“Fix these faces in your memory”: This admonition ran in multiple newspapers in 1920 after the Black Sox Scandal rocked baseball, and so, America’s integrity. One day, we may remember Kyrsten Sinema in a similar, yet much more devastating, way. = Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons.
As she does an excellent job of potentially subverting our democracy, the question must be asked: Does Kyrsten Sinema understand what she may be doing to the American way of life? = U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema speaks at the Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, Arizona. = Gage Skidmore / Used with permission.

Kyrsten Sinema is Trying to Undermine Baseball.

*America’s recreational pastime is baseball. America’s vocational obligation is voting. Both are built on freedom and fairness.*

Does Kyrsten Sinema believe in baseball?

Does she believe in America?

The answers certainly appear questionable.

Ms. Sinema pays lip service to passing Federal legislation protecting the right to vote. Even so, she refuses to support Senate rules changes which would allow the two pending voting rights bills even to be considered.

As justification for blocking progress, she says she’s against…

“actions that would deepen our divisions and risk repeated radical reversals in federal policy, cementing uncertainty and further eroding confidence in our government.”

How can ‘our divisions’ be any more ‘deepened’, ‘federal policy’ any more ‘radically reversed’, ‘uncertainty’ any more ‘cemented’, and ‘confidence in our government’ any more ‘eroded’ than by failing to uphold and defend our fragile democracy?

Just as our national pastime would be subverted by eliminating rules which guarantee the integrity of baseball, America itself may be subverted by the Senate’s failure to curtail current Republican efforts to eliminate rules which guarantee the integrity of our elections.

Arguments against taking a stand for voting rights bring to mind syllogistic arguments anti-vaxxers / anti-maskers make when using personal liberty to justify dangerous anti-science stances.

For goodness sakes.

The first liberty is the right to LIFE!

Members of the drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence present to Congress. Declaration of Independence, by John Trumbull (1756–1843). The painting is depicted on the United States $2 bill. The original hangs in the US Capitol rotunda. = Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons.

The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence begins…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Life comes first.

Does liberty matter once you’re dead? Does liberty justify endangering other children’s lives by allowing your children to attend school without taking requisite precautions?

The first liberty of humanity is life. The first liberty of democracy is the right to vote.

Does liberty mean states can take away voting rights and reverse election results?

Both kids and adults like to be at liberty to have fun. In America, part of that fun comes through the noble tradition of baseball. Yet, do players have liberty to interfere with the game’s integrity?

Ask the 1919 ‘Black Sox’.

Or, Pete Rose

Perhaps, our country should appoint a ‘Commissioner of Elections’ to oversee elections just as baseball did in 1920 when it appointed Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis to oversee baseball.

Landis banned for life all eight implicated members of the tarnished ‘Black Sox’.

A. Bartlett Giamatti did the same to ‘Charley Hustle’.

Team Photo of the 1919 White Sox, owned by ex-player Charles Comiskey. The team became known as “The Black Sox” after allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

Top row, left to right: Shoeless Joe Jackson, Chick Gandil, Fred McMullin, Grover Lowdermilk, Bill James, Erskine Mayer, Eddie Murphy, John Sullivan, Roy Wilkinson

Middle row, left to right: Ray Schalk, Joe Jenkins, Happy Felsch, Kid Gleason, Eddie Collins, Shano Collins, Red Faber, Buck Weaver

Bottom row, left to right: Byrd Lynn, Swede Risberg, Nemo Leibold, Dickey Kerr, Harvey McClellan, Lefty Williams, Eddie Cicotte

The eight players banned for life by Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis: pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Claude “Lefty” Williams, first baseman Charles “Chick” Gandil, shortstop Charles “Swede”Risberg, third baseman George “Buck” Weaver, outfielders Joe “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, Oscar “Happy” Felsch, and pinch hitter Fred McMullin. Because of his stellar performance throughout the series — he batted a series leading .375, threw out 5 baserunners, and flawlessly handled all of his 30 chances in the outfield it remains questionable whether “Shoeless Joe” participated in the scandal. = Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

We might ban Kyrsten Sinema from the Senate for life.

Oh.

The minority could prevent that. And banning anyone’s right to hold office would violate the Constitution.

Unless, of course, he is an orange haired ex-President who, according to the Constitution’s fourteenth amendment, “shall have engaged in insurrection”.

What will our lives be like if undermining the integrity of our elections disrupts our nation’s fabric?

Say it ain’t so, Joe!

Without voters who vote and elections which stand, this country cannot help but descend into autocracy and fascism.

A republic if you can keep it!

— Benjamin Franklin

James McHenry (1753–1816, Maryland Delegate) describes Benjamin Franklin’s response to Elizabeth Wiling Powell.

According to the Washington Post, the full exchange was as follows…Elizabeth Willing Powel: “What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”Benjamin Franklin: “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Elizabeth Willing Powel: “Why not keep it?” Benjamin Franklin: “Because the people, on tasting the dish, are always disposed to eat more of it than does them good.” Kyrsten Sinema’s misinterpretations seem to indicate she may be enjoying more of the dish, than does our nation good.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons / James McHenry. Diary, September 18, 1787. Manuscript. James McHenry Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (63.02.00) (Digital ID us0063 02p1).jpg

On January 13th, the House of Representatives passed The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, a combination of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. Preserving the filibuster assures an unattainable 60 Senators will be needed to support even discussing the bill, let alone bringing it to a vote.

Ms. Sinema further defends her position by saying…

“When one party need only negotiate with itself, policy will inextricably be pushed from the middle towards the extremes.”

Adherence to a super majority requirement guarantees that, ‘only negotiating with itself’, ‘one party’ ‘pushes’ policy not only ‘towards the extremes’, but to extremes which assure governance so unfair and unpopular, the fabric of our way of life falls by the wayside.

Allowing the minority to mute the majority and render it powerless subverts our democracy’s basic principle; the voice of the people expresses itself through majority rule.

The Declaration’s second paragraph continues:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence expressly grants the obligation and the power to ‘the people’ to ‘alter or abolish’ any ‘form of government’ ‘destructive’ to our ‘unalienable rights’. The right to vote underpins all other rights. Desecrating voting rights stands as destructive to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Except, of course, to the few who would sabotage the will of the people and grab power only for themselves. The cost — giving up both our ideals, and the mechanisms which assure them — couldn’t be higher.

Filibustering is hardly a noble tradition.

The name ‘filibuster’ derives from the Dutch word for ‘pirate’. The procedure came into existence only three decades AFTER America’s founding — and, then, only through an oversight when Vice President Aaron attempted to ‘clean up’ Senate Rules. Filibustering was so rarely done over the course of our first century, there was no word for it. The term was used in the Senate for the first time in 1889 — referring to men who traveled to Central America and the West Indies to encourage illegal revolutions. It came into prominence as a mechanism by which Southern Senators strove to block Civil Rights Legislation.

Tellingly, the filibuster does not exist in this country’s founding documents.

The kind of moral abdication displayed by Ms. Sinema has occurred only two times in the history of baseball. Each time the penalties were swift and severe.

Rightly so.

Your team will not win the World Series every year. Yet, when it doesn’t, is that a rationale to rewrite the rules? Is that justification to advantage one team, allow umpires to make partisan rulings, and skew the game itself?

When it comes to elections, Kyrsten Sinema seems to think so.

Should Boston’s collapse in the 1986 World Series have caused baseball’s rules to be revamped so The Red Sox could never lose again? = If Kyrsten Sinema has her way, Republicans will be allowed to re-arrange American elections so this now heretical party has an unfair, permanent advantage. = Image from home TV / Public Domain.

Freedom and fairness and opportunity — the very core of the American dream — rely on integrity and honor and equality.

On standing up for what’s right.

Securing the right for every citizen to vote, the right for votes to be independently counted, the right for election results to stand, and the right for power to be granted only through un-predetermined and fairly derived outcomes stands above all else as priority number one.

It’s high time that Kyrsten Sinema understands that baseball, and our democracy, depend on no less.

All else pales in comparison.

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Comedian, Songwriter, Poet, One man show performer, Imagin-Artist, Spiritual Guide, Leader in Love: Jonathan has sung, performed, & coached all over the world.

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