* 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.



Et Tu, Elizabeth Esty?

As a strange prelude to Sexual Violence Awareness month (April), Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) apologized for continuing to keep one of her top aides employed for three months, even though she knew he had been accused of sexual abuse. Though she had at first said that she would not be resigning, Elizabeth Esty now says that she will not run for re-election when her term ends.

Even more incongruous than the timing of this revelation is the fact that Elizabeth Esty has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement. She is the first female federal legislator during the #MeToo era to step down after a sexual misconduct scandal in her office was discovered.

Elizabeth Esty apologized on Monday to her constituents on Facebook: “Too many women have been harmed by harassment in the workplace. In the terrible situation in my office, I could have and should have done better…To the survivor, I want to express my strongest apology for letting you down. In Congress, and workplaces across the country, we need stronger workplace protections and to provide employees with a platform to raise concerns, address problems, and work to reduce and eliminate such occurrences, in the first place. In my final months in Congress, I will use my power to fight for action and meaningful change.”

One of Elizabeth Esty’s senior aides, Anna Kain, had accused Esty’s former chief of staff, Tony Baker, of sexually harassing her. Kain had dated Baker in 2013. In 2014, both were promoted, and Kain became Baker’s subordinate. During the time that Kain reported to Baker, Kain alleges verbal and physical abuse, including being punched in the back while at work. Kain eventually left Elizabeth Esty’s office for a consulting job.

On an evening in 2016, after a reunion party for former and current Elizabeth Esty staff, the Connecticut post reports that Baker called Anna Kain’s cell phone more than 50 times. During one of the calls, he left a voice message saying, “You better f—–g reply to me or I will f—–g kill you,” reports the Washington Post. This voice mail is what alerted Elizabeth Esty to the Baker’s behavior.

Tony Baker’s behavior and message bring to mind the workplace harassment videos that some people are required to watch when they start a new job. The sometimes cheesy dramatizations of someone leaving a threatening voice message for a co-worker end with instructions to contact the supportive workplace department or person if such a thing happens.

Yet, Elizabeth Esty learned of the phone calls and the threatening message the day after they occurred, and did nothing for months. She waited two months to start an investigation of Baker, and Baker stayed on Elizabeth Esty’s payroll one more month after that. When Baker left, the Washington Post reports, he received severance pay, and a job recommendation.

Though Elizabeth Esty now apologizes for not taking immediate action when she learned of Baker’s harassment and threats, it seems too little too late. It’s not hard to proclaim, “Me Too,” or “I’m with you,” or to wear a black evening gown to an entertainment awards show to demonstrate your support – as long as it’s convenient. Women who have suffered harassment and abuse in the workplace are often afraid to speak up and rock the boat. But when the woman in charge, the woman with the power to do something about it, like Elizabeth Esty, doesn’t act to protect them, “Me Too” doesn’t align her with the victims – it aligns her with the perpetrators.

‘Sex Assault Awareness Month’ Kicks Off Days after Esty Scandal |
WTNH News 8 [2018-04-04]

Dem. Elizabeth Esty Not Seeking Re-election amid Scrutiny |