* 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-Putin Meeting: U.S. Thrown under Bus in Favor of Bully

Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki on Thursday, July 16, for private talks, which Trump said would be about, among other things, nuclear weapons. Trump’s treatment of the United States in his remarks following the meeting, however, was a lot like a parent throwing his child – and all of his child’s friends –  under the bus in favor of the kid who has been bullying his child.

“He said he didn’t do it, so I believe him,” is, in effect, what Donald Trump said about Putin in his response to a question about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Ignoring history, Trump went on to blame previous administrations for the poor relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!,” Trump tweeted on July 15.

Perhaps if the bully (Putin in this story) were an Eagle Scout and an honor student known for helping little old ladies across the street (or for not cozying up with the Afghan Taliban), we might find it plausible that a parent/Trump would take the bully’s word over that of his own child (or, say, United States Intelligence officers). Maybe if the bully were not widely known to be a thug (or a member of the KGB), jaws would not have dropped. Perhaps if the bully and his gang didn’t have a long history of ill-intentioned deeds toward others (namely, the U.S. and its democratic process, in this story), we could give him the benefit of the doubt.

U.S. intelligence has overwhelming (and supported) evidence of Russian collusion, and a U.S. grand jury has just indicted 12 Russian intelligence agents on election-related charges. Trump, however, is sticking with Putin’s story.

“I have great confidence in my intelligence people. But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. Dan Coats [the director of national intelligence] came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Even many Trump supporters, however, have found Trump’s position unpalatable at best, treasonous at worst.

“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Though it’s true that McCain has long been at odds with Trump and what he stands for, other Republicans who have historically supported Trump took issue with how Trump handled the meeting.

“The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Unless one is highly skilled at self-deception and the art of the spin, it seems nearly impossible not to be horrified by Trump’s remarks regarding the history of U.S. relations with Russia, who is to blame, who our friends are in the world, and, most especially, Russia’s role in the 2016 election.

That is where Vice President Mike Pence comes in. “The truth is,” said Pence, “Over the last week” (Note: During that same week, at the NATO Summit, Trump also referred to the EU – among our closest allies – as our foes), “the world saw that President Donald Trump stands without apology as leader of the free world…What the world saw, and what the American people saw, is that President Donald Trump will always put the prosperity and security of America first.”

It’s not clear what Pence meant by “putting the prosperity and security of America first.” Perhaps he was actually referring to profiting from the branding of “America First.” Clearly, the phrase, as it relates to the Trump -Putin meeting, is not to be taken literally.

Lawmakers Respond to Trump-Putin Remarks | EWTN [2018-07-16]

Trump-Putin Joint Press Conference | VOA News [2018-07-16]