Editor,

Not since Richard Nixon have we witnessed a president so determined to undermine the rule of law.  HR 8363, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, would:

• Prohibit the president from granting a pardon to himself;

• Suspend the statute of limitations for sitting presidents and vice presidents for any federal offense so that criminal acts before or during a term of office may be punished;

• Greatly increase protections for government whistleblowers;

• Prohibit the removal of Inspectors General except for cause; and

• Make changes to protect our elections, end the shifting of funds to uses not authorized by Congress, allow for congressional subpoenas to be swiftly enforced, and end numerous other related abuses.

Someone once labeled Watergate “a third-rate burglary.” Historians will someday call the lawlessness of the Trump administration a first-rate constitutional crisis. We must strengthen our laws so that the reckless are thwarted in their efforts to undermine our democracy.

Jackie Speier

Hillsborough

The letter writer represents

District 14 in the U.S. House of Representative

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(21) comments

Ray Fowler

Tafhdyd!

Maybe I cannot convince you that Senator Harris is flat wrong, but how 'bout this?

We can expect the National Review to lambaste the senator and reject her "history" lesson as utter balderdash. But the Washington Post and Snopes agree... her story is fictive. No evidence.

Michael Burlingame, distinguished chair in Lincoln studies at the University of Illinois- Springfield was asked about Harris' inserting what she purported to be Lincoln's words with respect to the Supreme Court vacancy in late 1864. He said, "I've never seen anything like that quote in all my 36 years of Lincoln research."

She made it up. N'est-ce pas?

Tafhdyd

Good morning Ray,

I will agree that part of the issue is made up by Senator Harris in that Abe did not specifically say that he waited to name his nominee to let the people decide. After checking her actual wording she does make it sound like it was a quote from Lincoln which it was not.

What is not fabricated is the actual event of the nomination and the timing of it. Both sides of the argument disagree about the intent and reasons for the delay. Mr. Christian McWhirter of the Lincoln Library and Museum says that historians disagree based on their interpretation. Mr. Burlingame, a Lincoln Award recipient, takes the position of it being strictly to hold the radicals in check and Mr. Holzer, also a Lincoln Award recipient, thinks that it was to be fair and the right thing to do.

Being that the actual reason will never be known I think this poor horse has had enough whipping for one go around.

Ray Fowler

Yes, Senator Harris "quoted" Mr. Lincoln in a way that never, never happened.

I'm glad you brought up the timing of the nomination. Congress was in recess and Honest Abe kinda had his hands tied, but there was no question that Salmon was his guy. Other Republican luminaries also wanted the job, but Abe picked Chase, and he did so without factoring in results of 1864 election results.

Voters in 22 states favored Abe, and voters in two states supported George McClellan. The electorate was voting for Abe... not Salmon, Edwin or whoever.

Thank you for being a perfect gentleman and revising your initial response.

Now, should we kick around Senator Harris' use of the term "Muslim ban"?

No, no... that can wait until it is a more topical item in this forum.

Tafhdyd

Ray,

I don't have a problem with admitting a mistake or error. I try to check facts before posting. It is too bad some of the others are too gullible to even check facts for fear they will be wrong. Even when shown the actual statement, event etc. is wrong they put up their childish "fake news" response.

Terence Y

Taffy Dave – you don’t have a problem with admitting a mistake or error? Aren’t you the one trying to push the debunked historical myth that Democrats somehow turned into Republicans and vice versa? Talk about a whopper of an error. What’s next, Lincoln was a Democrat? I guess if you like your fantasy world, you can live in it. Just don’t expect anyone else to be gullible enough to believe your party switcheroo nonsense.

Tafhdyd

Sorry Terence,

If the shoe fits wear it. You are one of the ones that don't believe facts when they are presented to you. The only thing debunked is Trump telling the truth, it has never happened.

JME

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."

From .John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

Ray Fowler

I wish Congresswoman Speier would spend more time on what she can do to help her district instead of political posturing.

For some reason, it appears Congresswoman Speier believes everything will be OK once President Harris is in office. It certainly will be different... or maybe not too much.

If I told you that Donald Trump refused to comment on a position of immense voter interest for political reasons or that he made up a story about a revered president from the past to support a political narrative, you would say, "That sounds like Trump!" Yet, that's exactly what Senator Harris did on national television last week. Senator Harris refused to comment on whether a Biden-Harris administration would pack the Supreme Court, and she invented a story about Abraham Lincoln delaying a Supreme Court nomination to let the people decide who should be appointed.

If Congresswoman Speier wants to push a bill to prosecute former federal officials, would prosecution also be in the works for former FBI directors, former Secretaries of State or former Vice Presidents?

Tafhdyd

Hello Ray,

I have a busy schedule today but I did want to make a couple of comments and a “possible correction” to your comment.

Your examples of “That sounds like Trump” are obvious, however Senator Harris’s statement about Honest Abe is correct as far as the facts are. The chief justice Roger Taney did die on Oct. 12, 1864 before the election and Abe did not seek confirmation of his nominee, Salmon P. Chase until Dec. 6th after the election. So that is not a made up story. He waited until after the nearby election which is what the current hypocritical administration should do.

Pence also did his share of not answering questions in the debate. When asked about the specific plans to protect the healthcare of people with pre-existing conditions if the Supreme Court struct down the ACA he pivoted to the answer about packing the court that you mentioned.

He also avoided the question about accepting the results of the election and a peaceful transition of power and referred back to corruption in the 2016 election obviously trying to stoke Donald’s election fraud ideas. BTW, I am sure you saw the news today that the Republicans in Southern California admitted that they placed phony ballot drop boxes in various locations around Orange, Fresno and LA counties. Obviously their intent was to defraud voters rather than offer an extra convenience to voters.

Have a nice day and tonight mine will be neat rather than on the rocks.

Ray Fowler

Senator Harris was not only wrong... she was really wrong.

There are actually two instances of persons being appointed to the Supreme Court occurring during election season in Mr. Lincoln's first term as president. The first was 1862. While it appeared David Davis was nominated and confirmed in December... a month after the election... he was a recess appointment. He actually joined the court in October... a month before the election. The "paperwork" followed after the election.

Now, Salmon Chase replacing Roger Taney. I'm sure you'd agree almost anyone would have been a better choice for the court than Mr. Taney. How serendipitous! Ol' Mr. Taney passed away 156 years ago on this very day.

Salmon Chase was an original founding member of the Republican Party. He was Ohio's first Republican governor. He was elected a Republican senator, but was tapped on the shoulder by President Lincoln to become Secretary of the Treasury (a very important job during the Civil War). With Republicans owning both houses of Congress and the sitting president a Republican, there was no waiting for the people to decide in November 1864 who should fill Taney's chief justice position as Senator Harris' "history" lesson would suggest. That fairy tale only makes sense if you are rooting for George McClellan to win the presidency. Does Senator Harris want us to believe that McClellan instead of Lincoln should have been the president to fill Taney's vacancy? Too late. Admiral Farragut and Generals Sherman and Sheridan's 1864 late summer victories assured Lincoln's landslide electoral victory, 212-21.

Lincoln wanted Chase to fill the position and Chase wanted the job. Lincoln waited one month... maybe for appearances but not to appease voters. Chase was nominated, confirmed and sworn into the Chief Justice position in one day! That kinda rebukes Senator Harris' story...

Again, Senator Harris is just plain wrong. The "people" that Abraham Lincoln wanted to please by appointing Chase were the Radical Republicans not the electorate. He needed their political support to implement his Reconstruction plans.

Pence and health care... what is it about Trump's executive order protecting preexisting medical conditions that the Biden-Harris team find so objectionable? But at the end of the day, Biden-Harris don't believe the voters are entitled to know if they plan to pack the Supreme Court. Why do you think they sidestep that question?

The left's mantra... Trump's a liar! We hear it often. But what about Senator Harris calling the current Senate Judiciary Committee hearings illegitimate? She doesn't like sitting in chambers. I get that. But what makes the hearings illegitimate? Is her statement truthful?

Phony ballot boxes... I saw the online teaser but didn't read the story. I just skipped it thinking... if you're a Republican and you put them out... you're a buffoon. If you're a Democrat and you put them out... in the reddest of red states... then buffoon is not a strong enough description. There will be some fraud on both sides, sadly. Enough by buffoons (on either side) to change the outcome? Nope.

We have already discussed what happens after the election. Richard Nixon said it best (and he may have had the best reasons... 450,000 of them in Cook County... to dispute an election)... when he said that when the votes are finally counted, we accept that count and the person with the most votes is the winner.

Tafhdyd

Basically the answer I expected. I know you put the info in your perspective and I will mine. You won’t change my mind I won’t change yours. Other than that what are you drinking tonight? Cognac over here.

Mike Caggiano

Representative Speier pretty much says it all and so well.

Bravo

Terence Y

Actually, Ms. Speier, you may be pulling a Biden and forgetting that Obama’s treason, along with his band of sycophants, is the epitome of lawlessness and a first-rate constitutional crisis. You may want to rethink your Act, else Obama would be the first to be punished and your fellow Democrats would not be happy with you. Chances are your Act would be unconstitutional but maybe you could amend it and suspend the statute of limitations for ANY holder of political office so that criminal acts before or during a term of office may be punished. Some of your fellow assemblymen and senators would probably make reservations for their prison of choice.

Tafhdyd

Sorry Terence, there wouldn't be room in the prisons for any Democrats because they will be overflowing with Republicons lead by your orange idol, the conman traitor himself, Donald Trump.

Christopher Conway

Jackie used to represent us pretty well. Then she morphed into the political witch with some of the most sophomoric expressions about our president. For Democratic white women who hold powerful positions in DC for California, it is time to retire and let someone who has not lost a step take over. Ms. Speier and to a greater degree, Ms. Feinstein are the poster children on why we need term limits.

Tafhdyd

Christopher,

We have term limits now, it is called voting. If you like what the person does you vote to keep them in office and if you don't you vote to oust them. People that don't vote or are too lazy to study the issues and candidates are the ones that usually want term limits. BTW, I knew you couldn't stay away.

Christopher Conway

I will stay until Nov 4. A promise I made to my family. Until then I am free to do what I want. That has been and is my plan. It will be hard to stay away but I will. Fighting for Trump till the end.

Tommy Tee

I think you'd have a successful career in theater. You're so dramatic.

Tafhdyd

"Fighting for Trump till the end". Well at least you have the day right. Technically I guess it is Jan. 20th for the end of Trump but who cares about technicalities when you are talking politics.

Jorg

The steadily growing majority of us hope you are right, Chris: Nov. 4 will be the end of Trump! Not a day too early.

Terence Y

Is it just me or do Jorg, Taffy and Tommy remind you of Moe, Larry and Curly? Same number of syllables.

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