There is a lot of crazy people in the Republican party these days. But in terms of their visibility, most of the attention has been focused on people like Donald Trump, Marjorie Taylor Green, Lauren Boebert, and Matt Gaetz. But there are others who share the same extreme views but have kept a much lower profile, trying to pass themselves off as more mainstream politicians. The group known as Indivisible has decided on a campaign to identify 18 of those crazies who managed to get elected in districts that Joe Biden won in 2020 and make their extreme views well-known to the electorate so that they have a better chance of being defeated in their swing districts at the next election. (I have coined the term ‘MAGAts’ (pronounced ‘maggots’) to label those who are loyal to the Trump MAGA cult. UPDATE: My claim to fame was premature as larpar points out in the comments. Oh well, back to the drawing board!)
Indivisible, a leftwing political umbrella movement founded in response to Donald Trump’s election as president in 2016, has launched a campaign to unseat 18 Republican members of the House of Representatives from districts that Joe Biden won in the election of 2020.
The “Unrepresentatives” initiative is based on the premise that these 18 districts – not the safe, deep red ones of Gaetz and Greene – will determine if Republicans maintain control of the US lower chamber next year. They are the “Achilles heel” of the Maga (Make America great again) House.
Although the 18 are in swing districts, they are not really moderates. They are under pressure to raise money for their next election campaign. That means they have to make commitments to donors about how they will vote in Congress – which is in line with Greene and the Maga wing of the party about 95% of the time.
Speaking from Austin, Texas, [Indivisible co-founder Ezra] Levin explained: “They are basically Marjorie Taylor Greenes in how they vote. But then that gets to the third step: they’ve got to convince the constituents in their own districts that, while Congress is messed up and there’s a lot of dysfunction there, they’re normal, everyday folks who just want the best for their constituents.”
These Republicans work hard to cultivate a low profile away from the bright lights of Fox News or other rightwing media, steering clear of hot button topics such as abortion or Maga circuses such as the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
But now Levin, a former congressional staffer, intends to shine a light on them and ensure they have no hiding place.
“We have a clear goal and that is: let’s make these folks famous – famous locally, specifically. Let’s make it as clear as possible to their constituents that they are in fact backing up the Maga majority.”
Indivisible is coordinating groups in the battleground districts across eight states and supporting them with training, media training and public relations help, and funding for billboards and ads, props and costumes.
The effort includes rapid response-style protests calling attention to Republicans’ votes and pressuring them to publicly condemn their fellow Republicans’ worst positions, highlighting such instances in local media.
Levin hopes that this might sometimes persuade the 18 Republicans to flip their votes, for example on lifting the debt ceiling: six would be enough to stave off a default.
“The second possible outcome is that you don’t flip their vote but everybody knows then in the district that they voted with the Magas. If you accomplish that, then they’re more easy to defeat next year because they’ll have a harder time accomplishing that last step in their re-election strategy, which is trying to convince their constituents that they are not indeed part of the Maga problem.”
Levin says that his goal is not just to get a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress and also a Democratic president, but to also force Republicans to shed all the extremists in their ranks because it is important that there be two pro-democracy parties in Congress.
Steve Lion says
“(I have coined the term ‘MAGAts’ (pronounced ‘maggots’) to label those who are loyal to the Trump MAGA cult.)”
Oh No, you didn’t! I coined that myself back when MAGAts first started MAGAting! I was just more subtle about it! ;-)_
Mano Singham says
It is possible that others have also come up with it. Let’s see what the internet throws up.
This is 2 years old: https://ih1.redbubble.net/image.896752736.1810/flat,750x,075,f-pad,750x1000,f8f8f8.jpg
Mano Singham says
Thanks for pointing this out. I have updated the post accordingly.
Steve Lion says
“It is possible that others have also come up with it. Let’s see what the internet throws up.”
I reckon I’ll just hafta take your word for it!
steve oberski says
Let’s see what the internet throws up.
An image of one of my cats horking up a hairball ensued.
I’m just glad that they are targeting my own rep, Brandon Williams, here in NY-22.
For the record, we had a great progressive candidate in the Dem primary (Sarah Hood) but the “centrist” Dem was thrown roughly $500,000 from a PAC headed by none other than Sam Bankman-Fried, before he became a household name due to the FTX implosion. Hood lost narrowly and I am sure that loss made the state Dem machine happy, but of course they totally blew the main election, with Williams winning by a modest margin in a district that leans Dem. It is interesting to note that Williams was not the preferred candidate of the state Republican machine, either. He was able to fire up his base, which is something the Dem didn’t do. Unfortunately for us (and the country) we are now saddled with MAGAt who smiles and tries to act like he’s the sensible centrist.
In my district (NY-17), at least, it was a case of the Democratic Party machine politicians shooting themselves in the foot. My congressman — Mondaire Jones — got shoved out when redistricting combined our district with another one which already had a machine politician (Sean Patrick Mahoney), who then, evidently assuming his was a “safe” seat, spent campaign time and money instead in other districts, playing the “let’s get Republicans to nominate MAGAs so they’ll lose” game — because that worked so well in 2016. The Republican — Mike Lawler — campaigned on a platform of “tough on crime,” which plays well in the western end of the district, which is heavily working-class and ultra-orthodox Jewish.
And there’s the general problem with the Democratic Party: it doesn’t really stand for anything. The Republican Party is all about fear and hate, which is always a good way to get people moving into the voting booths. The Democratic Party? Basically, “we’re not Republicans.”