Letter: Are we paying attention?

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To The Editor,

Our U.S. citizens need to think seriously about a number of compelling facts affecting our nation right now.

There is overwhelming evidence that even well before the November election, when the Republicans have had the power, they change the rules in mid-stream, as long as it is convenient for them.

Here are some examples of change-overs and suppression on their part:

  1. They voted to start cutting down the Affordable Care Act this year after more than 60 attempts since the law’s inception. No rebuilding yet in sight, yet they had 6 years to construct a skeleton of a better plan. And yet millions in the U.S. are in need of medical insurance and so many depend upon it now.
  2. Again in Congress, they did not, as was politically expected, even allow an introduction of Merrick Garland into their midst as the candidate for Supreme Court Justice in February of last year 2016.

The vacancy has lasted one year so far.

  1. Republicans also vowed and publicized that they would not accept any candidate that Hillary Clinton would nominate for the Supreme Court, even if it resulted in an absence of a 9th Supreme Court Justice for 4 years.

There is now great urgency in 2017.

  1. Orrin Hatch, chair of the Finance Committee, yesterday, February 1st, even when faced with aspects of wrongdoing or misrepresentation of the facts on the part of two Cabinet nominees, Steve Mnuchin and Tom Price, suspended committee rules regarding a quorum and had the Committee take a vote in the absence of the Democrats without concerning himself with the possible lack of integrity those nominees exhibited, when the ethics of the candidates should have been carefully scrutinized, relating to robo-signings on mortgages and the buying and selling of health care stocks for personal benefit.
  2. As the future of the next Supreme Court nominee comes into play, Trump is encouraging a carpet-pullout from under the accepted Senate procedures put into effect in 2013. He is encouraging the Senate to go “nuclear” — that is, to abolish the rule that requires that a Supreme Court Nominee obtain 60 of the 100 votes in the Senate for confirmation, if the accepted method doesn’t work. Change of the rules mid-way through a standard procedure because it gives the Executive Branch and Republicans the upper hand? Should such a stunt work here and weaken the concept of a strong instead of bare bones majority vote?
  3. It was discovered two days ago that Judiciary Committee staffers were approached and possibly forced to secrecy by key leaders in the White House WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE of the Senators who hired them, to draw up the “Travel Ban” which exploded on the scene Friday night. This was a decided undercover attempt to infiltrate the Congress and goes against the separation of

the three branches of the government: Executive, Legislative, Judicial, a key separation under the Constitution. Can we continue to allow devious means to harm our government?

  1. Remember what happened in North Carolina after the Democratic candidate for Governor won the position in November? A recount was demanded by the Incumbent; the Democrat still won. But in anger, the Republicans who still dominated the legislature, convened in an “emergency session” and slashed many responsibilities and benefits that typically are allowed a Governor. The rules were changed mid-stream to fit the desires of those in power. Necessitating a lawsuit. Is this the best our U.S. Democracy can do?
  2. In South Dakota, a several year effort to generate a fair system of determining political financing, establish anti-corruption measures and a non-partisan ethics commission was voted on during the November 8th, 2016 election.

South Dakota voters approved that ballot initiative by a 52% to 48% vote.

Again, the predominantly Republican legislature called an “Emergency meeting” and is attempting to undo all of this plus include a means of prohibiting this and possibly other initiatives on the ballot ever again. A way to VOID measures just three months after the electorate, the people, of South Dakota, voted for them…….

  1. Yesterday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott railed against a recently elected local sheriff for vowing to maintain sanctuary status for her county. He has declared that he will withhold grant money from her for holding to her decision to maintain the integrity and safety of her community by handling area crime issues without allowing Immigration and Customs Services to intervene,

unless at her invitation.

And on and on……

There are movements by a contingency of Republicans to undo what was commonly accepted, what was fair when they could make use of it, but is no longer applicable when some other group can benefit from the same. And with a stroke of a hand or a twist of the mind, they can turn the tables on on what is just and right, no matter whether the general public could or would benefit from it.

Our U.S. citizens need to think seriously about these facts. Liberty and justice?  Who owns them?

Diana Rarig

Kennett Square

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