438 Comments
Jan 24, 2021Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

As an alternative perspective, not necessarily more accurate or important just different, on Biden’s (via Psaki) approach to questions on the filibuster or an impeachment trial, I offer this. Biden is attending to the responsibilities of the Executive branch of government, as he should. He enters the Presidency with an overfull plate of crises, the pandemic, a faltering economy needing a jump start, massive unemployment, racial strife, domestic terrorism, climate change, a need to rebuild infrastructure too long ignored, and much more. He need not spend time trying to tell the other two branches of government what to do and how to tend to their own assigned roles. He is putting in place his own competent team of players to work with those other branches of government for the benefit of the American people. Trump, on the other hand, wished to direct everything and, despite his own incompetence, pushed to bend all three branches of government to his own will and misplaced priorities, not those of the country.

It is apparent even in only a few days what a dramatically differing contrast these styles are. Biden and his team are performing the roles and responsibilities assigned to them by our Constitution. Congress as the legislative branch is fulfilling its assigned role, and apparently the judicial branch is doing likewise. This is a constitutional democracy as intended by the founders, not an autocracy in which all power is centered in the Executive branch. What a refreshing change.

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Beautifully put.

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I couldn’t agree with you more Bruce. What a breath of fresh air we have been tasting since noon on Wednesday. We can expect some mistakes, the appointees are all human after all, but they won’t be intentionally made, for their own benefit, which is the exact opposite of what we have experienced for the last 4 years. Breathe deeply..........

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Yes Bruce! I’m glad we all understand this but many Americans don’t know much about the 3 branches. Biden is driving in his lane. Smart and steady. The chaos that Trump created by trying to control and bend everyone to his will is criminal. I’m hoping that Americans will be open to learning about their government and that Biden’s transparency on how all the wheels turn will be wonderful teaching opportunities. I’ve already heard him explaining things in simple terms and I take that as an indication he will be a teaching POTUS.

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Believe me, I understand your point. It disturbs me that for a variety of reasons, inclulding "teaching to the test" bending of curriculum priorities in schools the teaching of comprehensive civics seems to be disappearing in many school systems. I feel this is a huge error in setting priorities. A good grounding in and understanding of civics is required for responsible participation in citizenship. I find it shameful that legal immigrants applying for citizenship are required to take and pass a test in civics and basic American history, but not already American citizens in order to register to vote. I feel most immigrants have a much better undersanding of civics than many American voters. While it will likely never happen, I would be very much in favor of the same test taken by immigrants applying for citizenship being given to those registering to vote for the first time, with exceptions and accomodations being made in appropriate circumstances that could easily be described and dealt with accordingly. Perhaps if we don't use it for voter registration we could at least use this approach for testing those who wish to run for a political office. It would avoid electing Senators like Tommy Tuberville who cannot name correctly the three branches of government, but is now replacing a competent Senator David Jones from Alabama.

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Every high school student should be required to take the American citizenship test before graduation. I would not tie test results to voting registration, though. All citizens have the right to vote.

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I still feel a passing grade should also be required to run for a political office as well. Just being a citizen, and tall enough to ride the roler coaster is not a strenuos enough a test.

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To that I FULLY agree!

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Agree, and that goes for the office of president as well.

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Agree, if you add the stipulation that they must pass the test to graduate.

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That gets iffy. There are students who are terrible test takers. Don't want even appearance of voter suppression. The testvitself can be a tool for the class to learn democracy.

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"I find it shameful that legal immigrants applying for citizenship are required to take and pass a test in civics and basic American history, but not already American citizens in order to register to vote."

Ditto that!!

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Want the civics exam to have a real impact? A lot more people drive than vote, & will make a greater effort with test results linked to driving. Make a solid, even high pass a requirement for a driver's license. It also begins instilling lessons & values two years before voting age. NB, There's currently a connection with voting in states with motor-voters laws. We're already killing two birds with one stone (sorry, birds).

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Very nicely stated, Bruce. Thank you for this.

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Bravo! You are exactly lining out what SHOULD happen in a functioning democracy. Where did all this “deep state” stupidity originate anyway!

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The "deep state" -- a novel idea with allure.

"Hey, you know, there are well-paid unelected career 'bureaucrats' who are there to mostly climb the career ladder and protect themselves who don't necessarily want to do what the elected leader wants. Why do they think they can get away with having their own policy agendas? Elections have consequences. Get with the program or get out."

Now, let's find a term that vaguely recalls the espionage term "mole" but sounds like a meaningful discovery. They've been there all along making regulations 'n' such.

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Please understand the vast majority of government workers at local, state, and federal levels are hard working, well intentioned, dedicated career professionals. Just as with almost every organization there are almost always a few who hold the others back and have their own individual agendas. I usually refer to them as "lurkers," but fortunately in most places they represent a small minority and are usually able to be ferreted out and isolated if not dismissed.

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Absolutely spot-on, Bruce. Spot-on.

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Well, when I wrote this comment it seemed as if Congress was performing its assigned role. We could now observe that in the case of at least one house of Congress, the Senate, there seems to be a lot of foot stamping and demands being issued about "organizing rules" that are preventing getting anything accomplished. Let us all hope fervently this is only a temporary snit by some and will not turn into a long period of truculence by Senators who we hope can still behave like rational adults to agree a on a set of rules for their behavior. We have a right to expect more of them than behavior less respectable than that of children in a daycare program.

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Jan 24, 2021Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

“Reporters for the Washington Post called it “obfuscation” when Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to say what Biden’s position was on whether Trump should be convicted of inciting the Capitol riot. “Well, he’s no longer in the Senate, and he believes that it’s up to the Senate and Congress to determine how they will hold the former president accountable and what the mechanics and timeline of that process will be,” Psaki said.”

Thank you for including this in today’s Letter. Ms. Psaki has been asked some version of this question during each Press briefing to date. I had hoped she would simply say that we have a system of government with three co-equal branches, and even though the lines have been blurred to the point that they seemed not to exist during the previous administration, the President does not intend to insinuate himself in the Impeachment and Removal process, which is the exclusive domain of Congress.

I was heartened, however, by her response to a question about whether the President felt the former president was unfit to hold the office, and she responded with yes, that’s why he ran against him.

The Press sells papers with controversy and conflict – Ms. Psaki appears more than capable of pushing back without being mean-spirited.

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Jan 24, 2021Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

How quick we are to start bashing the press, just like Trump did. Remember that the way Ms. Richardson and the rest of us found out about all the Trump skullduggery for 4 years was the women and men of the press corps who put up with a lot of verbal and physical harassment to get those stories.

I worked in journalism in DC for 25 years. Contrary to the assertion below that they are “otherwise unemployable,” the vast majority of the hundreds of reporters and photographers who cover our government are smart, well-educated and dedicated to telling the public what goes on in government.

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Jan 24, 2021Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Yes! I never understood blanket bashing of the press. But then I’m a teacher. My profession is also often looked down upon, “those who can do...” If it weren’t for investigative journalism we’d be in the dark about so much. Thanks for pointing this out.

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Jane, I don't think those are the people to whom HCR was referring, unless you are talking about the pundits who populate Fox News and the new new-fascist news outlets: no one is vilifying the press here. But I do agree with R Dooley--and this was discussed at length this week on NPR by some of the best journalists in the business, including the DC-based program One-A. The print, radio, and tv folks on the roundtables all expressed a certain level of regret that they let the EX-potus direct the news cycle through tweets in ways that, once begun, were very difficult to alter or control. The WaPo Opinion pages are also full of people who say much the same thing. I also think credit should be given to Jen Psaki because she stepped into the maelstrom and simply by doing her job--and doing it elegantly--she changed the tone in the Briefing Room from Day 1.

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Let’s be clear, Hannity, Carlson and Limbaugh, as well as opinion writers in the Post and other pubs and TV shows are NOT the press corps, they produce opinions, not news. As for letting Trump control the news cycle : the president — any president — does that in one way or another. The challenge is to report what is said or done and also tell why it happened and the longer term implications. That’s very hard to do on a daily news cycle because it’s difficult to get perspective in the few hours or minutes a reporter has to get the information and publish or broadcast it. Also, fact-based journalists don’t like to call people liars unless they can prove they are. Trump actually made this a bit easier with time because he repeated the same lies over and over again.

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Amen. And do you know what we need? We need a piece on how news organizations have been starved of money since the 1980s. Hmm....

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Would be great for you to do that, but the focus would really be on local print and local news coverage, not directly on the big Natl issues you usually focus on. Tho one mite argue that all the two- and three-bit towns that lost their papers don’t really hold their US Reps and Senators to account any more. Could be that this disadvantages the sensible people on Main St. Vs the wing nuts.

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Works for me! One thing I wonder is how the online newspapers fare. I know paper-papers struggle, especially since the lack of revenue from classifieds, but are papers making any money through subscriptions online? And what does that do to funding and how does that affect investigative reporting and staying non-biased?

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I wonder if the whole profession has been tarnished by the likes of Hannity, Ingraham, and others in the disinformation-entertainment faction of broadcast, who are not journalists although I suspect their watchers think so.

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Jan 24, 2021Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

In France the government allows a very wide definition of who is a journalist (including people running talk shows) and the profession as it is normally defined (illiciting and explaining facts and labelling opinions clearly) is disappearing fast. They have also given them a big tax break which isn't of course intended to influence them!!!!!!!

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“Illiciting” opinions. Unintended irony?

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My unconscious is frequently expressing itself despite the best efforts that one can try to impose

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Interesting. It never occurred to me different countries had different definitions of journalism.

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They’ve made it worse, but press have had poor reputations since the days of yellow journalism and muckraking. We need to not blame them, but the people that buy the sensationalist lack-of-truth “reporting.” Education and producing a populace that can think is imperative.

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"Muckraking" was a positive development in journalism. Those were the people who dug into the lies and exposed the truth of oppression and corruption. We could do with a lot more of them. They were particularly missed as most (not all) of the "mainstream" at least normalized Trump's aberrant and abhorrent behaviors where they did not promote it. Unfortunately, we now see the NYT firing Lauren Wolfe (who may not be a real muckraker, but still) because of phony right wing outrage while their stable of diner-frequenting Cletus hunters plods on.

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Yes - response to yellow journalism. Yin and Yang.

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"Muckraker" is part of a long but not distinguished tradition of hostile outsiders nicknaming groups that stir things up, often ones making "good trouble." Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, Quakers, Shakers, Mugwumps; also the mis-application of Know-Nothings since the 1850s.

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Surely, we can agree that all press outlets and reporters are not created equal. When USA Today first appeared, late-night comedians joked that there was a new Pulitzer category: Best Investigative Paragraph. For me, Ms Psaki’s declaration on Day One that the Administration believed in and valued the role of a free press was music to our ears, after four years of all legitimate journalism being characterized as “fake news” by the most powerful person on the planet.

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Jan 24, 2021Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

The simple fact that the word “obfuscation” was enunciated in a WH press briefing is in itself refreshing.

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Jan 24, 2021Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Great word.

The reference in today's Letter was to the WP's use of the word. It was a slam, but a soft one. It struck me as more tongue in cheek than serious criticism.

Here's the quote from the WP:

"Biden’s team says it plans to bring back the practice of daily news briefings, and promised transparency with the American public. But that doesn’t mean they are above the timeless tradition of skilled obfuscation: Psaki, for instance, has repeatedly declined to share Biden’s position on whether he believes Trump should be convicted of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial."

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I don't believe she was obfuscating, simply stating that Biden respects the division of power and that it is up to the Senate to convict or not.

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Jan 24, 2021Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

The crux of the question goes to what the President “believes”, and Ms. Psaki doesn’t want to go there – rightly, IMHO. So, she doesn’t answer the question directly and that is what the WP is calling, “the timeless tradition of skilled obfuscation”.

As I mentioned above, a more forceful statement of principle might help to quell this line of questions.

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I still say that she was at least implying that Biden believes in the separation of powers and that a president should not presume to tell the Senate how to vote. The principles he enunciated during his campaign are what got him elected. He has way more on his plate to deal with.

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I agree.

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Hahahaha! Fair enough.

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Jan 24, 2021Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Let's restore accuracy: The House of Representatives and the Senate constitute the Congress. Perhaps if we returned to addressing members of the House as Representatives that confusion might abate. In addition, the Framers made Congress, the legislature, the first branch of government. It holds a long list of delegated powers, both enumerated and implied. Sadly, over the years Congress has given over too much of the powers intended by the Framers for a variety of reasons. Is it not time to restore the balance. The branches are not co-equal! The courts can only respond to cases brought to them. And the President while given functions "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

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this is important. Drives me nuts when people say "the Democrats" impeached the president. NO. The House of Representatives did!

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I imagine the President was using the common shorthand, “Congress” to mean the House – you’re right that this usage is inaccurate and lazy, but the point Ms. Psaki (and the President) were making is nonetheless clear.

You also said,

“The branches are not co-equal! The courts can only respond to cases brought to them. And the President while given functions "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Although there is some debate among attorneys, legal scholars and linguists, the Supreme Court and lower courts, regularly use the term “co-equal / coequal” when referring to the three branches of our government.

FYI, below you will find two excerpts from a recent decision in the D.C. Circuit.

"As the Court explained in Nixon v. Administrator of General Services (Nixon II), the mere act of “regulat[ing] ... Presidential materials,” “without more,” does not “constitute[] ... a violation of the principle of separation of powers.”433 U.S. 425, 441 (1977).Instead, rejecting “the argument that the Constitution contemplates a complete division of authority between the three branches,” the Court reaffirmed its reliance on “the more pragmatic, flexible approach of Madison in the Federalist[] Papers.” Id. at 442–43. “In...dividing and allocating the sovereign power among three coequal branches,” the Court explained, “the Framers of the Constitution” did not intend “the separate powers ...to operate with absolute independence.” Id.at 443 (internal quotation marks and emphasis omitted). The Court therefore announced the following test: “in determining whether [a statute] disrupts the proper balance between the coordinate branches, the proper inquiry focuses on the extent to which it prevents the Executive Branch from accomplishing its constitutionally assigned functions.”

"But to accept the Trump Plaintiffs’ suggestion that Congress may impose no disclosure requirements whatsoever on the President, see Oral Arg.Tr. 51–52(stating it is “very difficult to think of” a constitutional law Congress “could pass” with respect to the President)—or, put another way, that the challenged subpoena could result in no valid legislation—would be to return to an “archaic view of the separation of powers” that “requir[es] three airtight departments of government,” Nixon II, 433 U.S. at 443 (internal quotation marks omitted). That is not the law. Instead, “our constitutional system imposes upon the Branches a degree of overlapping responsibility, a duty of interdependence as well as independence[,] the absence of which ‘would preclude the establishment of a Nation capable of governing itself effectively.’” Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 381 (1989) (quoting Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 121 (1976)). As the Supreme Court has observed, “separation of powers does not mean that the branches ‘ought to have no partial agency in, or no control over, the acts of each other.’” Clinton, 520 U.S. at702–03(quoting The Federalist No. 47, at 325–326 (J. Cooke ed.1961) (emphasis in original)); see also 44Nixon II, 433 U.S. at 442-43 & n.5 (affirming “the more pragmatic, flexible approach of Madison in the Federalist Papers and later of Mr. Justice Story” to the separation of powers); Nixon, 418 U.S. at 703 (“In designing the structure of our Government and dividing and allocating the sovereign power among three coequal branches, the Framers of the Constitution sought to provide a comprehensive system, but the separate powers were not intended to operate with absolute independence.”). As the Nixon cases teach, the “proper inquiry focuses on the extent to which [another branch’s actions] prevent[] the Executive branch from accomplishing its constitutionally assigned functions. ”Nixon II, 433 U.S. at 443 (citing Nixon, 418 U.S. at 711-712). Congress can require the President to make reasonable financial disclosures without upsetting this balance.”

Source: Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP, No. 19-5142 (D.C. Cir. 2019)

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It's somewhat similar to the definition of personal freedom..... ending when it impinges on the freedoms of the other.....applied to government and sounds eminently reasonable

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That doesn't stop all people being free together....it encourages it!

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I didn't want to be wordy. Checks and balances stands alongside separation of powers.

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Thank you for putting it this way. I really haven't seen anything that seemed out of line from her, and that piece bugged me.

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Most of the modern Washington Press Corpse can be filed under "otherwise-unemployable." For every one of them who's any good, there are 50 whose sole effort involved stealing oxygen.

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Rough night?

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At least he didn't ask me to die off today.

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"Do no harm, but take no shit."

"some right-wing Republicans have howled that Biden’s firing of burrowing Trump loyalists betrays his promise of “unity".....

A persistent theme is, and has been, Republicans' failure to see the irony in their denunciations of Biden or, more broadly, Democrats. Let me count the times Trump pursued unity - across parties, between allies or states or ethnicities or citizen groups. Uh, yeah, that'd be about never.

And it wasn't just Trump. It was the GOP as a whole. Amy Coney Barrett's SCOTUS nomination; blowing up the deficit with the 2017 tax bill; early reopening of states with no additional restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus; twisting themselves into knots trying to justify not voting to impeach Trump - not once but twice; threatening to stall Biden's Cabinet nominations; dragging their feet on power sharing arrangements now that they lost the Senate majority. I could go on, but it's early Sunday morning and I have other things to do.

Per Merriam Webster, unity is a condition of harmony. It is to grant or give, especially as appropriate, due, or earned. Earned suggests that unity cannot be imposed. Restoring "unity" shouldn't mean kowtowing to the lowest common denominator. It shouldn't be validating the complaints of the injured parties. And it certainly shouldn't mean making concessions on decisions in an effort to avoid charges of "politicization."

You know why? Because the Republicans have not, and probably will not, return the favor. For too long Democrats have tried to pursue the high road. Obama failed to charge executives responsible for the 2008 financial crisis for the sake of "looking forward, not behind." In the 1970s they became the party of civil rights to the exclusion of being perceived to be sensitive to other voter concerns. Al Gore conceded the 2000 election too soon. Hillary Clinton conceded the 2016 election too soon. Obama didn't publicly address Russian interference in the 2016 election, in large part because McConnell* threatened that such an investigation would be "politicizing" the issue in an attempt to manipulate the election.

Let's not fool ourselves. Democrats, Independents, and/or "reasonable" Republicans must recognize that taking the high road in order to be liked doesn't work. In no way am I suggesting making decisions strictly for political gain, or via inappropriate or underhanded means, or just to rub it in the GOP's face. Engage whenever and wherever possible, but in a post Trumpian world, Biden should, in the words my kids' school emphasized for 13 years, "Never give in, never give up."

If Biden imposes his will to attack some of the most urgent problems Trump left on the Resolute Desk with some effect, he just might open the eyes of voters who supported Republican Senators and Representatives. If those same Congresspeople won't make some effort on their own to help Biden turn things around, maybe their own constituents will send them a message: lead or get out of the way.

Since at least 2010 the mantra of the Republicans in Congress has been "No." They've refused to posit alternatives and have chosen to obstruct rather than collaborate. This Administration has no obligation to achieve unity through any means other than pursuing practical solutions, reinstituting function expertise over political posturing, and attempting to serve all Americans, not just those who voted for them. In other words, "Do no harm, but take no shit."

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Scott I agree with you: "do no harm, but take no shit" needs to be on a t-shirt.

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Yes. And remove the “but”—

Do no harm

Take no shit

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Yes! And Democrats need to bring up exactly what you mentioned rather than let the Republicans dominate the narrative.

Where did Republicans stand on unity when they withheld a SCOTUS nominee from a Democratic president while cramming through one nominated by a Republic “president” weeks before an election?

Where did they stand on unity when they refused to call witnesses in an impeachment trial and then nearly voted unanimously not to convict?

How did they embody unity when they enabled an administration to gut these departments and install loyalists in the first place?

Republicans are astute at utilizing “whataboutisms”. It’s time Democrats give back spoonfuls of this bitter rhetorical medicine.

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I wish I could "like" your wonderful commentary 1,000,000 times!

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Bravo!

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Superb summation!

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Am I the actual first commenter tonight? Yes, I am sleeping somewhat better but still concerned about McConnell and the filibuster and the Fairness Doctrine and Citizens United... I've been writing to my Senators almost daily to let them know my concerns and feelings about how things should progress under President Biden. I can hardly express how much joy I feel just typing those words: President Biden.

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Write postcards instead of letters. Letters take longer to filter through and postcards go quickly to their destination. I’m in a postcard therapy group. And we’ve sent postcards for like trump’s Ides of March and Moscow Mitch drive. Feels great to speak up!

I’m glad you’re doing this! We have to speak up! I don’t want to come that close to losing our democracy ever again!

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I sent hundreds of postcards all of last year until GA runoff in support of candidates nationwide managed by my local Indivisible team. I’m itching to stay involved. Please tell me more about your postcard therapy group. Is it local? National? Can anyone join! ❤️🤍💙

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I didn’t know I was going to set off such a flurry! I will contact the person that I know and see what she us comfortable sharing with such a large group. It is a small group that we get on zoom but I believe it’s organized from a bigger state group. Maybe people need details on how to start a local group?

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That would be helpful!

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Deborah, has your Indivisible group disbanded? Our amazing leadership team sent a note that I believe cam from national, that their mission was accomplished when we elected Joe B, and the group no longer exists.

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My group is Indivisible Westchester. They are on pause, figuring out what's next, but not disbanded. My 3 "managers" were in contact with national groups that had access to voter rolls and campaign voter strategies, along with money to message, design, print and distribute the actual postcards. Indivisible (in D.C.) sends me emails, and they don't appear to be disappearing either. They all seem to be figuring out where to focus their energy next to make the biggest difference.

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Apparently, each group has the decision about its future. Since Jan, 2017, four people have organized a table at EVERY farmers market once per week, save for an occasional absence. We are all thankful for their leadership, ad grieve the dissolution of their/our network

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Can you share the name of your group? I did cards for AbbytheDemocrat for the Presidential race and the one in Georgia but haven’t seen anything regarding the ides of March or Moscow Mitch that you mention. Thank you!

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Postcards to Voters is still running campaigns for state and local races. www.PostcardsToVoters.org

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Thank you!

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Indivisible has myriad Facebook groups, most are local. Search "indivisible" on Facebook to see if there is a local group in your area. Otherwise, join the nearest.

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There are several groups in local areas listed on Facebook. I’m in several for various reasons. Neighborhood, liberals, democrat, education. There was a group that just supported each other for things needed like toilet paper and diapers. That’s how I connected with the postcard tribe.

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Let me get in touch with this group and find out how much they feel comfortable sharing. They buy the postcards in bulk just plain white cardstock. I’ve also purchased prestamped cards at USPS. And like now when I’m working and can’t join them on zoom, I buy them a roll of stamps and drop them off. It is organized through the state level Democrat party. But if you have an address and a cause, you can just begin sending them!

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I'd love to know more!

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I too would be interested in a "postcard group." Can't seem to find actual postcards, though.

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You can buy prestamped postcards at any post office. Cheaper to mail than letters, and more likely to be read by Congress critters than email. The short format makes you be succinct.

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Google for blank postcards. Or cut them out of cardstock. But I’ll find out more information. Postcards hit their mark much faster than letters.

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Cutting them out of cardstock works really well.

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Is there a postcard group to urge Democratic Congresspeople to stand unified in the face of Republicans? It will take only a few defections (only one in the Senate) to doom the Democrats to ineffectual impotence.

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I haven’t been writing since I had to get back to teaching. But start one! Give us all a link to addresses! My friend gives us blank postcards that we write messages and then she has address labels and stamps them for us. I donate rolls of postcard stamps, which just went up in price, whenever I can. Sounds like we could start our own Dr HCR group!

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I remember posts from this very comment board during the past couple of months featuring lists showing the addresses of members of Congress. I managed to bookmark the one for the Senate, already updated to show Ossoff and Warnock:

https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

And here's a page that shows all the members of the House, the address of each shown by clicking on the pretty pictures:

https://clerk.house.gov/Members#MemberProfiles

We have to keep these people corralled. They are pulled in so many different directions that keeping their unity will require constant attention, I'm afraid.

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Thank you, Dan, very much for this information.

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Maybe...it's a nice idea. Perhaps to congressional members. Voter info is public; we operate under strict guidelines; and it seems a complicated process to obtain, cull and message. xo

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This is the kind of good idea that needs momentum. I'm hoping Vote Save America will connect with Stacey Abrams Fair Fight, et. al. or similar to keep us in the fight.

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Yes Denise, please share!

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Yes, please share how/for which group are you writing for the "Moscow Mitch drive." I have written for Postcards to Voters, but see nothing about these movements.

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Are you a member of a Democrat group in your area? I’m a member of a women’s group in my county. Let me ask more questions of the organizers! I’ve just been a worker bee and didn’t think too much about the nuts and bolts.

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Am not a member of any Democrat group in part as I'm not a "group" type. Prefer working at my desk writing, writing,Maybe I'll encourage Postcards to Voters to branch out and begin addressing the inequities in Congress as well as writing for specific democratic candidates. Thanks for responding, Denise.

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I thought that postcards were "last" in terms of priority. My bad. I hope I'm wrong. Any way to "verify" that postcards go thru the system quickly?

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Postcards go through quickly because they don’t have to be opened and cleared. At least that’s how I understand it.

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In this situation, I doubt that speed is of the essence. Volume and consistency seem more important in convincing doubtful Democratic Congresspeople that unity is their only way forward.

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Please share the name of your group! I powered up and ready to charge!

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I share your concerns. There’s so much that needs to be done and there are many obstructionists in Congress. It’s worrisome! Most importantly, IMO, is getting the World vaccinated. I’m so happy we’re back to listening to SCIENCE. Still, that’s going to take a long time. Hopefully, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. There’s so many issues to “correct” and I’m wondering if we can make a list of the top 5 (or ?) and get to work on them, adding another as each is accomplished. (Lofty goal)? I had taped the inauguration and watched again the swearing in of VP Harris, and then President Biden. I don’t want to take anything away from President Biden but I watched the VP part multiple times. That was the only time I actually had tears while watching everything on the 20th. To watch Justice Sotomayor swear in Harris as VP was the highlight of the day...for me. I also put my flag up. I was too embarrassed for my country to do that during the last administration. First time in my life I didn’t put my flag up. I’ve always loved displaying it so I’m a happy woman!!

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We’ve had our flag up for years, for the first time in my life. I’ve proudly flown the flag with our yard signs (Warren for Prez, then Biden/Harris). I love seeing Old Glory flying ion other homes of liberals. I feel it’s an important statement and sense of ownership too

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I have proudly flown the National Colors on holidays since I first owned a home (1984) and daily (properly illuminated) since 09-12-01. I had flown a Thin Blue Line flag since 04-22-16 (the 5 year anniversary date of my friend and teammate who was murdered in the line of duty; it wass illuminated by a blue light bulb). Between the two, mounted to the house was the "In Our America" lawn sign.

I had to take the TBL flag down this year. It had grown tattered and needed to be replaced. When I saw it being flown with the Nazi flag and the Confederate battle flag during the counter protests to the BLM protests this summer, I was unable to replace it because of what it had come to mean. I have struggled with an appropriate way to both honor the fallen law enforcement officers and NOT represent the things that are antithetical to my beliefs. I have only just decided on a flag that is all black, with a single blue line. That flag honors the fallen, and not the profession as a whole (which has fallen into dishonor in many ways, but I digress).

It is time to take pride in our country back, and to state both emphatically and calmly, that it is not only from the back of jacked up pick-up trucks or angry mobs that the National Colors can be flown. It can (and should) be flown by all Americans.

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I particularly appreciate your sentiment that it should be flown by all Americans. I’m feeling like our home ought to host an Earth flag, as well.

We ought to discuss our ideals from a place of patriotism, and it is for the betterment of ALL Americans that we pay taxes this and every year.

I hope to see the Biden Admin and Dems in general rally around April 15th, as a national holiday to express or support for all of our public institutions and employees. Such as school teachers, our police, first reposnders and fire fighters and local public employees. I’m thinking of .... a parade.

A parade down Main Street, USA, honoring all of our civil servants ....

I may call my City Hall, tomorrow morning. What an idea, if I may say so myself!

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I’ve seen flags popping up on homes around my neighborhood since the inauguration. Love it!

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(do you have one up too 👍

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One hopes they find some way of actually dealing with the pandemic. When we were over at Kaiser on Friday for the pre-op conference for SWMBO, I asked if it was possible for her to get the vaccination before going in for the surgery. The nurse told us that they haven't even gotten enough vaccine to vaccinate the staff, and on top of that have a shortage of people who can administer the shots due to the overload of sick people they're caring for.

The VA announced they had vaccine - with the ONLY LOCATION for ALL OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA to get it being the West LA hospital. After two days trying to get through, I was told, sure come on in, you're in group 1 - you can get your vaccination the first week in April!

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😔 This vaccine debacle is all on tRump's non-administration, and the ruse about a stockpile (still think someone needs to follow that $ trail). We should see (and feel in our arm) the momentum of Biden's team soon, and I'm betting your vaccine date will be sooner. Happy St. Pat's.

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I’m on a waitlist for the vaccine. But so discouraged to hear of rich people getting it before everyone. When my friend who married a very wealthy man announced they got their vaccine, all her friends were asking why and how! And she traveled extensively when she tested positive! Inequity still abounds!

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Boy, oh boy. Traveled extensively when she tested positive? I'd drop that friend like a hot cake.

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Yep! I only contact her through texts. She said she doesn’t know what she did but people are avoiding her. Really? You don’t know? We were long time friends! I just pass along information and don’t come in contact with her.

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Yeah I’m hearing lots of pretty disgusting stories of the vaccine as well. Recently a nurse was fired in my area who was caught stashing vaccines away for her family and friends who don’t yet meet the criteria roll out. Really angers me that it’s come down to this and because Trump and Co had no plan and lied about everything Covid related. Sickening.

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It’s a mess, likely everywhere. I live in OC, CA, (behind the Red Curtain), and it’s all messed up here. I’m hoping this administration’s focus will result in vaccines for everyone in the next few weeks. Since OC is so Red I stay home unless i have to go see a doctor. (Virtual when possible). I do have to keep my van running so I’ll drive down the closest big street. People are everywhere, especially at the restaurants. Most not wearing masks. Blows my mind!!

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If you mean Orange County, I have a sister who would love to meet you!

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It’s a big county. I’ve lived all over it through the years. I’m in CA45-Rep. Katie Porter area. SO happy to have her represent me!

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That's exactly what I mean. I remember when the place was national HQ for the John Birch Society and when fascists like "B-1 Bob" Dornan and John Schmitz were its public faces.

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As we used to call that place 50 years ago when there was nothing there but white morons - Orangatang County (Fellow animal folks will recognize that an "Orangatang" and an orangutan are two different species).

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"SWMBO" ... I haven't heard that in a long while -not since old Rumpole used it to refer to Hilda. I hope you and yours are well and remain so.

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Always excellent to find another person with the excellent taste to be a Rumpole fan.

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I use that term (lovingly) with some regularity.

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Me too, Susan, me too!

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Yes, me too....and what they all said!! Postcards are awesome

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OK, me too, too!

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I’ve been reviewing the rise of the angry, white male conservatism and patriarchy, espoused by Limbaugh and talk radio, beginning in the 1980s (building upon years of grievances and hatred, as taught by Dr. Richardson). The logical conclusion of this patriarchal mindset is ... donald trump. To completely undue this heretical movement, perhaps we need to understand how conservatism has wedded movement groups (NRA, anti-choice, anti-taxation) with free market capitalism (Chambers of Commerce, multinational businesses, anti-union advocacy, "profits first, people last").

The anti-government, anti-tax fervor of Reagan has successfully led to the diminishment of our tax base. As a society we have so denuded government, that we are incapable of educating our children, protecting our planet, providing health care to our citizens, and even adequately addressing a global pandemic, which of course strikes at every street corner in our society.

At every street corner is the intersection of our frayed civilization - which depends upon taxes to simply pay for basic necessities. We cannot expect anything other than where we are right now. America’s support of free market economics (low taxation = low regulation = low responsibility) would HAVE TO lead to this catastrophe.

Joe Biden has my full-hearted support to return to a ’New Deal’ with the American people,. and “we the people” must advocate to PAY FOR the necessities of our civilization. We must call out the austerity and poverty economics of “free market capitalism” (conserative economics). We must decry the defunding of our civilization. Our civil society is starved, and needs years of nourishment (tax increases on the wealthy) to return to a society we all can be proud to live in.

I’m afraid that Democrats will not challenge the inherent anti-Christian, anti-democracy economics of conservatism. In fact, I have not read anywhere in the mainstream media or heard from Democratic Party leaders of the inherent threat of conservative, free market economics. Well, perhaps Bernie and Elizabeth have characterized the need for a just and sustainable, progressive tax base and investment strategy. But, I have not specifically heard them call out conservatism. Conservatism is no longer the powerful boogey man behind the curtain.

Conservatism is now reduced to appx. 25% of the US electorate (Republicans). Liberals and independents comprise an equal share of the rest. We must not let this opportunity pass us by. Let’s educate ourselves of this conservative threat of the angry, white male patriarchy, and the economic disease it espouses. Most importantly, let’s support the Democratic Party and liberalism as championed by Joe Biden.

btw, Joe Biden is NOW the man of this era, for he has the wisdom to step to the side and allow the angry conservative howls to blow on by. All the while, he maintains his strong stance.

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I stand with you, Frederick, in support of Biden. I stand ready to pay for the necessities of our civilization.

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The old saying goes, “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.”

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And EVERY person and business must contribute their fair share in the form of taxes for a better America.

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Agree! Taxes are also the basis for free market success, which few Republicans will admit. Think of just one example - Amazon. A package just arrived at my door this Sunday morning. Who paid for the massive transportation infrastructure that assures Bezos can keep $182 billion in his piggy bank? As corporate and billionaire tax rates decrease (and loopholes increase), We, the People get the bill.

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Since the beginning of civilization there has been some form of taxation. I recommend reading "The Ministry for the Future" by Kim Stanley Robinson. Besides being a riveting read, he deals with the economics of saving the world from the climate crisis. The reader sometimes gets to "listen" in, for example, on international meetings and hear the debates that take place from all sides. The hardwon development of a "carbon coin" is fascinating.

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Does this writer provide a concise argument for taxation, to challenge this notion of “the free market” - which is essentially free of taxation, regulation and responsibility? As Herb states below, taxes are our ‘membership fee’ for civilization

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Mitch McConnell might come to regret asking to delay the Senate impeachment trial. Exculpatory evidence is not likely to emerge. Indeed, we might expect, if not a deluge, maybe a steady stream of revelations of not just how far the former president was willing to go, but how many Republican apparatchiks, duly elected and sworn to uphold the law and the Constitution, were willing to ignore their oath and public duty to keep the former president in office by any means. From the information in the NY Times story, Congressman Perry is guilty of sedition. Certainly an investigation is warranted.

Republican pleas for "unity" are weak attempts to weasel out of responsibility for what they have done to damage and destroy American democracy. That's as nicely as I can put it.

Unity can start after the guilty have gotten their just do.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/23/us/politics/scott-perry-trump-justice-department-election.html?campaign_id=2&emc=edit_th_20210124&instance_id=26353&nl=todaysheadlines&regi_id=53159724&segment_id=50114&user_id=2a50f0ab0a41bab17dd25aadd8d49abf

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Thanks, Ralph, you just nailed it. Expect the Republicans screaming the loudest for "unity" and being to most vocal anti-Biden critics to be the ones most culpable for enabling T***p. "Weaseling" out of their responsibility for what they have done to our government is aptly put, and I, like you, could probably put it less nicely, but there might be children in the room. No "unity" until there is justice. My overriding concern is being able to find and concentrate the sheer will it may take to purge these T***p apparatchiks that are embedded in our government. It HAS to be a bi-partisan effort and I fear that may be asking too much in these politically toxic times. Dr. Richardson's letter above is one of her best, IMO, in laying it all out there--her keen historian eye is already seeing a bigger picture of exactly what has just recently transpired. Your post, as well as the NYT link, puts very valid points forward too. Thank you.

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I wonder is McConnell is counting on that "steady stream" so he can point to it in defending a vote to impeach.

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There is that, but I've learned to expect the worst from that man. Maybe he'll surprise me.

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I would sleep a lot better if the Republican thumb was removed from the scale and all votes were counted equally. The senate is evenly split but Democrats represent 41 million more people. (https://www.vox.com/2020/11/6/21550979/senate-malapportionment-20-million-democrats-republicans-supreme-court). The gerrymandering is bad enough, but it seems to me that causing heavily populated states to have an equal number of senators as sparsely populated states is a version of the Three-fifths Compromise. Thank you Dr. HCR for your always thought provoking essays.

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I hear you Gigi‼️ In 2010, at the time of the Census, California established a committee to redraw all the congressional districts in the state. It was a volunteer committee, and there were probably 10,000 applicants for every seat. Anyway they were fabulous. They redrew the entire state in a fair and equitable manner, taking into consideration demographics and geography and industry and who knows what else. It was beautiful. That was the moment when California marginalized the Republican party, that was the turning point where the California Republican party became an endangered species. After the 2018 midterm election, out of 53 members of Congress, only 7 were Republican. Democratic supermajorities already existed in the state legislature, both houses. In 2020 in Congress they flipped some of those seats back to red, but they still have fewer than a dozen House members out of 53. They are still irrelevant politically.

If you want to have your state represent the new social order, the egalitarian society that we are moving into, you have to fight the reactionaries and obstructionists of the Republican and Trump minority. You can’t let them get away with suppressing the vote of non-white communities and favoring the votes of white communities. That means gerrymandering, that means voter registration restrictions that favor whites and suppress votes of non-whites, and all of that horseshit, all of the many sneaky means of voter suppression that put whites ahead and clamp down on non-whites That’s why Republicans love to be in positions of power, whether it’s judges or governors or state legislators or election officials like Raffensperger. Stacey Abrams and others made it clear that Brad is no hero. He might’ve fended off Trump, but he is still part of the problem and not part of the solution. He is a Republican, and he executes his job like one, according to Stacey. In this society, the Republicans want the old social order not the new one. They may not be all flying Confederate flags in front of their houses, but they are not on our side. They are not on the side of history. They want to retain the past.

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The Republicans are the underdogs. They are the whites first, straights first, males first social order. Trump and all of the fucking assholes who fall in line behind him are not playing by the rules, they are fucking with the rules to get their way, to manipulate us into staying in the past. Bitch McConnell is one of these assholes, and that’s what the filibuster is about, that’s what the Senate power grab is about, to keep us stuck in some version of a non-egalitarian society through technicalities. Don’t let them fucking get away with it.

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Please, out of respect to HCR and others here, lose the profanity, please. Thank you.

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That was rage. That was fury.

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Sometimes, you need to swear to get the fury out. DAMHIK.

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Roland, this doesn't sound like you.

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Hey, Roland! Why didn't the Senate Democrats use the filibuster these past four years when they were in the minority, or did they and I missed it?

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I am a complete novice to politics, I mean it. Most of what I know I learned this past year, politics was not my area of interest. My background is in science and human psychology. My understanding is that Mitch was using his position to block legislation from even showing up in the Senate. So since it didn’t even show up after being produced in the House, it just died. Anybody who truly knows the answer please chime in.

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Duh, can't filibuster a bill that doesn't even make it to the table. Thanks, Roland!

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They did use it. It’s just become so quiet, all you saw is a note in the paper about not having 60 votes for whatever. McConnell removed the filibuster from confirmation of appointments, which is what he cares about.

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I remember when being a Republican was honorable. But then, I'm old and nostalgic. I agree with Dr. Richardson that our American government needs two parties - we need the give and take and valid debate to enable our country to actualize our ideals. What we have now are the fascism party vs the oligarchy party vs the imperialism party vs the democrat party (little and big "D"). Looking forward to the rebirth of the party of Eisenhower and Milliken and Kasich, if The Lincoln Project can make it so.

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Yes, a two party system in which our elected representatives are thinking, rational human beings capable of constructive debate, negotiation and compromise in legislating on behalf of "we the people". I too remember the "old days" of an "honorable" Republican party but, for the last few decades, have been concerned with the direction it has taken in addressing the social disparities and existential threats we're experiencing today. In my opinion, we need to get rid of the extremists in both parties in order to get this accomplished!

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At least the old Confederacy was far away. The new Confederacy lives down the hall in your building. If there's another civil war (heaven forbid!), it won't be a purely sectional conflict.

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I do think when Republicans stop legislation or otherwise obstruct, Biden needs to tell ppl “this is what you elected us to accomplish and this is why we are struggling.” No Mr Nice Guy. TELL people.

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I am comfortable with Biden, Harris and Psaki reminding people that the Constitution set up 3 branches of government. Especially people in the media who are intent on being the news instead of reporting the news need to back off. President Biden answers the impeachment question perfectly—the senate should be able to vote on his nominees as well as conduct a trial. Everyone else multitasks. For the past 4 years, we had a very unqualified and unsound president spouting off daily. It made the media’s job easier. All they had to do was react to the mostly red herrings. 46 is not going to tell anyone off right now. Bless his ❤️

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Just like Teddy Roosevelt....the Power Pulpit!

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Bully pulpit, "bully" meaning first rate. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bully%20pulpit

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Actually it comes from Doris Kearns Goodwin's book on Teddy Roosevelte and it means bully in the first degree ...developing public opinion such that the reluctant Senate be forced to move in the direction you want. Does it suggest an approach for the current President?

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Thank goodness the voters of Michigan chose by a whopping majority of 62% to establish an Independent Citizens Redistricting Committee in 2018. We were ahead of the curve at last. Every state should be able to do that if possible. Gerrymandering in Michigan has meant that more and more right leaning, dumb gop folks have been elected for the past 10 years plus. It is impossible to talk with these folks on most matters of decent public policy. And what makes it worse, such a situation lets the democrats off the hook too, as they can always say, "We don't have the votes." This is a debilitating situation for political accountability. Another major problem in MI is that people bought into the idea of term limits, which is great for lobbyists for big business but bad for everything else from schools to health care. Our state has the most stringent term limits, but it gives the right wing time to really mess the apparatus up. Terrible situation here. I am hoping the ICRC will begin to help all of turn the ship around.

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Here's a partial solution to the inequities of the Senate & Electoral College:

Every state where cows outnumber people loses one senator.

Like land, cattle are not entitled to representation ahead of people. BTW, I looked up Vermont & it has slightly more people than cattle. They get to keep Bernie & Leahy.

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The last four years of my life I’ve had this quote flying around in my head.

'Oh what a tangled web we weave/When first we practice to deceive'

Your letter tonight contains facts that back that quote up. Democracy is a fragile web. I thank those people who are untangling that web and I include you in this group.

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Had that same quote flying around in my head, too, M.A.

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Me, too!

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My fool-proof cure for politically-induced insomnia is closing my eyes and attempting to create a master passenger manifest for an imaginary doomed airliner. I seldom get further than assigning the bulkhead seats before nodding out. Typical Evening: Bulkhead Seat A (Ted Cruz); Bulkhead Seat B (Sean Hannity); Bulkhead Seat C (Tucker Carlson). It's very interesting how the seating changes due to current events. For instance, Rand Paul is strongly trending toward First Class Bulkhead assignation. (Important Note: If you reach any seats opposite "Emergency Exits", be SURE to assign them to complete idiots who will not be able to interpret instructions. Suggestions: Kevin McCarthy; Devin Nunes; Tom Turberville;

Marsha Blackburn. WOW, so many GOP morons, so few emergency exits.) Sweet dreams.

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We’ll have to go with a widebody jet airliner like a white 747 or DC 10 or 767, lots of emergency exits. Or if you want, how about a 727-200, it has this wonderful rear staircase that drops down, you can walk a whole bunch of people down that staircase and right out of the airplane, in-flight I presume.

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Is Mitch in the pilot’s seat?

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one of my child hood friends died on KAL 007 so it was hard for me to like this post. But I do.

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A "water landing" over the Marianas Trench might be interesting.

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Marsha’s my senator ... <heavy sigh>

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This is a hoot! Bravo!

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I love, love this!

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😊

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Mitch McConnell as the representative of a GOP "based in the law rather than on a single temperamental leader"?!? Nope. He prevented Obama's last Supreme Court appointment (along many other such appointments to lower courts). He enabled the Failed Donald's lies, including about the 2020 election. He only condemned them after the attempted coup on January 6th. He is just as complicit as the business leaders who are now getting cold feet. Where were they in 2016? 2017? 2018? 2019? 2020?

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Well, the answer is in this paragraph from today's Letter: "The trick for business Republicans will be to see whether they can get rid of the authoritarian Trump supporters without enabling Democrats to rebuild the New Deal state the Republicans have just spent decades gutting. Hence McConnell’s desperate ploy to get the Democrats to promise not to touch the filibuster, which enables the Republicans to block virtually all Democratic legislation."

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Thank you, as always. Unfortunately, Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz are still interfering with my sleep. These are whip-smart, ambitious zealots for whom deceit is second nature. We have much more to do.

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Their ass is grass and our democracy is the lawnmower, they’re going to be chewed up and spit out.

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Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz are political opportunists whose zeal is only for themselves.

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I just wanted to reach through the TV and slap Cruz at the inauguration. The audacity to even attend after his participation in the insurrection. Looked like no one really socialized with him. Good. A better Bernie meme would have been Cruz trying to sit by him and Bernie saying ‘F*ck off!’

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It’s astounding that the “correcting” force here is the business community and not the GOP colleagues of Mike Pence who’ve seen footage of the Jan 6 crowd chanting for his head. Let’s hope the are making and continue to put max pressure on McConnell so he will truly have to choose between $$$ dollars for his caucus and the cult-of-personality crazies. I’m distressed to be hearing more news about the internal GOP push against the House ten who voted to impeach than the leaders of the wee hour object-to-certification cabal on Jan 7.

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I am heartened by the corporate donor response to stop donating to GOP who supported the sedition by challenging the electoral votes of swing states. It seems Minority Leader McConnell understands this political calculus quite well and will allow the GOP Senators to find DT guilty of the accusations of the Article of Impeachment and will bar DT from ever holding office again.

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From your lips . . . 🙏

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I just read Ezra Klein and today’s NYT and I find myself agreeing with most of his points.

KEY QUESTION: with senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) public vow, is it even possible for the Democrats to end the filibuster?

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The "business community" owns the GOP, so they have always called the shots.

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A likely reason for voting to convict Trumpsky is Repug senators' own presidential ambitions. Their chances improve if he's shoved out of the way.

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Another great analysis of events, Dr. Richardson. I’ve been meaning to post a bit of an interview with John Dickerson on Face the Nation January 10th. I’ll list a link to the whole transcript below, as there is much to digest from his and other interviews in that episode. One bit I found heartening was this: .

"There was already a test of democracy before January 6th. It was to hold an election in the middle of a pandemic.

And what happened? The country, Republicans and Democrats turned out in record numbers. People stood in line, there was no violence and the states changed all their procedures to accommodate this. And it succeeded.

And they did recounts and they were challenged. And those local officials did what is the central attributive character. They did what they were supposed to do. They didn't do the easy or political thing.

Pressure, pressure, pressure, they did-- they kept the faith. Then, who else kept the faith? All the local officials in those states, then the courts.

All of these challenges came, people with the political interests, nevertheless, did what their job told them to do, not what was politically expedient.

The Department of Justice didn't go after the President's opponents as he would have liked them to do.

The military kept their faith, not doing what the President would like them to do.

And then Congress, after the grotesque experience on the 6th, nevertheless, got together --held the vote.“

JOHN DICKERSON

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/full-transcript-of-face-the-nation-on-january-10-2021/

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We are, as a people, in a conundrum along with our substantial and law-abiding elected officials. Being true to your philosophy of life and then the messy business of living itself. Much like Religious belief, believing that your good and honest and devoted neighbor is actually going to eternal hell because they are Baptist, or Methodist. Something different than the “one true Religion”.

I have been interested by interviews of Raffensperger and a noted writer, Peter Wehner. Raffensperger voted for djt. He cited the appointments to the SC as a justification for his vote.Mr. Wehner( I don’t know how he voted) cited the same. A conservative court.

What can that mean in today’s milieu? Well no right to privacy and therefore no right to abortion. Some would say without exception. Like learned persons would think that because the word privacy is not mentioned in the Constitution, the founding fathers still thought you could pursue life, liberty, and happiness. That John Adams or Hamilton or Jefferson would believe their letters could be opened and read by anyone?

And the right of a citizen to love someone of the same gender. That’s big with those who championed the appointments to the SC. Or for those same individuals to serve in the military. Or to teach in any school. Not their personal beliefs or life style, but math or history or chemistry.

And here comes voting rights. I don’t know how Mr. Raffensperger felt about the previous gubernatorial contest in Georgia. I take it that “ gerrymandering”, now performed with computer programs that could decode Covid, is ok in conservative hands. And the conservative court has said “none of our business”. Or voter ID laws that support the big lie that elections can(are) be stolen. Well, they can be. And are, by Republicans. Just ask Stacey Abrams.

Finally the courts’ support of corporations as persons. Because corporations support conservatives. In turn, conservatives support the corporations’ right to defile land and water and air in the pursuit of profit. All for big dollars.

I applaud the conservatives who have said no to djt. Thank you. Now we are coming for you, with facts and science and the belief in good government.

Don’t believe it is going to work? Just ask Stacey Abrams, and Amanda Gorman and your grandchildren.

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The German monarchy ended at the time of the Great War, World War I. So democracy was new and fragile in the 1920s and 30s when Hitler arrived on the scene. By attacking the judiciary, the media, the intelligentsia (educated liberals like us, professors like Dr. Richardson), their Congress, the Reichstag, including legislators, and the election system, he was able to injure them sufficiently to overcome them and take control.

The United States democracy had about a 140 year head start on the German democracy.

Lucky for us.

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I hope we're relying on more than luck. Are you sure 150 years is enough. Somehow I don't feel reassured...

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I’m agreeing with Dr. Richardson. That’s why I have been raving about this position piece of hers in multiple posts. I think it’s the durability and longevity and strength of our government institutions that saved us from the likes of Trump using a jackhammer on the system.

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While I largely agree with both of you and it is my nature to be an optimist, this time we had enough depth and strength in many of our institutions but look how much key institutions like the DOJ were weakened and deteriorated in just four years. Many would have survived a second DT term. Congress is an institution that feels almost on life support with all the Know/No Nothing obstructionists obliterating the New Deal. The good news to me is that we now know how much work we need to do to recover our democracy.

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“ Manny would have survived a second DT term.“ I presume you wanted to put the word “not“ in there, and I have to agree, the damage was extensive. I was anxious as hell for four years, and I was really anxious last year.

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Unfortunately, by the end of February - at the latest - Biden is going to have to decided whether he wants to try and rebuild the government as he used to know it, or whether he wants to be successful and thus re-elected in 2024 with a good Democratic majority as a result of the 2022 and 2024 elections. Sadly, he cannot have both, and chosing the first is going to foreclose the second.

Not only does a scumball moron like RoJo think he can get away with such a threat over approval of the Cabinet, but other Republicans are opposed to Biden's plan to deal with the pandemic and are already planning lawsuits over the mask rules. Not only that, but a "good Republican" like Romney has come out and said they've spent enough money with the pandemic bill passed last month and he doesn't think there's any urgency to doing more now.

Biden's going to have to realize all his old buddies are now The Enemy, that there is no dealing with them, that any act of civility on his part is taken by them as a sign of weakness to be exploited. The filibuster must be destroyed permanently; the power of the Senate must be broken, since it is power used by the minority to block the majority. If he does this, passes the legislation that is needed to save the country, come 2022 people will reward him for saving them by voting for Democrats. And if the recovery and the rebuilding then continues, in 2024 there will be a majority of voters to reward them for saving them. And four years of Old Boomer morons making America great again with their permanent departures will reduce the moron vote for the GOP.

But it means the brie-chomping, Chardonnay-swilling Volvo drivers of the Democratic Party will have to learn to be the kind of fighters Democrats used to be, back when it was obvious to people like Harry Truman and the others that "the only 'good Republicans' are pushing up daisies." We may not want a civil war, but the enemy has already declared war and has demonstrated all this month that there is nothing that is going to stop them other than smashing them like Pickett's Charge was smashed.

I hope Biden figures this out before it's too late, because he hasn't got very much time at all left to open his eyes and see the world as it is now, not as he wishes it could go back to being.

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Agreed. McConnell did everything he did because he could, he had the votes. we've got the votes now and we absolutely MUST use them. the American people have few, if any, friends in the Republican party, trumpers or otherwise.

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