* 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.



Trump Revokes John Brennan’s Security Clearance

Donald Trump revoked the security clearance of John Brennan, former CIA Director under President Obama, on August 15. Brennan’s clearance wasn’t taken away for misconduct, or for any illegal activities; it was revoked because he criticized Trump. The Trump administration had been hinting since late July that it might take away John Brennan’s security clearance, as well as those of others Trump felt had verbally attacked him.

Among John Brennan’s vocal criticisms of Trump were his comments following Trump’s visit with Putin in Finland, when Trump disparaged U.S. intelligence findings in favor of Putin’s claim that there was no Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Brennan termed Trump’s behavior “treasonous,” and called for his impeachment.

Following Trump’s inflammatory remarks and name-calling directed at Omarosa Manigault Newman on the release of her tell-all book, Brennan tweeted, “It’s astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity. Seems like you will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent, & honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our Nation.” Brennan’s security clearance was revoked the following day.

Though Trump, as President, has the legal authority to revoke an official’s security clearance, past presidents, as a rule, have never done so for political motives or without reasonable cause — and certainly not to be vindictive. “Cause” would include security concerns, such as mishandling of classified documents, alcoholism, or financial issues.

Michael V. Hayden, CIA Director under George W. Bush, and also an official whose security clearance the Trump Administration has threatened to revoke, has suggested that Trump is using clearance revocations to “pressure his critics into silence.”

John Brennan tweeted, “This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics…It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out.”

Since Brennan lost his security clearance, numerous other former National Security officials have quickly responded in support of him. Currently, three joint letters signed by former officials, both Democrat and Republican, have been written on Brennan’s behalf. The most recent one, written on Monday, August 20, contained 177 signatures backing John Brennan.

“The country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views,” said Monday’s letter.

John Brennan is considering taking Donald Trump to court over the security clearance issue. “If my (security) clearances and my reputation – as I’m being pulled through the mud right now – if that’s the price I have to pay to prevent Donald Trump from doing this to other people, to me, that’s a small price to pay,” said Brennan.

Brennan may take Trump to court over security clearances | Fox Business [2018-08-20]

Line crossed in Trump revoking Brennan security clearance? | CBS This Morning [2018-08-18]