* 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.



Paul Ryan to Retire

After serving since 1998 in Washington, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has announced that he will be retiring in January. Though a certain amount of House turnover should be considered normal (the average is 22 members during each cycle), Paul Ryan joins an unusually large current number of Republicans who will not be running again.

To date, at least 43 Republicans in the House have announced that they will not run for re-election. Though there is speculation about the “real” reason Paul Ryan is retiring, Ryan cites wanting to spend more time with his children as his reason for stepping down.

But some speculate that Paul Ryan is afraid he’ll lose if he runs again in November. Recent polls show dissatisfaction with the current state of the Republican party. In a Newsweek poll, for example, only two-thirds of Trump voters said they would definitely vote for a Republican representative in the next election.

On today’s spectrum, “conservative” is a relative term. Though Paul Ryan, a “classic Conservative,” may be seen as too conservative by many, he is not conservative enough for others, such as members of the Freedom Caucus. Many will see Paul Ryan’s departure as a positive, but for varying reasons. Though Democrats may applaud the fact that Paul Ryan is stepping down, his exit and subsequent replacement is likely to turn on the faucet of Trumpism full-force.

“This party is the party of Trump now…This is the bloodletting of classic conservatives (like Paul Ryan),” said Meghan McCain, on ABC’s The View.

McCain speculates that one reason for Paul Ryan’s retirement now is that “He doesn’t want to deal with it any more. He doesn’t want to go home to his constituents in Wisconsin and try to explain some of the tweeting, and some of the more incendiary things that Trump is doing right now.”

Indeed, of the 43 House Republicans who have made the choice to leave office, some are leaving in the wake of various scandals, others are running for a different office, but several, such as Senator Jeff Flake and Rep. Charlie Dent, have openly stated that they are doing so because they can no longer support the “dysfunction, disorder, and chaos” (Dent) in the Trump administration.

Paul Ryan likely has more than one reason for not seeking re-election, and we can only continue to speculate. All of us would like to believe that it is because he wants to be there for his children. Many of us would also like to believe that it’s at least in part because he can no longer stomach the current political climate in Washington. No matter what the full truth is, though, Paul Ryan’s departure leaves our government at risk of being thrown even farther off balance than it already is.

Paul Ryan Won’t Run For Re-Election | The View [2018-04-11]

Paul Ryan retiring over trouble with Trump? | Fox Business [2018-04-11]