Corman should consider his own role in Senate floor chaos
I am appalled by the behavior demonstrated by our state senator, Jake Corman, during the recent floor debate about Pennsylvania’s general assistance program. Corman shouted over state Sen. Katie Muth for minutes on end while she read aloud a letter from a formerly-homeless man who had benefited from the program.
While I find Corman’s actions unprofessional, disrespectful and even sexist, I am almost more bothered by the written statement he published following the incident. Corman criticizes other members of the Senate for not adhering to rules, and calls the debate a display of “disrespect” and a “dangerous precedent.” However, nowhere in his statement does Corman recognize the ways he contributed to the “chaos” he claims occurred during the debate, nor does he apologize for the lack of respect he showed to Sen. Muth. While criticizing other members of the Senate for not following rules is appropriate, doing so by screaming at a fellow senator who is speaking up for her constituent is not.
Corman’s choice to point fingers and put down others, rather than take responsibility and apologize for his own actions, makes his argument for Senate-wide decorum insincere. I hope Senator Corman reconsiders his approach, and publicly apologizes to both Senator Muth and his constituents for his disrespectful behavior.
Dangerous times for democracy
If not for Donald Trump, who would believe that our President would dismiss the findings of all of our government’s investigative and intelligence agencies on Russia’s blatant interference in our 2016 election and, instead, accept the word of murderous dictator Vladimir Putin that Russia was not involved? Who would believe that our President would then treat the clearly documented interference in our elections as a joke to share with Putin, as Trump did at the G20 meeting?
If not for Donald Trump, who would believe that our President would repeatedly call our Constitutionally protected free press “the enemy of the people”? And who would believe that our President, after saying at the G20 meeting “get rid of them,” referring to journalists, would show admiration for and envy of Putin because his country does not have a free press? A quote, not fake news: “You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.”
If not for Donald Trump, who would believe that our President would spew self-aggrandizing exaggerations and bald-face lies on a daily basis. As frightening, who would believe that his public and congressional supporters would ignore his blatant, habitual lying and degradation of our country’s honor?
These are very dangerous times for our young democracy, folks. The crisis is not at our border but in the White House and in the US Senate’s willingness to let this would-be despot act unabated. If you’re not worried about our democracy, you’re really not paying attention.
Republican leadership should brush up on Constitution
“May no act of ours bring shame.” This simple phrase, a core value of Penn Staters, seems to have been forgotten in the General Assembly. In November, the people of Montgomery County sent a clear message to Harrisburg that we would no longer be ignored. Yet, twice this session, Republican leadership has shamefully tried, and failed, to bully our newly elected legislators, first Liz Hanbidge, and now Katie Muth, into silence. They claim that their actions are in line with the rules, yet they fail to follow the highest rule of them all: the Constitution of this Commonwealth. It was the Republicans who unconstitutionally gerrymandered Pennsylvania’s Congressional seats. It was the Republicans who passed House Bill 321 through the House, despite it infringing on women’s constitutionally protected rights over their reproductive health. Now, the Republicans cite Article IV of our Constitution in their threat to strip the Lieutenant Governor of his power to preside over the Senate, failing to recognize that the word “preside” cannot be separated from the word “President.” Republican leadership should spend less time trying to silence those that caution against their ill-advised policies that hurt Pennsylvanians, and more time supporting, obeying and defending the Constitution.