863 Comments

WOW WOW WOW! This is what I have been waiting to hear and you explain it perfectly in the context of a living history. Bravo, once again, Dr Richardson. Will it make the front pages of the WP and NYT.? Do the editors read your column? Praying they do.

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

I join you Diane, in a hearty thank you and share your feeling of WOW.

The NY Times did report on Baude's upcoming paper on August 11th BUT, it did not even come close to being as good as Dr. Richardson's home run writing today.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/10/us/trump-jan-6-insurrection-conservatives.html

The Times article simply said that some conservatives I never heard of from law schools had concluded what any 8th grader would conclude by reading the 14th amendment in history class. It was a surface story that left me befuddled because, lots of people were writing the same thing on January 7th 2021.

Dr. Richardson's letter today? Now THIS is real background, real history and offers anyone, including those folks who claim to be "originalists", an origin story around the 14th amendment and Trump's disqualification.

Today's letter is, without a doubt, the best letter I have read so far from Prof Richardson, and, I must have written this same sentence 10 times, about 10 letters, since I started reading Dr. Richardson here.

I have saved this and will send it to all my dwindling Republican friends. I don't know if they can concentrate for the 5 minutes needed to read the entire letter, so many Americans cannot, but, I will try.

Last comment about "originalists". IF we are going to treat gun LAWS by originalist thinking THEN we need to outlaw ALL GUNS in existence today, that did not EXIST at the time of the formation of the country. So, the only guns for sale can be single shot muzzle loaders that take 2 minutes reload.

This, returning to the ORIGINAL guns that were present at the birth of the nation, will solve the mass shooting problem. I am an ORIGINALIST where gun sales are concerned.

:-)

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Same for abortion, no laws against it in 1789. It was women's issues and women didn't exist in the original Constitution.

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The all male founders of the American nation, undoubtedly, were not interested in being presented children they would be forced to raise, that were not of their own marriages by women they were not married to.

In those days, a married male would be a pariah if a woman came forward with a kid that looked like, say, John Adams but, the kid and the woman were not of his wife. Victorian morality was still in place. Not that Victorian morality was any different from any other time in human evolution. Folks enjoyed sex. It was just supposed to be invisible.

So, it is no surprise that abortion is not mentioned in any early laws. Men fully supported it (abortion).

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

One update to abortion laws, or their absence, in the early part of the nation's history:

In the southern states, beginning with Virginia, the laws on the books for female slaves were: Rape by a white man was legal (reference: The 1619 Book Project arranged by Nicole Hannah Jones. )

So, in THAT case, when the slave came forward pregnant, the male slave owner was not only PROUD of the outcome, he could SELL the resultant light colored slave for a lot of money.

Just to add clarity about abortion in the early days of the nation. For female slaves, abortion was probably illegal.

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Gosh, all those nearly white kids who looked likeJefferson making nails at Monticello. I always laugh about Victorian morality which applied only to women as there was quite an underworld of Victorian sexuality going on with the men. Victorian hypocrisy actually. Victoria enjoyed sex, but not the result as she didn't enjoy being PG at least nine times.

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excellent point Michele.

Men could do what they wanted, but, women had to be way more circumspect and discreet.

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Women and children belonged to the father. And they couldn't inherit. Think about Pride and Prejudice....all daughters and Downton Abbey....all daughters. My mother-in-law was the first woman to get a credit card in her own name at a certain department store here in Salem. Not Victorian times, but the idea that a woman couldn't be responsible. It took a certain type of woman to defy the standards of Victorian England. I am thinking of George Eliot for example.

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Posting this again:

The 13th Amendment abolishing slavery should be used as a legal basis for the right to an abortion. Restrictions on abortion and the resulting forced pregnancies are disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude: forced pregnancy requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state's asserted interest. Indeed, the actual process of delivery demands work of the most intense and physical kind: labor of 12 or more grueling hours of contractions is not uncommon.

Abortion prohibitions violate the Amendment's guarantee of personal liberty, because forced pregnancy and childbirth, by compelling the woman to serve the fetus, creates "that control by which the personal service of one man [sic] is disposed of or coerced for another's benefit which is the essence of involuntary servitude." Such laws violate the amendment's guarantee of equality, because forcing women to be mothers makes them into a servant caste, a group which is held subject to a special duty to serve others and not themselves. Having a right to life does not guarantee a right to the use of another person's body -- even if one needs it for life itself. While the pregnant woman is not serving at the fetus' command -- it is the state that supplies the element of coercion -- she is nevertheless serving involuntarily for the fetus' benefit, and this is what the Court has said that the amendment forbids

PLUS: UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS:

ALL STATES HAVE OBLIGATIONS TO RESPECT, PROTECT AND FULFILL WOMEN’S RIGHTS RELATED TO ABORTION SERVICES

https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Documents/Issues/Women/WRGS/SexualHealth/INFO_Abortion_WEB.pdf

What SCOTUS has done is against the Constitution and against what was agreed to in The United Nations.

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That's an interesting argument.

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So, why hasn't been made??

We need to teach women to get every male sex partner's ID and DNA. When they start getting nailed for "damages" and 20 years worth of support ....maybe they will not be so Okay with voting that women get stuck with the results of a little fun.

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Women were not able to vote & only property holders could vote & blacks were slaves.

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just watched CIDER HOUSE RULES. Personal freedom is important.

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And Vera Drake. Read Margaret Sanger's bio. And "Pro" by Katha Pollitt.

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I’m glad we have the obvious constitutional safeguard against insurrectionists holding office. But I wonder how the enforcement of this looks… only kicking in after said traitor is elected?? Not a good situation. Much better to nip this in the bud with one of a hundred counts of felony. Felons can’t hold office, can they?

Actually they freaking can. In many states felons can’t vote, but they can become president from jail!! Eugene Debs tried and received a million votes from jail.

This needs a constitutional amendment, or Voting/Democracy Restoration Act ASAP.

Can you imagine an anti-democratic insurrectionist leader and convicted multiple felon with a mafioso authoritarian nepotistic regime holding the office of president?

Revolting. Deplorable.

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

As you may have noticed, many provisions of the Constitution were ignored by Trump and his fellows. The Emoluments Clause, for one. The Constitution must be enforced by either any of the 3 branches of government, or directly by us, the People.

Under Trump, the Executive was run by him corruptly, so no enforcement there. No cases were brought before the Judiciary -- till now! And the Legislative branch, while doing an excellent job on the January 6 insurrection, really didn't even investigate a lot of the violations of the Constitution.

For example, why all the investigations of Hunter Biden but none of Jared Kushner and Ivanka? The Dems generally don't push hard enough for accountability, and now that Repubs have a House Majority, they push conspiracy theories to damage Dems politically.

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You are right on Cheryl

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Ryan McCormick, the last six years have been dominated by an anti-democratic mafioso authoritarian nepotistic regime holding the office of president for four years, and now he will, hopefully, be convicted of multiple felonies as an insurrectionist. The first four years have brought most of us to the brink of mental breakdown, and I fervently pray that his current campaign won't be successful. How we manage to survive his cretinous spawn, even if he loses, is another matter.

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Prayers, and lots of work, I agree.

Since Biden inauguration, I've taken a mental break from my political anguish... kind of like how I did with Obama, trusting and noting that their administrations were doing the right things that beneficent governance can achieve.

And like the burnout and PTSD I feel from taking care of people during the darkest days of the SARS CoV-2 pandemic, I'm not ready for another pandemic, although we might have to be.

I'm not psychologically prepared for the kind of regime you mention, either. Trump or similar.

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Ryan, I can only imagine how stressed these years during and since TFG have been for you, having to deal with the angst of your patients, as well as the pandemic.

I, too, have been much less anxious since Biden's presidency, and I'm trying to give short shrift to all of the gloom mongers who are predicting a win for the dark side next year.

Take care of your patients, and I'll do what I can to encourage sane people to vote. I haven't given up on optimism - yet.

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

How sane! This horrific predicament should've been nipped in the bud when the orange man announced a second run. What's great here is that Luttig and Tribe, both highly esteemed and with diametrically opposed political views, are saying the same thing. Section 3 is there for a reason and ignoring it is irresponsible. Evoking it lays the groundwork to eject the traitor. It imbues me with a bit of hope....

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

I agree. However, I believe it would be up to individual secretaries of state to determine Defendant Don's qualification to be on their state's ballot. If so, I wonder: how many have the courage to disqualify him? Unless this becomes a movement to rid ourselves of the scourge of this tyrant, I find it unlikely to happen.

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If they don't, we Dems must take them to court to challenge them. We can't just sit here and let them do it.

I'll bet Marc Elias and Democracy Docket will be working for us on this. Let's support them!

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Interesting, so many tests of our civic system that shouldn't be happening at all.

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It disqualifies one from being on the ticket.

The Republicans will have to come up with a Qualified candidate.

They only have losers. Maybe Romney?

This will be the most insane Presidential election ever.

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There will be NO enforcement. No court, not judge, no USSC Justice will act in any way to prevent the GOP from having Trump as their Presidential candidate.

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Why not?

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Any Judge or Justice who voted to keep Trump off the ballot of any state would immediately be targeted - for death - by the MAGA cult. The Judge/Justice would need a security detail for the rest of his/her life

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It's atrocious that these justices are held hostage by these thugs' threats! However, many people have shown great courage and have done their jobs despite threats....

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We don't have to outlaw all guns.

We just need to require all gun owners have to spend one weekend a month drilling in the National Guard.

And that like other National Guard members, they can be called up for service in an emergency.

". . .well-ordered militia. . ." is originalism.

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Bridget, this sounds like a logical solution for gun ownership. Show up once a month for duty and be available to be called up in emergencies. And follow only the orders of your military leaders.

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And no exceptions for women.

Which might cut back on straw man purchases as well.

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Which would probably prevent anyone under 18 legally possessing (not merely owning, it has to cover possession as well) any kind of firearm.

And of course that would only apply to people who acquired and otherwise possess their guns lawfully, not to the skillions of illegally produced and circulated guns or "adaptive mechanisms" (auto sear, for example, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/01/business/auto-sear-handgun-automatic.html).

But it would be a start.

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Bridget,

Makes sense to me!

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‘Home run ‘ WOWS 👏👏👏👏👏

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Everyone should try to read at least part of the document HCR focuses on today. In the first 10 pages I learned something from the "originalist" authors namely originalism doesn't mean everything in the Constitution is carved in stone. They say that some rules either overshoot or undershoot the supposed intuition of the.rule authors, but once it's past it is what it is.

That's how these originalist conservatives defend Sec 3's validity today with regard to "insurrections or rebellions". Not saying I support the originalist view, it was obvious the Framers created an organic document by allowing for Amendments, but I appreciate the explanation on pg 10 about the consequences of written language and how untended consequences may arrive or give reason for future realities not considered at the time.

It's not all black and white.

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4532751

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Somehow - as much as that is actual truth - I have much faith (?) in this SC that they can manage to deconstruct it in order for their reading of it.

Before we get too excited about djt not being able to run - remember all the "norms" that he blew thru & ignored? Whats to stop him? WHO will stop him and all the other up and coming dictators running?

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

Mike S -- " IF we are going to treat gun LAWS by originalist thinking THEN we need to outlaw ALL GUNS in existence today, that did not EXIST at the time of the formation of the country. So, the only guns for sale can be single shot muzzle loaders that take 2 minutes reload."

"𝘈 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘔𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘢, 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘈𝘳𝘮𝘴, 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘥." 2nd Amendment, U.S. Constitution

So "Arms" are limited to "single shot muzzle loaders that take 2 minutes reload"? Interesting.

(FWIW, I definitely don't agree with (nor defend) the NRA's interpretation of that Amendment.)

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Sep 6, 2023

Mike S

"dwindling Republican friends" 😂

I have a bunch of longterm friends who, as it turns out, are Republican. We have avoided much political talk for the sake of the friendships. I'm included in an occasional group post of right nonsense (that I ignore.) I've sent some Heather/ Robert Reich/ Joyce Vance Substacks their way that apparently do get read. Lo and behold! Just last week, more than one have said "I can't vote for him ever again!" They are dwindling Republicans, but not dwindling friends. Changing hearts, one at a time.

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If you think there is any internal consistency to originalism, you are mistaken. It's a complete sham, a mere papering over of retrograde thinking about rights, citizenship, and inclusivity. I am a little disturbed that it was used as a seeming bolster to these papers in HCR's post.

I am also very puzzled why so many commenters in Dr Richardson's substack go out of their way to insult the reading, powers of concentration and sometimes general intelligence of their "friends". If you read these comments regularly, you'll see it's a common theme.

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Tom...agree...internal consistency to the "originalism" in interpretation of our laws is confusing...not a sham as you suggest but merely transactional...a concept I am sure you (respectfully) are familiar with...as with the reactions to its interpretations.

True...the "insult" theme is often part of a resident thread here. It is widely suggested...and even accepted...if you must judge people...base it on their actions...and then temper that judgement with an effort at a deeper understanding of their motivations. Of course their actions -> must/should be a major result of that person's ability to process and choice of reading sources, powers of concentration and sometimes general intelligence. You cannot avoid some assessments of your "friends" who so willingly fill in the gaps of their minds with cognitive dissonance and self-supporting fairy tales. Ready fodder for a media ecosystem that both shelters securely its viewers in an ideological bubble, free from facts, while also pumping lies and hate into our society like poison 24-7.

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But I don’t feel compelled to judge others. Not a morality thing, but a practicality thing. Unless you’re a mind reader, you’re bound to get it wrong. And beyond that, what is the use?

I am friends with a lot of people, and about half of them I have no idea of their politics.

As for originalism, it is sheer intellectual dishonest, a pretense erected to give pseudo-intellectual cover for retrograde thinking. Good heavens, read A Court of One. Or Scalia’s dissents, many of them.

He is proof that sterling academic and legal credentials don’t make a moral man.

My “favorite” Scalia quote in a majority opinion? “The Constitution guarantees every man a trial when accused of a crime. Nothing in the Constitution guarantees the right to a fair trial.”

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Thank you and for your more clarifying comments on the absurdity of so called Originalists on the Court today. Logic and critical thinking are obviously not part of their repertoire or qualifications for the Court.

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I thought the exact thing about today’s letter ... and ... your comment on the 2nd amendment as applied to modern times!

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Agreed. There's this quote I love, "there's a reason they teach history to us as KIDS, when we CAN'T do anything about it, versus, teaching history to us as ADULTS when we CAN do something about it"

https://unorthodoxy.substack.com/p/why-esoteric-philosophy-is-vital-329

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And especially as "Republicans" would have it, a sharply abridged if not falsified history in the primary schools. But genuine DIY democracy means lifelong learning and engagement. We just can't safely pilot the ship of state without keeping a sharp watch, and doing our "homework", at any age.

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

J.L., I love your words DIY (do it yourself) Democracy. That should be taught to us from the time we are little: We live in a Representative Democracy AND a DIY Democracy. DIY because some representatives are more self-serving than public-serving and so each of us has to consciously work in whatever we can to build a stronger democracy.

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DIY because if we are not responsible for our own society's choices, who is? If it is not we who are not setting the agenda for our hired fiduciary agents to champion, then who is? To the degree that our representatives use the powers entrusted to them to enrich or further empower themselves is classic corruption, and corruption is the road to tyranny. History bristles with object lessons of that. The naked conflict of interest of Clarence Thomas in a role that demands avoiding even the appearance of corruption is a constitutional crisis on it's own. Government employees or even private in similar circumstances are often fired on the spot, not for proven malfeasance, but for violating safeguards proscribing conflicts of interest. With greater power comes greater responsibly. That's true when we decide to give a kid car keys or a pocket knife. It's all the more true in roles that profoundly affect the lives of many.

Democracy, certainly "liberty and justice of all" is not a spectator sport where winner takes all. It is not a menu prepared by others from which we choose, with "no substitutions". It is not supposed to be "One dollar, one vote". When we make bad choices or cede them to those with an axe to grind, we suffer as a whole, and those already most deprived most of all. If you look at the big picture of what is occurring, as we speak, to our planet's climate, it is terrifying, and yet not entirely inevitable. Like knowing, based on age, I am approaching the end of my life, I can't dwell on the reality of that all the time, but it's crazy to let our quality of life, or even existence as a species, drift toward the edge. It's crazy to tolerate blatant and destructive abuses of power, and shrug. And yes, I'm crazy too, but try to improve my focus. We are at a point where focus is increasingly necessary.

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J.L., I agree. We have a lot of corruption that causes so much suffering. And it is quite absurd as we experience greater and greater death and destruction of nature (including us) and we draw closer to doom, some in power still cling to short-sighted and irrational greed. I know that we as a nation are also going to experience increasing political violence as one party seems intent on it, by constantly watering the seeds of violence against each and every of its perceived enemies.

As you say, we need to stay focused. I hope you will get to stay here with us as long as you wish. Some helpful reminders for my focus are: Discern truth from lie. Don't go down rabbit holes or stay too long in the weeds. Care for myself and others. Do everything I can. Stay present to my fear and anger but don't let them guide me. Never see anyone as an enemy, opponent yes. And remember we must go through great pain for our egos to be rattled and diminished so America can emerge even more beautiful than she is!

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The things that matter most.

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OOPS! I meant DIY.

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You should read what he wrote. We have a troll.

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Sorry, who is the troll? JL Graham? Franklin O'Kanu?

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???? Who?

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I was just asking for clarification from Gail Adams (above); I'm well aware of john schmeekel, but was surprised at what seemed to be a random comment.

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Yes we do.

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This website https://thinkingispower.com/ is run by Melanie Trecek-King, an associate professor of biology at Massasoit Community College in Massachusetts. She nails it, i.e., the process of what excellent teaching entails. Misinformation and disinformation are a formidable problem today. When I was in Texas at the family reunion a nephew of mine was convinced beyond any doubt that Trump had won the election. What are his sources of disinformation/misinformation? Fox News, OAN (One American Network) and Newsmax, the latter two being undeniable conspiracy spreading vehicles.

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Thank you for naming those websites. I would add that RT is equally available (Russian propaganda channel).

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How does one access this Russian propaganda channel?

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Richard, I googled “RT” and there it was.

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Thank you, Virginia. I did, too, and this is what I got: https://www.rt.com/

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Thanks for sharing Thinking is Power!

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I’m sure there are also practical reasons why they teach all children rather than all adults, such as:

•kids brain cells absorb more information, while adults brain cells run off in droves and die after having kids

•employers might get upset when their employees have to skip work for history class

•many adults might have trouble attending class if their babysitter or elder care aid canceled at the last minute

•farmers who don’t even have time to go see a doctor even if they suspect they’re having a heart attack, certainly wouldn’t have time to squeeze in history class.

•ER’s, Hospitals, and Emergency First Responders everywhere might have something to say about being too busy to help people when they’re stuck taking history a quiz.

However, this is not to say that adults from all walks of life wouldn’t benefit from being slapped with timely relevant history history lessons, like the Continuing Education requirements of certain professions.

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What is life without learning as much as possible every day?

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That is my main entertainment: figuring stuff out. researching, learning new skills, making almost everything from scratch, traveled 5-6-7 months solo budget. You couldn't pay me to go on cruise or a tour. From 50-70: like a backpacker. I have never met an American who did that. I thrive on insecurity.

Doing a lot of catch up on politics; I never paid much attention to it before Trump. It was running well enough with me as an uninformed voter.

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Great post Lisa. Brought a huge smile and then a good laugh.

:-)

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Glad to hear it. I aim to wheeze.

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

Not to mention that kids in schools are a captive audience, while kids in college - to the extent they are adults - are not, and except for history majors are probably too busy pursuing their own interests to graduate well and get jobs afterward to study history in any depth - and that is really what is needed to understand how we got where we are. Thank goodness for HCR and other historians keeping history alive and comprehensible for those of us who pursued other studies.

That kids ARE captives makes it easy to teach them "alternate history/alternate facts", to indoctrinate them in dreadful foolishness such as "slaves gained personal skills", etc., and "the earth is only 6000 years old", and "Jews have horns" (heard that one?), and other such trash. "Moms for Liberty" (WHAT a name!) have GOT to be gotten rid of, as does deStructis and the rest of this bunch.

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HCR really deserves an award.

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Perfect: deStructis. TY!

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The value of staying connected , in a Civil Discourse, refreshing our application to the complexities of a nowaday world. YES! YES! YES.

I have been as guilty of succumbing to the plod of mendacity (wrongly perceived ) , the hum-drum of trying to keep my head ( and family) above water BUT now see staying up with current events , watch-dogging even, is so very necessary AND EXCITING!

The steady creep is exposed , the creep(s😉) of autocracy ..pardon the pun people..we MUST stay vigilant.

I applaud this Letter ( on top of yet again thanking Heather for such excellent writing technique).

One does not just have to write , teach or publish while also making sense, but provide truth in an appealing,entertaining way.

It’s an ART FORM.

Let us carry this through the drudgery pounded ..what now 7 years..maybe even it’s been longer ? Through 2024 ( FOREVER works for me) which is expectedly going to continue the MO of the MAGA -let us underscore the principle of this Letter ..originalisms of our constitution ...and hold this GREAT AMERICA ‘s leadership to its intended focus.

I so love my country 🫶 and the American Dream😌🙏🥰

💙💙VOTE💙💙

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When one reads the 2nd Amendment it is impossible to understand how tortured the logic was to rationalize giving everyone the right to be armed to the teeth with all kinds of guns. People especially intelligent people are capable of rationalizing anything.

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Got it. It’s the Rothchilds. And the Fed. What pablum.

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Diane I agree with you and with Dr. Richardson. I'm sure your reasoning will impress open minded and moral citizens that read the NYT and WP. However, no matter what rational and ethical people believe and will act on, too many of our elected representatives and now Supreme Court justices are wearing signs that say "For Sale to the Highest Bidder." Justice Clarence Thomas at least has been caught with his hands in the cookie jar, so we must realistically consider that it is possible that In the United States we are no longer ruled and adjudicated by rational and strongly moral individuals who are immune to the lure of wealth. They have proven that they will lower their standards of morality when the rewards they are offered are too great to resist.

Even If Trump is not elected, there are still legions of the ultra wealthy who will utilize their wealth and power to continue to subvert the Constitution to suit their own ends. They employ brilliant individuals who are focused on subverting our Constitution and our justice system.

Just as those who lived in Maui had not planned for the unthinkable, so must we. They had no Plan B for the possibility that the existing Plan A would fail to save them from death by fire.

We need to have a Plan B for our government and economic system. As of now, those ruled by rationality and morality are losing ground to the ultra wealthy people who follow no moral code no matter how strong the rational arguments. Just as our "Founding Fathers" created a better system than any other system that existed at that time, it is our moral imperative to focus on new and better forms of governance and economics. Now is the time to plan for a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.

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Marc, I agree with your assessment about our economy: we have $32 trillion of debt that has been siphoned out of the pockets of working Americans and funneled into the pockets of wealthy Americans, starting with Ronald Reagan. We MUST turn this around and revise the tax codes to retrieve that money. Otherwise, succeeding generations will be miserable and the government might fail.

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I feel I must work on alternatives now, as I am very concerned for the future How? challenges of my four children and seven grandchildren. This is not just an intellectual discussion, it is about very real problems. We are now facing. I grew up with the specter of a potential nuclear war, and what it might do to our planet. Our children are growing up with the specter of ecological, economic and political disaster, and anything I can do now to provide alternative plans, and roadmaps is the best thing I can do for them, and the rest of the generation.

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..I hear a suitable candidate for office here...pay attention elected officers...this is the likes of what is coming to run for your seat ( AND SHOULD!! ) Hear Hear! HEAR?

It’s time this intent REALLY a took front seat THE DRIVERS SEAT in that oath too many have what????forgotten about? Overlook? Set Aside?

Well I really never think ‘it’s too late’ ....however it seems too many are about to hit the tree in their unfortunate falling asleep at the wheel ...

💙💙take it across the finish line folks ....VOTE💙💙

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Marc...have you thought about running? I mean really! No , don’t laugh, please ....I’m serious!🫶

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Patricia, thanks for the compliment about running for an office. However, I prefer to look and work further down the road on a Plan B as the juice gets sucked out of our current democracy. So far, I think the best Plan B is offered by something called economic democracy. It offers a path to the future.

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I looked it up…I’m gonna have to read through that a few more times!!!! LOL!

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I don’t recall hearing about this but will look into it. Plan B’s are great too. I’m hoping for a sweep , but if not , worst case and all -I’ll still find room for me too. Yeh to Plan B’s.🙌

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

In addition to the $32 Trillion in debt we ALSO have more than $10 Trillion on the books of the Federal Reserve after folly (extended by the government ATM machine for banks, Ben Bernanke) of "experimenting" with the Federal Reserve printing money to buy bonds during the last Republican sponsored economic crash of 2007.

So, the total actual debt is $42 Trillion dollars.

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I am not familiar with this, Mike. I knew that Obama spent money to bail out the banks and Wall Street, without requiring or demanding that the money be repaid, adding to the burden born by ordinary Americans. This on top of the hundreds of thousands who lost their homes through the bank swindles.

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Richard….AND not holding bank/WS top brass accountable in any meaningful/deterrent way. I do not understand the financially gluttonous more-more-more….sigh, haven’t those folks heard of the concept “enough”? Tho’ I do recall hearing the phrase “too much is never enough”….wondering what lack such folks are trying to fill.

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Barbara, all I know is this: the one thing one can never have enough of is money. It must be true. One can be satiated with wine and food, but the appetite for money never seems to be satisfied.

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A viable "Plan B" may be the "Progressive Utilization Theory" originated by P.R. Sarkar. Here is a Wikipedia Link for more information:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_utilization_theory

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I like the idea of Sarkar's PUT; but, it is complicated, isn't it? I suppose the takeaway is: there is no easy or simple solution ensuring "fairness."

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In my 83rd year I've come to this realization, this conclusion: there will never be a completely fair system, one in which everyone is made whole. But still, Frances Perkins may have had the best idea: "The people are what matter to government, and a government should aim to provide all the people under its jurisdiction the best possible life." All the people and not just a select few or those who are white, or Christian, or whatever. Health care. Jobs. Security. Education. Opportunity.

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I agree wholeheartedly. Joe Manchin has finally joined those ranks of those determined to undermine our democracy for personal gain. By potentially running as a third party candidate to insure the wealthy survival of the fittest.( In this case, definably NOT fittest.) his lack of care for world politics will lead us towards the authoritatian regimes, ie, wealth and power for the few, misery for many. Bad Joe running against Good Joe. We have to stop him.

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EDIT: Deleted first paragraph (see below)

The 14 th Amendment provides that those who commit INSURRECTION are barred from running for federal office (including President). Legal experts have recently concluded the obvious, that this prohibition is still in force today.

However, Trump hasn't even been charged with insurrection, let alone found guilty.

EDIT: I was wrong. Luttig and Tribe do indeed write: "The former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and the resulting attack on the U.S. Capitol, place him squarely within the ambit of the disqualification clause, and he is therefore ineligible to serve as president ever again. The most pressing constitutional question facing our country at this moment, then, is whether we will abide by this clear command of the Fourteenth Amendment’s disqualification clause."

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She did no such thing. The 14th bars from federal office anyone who ". . . shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof."

Trump certainly gave aid and comfort to the insurrectionists of January 6.

On top of that, the Constitution does not demand criminal conviction or even formal charges of insurrection, rebellion, or aid and comfort.

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

PLUS Trump has vowed in his rallies that, if elected, he will pardon all the insurgents of their crimes. Isn’t that giving aid and comfort to the enemy?

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Yes. Yes it is.

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I'd certainly say so.

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Shane, Amendment 14, Section 3 is "self executing" meaning tfg is barred from being President as a matter of Constitutional law & that prohibition is not dependent on how well the cases go for Jack Smith or Fani Willis.

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And it doesn’t matter if he believed his own lies, which I don’t for a moment think is true, but may be the basis for his defense in the federal and GA cases.

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I'm glad to see we agree on this, Bryan!

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Thank you for putting some thought to your rebuttal of my post.

I answer as follows: The 14th Amendment bars from office those who give aid and comfort "to the enemies" of the United States. Are the (deluded?) Jan. 6 rioters properly considered enemies of the U.S.? Didn't they think of themselves as patriots? (And that question drags us down the rabbit hole of each individual rioter's motivation.)

And what evidence is there that Trump gave them aid and comfort? Isn't that a question for a judge to decide? If not, then who decides?

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The Confederates who fired on Fort Sumter and indeed, John Wilkes Booth and his band of conspirators, all thought of themselves as "patriots" in the sense of their loyalty to the original American idea, as THEY saw it. You opened the rabbit hole by posing such an absurd question, as if Charles Manson's crime could be explained away by what he thought of himself. To pretend that Trump did not encourage the January 6th INSURRECTION and RIOT in the capitol with the express aim of illegally installing him as president ids equally absurd. The forthcoming trials will no doubt prove his role in not just aiding and abetting but in initiating and sponsoring an attempted coup d'etat. Yes, my dear sir, people who attempt to undermine the Constitution to perpetuate political power by an individual who has most emphatically lost an election are indeed "enemies" of the United States. It sounds like a concept that you and certainly a whole lot of white Christian nationalists deny, probably because you think the country "belongs" exclusively to your tribe.

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Kerry, if what you say is true, then why wasn't Trump charged with insurrection?

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Aug 20, 2023·edited Aug 20, 2023

If Trump is guilty, then why wasn't he convicted in the impeachment trial? (It’s a rhetorical question. The impeachment trial over the insurrection was a political, not judicial trial. Which is what your question is…a political, not judicial one.) Prosecutors are charging him with RICOs and everything else for which they have ample evidence in a court of law. The trial itself will prove that he was guilty of insurrection, even if he isn't convicted of it. Al Capone was charged and convicted of tax fraud. Does that mean he didn't kill anybody?

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Trump wasn't convicted in the two impeachment proceedings because the Republican politicians protected him, putting Trump above country. Make no mistake about it, they, too, are seditionists and insurrectionists. Trump should have been charged already with insurrection and even now should be.

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John, the grand jury is still sitting in DC. Jack Smith still seems to be presenting witnesses.

Given that we didn't know there was a grand jury in Florida until they were ready to charge, I'm not willing to bet there isn't another one looking at a different set of crimes.

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The rioters certainly were insurrectionists, gullibly incited by the lawless narcissism of their cult leader who knew he had lost, but couldn't bear to admit it. As to who decides, that is a question I have too, although his his and their guilt is obvious to any honest and fair-minded person based on the carefully detailed evidence presented to the public by the Jan 6th committee.

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Lisa, the bias of the nakedly partisan Jan. 6 committee was clear for all to see.

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John,

Biased people come to fair conclusions from real data all day every day in the sciences, in the arts, at your house (assuming you are not a sad dude living all alone on the lousy pay from Russia you are getting).

There is no such thing as an UNBIASED human being John.

There are, however, quite often, those that can be fair and just WHILE also being biased.

Like, for example, the Jan 06 committee.

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Please uncover the patch from your eye that somehow prevents you from seeing these "partisans" who served on the J6 committee: Republicans Liz Cheney (Wyo) and Adam Kitzinger (Il).

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Please, please put your energies into work that will heal our country. I think you have lost sight of what we Americans have and stand to lose because of a clever minority focused on the desires of a few and in their effort to “win”, they have lost the art of compromise.

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Okey doke 😵‍💫

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All who testified were republicans

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I didn't see the "nakedly partisan[ship] of the Jan. 6 Committee, John. Is there any chance that you could elaborate?

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The rioters, and their leader Trump, clearly intended to disrupt the electoral vote count. Their only exoneration is to prove that Biden stole the election and the electoral vote was fraudulent so they were acting to STOP an insurrection.

I'm waiting to see what happens when Trump and Company get their day in court. However, if these cases drag on, the Secretaries of State in the 50 states will have the authority to decide for themselves to block Trump from the ballot in the upcoming Republican primaries. If Trump gets blocked in, say, ten states states with Democratic Secretaries of State, then he might not be able to win the nomination.

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There was a lot more to Trump, et. al.'s plan to over turn the 2020 election (meaning: we will stay in power in perpetuity - will of the people be damned), than the events that took place on Jan 6 2021. There were 62 fake law suits, with 61 losses - done solely to sew doubt about the electoral process. There was the attempt to have the army confiscate voting machines in PA. Exhortations to declare martial law by several top advisors - this is the least reported on and most chilling aspect of this whole misbegotten adventure. Sending fake electors to contest the electoral confirmation vote, resulting the the near lynching of then Vice President Pence, Nancy Pelosi, and likely several others. I am sure there are things I have left out, as all of this, plus a penchant for keeping classified documents, and sexually abusing female associates, has resulted in 62 indictments (so far). Convictions on many of these will arrive soon, I'm sure.

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I don't see things the same way as you.

It's obvious that Biden stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders, so it's not far-fetched to imagine that he also stole the general election from Trump.

But I'm not going there without some solid evidence. Trump will have his day (or week or month) in court, and I'll be paying attention.

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As far as the 2020 election goes, Trump had his day in court - 62 of them in fact. No solid evidence was presented to support his claims in any of them. If Biden stole the 2020 nomination from Bernie Sanders, it is incumbent on Sanders or his team to bring proof of that to the attention of the American public. They have not. In fact, Sanders sat in a fairly prominent position during Biden's inauguration.

Trump, his phalanx of lawyers, nor anyone else with an R for their party affiliation (some of whom are people of astounding ability), have been able to produce any evidence that Biden stole anything, much less an election. There is, however, ample evidence that Trump attempted a coup to remain in power after losing the 2020 election. If the powers that be were really arrayed against Trump, he would have been quietly liquidated sometime in the spring of 2016. He was not. He instead went on the become POTUS 45. This is proof enough that there was/is no grand conspiracy lead by pizza parlor pedophiles, or any other group, real or imagined, against Trump or the Right in general. It is proof that our system of elective government works.

Yes, pay attention, think critically, you may see something the rest of us miss. Please do not present any claims not backed by solid evidence. It will not help your cause. Please accept evidence that is presented when forming your opinions. They will be much weightier for it.

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As Judge Luttig pointed out last evening in an MSNBC interview, Article 3 requires no criminal conviction to be enforced. Any state's election officials, having evidence of violation of any of the article's provisions (such as the thousands of hours of sworn testimony before the Jan-6 Committee) can refuse to certify a candidate, and refuse therefore to put him (or her) on the ballot. Fortunately, there seems to be no end run around that before the fact.

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I agree with your basic point, and I imagined how that might play out in this post:

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/august-19-2023/comment/36816431

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It is Not my point. It is the considered opinion of now several constitutional scholars, that trump is constitutionally unqualified to run for president, just as if he was too young or not a citizen. How it plays out is to be determined. Not by forum contributors, by the way, but by voters and if we're lucky, honest citizens who are charged with awesome responsibility of seeing to it that our election process is fair, honest and legitimate.

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Trump pardoned his co conspirators. Is this not aid and comfort

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Could be; I'd be delighted to see a judge weigh in on that one.

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You're welcome, John. I put up another post that summarized what the two professors wrote in The Atlantic about "who decides?" You're correct: judges will decide. How it works, I gather, is that the first state election official to bar Trump from the ballot on 14th Amendment grounds will be sued by the candidate. That will go up the appellate ladder to the Supremes, who will make the final call on whether the 14th applies to Trump.

Fortunately, we only have to go down the J6 rabbit hole if one of the jailbirds decides to run for federal office. I hope they don't, it will save us the headache.

As for repeating your answer, I was only pulling your leg :-) Post it as many times as you believe worthy, of course.

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Won't it be fascinating to see watch the "originalists" in the Supreme Court twist themselves into pretzels to deal with this conundrum.

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My thought exactly. How do originalists respond to other originalists if they don't like the arguments presented by those originalists? It is also impossible to actually be an originalist since no one today can possibly understand how people actually experienced life back then. We are all shaped by the era in which we're born. So claiming to be an originalist is cover for "I'm going to interpret this in a way that serves my patrons."

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It sure will. Ironically, since this scenario has never happened until Trump, originalism is going to be tough for them to find.

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I imagined what will happen as the 50 Secretaries of State decide whether to reject Trump from the ballot here:

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/august-19-2023/comment/36816431

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It will be a panicked, unholy mess at the state level, with election officials, governors, legislatures, courts, and their lawyers beating each other to pieces to "win" the right to decide the ballot issue. But once a state does make a decision on Trump, the case goes to the courts. Supreme Court will make the final call.

I hope we manage to HAVE an election in 2024, because the first ballot in the first primary states will have to be finalized shortly after New Year's, and that's when the war will start.

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Yes, the question is: who decides, and then, who enforces? It may be so ambiguous that it is unenforceable. But, to the issue of whether Trump participated or promoted insurrection: as to that I have no doubt - guilty. His frame of mind and his conduct coincide to make him guilty of the charge of insurrection.

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I suggested answers to those questions on this reply to HCR (which means it is also in my "notes" for future reference):

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/august-19-2023/comment/36816431

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I will be writing letters to various Secretaries of State suggesting that they commence the process of disqualifying the Insurrectionist in Chief, Donald John Trump.

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"Enemies of the U.S." read "those who intend or attempt to overthrow the Constitution." Those are "the enemies" in mind.

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Yes indeed. Does this apply to Biden and Co. as much as it does to Trump?

The chain of reasoning here starts with the evidence that Biden stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders.

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What are the facts that you rely on for the proposition that "Biden stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders?" What are your sources of information?

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While I agree with Judge Luttig and Prof. Tribe, I read a post that questioned whether or not election officials in a state could, on their own authority, in line with the Constitution, decide a candidate was ineligible to be on the ballot in their jurisdiction. While tRump committed his insurrection in plain sight ( "You have to fight like hell or you won't have a country anymore.") What if an election official decided candidate A was ineligible to run because that candidate's views did not line up with the views of the election official? A candidate's age, citizenship, or place of residency are straight forward. Is a candidate 35 years of age or older? The Senate could have voted to disqualify tRump, but the Republicans refused to do so. I am simply asking questions here. This forum has lots of learned people with more knowledge and insight than I have. What are your thoughts?

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Yes. It is not inconceivable that a Sec. of State could declare Biden, or any candidate, ineligible because they don’t like his policy. “Beau” of the Fifth has a good video arguing the same.

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They certainly can try, and states with grandstanding governors probably WILL for the publicity. But as will happen with a Trump ballot ban, a Biden ban will wind up before the Supreme Court.

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Beau of the Fifth Column is my go-to video option for political discourse - he's so calm, there are no other talking heads, he vcasts from his shed - what's not to like?!

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Subverting democracy is more your brand than democrats. It is not legal to disqualify a candidate because you disagree with him/her, just like it is not legal to cancel millions of votes because you didn’t like the outcome.

See how I brought that back around? 🤨

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I think you have misunderstood my comment. And no, as anyone around here for the past several years will attest, Red is not my color.

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Thanks for asking, JennSH, appreciate it.

States can bar Trump from the 2024 primary ballot if they choose. They've kept other candidates off the ballots for other reasons; they can do it here, too.

It only takes one state to declare that Trump violated the "insurrection and rebellion" clause of the Constitution so his name will not be printed on its ballot. Trump will sue, courts will hear the case, and appeals will wind up at the Supreme Court, which will make the final and binding decision.

That will all be pretty straightforward: decision; lawsuit; appeals; SCOTUS ruling.

The biggest and most complicated fights will be in each state, where election officials, governors, legislators, and courts will beat each other half to death to claim the final say for the state. If the state constitution doesn't spell out that final authority in crisp, irrefutable language, the food fight will make the one in Animal House quiet in comparison.

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I have also seen that. It would be up to the state’s Governor and/Or Secretary of State to make that determination. It would however cause a great deal of state in-fighting, and in PA, where I live, it would be politically impossible.

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But not in Texass or Floriduh.

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While there is room for interpretation (as always), if confronted with the question of what constitutes "rebellion against [the Constitution]", a court could reasonably and unassailably conclude that the actions of trump and his minions surrounding the 2020 election constituted "rebellion". Insurrection is not required, and secret plots and conspiracies can just as easily constitute rebellion as openly calling for fighting to "take" the White House. And telling his jock straps to come to the Capitol for the "wild" Jan 6 "protest"? Sounds like engaging in either rebellion or insurrection to me. One doesn't get to wriggle out of charges of engaging in either by being an eminence gris, either: telling people to come to CDC, to go "wild" at the Capitol, telling them you'll "walk down" with them to the Capitol to, as January 6 Defendant 1078 put it in his tweets, "stop the steal", even when one has no actual intention of physically leading them or participating in the subsequent violence, sounds A LOT like "engaging in rebellion".

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I agree, Lynn.

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So, Shane, without some formal finding, how is one deemed to be disqualified, and then how is the disqualification enforced?

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"Disqualified" is in the eye of the beholder, so the courts will decide.

More specifically: A state election director will announce that the "insurrection and rebellion" clause of the Constitution prevents Donald Trump from being on the 2024 ballot. The Trump campaign will sue, and the court system will take it from there.

The Supreme Court will make the ultimate determination on whether the 14th bars him from holding any federal or state office; whether that ban is dependent on a conviction; and whether it's dependent on a specific *type* of conviction: i.e., does the conviction need to be rebellion or insurrection, or will any related felony suffice?

This is all new ground, so the courts will have their hands full untanbling out this hairball.

Disqualification is enforced by states, per the Supreme Court ruling, not printing his name on the ballot. If a state defies the court and prints his name anyway, and he wins the state, Congress can refuse to recognize the legitimacy of his electors. And more lawyers will receive more Trump Bingo Bux.

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I like it. Let's "get it on."

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I have a feeling some secretary of state is going to start that gigantic ball rolling sooner rather than later, so all we'll have to do is sit back and watch who gets flattened!

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Does Schmeeckle deserve any more of our time and energy to generate a response? He clearly will distort just to provoke, and responding feeds his desire to post here to provoke the "libs". Just as many here bemoan the media giving Trump oxygen to spread his lies, why give Schmeeckle oxygen?

He can post what he likes. It is his First Amendment right. It is my First Amendment right to respond to him one last time and then my First Amendment right to not read what he says and not respond further.

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Absolutely! Going by the contents of his profile, his existence on Substack seems to consist of reposting HRC’s letters with his own rebuttal*, attempting to provoke the rest of us with his delusional representation of HRC’s daily history lesson*, and copy/pasting the same faux intellectual comment* over and over until someone tells him to stop.

Ignoring his ilk and their bad faith intent is working over on Threads. We would be remiss not to employ the same tactic on Substack. Our time and sanity are worthy of more IMO.

*I usually find his contributions to twist the truth (at a minimum) since they rarely stand up to the barest fact checking by this Aussie.

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please see my reply to Georgia also

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Agree.

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please see my reply to Georgia also

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He frequently likes to copy/paste his comments, besides calling people "thugly"--which sadly he doesn't do much anymore. Maybe the numbers of complaints to the admin team about him caused him to be repremanded.

My suggestion (which I posted above) is since people feel compelled to engage with him (which I think is a form of Viagra to him) is to either post empty replies, or ones with repetition of meaningless characters, ie:

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

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Thank you Georgia! 👏👏👏👏👏

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Georgia Fisanick,

I made a gross error in my earlier post, and I deleted the offending paragraph and added a correction.

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🙌 Georgia , I stopped even reading him long ago- as someone said in FB once ‘just keep on scrolling’ this is none of your business ‘ ( GOT THAT RIGHT!) after he quoted -or professed to- a Russian newspaper writer.LOL!

Heather calls them ‘trolls’ says ...’do not ‘feed’ the trolls’ . I almost remember some childhood book about trolls under the bridge...Billy Goat’s Gruff? I m not sure that’s it.

Some in every facet ...😵‍💫

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No way does HCR concoct a fraudulent insinuation. Read the Atlantic article by constitution scholars Laurence Tribe and Judge Luttig: "The disqualification clause operates independently of any such criminal proceedings and, indeed, also independently of impeachment proceedings and of congressional legislation. The clause was designed to operate directly and immediately upon those who betray their oaths to the Constitution, whether by taking up arms to overturn our government or by waging war on our government by attempting to overturn a presidential election through a bloodless coup."

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Once again, Trump hasn't even been charged with insurrection, let alone found guilty.

EDIT: The conclusion could equally apply to a presidential candidate who was at the head of a nationwide effort to corrupt the reporting of computerized vote totals and "stuff" the mail-in ballots. Trump will have his day (or week or month) in court, and we will be paying careful attention to what he says and doesn't say.

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Say - were you ever considering law? Yes you are right - in the absence of such a charge - the rest is moot.

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I studied the history of legal ideas in grad school, focusing on the Declaration of Independence. Here's a fun fact: the preambles to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the original May 1776 Independence resolution were all cut from the same cloth.

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RYou will see that HCR has accurately report on this if you read the article in The Bulwark regarding this or the original paper "The Sweep and Force of Section Three" by Federalist Society legal scholars William Baude & Michael Stokes Paulsen available as abstrat and PDF download at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4532751

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John, are you conveniently overlooking the rest of the Amendment’s wording? “…shall have engaged in insurrection OR rebellion against the same, OR given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

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Conveniently overlooking such “small details” to hold on to their arguments is what those right-wing, authoritarianism-supporting types do best…

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Yes, Dutch Mike! The following excerpt from Time Magazine that FERN MCBRIDE posted today explains this so well: “Self-styled Trump grand strategist Steve Bannon has implied that the lying is strategic; that “flooding the zone with s—” is part of a plan, similar to that employed by Vladimir Putin, to confuse the public to the point where they give up attempting to separate truth from falsehood. In the long eight years that Trump has dominated our national life, he has succeeded in transforming a third of the GOP into a hermetically sealed cult and persuading a fair share of the remainder to treat negative information about him as politically-motivated dirt (even if also possibly true).'

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Yep, it is definitely a standard Russian tactic: not trying to convince with arguments, but sowing discord and doubt as much as possible. Gaslighting in its purest sense...

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I just had a thought: I've never seen him take on frequent commenter here, Fern, as she is one smart cookie. I think she'd do to him what Christie would do to Trump---if Trump wasn't too scared to debate him.

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That's also how they read the Bible.

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Rose, has Trump been indicted for insurrection or for "giving aid and comfort" to the enemies of the United States?

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Was Hillary Clinton indicted for any crime whatsoever, let alone convicted? Yet she was presumed guilty of holy mackerel! capital offenses, such that the GOP you (presumably) belong to demanded that she be incarcerated, let alone prohibited from candidacy for public office. But I guess your "kind" twists itself into knots attempting to perfume your orange cult hero with the aroma of innocence until actually proven guilty, while defaming your opposition with lies and innuendos (pizza parlor sex trafficking, Benghazi, Kenyan birth). Go away, just go away, and take your ridiculous self-rationalizations and specious arguments with you.

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Kerry,

The same type of evidence (a pattern of discrepancies between the exit polls and the official results) supporting the conclusion that Biden stole the 2020 Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders also supports the conclusion that Trump stole the 2016 election from Hillary.

p.s. I voted for Hillary in the 2008 primary, and for Obama in the general election.

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He’s been indicted more or

Less as head of a crime

Family whose one and only goal was to get him back in power. Anyway, that is how I see it.

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If that is the case, more indictments will likely be coming.

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The question is, whose payroll are you on?

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Nobody's. I'm barely surviving, and I'm not looking for a handout.

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The historic review given by Dr. Richardson illustrates that Civil War Confederate participants were not tried in a court of law for insurrection. They were guilty by joining an army whose purpose was to divide and leave the US. For this, a trial was not necessary. And so it is with Trump. We all saw what he did and to cooperate our beliefs we have testimony of his Republican Administration.

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Perhaps this is where the phrase "self-executing" comes in. There always has to be an authority who makes a decision. For example, each house of Congress decides if an alleged insurrectionist, after being elected, will be seated.

The 50 Secretaries of State decide if an alleged insurrectionist will be on the ballot for the upcoming Republican primary, state by state. (Who decides if an alleged insurrectionist gets to be a presidential elector...?)

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Tribe and Lutig both state that the 14th amendment does not require that DT, or anyone, be convicted of insurrection only that they commit the act. Were all the southerners barred from holding office convicted in a court of law? I don’ believe they were. Please watch this interview.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwj2l-f7g-uAAxX8OkQIHbKoCKMQwqsBegQIDhAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.msnbc.com%2Fweekends-with-alex-witt%2Fwatch%2Fwhy-it-s-nearly-impossible-for-trump-to-run-presidential-campaign-while-facing-3-prosecutors-in-4-different-cities-191176261611&usg=AOvVaw3_ZUBqSB5GCP9qmZPhdlzg&opi=89978449

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The southerners barred from sitting in Congress were barred by Congress, which had the authority to decide. Likewise, the Secretaries of State in the 50 States have the authority to decide to exclude Trump from the ballot in the upcoming Republican primaries. I imagined how that might play out here:

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/august-19-2023/comment/36816431

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Now we will hear the rationalizations that Jan 6 was not an insurrection.

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Trump would have to provide compelling evidence to a judge that Biden stole the election. Seeing that Biden obviously stole the nomination from Bernie, I'm not ruling out the possibility.

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John, thank you.

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Bridget Collins, I saw your brief post about the 2nd Amendment and then couldn't find it, so I'll post this here:

My solution is "original originalism," which goes like this:

1. The Founders knew, from their law books, that "rights" correspond to duties.

2. It was every man's duty to attend militia training.

3. Therefore, everybody has a right to own any gun that could be reasonably brought to militia training.

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I appreciate your edit and I have deleted my response since you have made it unnecessary.

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After all your posts, this one I agree 💯 %; so let’s do this!

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Bridget Collins,

I edited my earlier post to admit my error.

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"When the elephant is in a courtroom, even judges have to pause for a while"

The presence of Donal Trump in American politics is similar to the story of an elephant. In an African perspective, Folklore have often and often told of the story of an elephant who is feared and at the same time respected. You are in a jungle and you have brilliant ideas that you think they can be good for the greater jungle community. But, again, you are a small species in such an ecosystem and can't present them as your own less you face the wrath of an elephant. With fear rather respect for the elephant, you frame such ideas as belonging to the elephant for him to accept and agree to execute them. You cautiously weigh your words by saying "Mr. David, by being with you, I have learned a lot from you and I found this ideas from you." Here, you have already won the ego the elephant and you can do anything that you want.

Similarly, the American political system is faced with the same story of an elephant: Donald Trump. Both in the Republican Party and in the courtroom. The elephant is feared if you don't dance to his ego. Republicans have to mumbled from time to time and muttered inwardly what they fear to say publicly. Even the courts have had difficulties locating which clause to use to convict Donald Trump. When they are close to the Fourteenth Amendment, they have to read a tone of literature to unravel which verdict should they bite and arrive at. Even with the glaring evidence of the intention to manipulate elections, the court is still struggling to find how to prosecute Donald Trump. It must be hard serving or prosecuting an elephant. The ramifications of any court decision are tied to politics. Barring Donald Trump from running in 2024 can attract the rattle of its ardent supporters which can be hard sometimes to contain.

But, though it can take time to prosecute and determine if Donald Trump can be tried, Americans should be thankful of its legal institutions which are somehow immune from external pressure. Donald Trump tried to intimidate judges and elections officials in 2020, but he didn't succeed. If Donald Trump was vying in any African country, he would have walked away with the presidency of the minority for being the elephant that he is. And it would have also applied to America in 2020.

The case of a rat is easy to execute. Think about it.

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Yup, I agree, Diane! This is monumental, especially coming from Luttig and Tribe as they “applaud” the Baude-Paulsen article. What ain’t gonna be pretty is watching masses of Trump-supporters and Trump-apologists as they scramble for an off-ramp. Lynn Cheney and Adam Kinzinger didn’t scramble for a safe, soft, smooth surface when they boldly bucked the bad@$$ BS that Trump and his ilk were (AND STILL ARE) bull-horning out there. Mitch McConnell stays silent, but, lordy, Chris Christie is barreling down the highway not even lookin’ in his rearview mirror.

It’s gonna be difficult, but there are many folks who will be hopping off the Trump Train, but we also need to expect to see and read tons of excuse-making and whoa-is-me-ism going on.

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Thanks, Paul, and I agree that this new twist might surface at the GOP debates Wed this week if ANYONE has the courage to bring it up. It’s a chess game for sure as positions change the closer we get to checkmating their King. Hoping someone will finally shout “The Emperor has no clothes!”

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Agreed, Diane, such a stellar lesson from the professor.

The logic feels self evident to those of use who read HCR daily.

I recommend listening to the Substack “Decoding Fox News” for an eye-opening understanding of what our Republican friends and family are marinating in.

https://open.substack.com/pub/decodingfoxnews/p/how-fox-news-covered-the-4th-indictment?r=4j5a4&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post

(It’s a week of Fox News boiled down to 45 minutes.)

The ridiculous arguments here are so thoroughly concentrated in an onslaught of fear-baited hysterics that... you can forgive the MAGA-blinded.

I deeply appreciate knowing the Fox POV. Hearing the crazy presented as news gives me empathy for the victims of their misinformation.

And most importantly, I have an understanding that the light that HCR spreads is no match for the unending pummeling of obfuscation championed by the media-savvy, ratings-leading, money-making machine that is Fox News.

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Will do! Thanks so much. I have a family member or three embroiled in that station all day long. I have some empathy as well, but still puzzle at the lack of critical thinking skills in that group. Oh well, it’s a fools errand to try to change them. Luckily they are a distinct minority…for now. Vote on!!!

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Not sure what all the responses to this say, so this might be redundant.

I highly recommend sharing this article with your local newspaper, local TV news stations, and with papers and TV shows that have a national following. THIS is something we can do!!

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The problem is: did Trump's activities constitute "participating" in an insurrection? Who decides? Who enforces?

Should a lawsuit have been brought on those specific charges? Who has standing to sue?

And then, what about those in Congress? Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, MTG, Josh (run-for-your-life) Hawley, et al.?

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Read the recent article in The Atlantic that Heather referenced. It answers your questions.

You don't have to go to trial and get a conviction to establish disqualification.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/08/donald-trump-constitutionally-prohibited-presidency/675048/

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If a state official allows Trump to be on the ballot, litigation will be necessary.

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Actually, Robert Hubbell brings up similar objections as you. I rarely disagree with him, and in this case, only want to add that it’s the seed of doubt that is the important issue here, coming from the Federalist Society. That gives the Supreme Court, hand picked by that body, some hint of where the real GOP stands on Trump’s Re-election. The MAGA crowd’s only power exists because the other GOP hasn’t spoken. Now they have, loud and clear. We will see at the GOP debate Wed. if this argument is introduced by some brave soul.If so, Maybe dominoes will fall!

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Hope does spring eternal, Diane. I wish that I had any confidence that such could happen.

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Brilliant! I want to add 1 thing that I learned from one of the scholars on YouTube. I apologize that I can't remember which one. He was asked how the clause could be applied. Didn't someone have to be innocent until proven guilty?

The scholar explained that Innocent until proven guilty is the standard when being tried in a court of law, and subject to punishment If found guilty. There is no punishment involved when an authority recognizes. someone as disqualified from becoming president and does not allow them to be included on the ballot. Let's do this!

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This article that Heather referred to says what you are saying.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/08/donald-trump-constitutionally-prohibited-presidency/675048/

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Thank you! Judge Luttig and Professor Tribe are my two new heroes!

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In a sane world, the piece by two Constitutional heavyweights - Luttig (right) and Tribe (left) - would be front page news, carried by all the networks, and discussed by all GOP candidates.

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