I’m Faxing All Of Congress And You Can Too
Dear everyone not doing a damn thing while the world burns.
I f you’ve been making your daily calls to your members of Congress (and you have, right?) you’ve probably noticed two important things: one, talking on the phone is the fucking worst and does not get any less horrible the more you do it. (The other day someone at Chuck Schumer’s office answered the phone too quietly, so I panicked and hung up.) Two, a lot of representatives — especially, for some reason, Republicans — have just declined to keep checking their messages or answering their phones.
Frustrated constituents have been reduced to crowdfunding to buy their senator’s attention, and even in one case sending a Suspicious Pizza. But free service FaxZero is also offering an easy way to get in touch with the Senate and the House: Take advantage of the fact that their technology is still in 1999, and send them a fax. Send two. Send up to five free every day. (Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has gotten more than 14,000 in the last week!)
For people whose members of congress have been weaseling out of public accountability, this is an end-run around the phone system. For people who are just more comfortable in writing than on the phone, it’s a way for us to get our real feelings out after we’re done stammering something incoherent and then hanging up and running away. Here’s what I’ve been faxing to my senators, and yours.
To: Rep. Paul Ryan, 202–225–3393
Do you feel foolish, now that you know Congressional staffers knew about the immigration EO before you did? Or do you feel even a little scared, like the rest of us, about having an executive branch that doesn’t respect the division of powers, that annexes both the legislature and the judiciary without a second thought? The people who you want to vote for you are scared, I can tell you that. Your toadying up to the new regime won’t save them, and it won’t save you.
They’re coming for the meager power you’ve sold your soul for.
If somehow you don’t feel foolish (though you look it!), if somehow you don’t feel scared, I predict you will. You think they’re going to stop after ignoring the will of the people, the integrity of the Attorney General, the Constitution, and the laws? No, they’re coming for the meager power you’ve sold your soul for. You’re not going to get to keep it. Start using it for good before it’s too late.
To: Sen. Charles Schumer, 202–228–3027
Hi Chuck! I think we may have disturbed your neighbors with our rally the other night, but I’m not sorry because THEY SHOULD BE DISTURBED. EVERYBODY SHOULD BE HECK OF DISTURBED.
Now do you see why we’ve been demanding complete resistance, instead of biding time and making deals? The people who just rewrote the rules in response to a vote delay don’t care about whatever you think they promised you. They’re staggering drunk on the idea that they can do whatever they want. They’re the guy grabbing pussies and saying “Trump said it’s okay.” That his tiny grasping hands are eventually going to come for their power doesn’t really make it any better right now. Complete resistance will not stop them, they’ve proven that, but anything less than complete resistance is despicable.
EVERYBODY SHOULD BE HECK OF DISTURBED.
I think you’ve gotten comfortable and complacent, Chuck, but so have a lot of us. It’s not okay, but it’s past. What matters is what we do now, and especially what you do. And as complacent as you’ve been, I do believe that you — unlike your counterparts across the aisle, for the most part — probably got into politics out of a sense of civic duty. I believe you had integrity and uncompromising values. I believe you wanted to do good.
Now is the time to get in touch with that younger, more idealistic man. Screw your courage to the sticking place, and screw everyone else’s courage there too, and if they won’t screw their courage, screw everyone else. We can go down punching or we can go down trying to shake hands with the people drowning us. I think I know which one Young Chuck would do.
To: Sen. Ted Cruz, 512–916–5839
To: Sen. Pat Toomey, 202–228–0284
Hi Pat! I don’t live in your state but I campaigned for your opponent last time anyway. I’m going to do it harder next time, and I’m going to donate money to literally everyone who opposes you, and this time you will lose. (That was a squeaker last time, wasn’t it?) Unless of course your new boss doesn’t let people vote anymore, in which case…do you really think that’s going to be good for you?
Of course, you COULD pull your head out of your donors’ rears and speak out against the gross miscarriages of justice, law, and the Constitution being enacted in just the last 10 days. You could say something about the racist nominated for AG, or the white supremacist writing the executive orders and sitting on the NSC, or the current and planned future extrajudicial mistreatment of the people you claim to represent. At the very least, you could start answering your phone.
I’m going to donate money to literally everyone who opposes you, and this time you will lose.
It’s not too late to win back support from your constituents, and from the people who care about them more than you do. It’s not too late to get on the right side of history, and prevent your reputation from falling to pieces from all the tarnish it’s accrued. But you have to start right now.
To: Sen. Mitch McConnell, 202–224–2499
Mitch, come on. Just stand up to him. Whatever he’s got on you, it’s probably not as bad as what we’re imagining.
To: Rep. Jason Chaffetz, 202–225–5629
Dear Jason, in another universe I am writing to thank you for your commitment on the issue of postal reform. In this universe, however, I am writing to say: Dude, postal reform? Nobody cares about postal reform right now! And the reason nobody cares about postal reform right now, in case you haven’t been checking your voicemails, is that we are in the midst of an unprecedented ethical crisis of the sort that, in another universe, your Oversight Committee might consider something of a priority.
I know that somewhere under the layers of self-serving puffery, you have something resembling a conscience, or at least an understanding of the dictionary definition of “ethics.” I know because you showed such fire and commitment when the potential violator was a Democrat. Well, Jason, now is your time to shine. The president is demonstrably intending to use his office for the enrichment of himself and his family. Remember when you cared about that kind of thing? Your constituents do. Reach deep inside, take that withered conscience in both hands, and breathe life back into it. You can do it. We’re counting on you.
I know that somewhere under the layers of self-serving puffery, you have something resembling a conscience.
Just in case you don’t, though, you should know that a lot of us are already saving up to support your opponents in 2018. Start thinking about what your new Twitter handle should be.
To: Sen. Pat Toomey, 202–228–0284
Hey Pat, did you turn your phones back on yet? Do you need us to buy you more paper for the fax machine? We can keep this up all day.