Baez writes: "Thank you, Speaker Pelosi, for not mincing words about the 126 Republicans who joined the lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General."

Joan Baez. (photo: Chicago Tribune)
Joan Baez. (photo: Chicago Tribune)

Joan Baez to Nancy Pelosi

By Joan Baez, Joan Baez's Facebook Page

20 December 20


hank you, Speaker Pelosi, for not mincing words about the 126 Republicans who joined the lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General. As you said: "Instead of upholding their oath to support and defend the Constitution, they chose to subvert the Constitution and undermine public trust in our sacred democratic institutions."

But in these virulent times are words enough?

Direct action is what John Lewis called “making good trouble.” Good trouble calls for a determined and unflinching willingness to stand up for the truth, no matter the consequences or inconvenience.

As Speaker of the House, you might be the only official in a position to do something, subtle or rash, to lift us above the moral morass in which we find ourselves.

Part of making good trouble is finding imaginative ways to confront one’s adversary.

How difficult would it be to establish something like a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where these Representatives, in order to be seated, would have to testify publicly to what they were doing and why, while being questioned by a Democratic or independent panel?

The point would not be retribution or punishment, but re-establishing, through public exposure, some extent of moral equilibrium and public trust that has been lost. Perhaps the most essential by-product would be re-establishing and demonstrating the authority and power of the Democratic Party by putting it on offense rather than defense.

Another interesting approach would be to not allow these Representatives to be seated until they attend a class on Constitutional Law (yes, like driving school), taught by an independent and respected professor who would explain to them the meaning of what they did in detail, and make sure they were able to retake their oath of office with full understanding.

Exceptional times need to be dealt with by exceptional measures, or else the most brazen authoritarian forces will continue to feel free to push ahead unchecked, as they have been doing.

My nonviolent community of troublemakers and I are here as a resource for you. Call any time.


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