Joined on 2 June, 2008
This is a wonderful list to be on, more so because I have beaten every single one of these other authors at poker, give or take a few.
Yes, there are people, well known and less so, who are apostates from democracy, who stand outside our Constitution and try to destroy it. There have always been such people. Until recently, we have always had the luxury of ignoring them. We will have that again.
So I was pretty worried about the election.
And with the President's refusal to accept it and his constant attempts to overturn it, we can get too distracted from the good news: that millions and millions of people stood up for democracy and the Constitution.
By voting in massive numbers (for either side.) For running a free and fair election. By standing up against pressure to deny the results. In the media, by telling the truth about what happened, and firmly taking a side: that of American democracy. It has reawakened my faith.
One of the shocks of the last few years is that seeing that there is no authority over those with authority: nobody can force the President or the Senate or anyone to do anything, if they choose not to do it. There is no Deus ex Machina, no Shakespearean Duke to restore order.
Most alarming was not the President's actions, which at least have been consistent over his public career. It was how many people holding Constitutional offices who aided and abetted him. Almost every one of his appointees and senior officials. Almost every GOPer in Congress.
I've often argued the 2nd Article of Impeachment was more important than the 1st. As troubling as the President blackmailing Ukraine was, it wasn't a blow at the Constitution. Refusing to recognize the legitimacy of Congress -- withholding the consent of the loser -- was.
When the Democrats won the House in 2018, I was pleased there might be some oversight of the Administration. As cynical as I often profess to be, it never occurred to me that the Administration would simply... ignore the fact that the Dems controlled one house of Congress.
Obviously, that premise has been sorely tested in the last four years, and my optimism has been shaken. To wit: as much as I may have disagreed with the Trump Admin's policies from 2017-18, nothing about them shook my faith in American democracy. They won; they govern.
The Constitution works because the majority of people and most importantly, almost all people granted political power through its mechanisms, share a belief in the tenets of democracy. The rule of law, respecting the result of elections, "the consent of the loser," etc.
A thread of thanks.
Ever since hosting "Constitution USA" on PBS 7 years ago I've given talks on the Constitution. The principle question I ask and then try to answer is: Why has our Con succeeded (+ or -) when so many others have failed or were instantly ignored?
So, every once in a while by pure chance, one knows something about something in the news. Today that's me--it's about a guy named Brian Deese who is up for an econ job in the Biden administration. But it's a longish story.
Retweeting this as as all curative to Twitter’s worst feature: flattening people into Heroes and Villains.
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