Tag Archive for constitution

Tuesday in Mooseville – Maybe It’s Time to Believe ‘Em 6/4/19

Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3: Personhood restrictions, exclusion of women and “Indians”…it’s all right there.

I think we all realize at this point that the phrase, “This is not who we are!” is more a statement of wishful thinking than objective reality. It’s a statement of privilege for those who have never had to confront oppression before; it’s a statement of disappointment for those who have been taught and believed in American exceptionalism; it’s even occasionally a statement of defiance from activists who are fighting for change. For the longest time, I would hear or see this phrase and react with a cynical, “It’s precisely who we are!” But time has shown me that, more often than not, the utterance of that phrase is also a turning point for an individual; it’s the point where a good many folks turn from a simplistic, disengaged understanding of issues to an attempt to understand; to change; and to engage. It’s also the point where a fair number start to recognize the truth in Dr. Maya Angelou’s words, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” We’ve had lots of first times in this country; maybe it’s time to believe ’em.

Speaker Pelosi: “Working together, we will redeem the promise of the American Dream.”

On Thursday, January 3, 2019, Nancy Pelosi was sworn in as the Speaker of the House of Representatives: Article I checks and balances, restored – #ForThePeople.

(Speaker Pelosi: “The Floor of this House must be America’s Town Hall: where the people will see our debates, and where their voices will be heard and affect our decisions.”)

Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi:

We enter this new Congress with a sense of great hope and confidence for the future, and deep humility and prayerfulness in the face of the challenges ahead.

Our nation is at an historic moment. Two months ago, the American people spoke, and demanded a new dawn.

They called upon the beauty of our Constitution: our system of checks and balances that protects our democracy, remembering that the legislative branch is Article I: the first branch of government, co-equal to the presidency and judiciary.

They want a Congress that delivers results for the people, opening up opportunity and lifting up their lives.

[Sound of child crying]

We are hearing the voice of the future there. Beautiful.

When our new Members take the oath, our Congress will be refreshed, and our democracy will be strengthened by their optimism, idealism and patriotism of this transformative Freshman class. Congratulations to all of you in the Freshman class.

Working together, we will redeem the promise of the American Dream for every family, advancing progress for every community.

In the past two years, the American people have spoken. Tens of thousands of public events were held. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out. Millions of calls were made. Countless families – even sick little children, our Little Lobbyists, our Little Lobbyists – bravely came forward to tell their stories. And they made a big difference.

Now, the Floor of this House must be America’s Town Hall: where the people will see our debates, and where their voices will be heard and affect our decisions. Transparency will be the order of the day.

And as Mr. [Hakeem] Jeffries, our distinguished Chairman, said, we will follow our mandate, For The People!

You can’t change the rules just because you realize you are losing

It is bitter irony that the week in which President Obama talked about the “yawning gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics” and addressed the nation about the hyperpartisan state of American politics, would end in a political argument over whether a sitting president has the right to nominate anyone for a Supreme Court vacancy.

No sooner had the news hit the wires that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had died, than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the president needed to leave it up to the people and wait for the next election to fill the vacancy. Followed a few hours later by Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, saying that no president had ever nominated a Supreme Court justice during an election year.

Wrong and wrong.

The people have already voted for who they want to nominate Supreme Court justices for vacancies occurring from January 2013 through January 2017 – it was called “The Election of 2012”. President Barack Obama won (you can google it). And there were dozens of times when a president nominated a justice who was confirmed in an election year, the latest one was in 1988 when Republican Ronald Reagan nominated Anthony Kennedy in 1987. He was later confirmed by a 97 to 0 vote in the Democratically controlled Senate in February of 1988, an election year and the last year of Reagan’s presidency.