Dear Senators …

For quite some time now, even for years before the current administration invaded the White House, we have seen a Congress so divided that it almost makes a mockery of the words “democratic process”.  We have seen a Congress that pays little, if any, heed to the will of the people, the betterment of the nation, but rather are acting in their own best interests.  It speaks volumes when even former members of Congress are speaking out against the uber-partisanship and asking Congress to step up to the plate and do what they were elected to do.

A group of 44 former senators has penned a letter to the current and future senators, asking them to set aside their partisanship and self-interest for the sake of guarding our democratic principles.  Will they listen?

Dear Senate colleagues,

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 on the eve of the conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation and the House’s commencement of investigations of the president and his administration. The likely convergence of these two events will occur at a time when simmering regional conflicts and global power confrontations continue to threaten our security, economy and geopolitical stability.

It is a time, like other critical junctures in our history, when our nation must engage at every level with strategic precision and the hand of both the president and the Senate.

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.

During our service in the Senate, at times we were allies and at other times opponents, but never enemies. We all took an oath swearing allegiance to the Constitution. Whatever united or divided us, we did not veer from our unwavering and shared commitment to placing our country, democracy and national interest above all else.

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.

Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), Richard Bryan (D-Nev.), Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), Max Cleland (D-Ga.), William Cohen (R-Maine), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Al D’Amato (R-N.Y.), John C. Danforth (R-Mo.), Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), David Durenberger (R-Minn.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Wyche Fowler (D-Ga.), Bob Graham (D-Fla.), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Gary Hart (D-Colo.), Bennett Johnston (D-La.), Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Paul Kirk (D-Mass.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), Larry Pressler (R-S.D.), David Pryor (D-Ark.), Don Riegle (D-Mich.), Chuck Robb (D-Va.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Jim Sasser (D-Tenn.), Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), John W. Warner (R-Va.), Lowell Weicker (I-Conn.), Tim Wirth (D-Colo.)

33 thoughts on “Dear Senators …

  1. The worry I have is May has not got a good track record of bringing people together. She has always set her stall out as a hardliner. Some of her policies as Home Secretary were appalling. But in these strange times she is now in the middle of 2 raging factions and the so called sensible arbitrator. She is offering no vision at best a poorly constructed fudge. It has been monumentally badly handled. Maybe that’s the best we can get. But surely if we are going to take the biggest decision this country has taken in 40 years it has to be done more professionally whether that’s to stay, to delay or to leave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sitting on this side of the pond, I try not to opine too much, for I don’t have the knowledge or all the facts. I only see that it seems the EU has made Brexit much more contentious and costly than it needed to be, and that within the UK, the factions are so divided that Ms. May is likely to find it impossible to please even half the country, let alone a majority. It’s disturbing, for once the decision was made, it seems that the EU ought to have done everything in its power to ease the transition, but instead they did the opposite. My biggest fear is what economic ramifications it may all have at the end of the day.


  2. France is a worry. Could easily spiral out of control and give greather influence to the far right. I worry for Germany after Merkel. I remember talking to someone from Switzerland who said they look at the countries surrounding them and panic. Italy is a mess. I think the Swiss are the one country who could make an argument for building a wall.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are quite right … the ‘populist movement’ is like a disease spreading throughout the Western world. And what many don’t realize is that in part, its roots can be tied directly to the effects of climate change. Desert encroaching on arable land and water sources, making food and potable water more scarce, led in part to the Arab Spring uprisings, which in turn led to the refugee crisis, which is about 90% responsible for the populist movement. Obviously that is an over-simplistic and linear view and there is much more to it, but I truly believe that had it not been for the refugee crisis, the populist movement would not have been born, or at least not in the radical form it has taken. And now, I shall step down off my soapbox … I tend to get carried away 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. i was thinking about the line of succession or whatever it is called…if we impeach and then possibly indict/imprison the cheeto, and pence falls by the wayside as he is just as complicit, the office goes where? to the sec state or speaker of the house? I can never remember which way it goes…..if all goes well for those with blue hats then Ms Pelosi could end up the president…….what a slap in the face of all those cretinous red hatters should it happen……..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ohhhhh …. you are so right … they would all simply die on the spot! Yes, after the VP it is the Speaker of the House, then the President Pro-tem of the Senate, then Secretary of State (I’m leaving the country if it ever gets to Pompeo!!!). I like the way your mind works!!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. While this excellently worded letter is an admirable call to action and undoubtedly a much needed one…I can not help but notice that out of the 44 former senators there are 32 Democrats, 10 Republicans and 2 Independents. It leads me to think that partisanship may well continue even after the end of tenure in the Senate. I do not know what prompted only these 44 to join forces, as there must be an overwhelming number of former senators in the country that should/could have added their voices too. I would be more impressed were there more Republicans adding their names. That aside, there is little hope that the present Senate will heed the advice of these 44 or for that matter, any other number of former senators. That may sound harsh, but is most likely true. Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Jill, this is a terrific letter that should be a beacon, but those that need to see it most, are wearing blinders. We have a Congress that is failing to do its job letting one of the most untruthful leaders ride herd over them. I have spoken to over 50 staff members of various Senators asking what will it take for their boss to act? I repeat the question now, what will it take? Must we throw away our relationships with allies, must we be an outlier on climate change and migration statements by the UN, must we not be trusted as the word of the President of the United States is meaningless? This is what we have come to? What will it take? Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • @ Keith. I am afraid sir it will take self interest being involved to get anyone in congress to act these days. I think they look at each action, even each spoken sentence, as a calculation in what gain or loss it means for them personally. I do not think the country of the people come into their figures at all anymore. I hope I am wrong. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      • Scottie, unfortunately, you are right on this. Talking with the staff, sending emails, writing letters and blogs at least preserves my sanity. My hope is to at least convince the staff member that people care about our country.

        But to your point, they need to be shown as much protest as can be mustered and see a few of them lose. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

    • It IS a terrific letter, but my only regret is that it didn’t have more signatures and especially from republicans. Still, it is a good start and speaks volumes, I think. And, as you said, those who most need to hear these words have cotton stuffed in their ears and are wearing blinders. I find I cannot even allow myself to imagine what this country may look like in another year, for we are rapidly on a path that doesn’t end in a nice place. What will it take? Sigh. You know the answer to that without me saying it … it will take a catastrophe. A war, a major attack, an assassination … something that will turn the U.S. on its head.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jill, Trump just lost his two protectors in Cohen and AMI who are cooperating under plea deals. They corroborate that Trump lied about his involvement in the payouts violating campaign finance laws. There is far more to come, but this an official statement that Trump lied. I should add none of this is surprising as the truth has been there for understanding for more than a year and a half. It is sad to say this but the US President is guilty of far more than this. The GOP leaders who looked the other way and rationalize (and continue to rationalize) and going to be made to look foolish and will deserve such treatment. Quite simply, people who are loyal to Trump usually end up poorly. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, I was just having a conversation with another UK friend, David, about this very thing. I’m very concerned about the divisiveness in your country over the Brexit issue, and one thing I would NOT like to see is Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. And then there’s France … it seems that the whole world is on fire, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 2 people

        • Oh ho ho ho … your last sentence nearly caused me to choke on my coffee! Surely a country can’t be that stupid … OH YES!!! Just look across the pond about 4,000 miles, my friend. We are living proof that ignorance and stupidity know no bounds. I do hope you guys never get into this sort of situation! I was pleased this evening to see that Ms. May won the no-confidence vote … I was worried.

          Liked by 1 person

          • The vultures are still circulating, more joining every day. Worry is I’m not sure what they are waiting to pounce on. Brexit, May, The Remainers, The economy, Democracy. May stumbles on for another day but unfortunately she seems to have lost the ability to stop the train and the edge of the track is approaching rapidly.

            Liked by 2 people

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