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Showing posts from October, 2023

Move over, Hester: Speaker Mikey's in town...

Remember Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Puritan society in his novel, The Scarlet Letter?  Poor Hester Prynne violated the laws of the church, which meant that she broke society’s laws, too.  At the beginning of the novel, the reader joins Hester as she leaves the safety of the town prison and makes her way back into the society that jailed her.  Reading the book for the first time in the 11th grade, I had a hard time understanding how, in a free society, the religion of one group could also form its judicial system.  That makes the laws of God the same thing as the laws of man.   Separation of church and state was also an 11th grade U.S. history lesson, so we students figured no more Hesters could be jailed for breaking the laws of her religion .  Or so we thought.  We fought a war 250 years ago to separate the colonies from a king who was not only ruler of the government but leader of the church.  A quick walk through British history shows what a mess that ideal leads to:  remember Henry VIII

Pinky Swears and the Very Red Right

 Remember the pinky swears you made with your best friend when you were six?  You linked your little fingers and swore to whatever promise the other demanded, because you were best friends and, well, a kid.  As silly as this seems now, this is evidently the way the Republican party operates.  Leaders make promises to those in the House, and those members hold up the business of the American people if promises aren’t kept.  Then we’re all in pinky-swear limbo.  But members of congress aren’t elected to keep promises to each other; they‘re elected to keep promises to the American people.   So, as distasteful as this idea is to the right wing of the Republican party, members of congress must negotiate. This means no one gets everything they want, but the government moves forward and American life goes on.  Yup, Republicans:  compromise is the name of the congressional game.   Evidently, nobody sent Matt Gaetz or Nancy Mace the memo.  They believe they are entitled to every demand they mak