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Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor

Hobbled by minority rule

EDITOR: E.J. Dionne Jr. makes a strong but ultimately futile case for the need to update the U.S. Constitution (“Stacy Abrams prods our constitutional imagination,” July 12). Our country has become almost ungovernable. Much of this is due to the manifold structural limitations and anachronisms that have rendered much of the Constitution irrelevant in sprawling, populous present-day America. Despite that, self-proclaimed constitutional originalists — many of whom haven’t read the document — nevertheless cling to its supposed perfection and immutability with almost evangelical fervor.

The profoundly undemocratic makeup of the U.S. Senate and the indefensible Electoral College provide a recipe for perpetual division and rancor. Minority rule in a representative democracy is dangerous, and it’s also likely to be our reality for the foreseeable future.

The Constitution provides no viable remedy to address this significant problem. Americans who have been gifted with outsize power will not voluntarily relinquish even a little of that power, and the country suffers as a result. Therefore, no rational person could possibly believe that the small states ever would support the desperately needed amendments to the Constitution that would give all Americans an equal voice in how our government functions.

E pluribus unum? More accurately, it’s plurimi etiam de multis — out of many, still many.

MARK WARDLAW

Santa Rosa

Spending too much

EDITOR: “Say it isn’t so Joe.” It’s not the kid talking to Shoeless Joe Jackson about the Black Sox scandal in 1919. It’s me today saying this to President Joe Biden about his proposed $3.5 trillion budget on top of the $1 trillion infrastructure expenditure being reconciled in the Senate.

We elected Biden as a moderate, to be the transitional president leading us from a repressive administration to a bipartisan future. We loved his first steps on restoring our leadership with other nations, rolling out vaccinations and fighting for voter rights. But his new budget looks like Bernie Sanders wrote it.

He would pay for it by raising taxes. Is he becoming the tax-

and-spend Democrat who Republicans criticize? My main concern is this excessive spending will lead to congressional defeats in the midterm elections that will cripple Biden’s presidency after two years.

JON YATABE

Bodega Bay

Time to ban all fireworks

EDITOR: Every year thousands of fires are started by fireworks. Not just on the Fourth of July, but any time. No one can dispute that California is under constant threat of fire. We are in a state of extreme heat and drought conditions. It is time for the state to take action and pass legislation that bans, with a single exemption, all fireworks in California. The single exemption would be commercially licensed fireworks display companies. This ban should include the import, sale and use of all fireworks within the state of California. Do our governor and state legislators have the guts to do this? If you agree, contact them.

JOHN R. FELTON

Santa Rosa

Assessing blame

EDITOR: Ashli Babbitt’s name has recently reemerged as the Republican Party’s favorite martyr, so I am humbly submitting my opinion about who is at fault for her death during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

As a fellow veteran, I would have to blame her. She should have known better than to be there in the first place. Her oath was to defend our Constitution, not her presidential preference. Also, her family and friends who encouraged her conspiracy theories that led her to believe she was right to be there.

Donald Trump is immediately responsible, with his refusal to accept the reality that he lost the 2020 election and concede to a peaceful transition, merely to satisfy his own ego. If not for that, the insurrection would never have happened, period.

Let’s not forget the voters who elected Trump in the first place after he told the nation he would only accept the 2016 outcome if he won. What were they thinking? It was a red flag warning that shouldn’t have been ignored regardless of his opponent.

Babbitt’s death may have only been the first due to Trump’s continuing anti-American rhetoric. If he really cared about America, he would stop talking.

DON GALLOWAY

Sebastopol

No justification for recall

EDITOR: In the past, I’ve been critical of Jill Ravitch for her handling of excessive force cases by local law enforcement officers. Her office could not function without good relations with local law enforcement, and she couldn’t get elected without them. No matter how objective and fair she thinks she is in deciding whether to charge cops with crimes, she has an incurable conflict of interest, and it appears to the public to be an insider’s game. This undermines public trust in government, and she should have recused her office entirely from these cases and let the state attorney general handle them.

But that is not a good reason to consider voting to recall her this September. She may be headstrong and possibly convinced of her own infallibility, but I have no doubt she is an ethical, honest, hardworking and competent prosecutor. This recall effort is just a personal vendetta, and I hope the good people of Sonoma County will soundly reject it.

HUGH HELM

Santa Rosa

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