The Star Tribune nailed the most important story for our democracy since Jan. 6 — the ousting of Liz Cheney from House Republican leadership.
Cheney stood up to former President Donald Trump for lying about the election and his role in the assault on the U.S. Capitol. She upheld our democratic process, the rule of law and the peaceful transition of power. GOP House leadership instead chose to support Trump's lies, insurrection and conspiracy.
This conflict is far more than a political squabble. It is a national leadership crisis playing out in all levels of government and in the private sector. For lawmakers, the choice is to uphold their oath of office or to betray it out of convenience. It is a choice between responsibility to their constituency or loyalty to someone who arguably violated his own oath of office as president.
The astonishing Star Tribune story on May 7 reported that four Minnesota Republican House members ducked discussing publicly why they oppose Cheney and support Trump ("Minnesota's U.S. House Republicans dodge weighing in on Cheney"). Each should be held accountable for failing to support the Constitution, our laws and multiple court decisions.
All those in political office must clearly understand their specific responsibilities and be held accountable when they betray their duties. Oaths of office, the Constitution, laws, democracy and the right to vote all matter. It is all on the line right now. It must start with Congress.
Bill Kelly, Minneapolis
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Grand Old Party? Not anymore. This is not the same party that my grandparents supported or the party I supported before Trump took office. The Republican Party has become an embarrassment. Most recently, their focus is ousting Cheney from her leadership role simply because she, unlike the majority of her colleagues, exhibited common sense and courage in challenging Trump's claims of a "stolen" election. I can't put up with these spineless Republicans who blindly bow to Trump's every whim, no matter how outrageous (and aren't they all?). After Trump's disgraceful and scandalous presidency, I don't understand how they fail to see the harm they are doing to the party and the country. Shameful. Count me out. For now, I'm the party of none.
KARIN COPELAND, Stillwater
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I read the article about Cheney in the paper last week about removing her from her post for the Republicans. I agree that she should lose her seat. It has nothing to do with politics. She showed her hatred for President Trump and she should have realized that she was not doing the right thing. She brought this on by herself.
Joan Lehrke, Norwood Young America, Minn.
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After doing nothing but telling the truth, Cheney will, apparently, be stripped of her post in the Republican Party. This should be an object lesson about what to expect from the GOP if one is different from what is considered to be the norm.
The GOP thinks power comes from everyone looking, thinking and acting the same. Cheney has committed what is considered to be a mortal sin by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump by not toeing the party line.
There are two enemies to freedom: those who want to control everyone and everything around them, and those who don't believe they need to control themselves at all. Cheney is a threat to the Republican hierarchy because she won't allow herself to be controlled by those who need to assume they're in charge of everyone and everything around them.
What bothers them even more is that Cheney doesn't care what they think. Hell has no fury like a patriarchal, male Republican being ignored, especially by an "uppity" female.
Gary Burt, Marble, Minn.
Reconsider opposition, Democrats
From my enlightened perspective on the liberal end of the political spectrum, I seldom find myself in agreement with what the Republicans are up to. But sometimes it happens. Right now, though, I am especially appalled by GOP initiatives in many other states that seem designed only to suppress voter turnout. They claim that their intent is to prevent voter fraud. But review after review have found little evidence of wrongdoing — it just doesn't exist on any significant scale.
But despite the evidence, the Republicans still believe that voter fraud is a problem. So here is something we could do in Minnesota — Democrats could join the Republicans and pass the photo ID requirement. With that minor change, it will be hard for reasonable people to still insist that thousands of dead people voted, or that they know an old lady down the street who voted five times — once for herself, and once for each of her four dogs.
Virtually everyone already has a photo ID, so this is a reasonable requirement. Those who don't could get one free of charge from the state. And if you happened to show up at the polls without your ID, you could still vote on a provisional ballot — one that would be counted after Election Day if needed to determine the winner of a close race.
This low-cost acquiescence by liberals of something the conservatives want could buy a lot of goodwill. And if we make it a big deal to get a voter card from the government, this could actually encourage voter turnout.
Finally, let's get strategic about this legislation. We can combine the photo ID requirement with two other improvements to the voting process: 1) make Election Day a paid holiday, and 2) institute statewide ranked-choice voting. This three-part democracy and voting integrity bill just could turn out to be a piece of legislation we can all be proud of.
John Crea, St. Paul
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As the legislative session draws to an end the Senate Republicans spend the precious time left on things like a voter ID law. State Sen. Scott Newman, the sponsor of the bill, said:,"This is one of the fastest and easiest ways we can restore their faith and protect the rights of all legal voters."
Sen. Newman, please explain how this would restore faith in our voting system when Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin all require voter identification, and all three were the subject of a massive effort by the former president and his lawyers who claimed fraud in those states.
If there were not so many important issues that the Senate Republicans have been ignoring, Newman's claim would be laughable. Maybe House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt was referring to the Senate Republicans when he said: "Stand up and do your damn jobs."
Jay Jaffee, St. Louis Park
The good old days weren't so good
In rapid succession, the Star Tribune has published opinions complaining about the competence of public school teachers as well as "wokeness" in the curriculum. Ah, for the good old days, when teachers were uniformly skillful and messy issues like slavery, Jim Crow and the fate of Indigenous people were glossed over in texts with titles like "The Winning of the West."
I've volunteered in Minneapolis schools, including a Montessori, no less, for more than 20 years, so I'm probably not qualified to write screeds from a distance.
Nonetheless, teachers and staff I've assisted have worked hard, prepared well and set high standards. Third-graders recite the Pledge of Allegiance, including the "under God" part, write essays on the executive, legislative and judicial branches, etc. The education students receive is at least the equal of, and in many cases superior to, that which I received at Highland Elementary and Our Lady of Grace in Edina back in the halcyon days of the 1950s.
James M. Dunn, Minneapolis
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