Being Ready to Stand Up and Speak Out: Vote and Turn the Tide

Last Wednesday, DT issued a sweeping executive order to strip career federal employees of their civil service protections. I didn’t hear about this until Saturday afternoon. Amidst so much news, about the pandemic, polls on the last debate, the GOP disenfranchising voters while abusing their power in the Senate in order to turn a sycophant judge into a justice, and the election⎼ this move by DT went almost unnoticed.

 

I doubt what he did is legal, but that hasn’t stopped him before. What this order does is allow him to dismiss, without any cause or recourse, anyone in the bureaucracy involved in helping make public policy. He is invalidating laws and policies meant to protect these workers and the integrity of government operations and the rule of law and making the federal bureaucracy totally dependent on one man for their job. And their job would no longer be to serve the American people and this nation, but to serve DT. The federal bureaucracy would join the DOJ and the Supreme Court as a division of the DT Empire. We can’t allow this to happen.

 

And this follows years of him firing any head of a government agency, including the FBI, or any Inspector General that could hold him accountable.

 

DT has talked about voting as an “honor,” not a right protected by the constitution. On several occasions, including the first debate with Joe Biden, he speculated he possibly would not honor election results (or repudiate the white supremacists who support him). He earlier threatened to withhold government funding to Democratic states which allow those fearful of getting COVID-19 to request mail-in ballots, and has called for indicting and imprisoning not just Hillary Clinton (“Lock Her Up”) but any political rival, or anyone who protests for justice or against him. This is a president who, at a rally in Wisconsin on Sunday, stood not before the American flag but the “thin blue line” flag that has become a symbol not as much for law enforcement but racism enforcement. So we oppose him.

 

Our legal system has favored the white and rich forever. There was always a “two-tier” system, one law for whites and one for people of color⎼ one for the wealthy, and one for the rest of us. In fact, the legal system might be doing what it was intended to do⎼ protect the position and property of the white and rich.  But there was still a principle of rule by law, not by the whim of people in power. The legal system might have even been improving due to the justice and civil rights movement that began in the mid-1950s, and due to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But no more. Not since the Supreme Court in 2013 nullified the most important protections in that act; not since the Citizens United decision in 2012 allowed the rich to exert overpowering influence in our elections, and certainly not since DT’s assumption of office.

 

Most of us understand how dangerous the situation is right now. We have seen or heard about other nations where no one but the rich and connected can depend on the government, to get permits, passports⎼ anything. Where paying bribes or depending on the pressure of the influential is commonplace. If DT is allowed to continue as he has, our laws and environmental regulations will be used even more not to serve the community but those in power. This is where we’re headed. The level of corruption in this administration was frightening even before his order to remove civil service protections. He campaigned on draining the swamp, but instead he’s stuffed it so full it’s flooding the nation. So we oppose him….

 

And we must vote. Vote early, if possible. If not, we can vote on the third of November and bring friends, neighbors, and family (in a safe manner) with us. Dress up in Revolutionary War costumes. Make it a neighborhood event. But vote. On Tuesday, the whole political landscape could drastically change. This is our opportunity to turn the tide and stop the devastation wrought by DT….

 

To read the whole post, go to The Good Men Project which also published it.

 

 

A Time to Fight for the Memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Our Rights and Our Lives: For DT, there is No Right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” Except for Himself

Immediately after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, DT and Mitch McConnell were apparently plotting how to nominate and seat a loyal follower on the court. In fact, they had been plotting for months what to do when she died, and on Saturday announced they would speedily replace her. To them, her death did not mark the loss of a brave living being loved by many, but a craved opportunity to advance DT’s attempt at dictatorial power and secure the ability to possibly nullify the constitutional transition of power.

 

Even in the face of so many people grieving, they rush to fill her seat on the court, showing an unseemly greed, and revealing once again what this administration represents⎼ namely the attempted reduction of everyone from fellow human beings to pieces of equipment, machines to work, resources valued only as much as they, we can be used and manipulated. Anyone who works, fights, for the good of others is a “sucker” or a “loser”. The only beings seemingly free from this dehumanized transactional value are dictators and the super-rich, but even these people are fawned over as gods when they favor DT, and Satan himself when they oppose him.

 

Once again, DT’s actions show that for him there is no right to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” as spelled out in the Declaration of Independence, no inalienable rights for anyone but DT himself and his close followers, no laws to limit his pursuit of power.

 

An article in Common Dreams makes clear what this moment, now, means to most of us. After our grief, we must act. The article quotes tweets by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “Our first, no. 1 priority is to do everything possible to secure electoral college victory in Nov. This is the fight of our lives. …Opponents of democracy need your resignation to succeed. Don’t give it to them.” And: “We can win, we can succeed, but we cannot do it alone. …We must get to work. Everyone matters. Everyone has something to give.”

 

Democrats are fighting and we must help them. Even some Republicans are saying out loud that the Senate must not rush to judgment, but carefully consider who should be added to this court. Others that the election is less than two months away and we must wait to hear who the voters think should nominate the next justice (as Senator Grassley and McConnell advocated in 2016 when President Obama had the opportunity to choose a new justice). This includes Lisa Murkowski, and, depending on the moment, Susan Collins.

 

So, whether it be demonstrating, writing letters, sharing information, helping get out the vote, voting for Biden and other Democratic candidates, and calling GOP Senators, we must stop DT’s attempt to use Justice Ginsburg’s death as an opportunity to turn the Supreme Court into a tool for domination, to assume complete power over the court and our government as a whole. And we must stop his attempt to win a second (and third) term in office.

 

**Here are numbers of some GOP Senators to call: Susan Collins: 202-224-2523, Cory Gardner: 202-224-5941, Chuck Grassley:  202-224-3744, Lisa Murkowski: 202-224-6665, Mitt Romney: 202-224-5251.

 

 

A Scary Supreme Court: Oppose The Nomination

T announced Monday night that his choice for the Supreme Court is judge Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh, according to a New York Times analysis, is possibly less conservative than Neil Gorsuch. As an assistant to Kenneth Starr in the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, he wrote an argument giving a broad definition of impeachable offenses, so much so that he disturbed some conservatives. What he thinks today, or would think facing T, is beyond my knowledge. But he was then speaking about a Democratic President.

 

However, Kavanaugh is deeply conservative in his views, so Roe vs Wade is certainly threatened. The NAACP considers him a dangerous ideologue, a strong proponent of the rights of the wealthy and a deep threat to civil rights, women’s rights, voting rights, etc.

 

There are so many viewpoints on this issue. My own view is that all those who support Democratic institutions, civil, consumer, and women’s rights—hopefully, all Democratic members of Congress should do everything they can to delay, oppose, stop the nominee from being approved, certainly until the new Congress could be elected and seated.

 

Please call:

Heidi Heitkamp (D, N. Dakota) 202 224 2043

Joe Donnelly (D, Indiana)    202 224 4814

Joe Manchin (W. VA)            202 224 3954, 304 342 5855

Susan Collins (R, Maine)      202 224 2523

Lisa Murkowski (R, Aaska)   202 224 6665

 

I say this not only because Republicans for a year stopped any vote to confirm Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, saying (dubiously) they should not vote on a new nominee in the year of a Presidential election. 2018 is not a Presidential election year, but it is one of the most significant elections I can recall. It is also because the President himself is under several investigations, for possible collusion, corruption, interference in the Mueller probe, etc. and these investigations might wind up before the court. The President’s nominees should not be given the chance to defend the man who just chose them for the position. (Or who possibly asked for their allegiance?)

 

According to an article from the New York Times, this is especially relevant to Judge Kavanaugh. “In two law journal articles — one published in 1998 and another in 2009 — Judge Kavanaugh raised questions about whether a sitting president could be indicted, and suggested that presidents should be shielded from civil suits and criminal investigations. Both explore issues that are deeply relevant to Mr. Trump and the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.” We could have a court that instead of enforcing a separation of powers, concentrates power in one person’s hands, and protects T from anyone who tries to hold him accountable.