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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired for two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Friday, May 13, 2022

05-13-2022 - The Tenth Amendment, Why NOT to 'Go High,' Analyzing the Enemy and a Solution, SevenTraitors to their Sex,

 

Warning: This posting finds me in an angry mood. But perhaps that is what is necessary to get these ideas across.
JL                                            

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The Danger Presented by the Tenth Amendment

While we are aware of the protections given to us by the First Amendment and the rights born of the Fourteenth Amendment, we seem to ignore the Tenth Amendment which is at the root of many of our present problems.  

The desire of the majority of Americans for (1) better regulation of businesses including agribusinesses such as meatpacking, (2) for stronger protection of civil rights including voting, (3) for guaranteeing women's rights including abortion, and for (4) passing laws to reduce gun violence, is not only blocked by the Constitution's undemocratic structure of the Senate, but also the authority given to States by the Tenth Amendment. It says that 'powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.'

Just as the late Justice Antonin Scalia disregarded the first thirteen words of the Second Amendment, resulting in ‘pistol packing’ by almost anyone, we seem to ignore those last four words of the Tenth Amendment, ‘or to the people.’  State government is organized to take advantage of this gift to them, but 'the people' are not. 

Our government is built upon a Constitutional foundation of compromises that is beginning to show cracks, through which if we don’t watch out, can expand until our democracy tumbles through them into oblivion.  (Though they are today applicable elsewhere, these compromises were originally intended to gain the support of States where human slavery was legal for the approval of the new Constitution.)  Benjamin Franklin said that the 1789 Constitutional Convention gave us a ‘republic if we could keep it.’ That’s what we should be trying to do.

JL                                            

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Why Go ‘High’?

In the last posting in this blog, Robert Frost was quoted as writing,  ‘a liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.’ 

Michelle Obama - Not Always Correct
This is the trap the Democrats have fallen into by not recognizing that Michelle Obama’s words (‘When they go low, we go high’) lead to a failed strategy. If you don’t believe that, look around you and see where that has gotten us and what is happening right now: Abortion rights being threatened, Voting rights being threatened, Books being banned in schools. The correct tactic when they ‘go low,’ which is the usual Republican position, is to kick them in the teeth, at least verbally.  A boxing match is unfair if one fighter wears boxing gloves and the other uses his bare fists.

But meanwhile, you must remember that:

There is only one real issue of political concern right now. That is how to defeat Republicans on Nov. 8, about 26 weeks from now.  The future of democracy in the United States is at stake.  Really.

A tsunami of Democratic votes from persons of color and from women is needed to retain control of both Houses of Congress and to take over as many State Legislatures as possible. Republican actions at National levels and especially at State levels are never in the interest of these two voting groups whose voices and votes are necessary.  Republican positions on abortion rights and their attacks on voting rights prove this!

The Democratic Party must recognize this and not let intra-party disagreements deter them.

If Paul Revere were riding tonight, his message would be ‘The fascists are coming! The fascists are coming! Get out the vote!’ 

You must do your part. 

JL                                            

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Know Thy Enemy and What to Do with Them

Here’s a part of what history professor Heather Cox Richardson wrote in her ‘Letters from an American’ posted on May 10.  The Republican she quotes (in red below) is running in Michigan’s GOP gubernatorial primary.  He probably won’t win their nomination, but the fact that he is even running helps identify the enemy our democracy faces.  He, and anyone who agrees with him, have obviously been totally taken in by the legitimization of ignorance.  Even the Republican Party is belatedly recognizing that QAnon-influenced nut-jobs are seizing control of their MAGA movement and outdoing their usual cadre of liars. Here’s what Richardson wrote. 

‘In Michigan, Republican Ryan Kelley, who is running for governor, has openly attacked the idea of democracy. “Socialism—it starts with democracy,” he said. “That’s the ticket for the left. They want to push this idea of democracy, which turns into socialism, which turns into communism in every instance.”  Kelley’s distinction between “democracy” and a “constitutional republic” is drawn from the John Birch Society in the 1960s, which used that distinction to oppose the idea of one person, one vote, that supported Black voting.

In turn, the Birchers drew from the arguments of white supremacists during Reconstruction after the Civil War, who warned that Black voters would elect leaders who promised them roads, and schools, and hospitals. These benefits would cost tax dollars that in the postwar South would have to be paid largely by white landowners. Thus, white voters insisted, Black voting would lead to a redistribution of wealth; by 1871, they insisted it was essentially “socialism.”


That context explains Kelley’s insistence that
“we truly are losing our country to the radical left.” But the argument is not only racial and economic. American evangelicals are converting to the Russian Orthodox Church out of support for its nativism, white nationalism, rejection of LGBTQ rights and abortion, and support for authoritarian Russian president Vladimir Putin. Like him, they object to the diversity inherent in democracy.’ 

Wow!  These Republicans actually are admitting that they are against ‘democracy.’  It’s out in the open.  They think it’s a bad thing.  And fools still vote for them in droves.  HCR’s comments also draw attention to the hypocrisy of some American evangelical Christians who seem to be susceptible to the legitimization of ignorance.  A little more attention to what’s in the newspapers and less to the Bible might help them, or perhaps just a closer reading of what is written in that holy book. 

It is all starting to come together into one monstrous plot to destroy democracy in the United States and to invest power in an autocratic government that will not answer to the majority of the people 

At this point, we do not know who is pulling the strings but I suspect that it is a coalition of individuals and groups dedicated to subverting democracy.  Like this pathetic Kelley fellow in Michigan, they seem to think that government OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people amount to socialism, and that Lincoln was some sort of communist, though they never quite say that. Some will never get over his ‘freeing the slaves.’

In some way, all those in this weird coalition are connected. Let’s look at them and try to figure out how, and finally, what to do about it.  See how ...

The Republican conspirators who inspired the January 6 attack on the Capitol in order to prevent the legally elected president from receiving the electoral votes required by the Constitution to confirm his election … are connected to 

The defeated former president himself who still claims, with no evidence whatsoever, that the election was stolen … and he is connected to 

The Republicans in the Senate and the House who obstruct any legislation which is in the interest of the majority of people in the country and who … are connected to 

A politicized Supreme Court which is in the course of repealing Roe vs. Wade by virtue of three Justices, handpicked by the defeated former president, and who came very close to lying (as lawyers, they knew how to mince their words) at their confirmation hearings, and is willing to throw away the half-century of protection of women’s rights that decision brought about … and which is inspired by

The archaic Federalist Society which preaches and teaches a literal ‘originalist’ interpretation of the Constitution which would deny the validity of some of its Amendments guaranteeing rights to the people … and which is connected to 

Easily manipulated State legislatures where right-wingers have the sole power to pass undemocratic measures concerning schools, textbooks, and election procedures … and this is supported by 

Right-wing media, owned by the business community, whose stock in trade is outright lying supposedly permitted by the First Amendment, and is dedicated to the destruction of democracy in the United States … and their giving credence to  travesties like 

The Mueller Commission’s report’s being whitewashed by a dishonest Attorney General, thereby ignoring the defeated former president’s connections with illegal Russian aid in winning his 2016 election … that we now find to be connected to 

The Republican Party’s long-term relationship with Russia’s dictatorial government, going back several administrations which was hidden by …

That same 'bought' right-wing media … which was also heavily connected to 

Evangelical Christians being duped by lies fed to them on radio, TV, the internet and sadly, often from the pulpit … and this media contamination is also connected to 

NRA-based opposition to any legislation concerning controlling civilian use of weapons, based on a total misinterpretation of the Second Amendment by that corrupted, politicized Supreme Court … which also makes 

Decisions weakening the regulatory role of government in acting to protect the interests of ordinary citizens … and this is connected to 

Support of Unfair Tax legislation that gives relief to businesses and the very wealthiest of Americans, shifting the tax burden to middle class and impoverished citizens, reducing funds for medical care for those in greatest need of it, and reducing the welcome which has always existed here for those fleeing oppression elsewhere. 

It's all connected. 

The glue that bonds them together seems to be a mixture of right-wing media liars and the Republican Party.  Crazy Glue? A Crazy Party!  

Now perhaps Americans will understand why the next gathering of the totally Republican Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), at which a key speaker will be Fox’s in-house fascist, Tucker Carlson, will be held in Hungary with their undemocratic President Orban as the honored guest, a clever way of avoiding demonstrations by loyal Americans.  There you have it.  They are all connected. And they are ashamed to tout their program within this country's borders.

 We cannot sit still any longer!  No more ‘going high’ while they ‘go low.’  Along with registering for and voting in the November 8 elections, remedying this situation deserves the highest priority. And here is what we must do about it right now!

The Solution There is no question that the way to proceed at this point is for the Department of Justice to indict those who planned and inspired the January 6, 2021 insurrection and that should include the defeated former president.  The House Select Committee has amassed enough sworn evidence to indict them all, including him.  This should take priority over prosecuting the actual foot soldiers who were convinced to participate in the attack on the Capitol. Only then, with the threat of imprisonment for seditious or even traitorous acts looming, will this weird coalition begin to unravel. 

It is time to play hardball.  We cannot let this go the way of the Mueller investigation and the two failed attempts at confirming the defeated former president’s impeachment in the Senate. 

If it results in violence by the supporters of the defeated former president, including any who are armed, in elected office, or involved in law enforcement (too many are), military force should be used to subdue them and maintain justice.  That’s what Abraham Lincoln did when the Union was threatened by secessionists.  The foes of democracy are no less of a danger to the nation. 

It is time to play hardball. 

JL                                            

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Senate Vote to Create Federal Abortion Rights Fails - Seven Traitors to their Sex Helped Scuttle It

On Wednesday, all the Republican members of the Senate voted against a measure designed to bypass the Supreme Court by guaranteeing women to right to make their own decisions regarding abortion.  Needing 60 votes, this brought about its defeat. (One Democrat voted with them.)   

Because of their Party’s united position on this issue, no woman in this country in either ‘red’ and ‘blue’ States should cast a ballot for any Republican running for any office whatsoever, local, State or Federal.  Doing so would make them a traitor to their sex 

And as for the seven female Republican Senators who voted against this measure, they should be shunned by those Senators who voted for it, particularly their female colleagues.  Senators Blackburn, Hyde-Smith, Ernst, Capito, Fischer, Murkowski and Collins disgraced the body to which they were elected as well as betraying their sex.  

And if you think it’s just about abortion, you are naïve. Same sex-marriage, contraception, gender identification, and perhaps the 14th Amendment itself (partially quoted below) are next on their agenda. ('Equal protection of the laws frightens them.') In fact, they already are emboldened, in places where ignorance reigns supreme like Florida, to censor schoolbooks and put limits on the right to assemble guaranteed by their next target, the First Amendment. 

They think this approach is a winner because too many Americans believe being against these things is doing God’s will.  I don’t know of any Republicans who have spoken with the Creator lately to confirm this, but when that happens, I am sure FoxNews will interrupt its regular programming to announce it.

 

14th Amendment – Section One - All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

JL                                            

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Can you see why I am angry?  You should be tooDonate some money to defeat Republican candidates.  Get the uninvolved ‘involved.’  Do your part to save democracy.

 

JL

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