While most of the nation is engrossed in the seemingly endless presidential campaign, some realize that their efforts are best spent trying to win back other parts of the government – in this case, the Senate.
Senator and comedian Al Franken wants to use his fame and his name for something productive, at least if you’re a Democrat. He wants to ensure that in January of 2017, Democrats will regain the Senate.
In a rare interview in his Capitol office, the Minnesotan described his most ambitious effort yet to help elect Democrats in his more than six years in Washington. Franken is using his celebrity to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democratic candidates, and Democrats are relying on him to play an outsize role, alongside high-profile senators like Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, to pick up the five seats the party needs to flip the Senate in 2016.
The Republicans don’t share our basic values about where economic growth comes from,” Franken said. “I have nothing personally against my Republican colleagues other than their views on how the country works.
Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have ambitious platforms. Both will need the help of a cooperative Senate, and if a miracle happens a cooperative House. Without at least one branch of the legislature on our side, good intentions might as well be thrown out the window.
The House may be an impossibility because of gerrymandering, which is the redistricting of voting districts to favor one party or another. In recent years, gerrymandering has favored Republicans, simply because Democrats, for some reason, ignore the state and local races, giving Republicans the advantage. Republicans now control more than 2/3 of state legislatures.
Yes, it’s important that either Bernie or Hillary win the White House but it’s equally important that Democrats and liberals become just as passionate about the House, local Houses and yes, the Senate.
Featured image via Wikimedia.