He knows better
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” Aug. 28, Sen. Roy Blunt disappointingly tempered his patriotic criticism of anyone mishandling classified material with a partisan suggestion that the timing of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago was politically motivated.
As a member of Republican leadership, he spent years coaxing Donald Trump into policy or personnel decisions, only to see him change his mind abruptly. Blunt is also well aware of the former president’s tendency to use his base as a bludgeon to get his way. He can’t be surprised that the National Archives and the Department of Justice proceeded very cautiously with the volatile Trump. The DOJ likely resorted to a warrant when the failure of its efforts was becoming embarrassingly public.
Republicans in leadership and on the Senate Intelligence Committee were certainly aware of this situation if they read newspapers this year, so for Blunt to feign disappointment they weren’t consulted belies the probable truth that they chose to avoid what was sure to be ugly.
Although no president can take even mundane presidential documents when his term ends, Blunt failed to endorse the same standards be applied to Trump (evidence of intentional wrongdoing or simple carelessness) as when the FBI and others investigated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
- John McDonald, Ferguson, Missouri
Divvy it up
Despite the differences among us about student loan forgiveness, there is a solution that could unite us all. We can all feel the satisfaction of forgiveness by sharing the burden of the less fortunate who could not keep their commitments.
Corporations and small businesses that received PPE forgiveness could assume one-third of the cost. Colleges and universities that initiated the loans could assume one-third of the cost by using the billions in their endowments. And finally, the government that enabled the loans could assume one-third of the costs.
This solution would help the average person pay less for the necessities of life.
- Keith Stanley, Overland Park
Two years ago, I found myself feeling tremendous gratitude for the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in my brother Donald Zarda’s landmark legal case that federal law prohibits anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination. Although I’m not gay, my brother was, and I was proud to represent him in his lawsuit after his death in 2014.
This year, I feel much more wary about the Supreme Court, which overturned abortion access and saw one justice call for reconsideration of the court’s decision establishing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
As Americans, we can’t let marriage equality be overturned. That’s why it’s critical that Congress pass the Respect for Marriage Act. This bill passed the U.S. House with strong bipartisan support, and now it’s up to the Senate, including Sen. Roy Blunt, to vote yes.
I know how important my own marriage has been, and I’ve celebrated alongside many LGBTQ friends who have married in Missouri in the past few years. No Americans should have to worry about their family’s basic rights being up for debate. That worry would be largely alleviated by the Respect for Marriage Act, cementing federal respect for all married couples and providing additional stability for American families.
- Melissa Zarda, Kansas City
A Sept. 4 letter to the editor referred to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as a “bystander” to history. (19A) I would urge that writer to read and think about a few of the many books dedicated to Gorbachev’s life and remarkable achievements:
▪ The end of one-party rule in the Soviet Union and the foundation of democratic reforms.
▪ The unraveling of the state- and party-run economy.
▪ The end of the Cold War.
▪ The destruction of huge amounts of useless armaments.
▪ The keys to freedom for the satellites of the Soviet empire and the ultimate liberation of many millions — and much more.
And he did all this while living every day at great risk to his own life and the lives of his family while working among reactionary forces who were losing their grip on power.
This man was no bystander. With all his flaws and imperfections, he transformed the world and gave it the opportunity to be a better place. The greatest failures were those of his successors. Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and others played important roles. Gorbachev was unique and in some ways a living, breathing miracle.
- Steven Klein, Overland Park