Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Is 2019 a Year for Democracy?

Will 2019 be the year that the American system reasserts its Democratic foundation? The midterm election was the first sign that the failure of Congress to say no to President Trump beyond a few dissident Republican voices (e.g., McCain, Flake, Corker) was coming to an end. The national congressional vote provided Democrats with 40 seats and control of appropriations, authorization and investigative committees and functions. The pass in the House is over.

But, there are other signs democracy is back. Forty-four former U.S. senators published a well reported letter in the Washington Post in early December, including four from Colorado – Gary Hart, Tim Wirth, Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Mark Udall (where were Wayne Allard and Hank Brown?), urging current members of the Senate to be “steadfast and zealous guardians of our democracy.”

Excerpts to Senate colleagues
44 Senators
December 10, 2018

As former members of the U.S. Senate, Democrats and Republicans, it is our shared view that we are entering a dangerous period, and we feel an obligation to speak up about serious challenges to the rule of law, the Constitution, our governing institutions and our national security.
. . .
We are at an inflection point in which the foundational principles of our democracy and our national security interests are at stake, and the rule of law and the ability of our institutions to function freely and independently must be upheld.
. . .
At other critical moments in our history, when constitutional crises have threatened our foundations, it has been the Senate that has stood in defense of our democracy. Today is once again such a time.
Regardless of party affiliation, ideological leanings or geography, as former members of this great body, we urge current and future senators to be steadfast and zealous guardians of our democracy by ensuring that partisanship or self-interest not replace national interest.

Along with ten Republicans, including D’Amato (NY), Danforth (MO), Simpson (WY) and Warner (VA), the 32 Democrats included many moderates, such as Bayh (Ind.), DeConcini (AZ) and Nunn (GA).

Read letter here

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