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Archive of Articles in the "The Constitution" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Is Trump Trying To Lose?

[ Posted Friday, October 9th, 2020 – 17:55 UTC ]

It seems that it is now time to ask a very strange question: Is Donald Trump actually trying to lose the election?

As astounding a question that is, there are really only two answers to it: yes or no. Either Trump is intentionally torpedoing his chances of re-election, or he is just trying to re-run his 2016 playbook in the hopes that it'll produce the same miraculous victory for him. But either way, what is becoming more and move evident is that President Donald Trump is currently losing. Bigly.

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Friday Talking Points -- Plotting A Coup In Plain Sight

[ Posted Friday, September 25th, 2020 – 16:55 UTC ]

American democracy is on fire. Or on its deathbed, at the very least. Choose any dire metaphor you wish, but the red flags and warning signals are everywhere you look. The president of the United States of America made news this week when he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, should he lose the upcoming election. Later, watching the reaction on the news, President Donald Trump reportedly laughed about all the fuss he had caused:

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Reform Moves To Center Stage For Democrats (Part 2)

[ Posted Thursday, September 24th, 2020 – 17:11 UTC ]

Yesterday, I took a look at several Democratic reform efforts directed at both the legislative and executive branches. In the second part of examining how potent the issue of reforming government has become, we're going to focus on the Supreme Court, which is now at the center of the political world due to the untimely death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Reform Moves To Center Stage For Democrats (Part 1)

[ Posted Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020 – 17:32 UTC ]

Democrats were always going to run their 2020 campaign on a platform of "Reform!" They have made no secret of this fact. The very first bill Nancy Pelosi took up in the House of Representatives after regaining control of the chamber -- "H.R. 1" -- was a sweeping reform bill that is almost breathtaking in its scope of ethics and other governmental reforms. So from the very start, Democrats have signalled that this is going to be a key part of their agenda moving forward. Today, they followed up on this by introducing another sweeping reform bill, one that specifically addresses executive branch reforms which are now necessary after President Donald Trump's widespread abuses of power.

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R.I.P., R.B.G.

[ Posted Monday, September 21st, 2020 – 16:37 UTC ]

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg now rests in peace.

For the rest of us, there will be no rest and very little peace for the next few months -- of that much we can be certain. Because while the phrase is occasionally overused, it is no hyperbole to say that Ginsburg's death has now left America in what can only be called a true constitutional crisis.

There are all sorts of ways this could play out, ranging from the reasonable to the apocalyptic. At this point, the paths to reasonableness seem few and narrow, while the paths to chaos are much more wide and numerous. It's not even overstating the case all that much to say that we have never been closer to a second civil war in this country.

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Friday Talking Points -- Disrespecting The Troops

[ Posted Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 17:46 UTC ]

It has been three weeks since we've done this, since for the past two Fridays we were still writing up our notes on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Now that all that hoopla is over, we can return once again to our usual Friday Talking Points format.

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Joe Biden's Pittsburgh Speech

[ Posted Monday, August 31st, 2020 – 16:41 UTC ]

Today, I am going to let Joe Biden speak for himself. In past election cycles, I have printed transcripts of speeches from Democratic candidates, but I don't believe I've ever done so during the general election.

I felt it was worth it today, because I just read the speech Joe Biden just gave in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This is the kickoff to the traditional general election season, and Biden makes his case in such strong and forceful language that, rather than just running excerpts and commenting on them, I felt the entire speech deserved to be presented. It really is that good.

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Democratic Convention Day Three: A More Perfect Union

[ Posted Thursday, August 20th, 2020 – 17:00 UTC ]

Before I begin, a personal note is necessary. I am somewhat distracted today so this may be a shorter and more disjointed column than the last two. I say this because somewhere between one-third and one-half of the county I live in is currently on fire. Ashes are raining down outside my window, and while I am not personally at risk yet, plenty of others I know are -- they've been evacuated and have no way of knowing if their homes have already burnt to the ground or not. Perhaps such an apocalyptic setting is fitting, as I watch and write about the most important election of my lifetime, who knows?

That "most important election" line is often used -- I've heard it for almost every election I've ever participated in, in fact. But this time the current magnitude of importance actually does live up to the dire billing. This is indeed the most important election for American democracy that I think I've ever seen. Donald Trump is not like any other Republican presidential candidate anyone has ever seen. Back in the 1980s, the election of Ronald Reagan gave rise to very real fears that World War III would soon be right around the corner. These fears were not unjustified (given his anti-communist history), and a bigger existential threat to the country is impossible to imagine. But the fears ultimately proved to be groundless. With Trump, however, the enemy is not without but within. Trump has destroyed so many of the norms of American politics that facing four more years of his misrule would put the future of the American experiment in democracy in real danger.

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Democratic Convention Day Two: Leadership Matters

[ Posted Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 – 17:20 UTC ]

The second night of the Democratic National Convention had an unexpected surprise, because the part that is usually the most boring to watch turned out to be the most interesting adaptation of the new technological mode we've all been forced into. Or, more simply: the roll call was phenomenal!

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Democratic Convention Day One: We The People

[ Posted Tuesday, August 18th, 2020 – 16:50 UTC ]

I have to admit, I viewed the first night of the Democratic National Convention with some sadness. The sadness was personal, because this is the first time since Barack Obama's first election that I did not attend the convention in person. Seeing for myself how conventions are run in 2012 and 2016 was certainly a fantastic experience because being in the same room is a whole lot different than watching it on television. So I missed that aspect of it, as did everyone else who has ever had the chance to attend a national party convention.

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