By Doug Porter
Three things stood out for me during the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey.
Whether or not they wanted Trump to win, the true story of Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections is bigger than we think. Republicans are fools to downplay it just because it served them well this time around.
Watching spineless Republicans (and their online minions) complain about somebody not standing up to Donald Trump was beyond ironic. How can these guys look at themselves in the mirror?
Women who have ever reported rape and/or sexual harassment must have been experiencing a strong sense of deja vu with the pattern of Republican attempts to blame victim/witness Comey
Robin Abcarian’s column in the Los Angeles Times set the scene perfectly:
Is there a working woman alive who cannot identify with poor James Comey right now?
The former FBI director’s boss tried to seduce him. When the seduction failed, his boss fired him.
And then called him “crazy, a real nut job.”
Hell hath no fury like a scorned President Trump.
— Andrea Chalupa (@AndreaChalupa) June 8, 2017
One Senator whose star is rising after both the Wednesday and Thursday hearings of the Senate Intelligence Committee is California’s Kamala Harris. (I’ll cover her Thursday exchange with Comey in a later column.)
Her attempts to get a straight answer out of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday concerning the independence of special counsel Robert Mueller earned her rebukes from Senators John McCain and Richard Burr and praise from Elizabeth Warren.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 7, 2017
From the Washington Post:
The exchange comes months after Republicans voted to cut off Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren while she was reading a letter by Martin Luther King Jr’s widow, Coretta Scott King, critical of then-Senate colleague and attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Warren was given an explanation, but “nevertheless, she persisted” — words that Harris and others later called a “rallying cry” for women.
After the intelligence hearing, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a senior Democrat on the panel, tweeted: “@SenKamalaHarris was getting facts onto the record. I was not interrupted by @senatorburr when I asked tough questions. She was.”
Republicans seem unhappy with all those uppity women challenging their dominance these days. And even more so when it’s coming from women of color:
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) June 7, 2017
There’s a local angle to this denigration of women in politics that I’d like to interject here, via Rena Marrocco’s op-ed in the Union-Tribune covering the sudden “need” for city councils in National City, Oceanside, and Escondido to rewrite the rules concerning the process of getting items placed on their respective agendas.
In each city, these rules changes have left elected women officials at the mercy of their male colleagues. Never mind the fact everything had been just okay with the process for the decades before women started getting elected.
The respective male council members would likely deny that gender had anything to do with these actions. Generally, women have a tougher time running and winning elections in the first place. Policy changes like these have the potential of preventing the respective women officials from taking leadership roles as well as denying them the right to bring forward constituent, community issues and legislation. The rules effectively usurp the will of the community thereby disenfranchising voters. Minority opinions are not likely to be brought forward and heard, creating a chilling effect, appearing as if the council majorities have already decided how they are going to vote ahead of time, with little debate or public input.
It also has the potential for the men on the council to disallow agenda items and then later resubmit them under their own name, taking credit for the work done by the women elected officials. At election time, these women could then be accused of not bringing up issues or doing their job…
…With the inevitable transition of most cities to by-district elections, this rule becomes even more insidious. Potentially excluding an entire district from having its concerns voiced by its representative of choice seems to be the definition of taxation without representation.
I’ll get around to the more of the Comey and the Giant Orange Peach story (h/t Bloom County) after I’ve had the opportunity to digest it. I concluded after an hour or so of following it there were too many details (or hints of details) to reasonably work into a column written on the fly.
Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
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