It is not too late for Democrats to take back the Senate
November 14, 2016
The election is over and 52 individuals who are currently registered as Republicans have been elected to serve in the 115th Congress, but I cannot believe that those 52 Republicans share Donald Trump's vision of America. Many Republican senators either withdrew their early endorsements of Trump or opposed him from the beginning.
The 2016 Republican Party is not the party that Republican senators joined. It is a party following the lead of Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Trump's campaign statements were inconsistent enough to leave a glimmer of hope that his intentions were less horrific than some of his promises, but early signs paint a picture that is even more bleak.
One glimmer of hope is that the Republicans have a narrow 52-48 majority in the Senate. I believe that convincing two or three Republican senators to leave the Republican Party is achievable. The senators can either join the Democratic Party or serve as independents caucusing with the Democrats. This would create the system of checks and balances that our political system is supposed to provide.
My best guess is that the Republican senators most likely to consider this are Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Senator John McCain of Arizona is a career staunch Republican, but I doubt that even he wants Trump to take office without a strong opposition party.
A Democratic Senate would be a step toward providing the checks and balances needed to limit the damage of a Trump administration. It would help to prevent an extremist from taking a seat on the Supreme Court and to prevent hate-motivated legislation from passing.
Removing the Republicans' control over the Senate needs to happen, but it will not happen by itself. We all need to campaign hard for it.
Regardless of the political party of your Senators, please call them. If you are calling the office of a Republican senator, point out that the Republican Party has become one of white supremacy, misogyny, antisemitism, and homophobia — something very different from the Republican Party that the senator joined. If calling the office of a Democratic senator, ask that the Senator discuss this with his or her Republican allies in the Senate.
For my friends here in Massachusetts, Senator Ed Markey's office can be reached at 617-565-8519 and Senator Elizabeth Warren's can be reached at 617-565-3170. The Senate web site has phone numbers for current senators. If you have a newly-elected senator who is not in office yet, call the campaign office. This tweet storm by a former Congressional staffer has great advice. One of those pieces of advice is that phone calls are far more effective than email or any other medium. Talk to a human who is listening to you. Don't just leave a voice message.
Please put forward a significant effort to making this happen. Call the offices of senators that represent your state. Ask your friends and family to do the same. Tweet. Blog. Post on Facebook. We can do this.
Updated 11/15/2016 to account for the runoff race in Louisiana.
Updated 12/20/2016 to reflect the fact that the Louisiana runoff race is over.