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Amendment Expectations

This week, I engaged with Fox News and the 8th episode of More Perfect’s “The Most Perfect Album.” On Fox News Sunday from November 10th, Chris Wallace spoke with his guests about the Republican witnesses for the public hearings, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg skipping some states to win the democratic nomination, and had a special segment for Veterans Day weekend. The “Most Perfect Album” episode 8 covered Amendments 12, 17, and 20, which I made several connections to the impeachment inquiry.


One part, which stood out to me from Fox News Sunday was Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of New York’s personal test to call a witness for the public hearing. While many people have questions for Hunter Biden about serving on the board of directors for Burisma, these questions are not relevant to his knowledge about what the president did or did not do regarding withholding military aid to Ukraine. Contrary to some people’s beliefs about the whistleblower’s identity, I think it’s important to protect their identity. It made me see some comparisons between shield laws for journalists and whistleblower protections. Honoring confidentiality in both cases protects the source of information now and for people in the future who also want to come forward.


Another topic discussed on Fox News Sunday is what people expect the public hearings to accomplish. Wallace pointed out, “There doesn’t seem to have been a single vote that’s been swayed so far at least by House Republicans in favor of impeachment,” since the hearings began. This made me think about the More Perfect podcast regarding the 20th amendment and 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding. Although mid-term elections and impeachment inquiries are different processes of democratic voting, when Harding made unpopular decisions “the elections of 1922 were…one of the biggest losses [in votes] of a sitting president that the House of Representatives had ever seen” (“Most Perfect Album”). It’s interesting to me how Harding’s series of ideologies and laws similar to President Trump’s viewpoint caused a “landslide against the Republican party,” compared to the current situation where the president allegedly abused the power of his office, yet it hasn’t moved the Republican primary electorate (“Most Perfect Album”).


I also made another connection between the podcast and the public hearings, which allows the public to “hear the [alleged] lawlessness and unconstitutional behavior” of the president (“Fox News Sunday”). Former congresswoman, Donna Edwards, suggested, “Maybe it’s not about swaying individual members of Congress right now, but it’s about making sure that the America people put it out there because Congress are followers, right? They’ll follow the public” (“Fox News Sunday”). This made me think about the time before the 20th Amendment where lame-duck congressmen had “a whole session where they didn’t have to answer to the people” (“Most Perfect Album”). While this is no longer the case, during the discussion of the 17th Amendment from “The Most Perfect Album,” they brought up the fear some people have “that the people don’t always know best” (“Most Perfect Album”). Relating to the impeachment inquiry, I wondered how the public will react to the evidence revealed in the trials and how their response will influence Congress? Acting on the impeachment inquiry ensures we use our laws to hold the president accountable, but an underlying reason to have this completed by the end of the year may be to prevent the public from deciding the president’s fate in the 2020 elections because they may not know best.

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