Election Law Racism Rights War

These Rules Are Not Made To Be Broken

President must get Congressional approval to attack Syria. Trump tweet from 2013.

There are dumb rules in our society and government including the electoral college choosing our president. How about one that says a female shall not appear in a bathing suit on any highway within Kentucky? That’s pretty dumb. In Nebraska it is not legal for a tavern owner to serve beer unless a nice kettle of soup is also brewing. I suppose soup is nice, but with beer? Maybe it’s just for the atmosphere. 16 USC §551 & 36 CFR §261.16(c) make it a crime to wash a fish at a faucet if it’s not a fish-washing faucet, in a national forest.

What would happen if I broke that rule? What if I went into a national forest and washed my fish at the sink in the lady’s washroom? What would they do to me? Why did this have to be a law in the first place? What if my fish won’t bathe anywhere else? Nobody wants a dirty fish.

To see these silly examples makes one wonder how these laws came about in the first place. Did a woman walk out onto the highway in Kentucky and cause an accident? Did her attire really have anything to do with whatever happened? Enough people thought this was important that it became a law.

Why do we have term limits for the president but not for members of Congress? They should have limits. We need that rule!

Then again, after today, I’m not sure our Congress would care. The Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, wasn’t for 45 to make in the first place, but republicans in Congress have been making up new rules to fit their agenda for some time now.  Rather than have representatives and judges that represent us and our law, people carefully chosen by the majority of people, they’re changing rules to fit their purposes. In this particular case Congress made up a rule in the last administration that kept them from having to consider the original pick for the Supreme Court (Garland), the pick made by the president (chosen by a majority). Then with this new president (chosen by a minority) Congress considered an unacceptable pick (Gorsuch), a man who couldn’t even get the 60 votes needed to give him this lifetime appointment. When Gorsuch couldn’t get the votes, rather than finding a choice that would be acceptable to enough people, McConnell changed the rules so they could force him in.

Sometimes rules need to be changed. This is not one of those occasions. You don’t change the rules to fit the candidate. You change a poor candidate to fit the rules.

I’m not even interested in talking about why Gorsuch is a bad choice for people in this country. It’s not about his plagiarism or bad decisions or demeanor or any of that. The position was to be filled already by a democratically-elected president according to the rules and laws of the United States of America. Gorsuch doesn’t belong on the Supreme Court any more than 45 and his puppet masters, Putin and Bannon, belong in the White House.

Most of the laws and rules that we’ve made and that have survived scrutiny by the executive branch and the courts came about for a reason. We’re supposed to be a democratic republic. The power of the government comes from the citizens, and we elect people to represent us. To be sure that we are represented, we have The Constitution and the Bill of Rights to protect us and our rights, and we hold elections periodically to decide when we want to change who represents us.

I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and my representative is supposed to be Paul Ryan. He does NOT represent me, and I vote against him every chance I get. Many of us do, but as with much of the country, gerrymandering in Wisconsin makes it nearly impossible to change anything, to boot useless people like Ryan so they can be replaced with actual representatives of the people. These rules need to be changed so that our voices are heard and obeyed.

We have three branches of government to watch over one another. They are supposed to protect the people of the country they serve, to be sure that everyone is working within the rules and the laws put in place to protect us, the People, and our interests. We all watch as the president and the current administration take our government and our country in scary directions, removing protections and safeguards, spending money from the Treasury as if it’s a personal checking account, making serious decisions (like going to war) without a vote. We can joke about rules being silly, and they do need to be reviewed periodically, but they’re in place for reasons; rules protect us from exactly what is happening now. Somehow the rules don’t matter, and it appears there is nothing any of us can do about it.

President Bannon, 45, and the other members of the hate brigade have gotten people convinced that helping refugees is a terrible idea because they’re all spooky Muslim terrorists. The Secretary of State told Syria to do what they want, that it’s not our problem. Just 78 days into this farce, this travesty, of a presidency, 45 wants people to think he cares again. He is shooting missiles into Syria. The president says it’s retaliation for Syria’s chemical attack against their own people after Secretary of State Tillerson told Syria to do what they want. Now 45 is defending the Muslims we’re supposed to hate or fear or whatever it is these bigots are trying to sell? And the order has already been given? We’re at war without Congress voting on it? Did anyone get to vote on this?

I’m not saying it’s the wrong thing to do though I have no faith that our leader will do any of this right. I’m saying that there are rules. We don’t go to war because President Hotheaded Thinskin says to. We go to war because Congress gathers information, debates, and votes to go to war.

Rules are not made to be broken. These rules, all of them, are here to protect us and our allies. Congress is supposed to be looking after our interests, not Russia’s. If Congress is not going to do what they were put there for then We need a “nuclear option.”

Link: “Senate goes ‘nuclear’ to advance Trump Supreme Court pick” – by Jordain Carney of The Hill

Link: “In dramatic reversal, Trump bombs Syria” – by Judd Legum of ThinkProgress

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