* Erik’s Editorial: The Guilty Parties Who Put American Democracy At Risk In The Name Of Donald Trump

US White House upside down (public domain).

I do not fault stupid people for making the stupid decision to elect Donald Trump in 2016.

I do fault smart people for making stupid decisions. These include:

1. Senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump in his no-witnesses-allowed impeachment trial, including primarily Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell:

* Impeachment of Donald Trump (2020-02-05)

* Mitch McConnell (2020-02-05)

2. Members of the GOP who voted to disenfranchise voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – before, during, and AFTER the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol – including Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jody Hice (R–GA-10), Mo Brooks (R–AL-05), Scott Perry (R–PA-10), Josh Hawley (R–MO), and Louie Gohmert (R–TX-01).

* 2021 Storming Of The United States Capitol (2021-01-06)

* 2020 United States Presidential Election Electoral College Count (2021-01-06 – 2021-01-07)

3. Donald Trump’s cabinet, who could have invoked the 25th Amendment to remove POTUS at any time:

* Cabinet Of Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

4. Social media, including especially Facebook and Twitter, for allowing their social networks to be used as platforms for hate speech.

* Donald Trump On Social Media (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

5. Mainstream media, including especially CNN (on the left) and Fox News (on the right) for not doing their jobs – asking questions until they get answers – and allowing POTUS to lie unchecked.

* Veracity Of Statements By Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

6. Lawmakers at all levels, for failing to fix bad laws and for failing to enact good laws. Changes that must be made going forward include:

Limiting POTUS power:

  • Executive order power must be limited.
  • All cabinet members (acting/interim/actual) must be confirmed by Senate.
  • Treaties and tariffs must be the role of Congress so that POTUS cannot engage in trade wars.
  • War Powers Act must be updated to limit POTUS power to deploy the military.
  • Special Counsel Act must be updated to make clear that POTUS cannot fire special counsel.

Writing better and new laws:

  • Impeachment Act of 2021, to define how impeachment is conducted, including the requirement to have witnesses.
  • Follow the lead of The Restatements Of The Law project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restatements_of_the_Law) and codify major SCOTUS cases, including especially Roe v. Wade.
  • Fix the Census.
  • Fix immigration.
  • Fix SCOTUS processes, such as limiting appointments to 2 per POTUS with the number of SCOTUS justices fixed at the number of Federal Circuits (currently 13).
  • Election reform, including who is qualified to run for POTUS and that tax forms must be disclosed to do so.

Just to name a few.

Stupid people, bad laws, and lies got us into this mess.

Smart people, good laws, and the truth can get us out of this mess.



Mulvaney: ‘Get Over It;’ Democrats: ‘We Don’t Think So, Mick’

Though “Get over it” seems to be the Trump administration’s response whenever they’ve been caught in a lie, called out on wrongdoing, or…caught placing the country at risk, Mick Mulvaney may have been the first to say the actual words out loud and in public.

During an October 17 press conference, Mulvaney, Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff, admitted that Trump used U.S. Congress-appropriated military aid as leverage to further his personal political agenda. Trump, he said, withheld the aid, badly needed by Ukraine to resist Russian aggression, in order to pressure Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate a conspiracy theory about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the 2016 election. A quid pro quo, in other words.

“We do that all the time with foreign policy,” said Mulvaney. “I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy.”

The Department of Justice, however, distanced itself from Mulvaney’s claims that Trump had its blessing for this particular “foreign policy” exchange.

“If the White House was withholding aid in regards to the cooperation of any investigation at the Department of Justice, that is news to us,” a DOJ official told the Washington Examiner.

Others, too, including some GOP lawmakers, were aghast at Mulvaney’s admission. 

“Totally inexplicable,” said one, who requested anonymity. “He literally said the thing the president and everyone else said did not happen.”

After you’ve denied a whistleblower’s allegations, what else can you do, though, when a rough transcript of the phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy, along with a number of current and former State Department officials and White House employees, confirm the whistleblower’s account — that not only was there a quid pro quo, but it was to benefit Trump personally? If you’re Mick Mulvaney or Donald Trump, you brazenly change your tack to “Yeah, we did it. Get over it.”

Though Mulvaney argued that every administration makes deals like this with foreign governments  — seeking concessions in exchange for aid — it is done to aid the interests or protection of the United States. In this case, however, Donald Trump sought to use the U.S. military aid to further his personal political ambitions.

According to U.S. law, “soliciting anything of value” from a foreign government in connection with an election is illegal. Asking a leader of a foreign country for a “favor” — to dig up dirt on a political opponent — is illegal (let alone, unethical). A U.S. president using his office to further his personal interests is impeachable. 

Shortly after throwing Trump under the bus, Mulvaney tried to walk back his words, claiming the press had misrepresented what he had said. Everyone in the room, however, heard what Mulvaney said, and there are multiple video records of what he said.

Considering the recent and upcoming testimony of several diplomats and other U.S. Foreign Service officials, including today’s scheduled testimony from acting U.S, Ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor, Jr., it’s clear that lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives do not intend to just “get over it.” 

Mulvaney: ‘Get Over’ Political Influence in Foreign Policy | Bloomberg Markets and Finance [2019-10-17]

Fleischer: Mulvaney made a ‘terrible mistake’ by contradicting Trump |
Fox News | [2019-10-18]