saying that this post is bad or that using this system is a bad idea. Most people do not want to take the time to write their own letters or emails for various reasons. What Jerry posted here is valuable, in that it provides a service that gets people who otherwise wouldn’t send anything to send something. I’m only saying that sending your own message through your own channels is more meaningful and effective, and you should do so if you can.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 21, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Send a telegram. That goin’ for-real old-school.

      “Dear Senator/STOP/Screw you/STOP/Strong letter to follow” 🙂

  12. sugould
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    RGB’s death gives Conservatives the advantage anyway, so there is no real “rush.” Even if there was this mythical “4-4 tie,” let them stay locked up in chambers until they come up with a solution.

    Three hundred million Americans have a stake in the outcome. So does Democracy. And if SCOTUS can’t figure this out, what good are they?

    Maybe they should be proactive and tell both parties to play nice.

  13. Mark
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Also, I’m going ask my two R senators to have integrity.

    As if that would happen.

  14. Tom B
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    In 2016, Justice Ginsburg said that there was no reason that the senate should not hold hearings for a SCOTUS nominee just because it was the president’s final year in office (I do not recall and can not immediately find her actual quote).
    I agreed with Justice Ginsburg then, and I am disinclined to disagree with such an accomplished legal scholar now.
    If the idiot-in-chief nominates someone, I think there should be hearings. That is only fair to the nominee and the memory (and stated position) of the one who is being replaced.
    If you think you are more informed, more knowledgeable, or have better legal/constitutional reasoning than Notorious RBG; well WOW for one, and I would be interested in why you think RBG was wrong for two.
    Does that put me in the group that should not be at this site?

    • Posted September 22, 2020 at 2:56 am | Permalink

      I agree with you. The president is elected for four years, not three years. There’s no constitutional justification to stop them from doing their job at any time in the last year including the period after a losing election.

  15. Posted September 22, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I sent the emails to my senators, for all the good it will do. As senators from Georgia they will see nothing… Much like the robots from Westworld republicans are programmed to not see anything that will harm them or disturb their world view.

  16. Mobius
    Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I would contact my senators if there was a chance in H*ll that I might influence their decisions. But my senators are Inhofe and Lankford and they are complete Republican ideologues.

    • Mark
      Posted September 22, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Mine are Cruz and Cornyn!


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