Ex-Hill Staffers Put A Spin On The Tea Party Playbook In Anti-Trump Guide

A group of former congressional staffers has a message for Democrats dismayed at Donald Trump’s election: act like the tea party.

In an online guide made public Wednesday night, a number of those onetime Hill staffers say that the best way for individuals to derail the policy agenda of Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is to organize locally and badger their own congressional representatives to vote against individual pieces of legislation.

The guide argues that, like the “Tea Party patriots” who found common cause in their unified loathing of President Barack Obama, progressives who oppose Trump should stand against him before all else rather than try to articulate a policy agenda that has no hope of advancing while the GOP controls all three branches of government.

“We believe that the next four years depend on citizens across the country standing indivisible against the Trump agenda,” the authors write in the guide, which is formatted as a live Google document. “We believe that buying into false promises or accepting partial concessions will only further empower Trump to victimize our fellow citizens. We hope that this guide will provide those who share that belief useful tools to make Congress listen.”

One of the authors, Ezra Levin, wrote in a Wednesday Facebook post that the guide was compiled to correct the “misinformation” about how to influence Congress that he said has circulated since Election Day.

The guide contains tips on getting members of Congress to listen to their constituents’ voices, such as showing up in groups to town hall meetings and looking “friendly or neutral” to ensure staffers will call on them and allow them to ask pointed questions. The authors also recommend flooding lawmakers’ offices with calls on specific issues and targeting weak Republican candidates ahead of local elections.

The emphasis is on consistent, coordinated, grassroots action that focuses on nitty-gritty policy specifics and individual elected officials.

Two of the listed authors are former staffers of Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX). Levin served as his former deputy policy director and Jeremy Haile worked as his legal counsel.

Some big Democratic names, including Bill Clinton’s Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, have circulated the guide on Twitter.

Read the full document below:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: