And… keep those feet to the fire

Following the Women’s Marches held all over the country (and world) the day after Trump’s inauguration, a lot of the discussion was about what comes next. Some of it ran something like this: “Glad to see you all out demonstrating, but don’t forget, come  November,  get out, knock on doors, and help elect us.”

A good and not unexpected reminder from party organizers to be sure. But elected officials are finding another feature in the big march’s aftermath – their own feet may be more quickly held to the fire.fttf

One example took place in Rhode Island, and the feet in question belong to Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. He, along with 13 other Democratic Senators (see link here) voted to confirm Congressman Mike Pompeo as Donald Trump’s CIA director. Days later over a thousand people showed up at Senator Whitehouse’s regular town hall meeting in Providence to protest his yes vote.

Pompeo has notably close ties to conservative billionaire puppet masters Charles G. and David H. Koch. Their company, Koch Industries, and its employees have contributed $357,000 to Mr. Pompeo since 2009. And the New York Times has called him “… one of the most overtly partisan figures to take over the C.I.A.”

The AP reported: Senator Whitehouse has hosted dozens of such events, starting from when he first ran for Senate in 2006, but they are typically sleepy affairs.

The video shows people in the crowd angrily shouting and jeering as Whitehouse speaks, and Whitehouse telling them he understands many people disagree with his vote.

“You can’t normalize these appointments!” one person yelled. And; “Take responsibility! Be accountable! You work for us” And others spoke the obvious question for any Democratic office holder:“Why would you vote yes for any of them?”

Following the meeting it was confirmed that Whitehouse admitted he may have been wrong to vote in support of Pompeo. And in a statement released Monday he said: “While Pompeo would not have been his choice, he knows the intelligence community well and “can be a check on dangerous impulses from the Trump White House.”

Senator Whitehouse and others likely shouldn’t expect “sleepy” town hall gatherings to return in the near future.

And closer to home, it’s worth wondering what effect the thousand of marchers that showed up recently in Montpelier had on our new Governor Phil Scott. Maybe Republican Scott was reminded how blue Vermont is. It seems he embraced his better instincts quite readily. And after briefly mentioning a “time-out” and flubbing his response on the Syrian immigration issue during his campaign he is now opposing his party’s President on the immigration ban more vocally than he might otherwise (not) have done.

6 thoughts on “And… keep those feet to the fire

  1. The reign of King Donald is going to severely test the fabric of our democracy. If no federal Republican lawmakers rise to join Democrats in opposition to his ill-conceived, vainglorious, and mean-spirited agenda, the only way they can hope to cling to power is if Donald Trump finally succeeds in curtailing our civil liberties and free press.

    At that point, the “United States” experiment will be over.

  2. I’m not sure that Scott deserves congratulations for simply doing what any civilized citizen should do, but it seems we are now facing such an extreme national agenda that it will require a profile in courage for any Republican officeholder to simply remain a decent human being.

  3. No fire, no feats ?

    The ‘yays’ than ‘nays’ for Trump cabinet picks so far for both Vermont Senators’ Sanders and Leahy. VPR has a handy account of the Senator’s stand on voting for Trump’s cabinet picks.

    And this from the twitter : Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) says that the Garland blockade proved “that the Supreme Court can function with eight members.”

    1. I don’t see anything about Linda McMahon’s confirmation for the Small Business Administration. I think that one is under consideration now.

      With her shady connections in the questionable world of the WWE, and the likelihood that she was part of a conspiracy to conceal or even promote systemic performance enhancement drug abuse in the WWE, she isn’t my idea of a model small business operator. Of course she was also a huge donor to Trump’s campaign.

      1. Committee votes-
        They, the cabinet pick gets a vote from the relevant committee first then on to the entire Senate.

        Today on Linda MacMahon The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee vote was 18-1, with the only “no” vote coming from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). The nomination now heads to the full Senate for a final vote.

        1. I suspect the Dems aren’t paying much attention to such “minor” appointments.

          Certainly there is plenty in her history that should disqualify her, but with such grossly inappropriate appointees to more strategic posts, I suppose there is little point in making an issue of her.

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