* 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.



Editorial: Why Won’t Tucker Carlson Pronounce Kamala Harris’ Name Correctly?

When Fox News host Tucker Carlson repeatedly and flippantly mispronounced vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ name on his primetime show this week, he was using a subtle tool from the racist/sexist toolbox. Anyone can get a name wrong, but when national news personality Carlson intentionally dismissed the correct pronunciation with a sneer, it was more than a slip; it was a passive aggressive statement that Kamala Harris was of little consequence.

As Carlson launched into a disparagement of Harris, who is running for the second highest office in the land, he pronounced her name “KAM-a-la” several times.

“Just tell KAM a luh Harris what to say, and she will say it. That is the whole point of KAM a luh Harris,” said Carlson.

Carlson’s guest, Richard Goodstein, a Democratic strategist and former adviser to Hillary Clinton, tried to courteously correct Carlson’s pronunciation. “Tucker, can I just say one thing?” said Goodstein.

“Of course,” said Carlson,

““Because this will serve you and your fellow hosts on Fox. Her name is pronounced ‘comma’ — like the punctuation mark — ‘la.’ Comma-la,” Goodstein said. “Seriously, I’ve heard every sort of bastardization of that. That’s how it is. ‘Comma-la.’”

“OK,” said Carlson. “So what?”

“I think out of respect for somebody who’s going to be on the national ticket,” Goldstein responded. “Pronouncing her name right is actually kind of a bare minimum.”

“So I’m disrespecting her by mispronouncing her name unintentionally?” Carlson feigned indignance. “So it begins.” He proceeded to mispronounce Harris’ name twice more. “You’re not allowed to criticize ‘Ka-MAL-a’ or ‘KAM-a-la’ or whatever it is—”

“No, no, no. It’s not ‘whatever,’” Goodstein responded.

Kamala Harris has a name that’s not as easy to pronounce the first time as it would be if it were, say, “Ann Harris.” But it’s also not that difficult to pronounce. Most importantly, though, it’s her name, and she deserves at least an effort to pronounce it correctly.

“There’s nothing ‘or whatever’ about this moment,” said Angela Rye, former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, in response to Tucker Carlson’s “KAM-a -la or whatever.” “It is about you having to finally face what you have done to this country. To black people. To black women.”

“It’s like saying sit down, shut up, we don’t want to hear from you, you don’t actually matter,” said CNN political commentator Karen Finney.

In the 60s sitcom, Bewitched, Endora, the famous mother-in-law, used the deliberate mispronunciation of her son-in-law Darren’s name to keep him in his place. Endora intentionally mangled Darren’s name each time she talked to him or about him. Derwin, Dobbin, Dustbin, Derwood… That was comedy, but we understood what Endora was doing.

Underneath subtle-seeming acts like this is a world of aggression, hostility, and resentment, and the desire to downplay or dismiss a person’s worthiness to be acknowledged and respected. One could call it bullying.

These subtle aggressions are frequently encased in a set-up situation where the aggressor knowingly does or says something offensive, then responds indignantly as if the other party had wronged them by calling them out on it. The aggressor then turns it all around, as Tucker Carlson does, sneering at the other party’s “oversensitivity” or “political correctness,” and assuming the role of the unfairly treated victim.

People like Tucker Carlson — white, male, far-right-leaning, often evangelical fundamentalist— feel threatened by people like Kamala Harris. They fear they’re losing their perceived place in the world to women, to people of color, and to other groups they have traditionally marginalized. Accustomed to wielding the power, they are especially threatened when someone in one of these groups rises to a position of power over them.

Kamala Harris is not new to racism or sexism, or to having her name dismissively or intentionally mispronounced. She will certainly experience more of these things while running as Joe Biden’s candidate for Vice President. But as more people witness Tucker Carlson and those like him calling themselves out to be petty, passive aggressors, and as fewer people remain silent about their behavior, there will be fewer ways for them, small though they are, to hide.

Fox News Host Erupts Over Being Corrected on Saying Kamala Harris’ Name Properly | Veuer [2020-08-12]

Fox News Freaks Out Over Kamala Harris | HuffPost [2020-08-12]