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home : opinion : opinion
January 23, 2018

12/11/2017 10:34:00 AM
Editorial Amy Klobuchar should resign, too

Senator Amy Klobuchar should join Senator Al Franken in resigning from the United States Senate, so that we can have representation in Washington that respects the citizens of Minnesota and supports the Constitution of the United States, our electoral process and our system of justice. In joining the lynch mob that forced Minnesota's duly elected senator from office last week, Klobuchar demonstrated that she lacks that respect and that she does not support those institutions so important to the success of our democratic republic.

Article One; Section Three of the U.S. Constitution sets the qualifications for U.S. Senator:

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen.

Amendment XVII of the U.S. Constitution tells how senators are elected:

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

Notice that the responsibility for electing qualified senators is given to the voters of each state, not to the female (or male) Democratic (or Republican) senators of other states.

It is important to remember these facts not only because of the Franken debacle, but because of the election in Alabama. If Roy Moore is elected by the voters of Alabama, he should and undoubtedly will be seated by Republican senators. The voters should decide who represents them.

After they become members of the Senate, senators are subject to the qualifications set by the Senate and may be tried and punished for violating its rules, as was set to happen with Senator Franken.

Like all other U.S. citizens and elected officials, I do not know whether Franken was guilty of charges against him, charges which included anonymous accusers, but I do know that he had elected to be tried by the Senate Ethics Committee, in which case we would have had an opportunity for our senator to face due process.

Instead, the decision of the voters of Minnesota was overruled by a lynch mob led by social media, over-zealous news media and self-serving politicians.

Allowing such a lynch mob to sabotage our state's voters choice of a senator undermines our electoral process. We know that three of Franken's accusers chose to remain anonymous, which means they would not be allowed as accusers under our legal system. Whether or not they are telling the truth, it is a basic principle of our legal system that we are allowed to face our accusers.

Anonymous accusers are a bigger threat to our electoral system, our legal system and our democratic government than the Russians or terrorists. We have all seen how quickly false news stories are spread on social media, how passionately people respond and how hard it is to get the truth recognized.

Both our government and our legal system can be very frustrating at times and often seem to move so slowly that it is hard to see if anything is happening, but that is what happens when you have a democratic republic and a legal system based on equal justice under the law.

It may frustrate us at times, but we have the most successful "government of the people, by the people and for the people" in the history of the world. We either believe in our system of electing representatives, our constitutional government and our system of equal justice under the law and trust them to work or we will face anarchy.

When we allow our systems to be undermined as they were in the case of Senator Franken, we undermine the systems that protect all of our rights.

The same is true in the case of Roy Moore, if he is elected. I am not a Roy Moore supporter, but if the voters of Alabama elect him, we need to stand up for their right to choose their own Senator as provided for in our Constitution.

I have always been a supporter of Amy Klobuchar, but I am very disappointed in her failure to stand up for the interests of Minnesota voters and for the Constitution of the United States, our electoral process and our system of justice.

When a group seeks to enforce mob rule rather than allow the legal system to examine the facts and make a determination of guilt and punishment due, that is a lynch mob. When a lynch mob is forming, it is important for those who know about it to step in and prevent injustice. Doing nothing to stop it is tantamount to joining it. Senator Klobuchar did nothing.

She should resign.

Larry Dobson

Claremont Service

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