Category Archives: Indivisible

INDIVISIBLE: Want to Take Back the House in 2024? It Runs Through These 18 Districts

Ezra Levin on Rachel Maddow: Our plans to defeat the MAGA Majority and retake the House in 2024.

Email from Ezra Levin,, March 7, 2023

It’s Launch Day here at Indivisible, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring you in on our plans to defeat the MAGA Majority and retake the House in 2024. You may have already heard me share the news last night on Rachel Maddow, but today, we are officially launching The Unrepresentativesour plan to take on the 18 most vulnerable Republican representatives by exposing their extremism, holding them accountable and defeating them.

For a succinct version of our campaign, watch Rachel, then visit our new campaign site to get to work! If you want to get into the nuts and bolts, read on!

Meet the 18

Marjorie Taylor Greene and similar MAGAs grab much of the press. Most of the national media attention these days focuses on those right-wing wackadoodles like Marjorie Taylor Greene. Fox News and other GOP propaganda operations are full of politicians like Greene from safely gerrymandered Republican districts trying to out-MAGA each other. The national media eats it up because these people are ridiculous, must-watch TV! If you read an article or see a broadcast of a congressional Republican spouting an outlandish quote on the issue of the day, nine times out of ten, it’s gonna be from one of these safe district MAGAs.

Meanwhile, the actual majority-makers of the MAGA House hide from the headlines.

While Greene’s rants to Tucker Carlson give us a sense of the dystopian clown show driving Kevin McCarthy’s majority, that’s not the whole story. The members who are actually propping up the GOP House majority are hiding behind the curtain — politically scared, maybe a little nauseous, desperately avoiding attention, and just as responsible for the mess we’re in as are the MTGs of the world.

To understand this, you really just need simple math. There are not enough Marjorie Taylor Greenes from safe GOP districts to produce a House majority. Kevin McCarthy’s speakership is built on a small but significant number of Republicans representing Democratic-leaning districts. We can put a precise number on that — we call them the Unrepresentative 18.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is a dangerous but entertaining headline-chasing bozo. But it’s these Unrepresentative 18 who give her the power to actually endanger our democracy, menace our economy, and threaten our freedoms. After all, on average, they vote with her 95% of the time. 9️⃣5️⃣%!

To get reelected, the Unrepresentative 18 have to keep their own constituents in the dark. These 18 Unrepresentatives are spread across eight geographically, demographically, and politically diverse states, but they all share one basic political reality: Biden won their districts in 2020. Each of these Republicans is running for reelection in a district heavily favored to vote Democratic next year. And each of them shares the same three-step strategy for reelection:

    1. Raise a ton of money from right-wing donors
    2. Vote the way these donors want (otherwise you don’t get the money, silly!)
    3. Fool their constituents into believing that they have nothing to do with extremists like Marjorie Taylor Greene

Here’s a fun challenge for you: look through the list of the Unrepresentative 18 and without Googling tell me if you recognize more than one. I bet you’ve heard of George Santos — he’s all over the news for his ridiculously corrupt shenanigans — click, watch, retweet (I know I have!). But the rest of the 18 are not household names. Few Americans have ever even heard of them. And that’s by design.

Yes, these members side with Marjorie Taylor Greene on almost every vote. But they don’t advertise that fact. They don’t go on Fox News to embrace a national default or a federal abortion ban, or to spout pro-Putin talking points. They keep a low profile. They raise a boatload of money. And they try to distance themselves — in style and presentation, if not with their votes — from Marjorie Taylor Greene and her virulently MAGA buddies. You probably haven’t heard of them because they don’t want you to hear about them.

Our Strategy: A Case Study from NY-17

One of the men behind the curtain: the Unrepresentative Mike Lawler (NY-17). Let’s pluck one example out from the 18 — New York’s 17th congressional district, just north of New York City. It’s a district that’s been represented by Democrats for about 40 years. Biden won it, Hillary Clinton won it, Obama won it twice, Kerry won it, Gore won it, Bill Clinton won it twice. It’s not a “swing” district by most definitions.

But in 2022, a Republican won the district by the skin of his teeth — a Republican by the name of Mike Lawler. What’s that? You’ve never heard of Mike Lawler? Of course you haven’t! He doesn’t want you to know his name, because Lawler isn’t a complete idiot. He knows he has to run for reelection next year in a district Biden won by more than 10 points. He knows he’s got only one path for political survival: to lay low, raise a ton of money from right-wing donors, vote the way those donors want, and then do his damndest to convince his constituents to ignore his voting record.

Lawler, like the rest of the 18 Unrepresentatives, has to build his reelection strategy around keeping his constituents in the dark, hiding the fact that his votes directly empower MAGA extremists to do terrible, unpopular things.

Defeat the dark with some light: a case study in effective, local, public pressure. So how do we cure Congress of these ills? Sunlight is the best disinfectant. And we saw a real world example of that just this past weekend.

This past Saturday, Speaker McCarthy flew into New York 17th for a big fundraiser. Lawler joined him. This was not a public event — Lawler was just trying to raise a lot of money behind closed doors. But rather than a quiet fundraiser that escaped any public attention, Lawler had some unwelcome visitors: his own damn constituents. Indivisible members from Rockland United, Indivisible YorktownNY, Indivisible Westchester joined together with some stellar organizers from NY Working Families Party. They brought signs asking Lawler to not default on the debt, and to not cut Social Security or Medicare. It was a simple, effective message — so much so that it made the local news: Potential cuts to government spending draws protesters to Armonk fundraiser.

As a result of the work and their press coverage, more of Lawler’s constituents know that he’s buddying up with Kevin McCarthy for high-dollar fundraisers with right-wing donors. It was so bad for him that Lawler had to release a statement saying he would refuse to vote for cuts to Social Security or Medicare. Score one for team constituent pressure.

Rinse and repeat to limit MAGA damage and rebuild the Democratic trifecta. This is exactly the kind of local attention that the 18 Unrepresentatives want to avoid. They don’t want to be held accountable for empowering MAGA. But if we’re going to limit the harm done by Kevin McCarthy’s House and ultimately retake control of Congress, that’s exactly what we have to do: shine a light on what they want to keep in the dark. That means asking the tough questions at the right time to the right people.

    •  Will the United States go into default this summer? Ask the 18 Unrepresentatives.
    • Will the federal government shut down this fall? Ask the 18 Unrepresentatives.
    • Will the House pass a national abortion ban? Ask the 18 Unrepresentatives.
    • Will Congress cut Social Security or Medicare? Ask the 18 Unrepresentatives.
Ready to join us?

This won’t happen unless we make it happen — and everybody can help. We can’t just hope these questions are asked, we have to actively do the work. For our part, Indivisible launched the Unrepresentative 18 to make sure these questions get asked loudly, repeatedly, and authentically by the folks who have the most ability to impact things: the constituents in these districts. We’ll be working with local Indivisible groups to bring a little bit of light to the darkness that MAGA would like to spread in these districts.

So if you’re in one of these 18 Unrepresentative districts, time to get busy! And if you’re not in one of these districts but want to help, it’s still time to get busy. Huge thanks to all of you who have already chipped in — since last night’s announcement, we’ve received a swell of support from hundreds of donors around the country.

This is one of Indivisible’s top campaigns for the next two years, and we’re going to need all the help we can get to hold these Unrepresentatives accountable. So if you have the capacity to chip in and help launch this campaign, please give what you can. Let’s shine some light in the dark together.

In solidarity,

Indivisible’s two year plan to beat Trump and save democracy

[Editor: Indivisible continues to do a great job – creatively and persistently resisting the Trump administration and building toward a more progressive future.  Find your local Indivisible group here.  My local group is Vallejo-Benicia Indivisible (on Facebook).  Contribute to Indivisible here.  Download the Indivisible 2.0 Guide.  More Benicia Independent coverage of Indivisible.  – R.S.]

How we will beat Trump and save Democracy…

Indivisible’s 2-year plan to beat Trump and save Democracy – 6/6/2019

Close your eyes for a minute and imagine this: it’s 2021. Trump lost and an inspiring progressive takes office. Democrats held the House and retook the Senate.

On day one, the new Congress passes sweeping democracy reforms to roll back decades of Republican attacks on our democracy. We smash voter suppression and expand voter access, end gerrymandering, take on money in politics, admit new states, and take back the courts. In short, we unrig the rules and put democracy back in the hands of the people. Then we turn to a major progressive legislative agenda – immigration reform, climate change, health care, and more.

We can have the inclusive democracy and progressive change we’ve dreamed of. We’re so close. How do we get there?

Indivisible may have gotten started to resist Trump, but we know that the problem we’re facing is bigger than Trump. Everywhere we look, Republicans are trying to rig the rules to stay in power – and to lock the American people out. They know in a real representative democracy they’ll lose – so they’re breaking democracy.

That’s why we have to beat Trump, but we can’t stop there. We have to save our democracy. We can do both, but we have to start now.

How do we beat Trump?

  1. Play defense and weaken Trump. Defend against Trump’s attacks, particularly those targeting immigrants – defunding hate in the upcoming budget in September is the biggest fight against Trump’s agenda of the year (more information here), and anti-immigrant attacks will be a key part of his strategy for 2020. We’ll also push back on Trump’s crimes – and ask Democrats in Congress to begin impeachment investigations.
  2. A constructive primary. We have so many exciting and energizing candidates in the Democratic primary! Together we can ensure the primary candidates offer the strongest possible alternative vision to Trumpism, and that the ultimate nominee is a strong, well-vetted, progressive candidate. Indivisibles (and presidential candidates) across the country have already set the tone by signing the Indivisible Pledge commiting to a constructive primary and to support the ultimate nominee.
  3. Take back the White House (and the Senate!) After the primary, we all need to come together to knock doors, make calls and register voters–if we do the work, together, we can beat Trump.

How do we save democracy?

  1. Set the stage for democracy reform. The anti-Trump resistance must grow into a pro-democracy movement to build support for a game-changing reforms after Trump is gone. We need to get Democrats on the record to support bold reforms now, in 2019, so that they’re ready to move that agenda in 2021. We’ll start by focusing on eliminating the filibuster (see why here!).
  2. Pass our democracy agenda on day one. If we win the White House, Senate and House, we finally have full agenda setting power. The new Democratic congress must eliminate the filibuster in order to get anything done. Then it should immediately pass other democracy reforms, including admitting new states, expanding voting rights, ending gerrymandering, and more.
  3. Make long-term change. With a real representative democracy, we can finally enact other critical progressive legislation, from immigration reform to climate change to health care.

For more information on getting involved with this plan, you can reach out to your Indivisible Organizer here.

Indivisible Guide, Version 2.0 – We can go on offense now!

By Roger Straw, November 14, 2018

Indivisible on Offense: A Practical Guide to the New, Democratic House

Rachel Maddow hosted an important interview last night with Ezra Levin, co-author of the Indivisible Guide.  The 5-minute interview and the new Indivisible on Offense: A Practical Guide are exciting introductions to the work ahead in these next two years.

Main premise: Now that Democrats have taken control of the House, we are no longer ONLY playing on defense; we can now set agendas, advocate for new legislation and powerful oversight moves.  The guide is a powerful tool for everyday folks like you and me.

Download the Indivisible Guide 2.0, formatted in PDF or Word.

P.S. – If you’re curious, here’s the original Indivisible: A Practical Guide For Resisting the Trump Agenda last updated in December, 2016.  This guide was developed with the understanding that progressives had NO pull in the House, Senate or executive branch of government.  Remember: it’s a whole new ball game now – see above!