Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Speaking Up For Democracy

It was a small gathering of people willing to assemble at the offices of Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA) to voice their opposition to the Republican government shutdown, and Republican efforts to sabotage democracy. Hastings wasn't there, but NBC/KNDU "Right Now" News was there, took video, and interviewed a few people, including me. I spoke about the Republican-led House passing House Resolution 368, which prevents anyone but Eric Cantor or his designee from bringing a Continuing Resolution bill to floor. My little speech didn't make it off the cutting room floor, but a young man named Nik Foster gave a very good interview on the absurdity of Republicans shutting down a government that essentially keeps the Tri-Cities humming.
Mary Wilcox (with sign), who organized the event on behalf of Moveon.org
Nik Foster speaks about how the Republican shutdown effects Hanford and the Tri-Cities 
Mary Wilcox, the woman who sponsored the event, admitted that she was out of her element as a political organizer, but she overcame whatever trepidations she may have had and soldiered on. She did her civic duty because she felt strongly about how democracy should work, and about how the Republicans in congress were undermining the democratic process. Good on her!

People at the event talked mostly about the shutdown, but there were also comments about Senate Republicans abuse of the filibuster. One held up a sign saying, "Let Them Vote," and another saying, "Stop the Madness."

One man spoke angrily, characterizing Republican tactics as "sedition," a view expounded upon recently by the journalist, Andrew Reinbach of the Huffington Post. Whether Republican actions are sedition or not would have to be argued by someone more versed in law than I am, but what they're doing undoubtedly falls under the definition of extortion, i.e., "an oppressive misuse of the power with which the law clothes a public officer."

We cannot allow this abuse of power to succeed. And come election 2014, the people that did this must be held accountable, including "What's Up Doc" Hastings.

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