I had an interesting conversation with a Kamala Harris staffer this week.
I called to register my appreciation for my senator continuing to strongly support the Dreamers. I asked the staffer how many calls they've received thanking Sen. Harris. The response: "Not as many as we've gotten people complaining that Sen. Harris cares more about illegal aliens than Americans." (Not a direct quote but the gist of a longer conversation)
Now I don't believe for a minute that most Californians think of Dreamers as "illegal aliens" that Harris shouldn't support.
What it tells me is that WE -- the liberals who say that we support DACA and the Dreamers and want to see them taken care of-- are falling down on the job. We're not being vocal about our support. So we're getting drowned out by the hateful minority who are yelling and using Fox News talking points.
You need to realize that this may be the reason that the Dems so quickly made a deal on the government shutdown. If the overwhelming response they got to their offices was condemnations and name calling, that may have spooked them.
Yeah, yeah, we can have a conversation about how they should do things because it's just the right thing to do. And then we return from IdealisticUtopianWorld and remember that politicians are actually just politicians. And they will do what it takes to stay in office. And if the feedback they get for some policy is threats that they won't be in office for supporting something, that makes a difference. And if the media they hear in their Beltway bubble all adopts Republican framing, that's what they think is the prevailing attitude. Tone deaf? Sure. But very human and all too common.
So my challenge to you is to call your elected representatives (and I don't care if they're Republicans, this is something that has rare bipartisan appeal) and encourage them to support the Dreamers. Don't be mean and namecall. Don't scream (especially to a staffer, that's just unfair). But let them know that you have their back for standing up for the Dreamers.
We're very quick to call to complain. We don't naturally call to let them know we have their back. That makes a difference, believe me.
Elected officials are supposed to keep counts of the calls they get. Do not let the haters overwhelm us.
ABC's "This Week" - Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Dan Abrams; former Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr. Panel: Matthew Dowd, Cokie Roberts, Perry Bacon Jr. of FiveThirtyEight and Susan Glasser of Politico.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va; former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Panel: Tom Brokaw and Kasie Hunt, Rich Lowry of National Review and Democratic strategist Heather McGhee.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - White House legislative affairs director Marc Short; Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., and Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas. Panel: Rachael Bade of Politico, Dan Balz and Ed O’Keefe of The Washington Post and Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News.
CNN's "State of the Union" - Collins, Manchin. Panel: Jen Psaki, David Urban and Nina Turner, president of Our Revolution; and Linda Chavez, chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity.
CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A panel on Trump at Davos with Zanny Minton Beddoes of The Economist; Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group; and Rana Foroohar of Financial Times.
CNN's "Reliable Sources" - David French of National Review, Noah Rothman of Commentary magazine and Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton. Other guests are Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.; Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!; and David Chavern, president and CEO ofNews Media Alliance.
"Fox News Sunday" - Short; Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.;
Matt Zeller, founder of the nonprofit organization No One Left Behind. Panel: Juan Williams, Karl Rove, Catherine Lucey of The Associated Press and former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.
So, what's catching your eye this morning?