An Open Letter to Republican Friends of Elijah Cummings: Stop Voter Suppression


After the recent death of Elijah Cummings, many Republicans who call him friend have come forward to offer condolences. I don’t doubt that some of them were sincerely his friend. Cummings himself during a televised hearing mentioned that one of his closest friends was Republican Congressman Mark Meadows. He tweeted:

“There was no stronger advocate and no better friend than Elijah Cummings. I am heartbroken for his wonderful family and staff — please pray for them.

I will miss him dearly.”

Trey Gowdy, the former Republican Chairman of the House Oversight Committee which was Cummings position said:

“ Cummings was one of the most powerful, beautiful, and compelling voices in American politics. We never had a harsh word outside of a committee room.”

These people and many other Republicans called Cummings a friend. Elijah himself confirmed that in some cases andI’m willing to take them all at their word. Mark Meadows called upon that friendship during a committee hearing when Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D) suggested Meadows committed a racist act in positioning a black woman behind him to give credence to his position. Cummings dramatically revealed their close friendship and stood up for Meadows. A short time later in an unrelated event, Donald Trump accused Cummings of racism. Meadows rather weakly said he believed neither Trump nor Cummings were racist.

One of Elijah Cummings’s prime issues was voting rights and fighting voter suppression. He believed every eligible voter should have an equal opportunity to vote without regard to which party they belonged to. Cummings didn’t care if they were from the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Democrat or Republican. He railed against voter suppression while those that call him friend, fully supporting it, although they called it by another name. If you were truly Elijah Cummings friends. I ask you to reconsider your position. Think of your friend, perhaps your country, something besides your party’s desire for power while they continue to diminish in numbers.

Mark Meadows, you personally have screamed at the top of your lungs about “massive voter fraud” with no evidence to support it. When Republicans in North Carolina were found guilty of real voter fraud, you said “it’s too early to tell” if fraud was committed despite sworn affidavits from many involved. I wonder if you ever explained that behavior to your late friend? The next time you have a chance to take a stand on voter suppression, ask yourself if you could look the late Mr. Cummings in the eyes and take the same position? When you needed your friend to stand up for you, he did so for all America to see and hear. What will you do?

It’s easy to say the right thing after someone dies. Even Donald Trump had someone else issue a statement of condolences. We know someone else wrote it because… spelling. My question is, what will you do when it gets harder when a little time has passed? Will you do the right thing? Ask yourself… what would your friend Elijah Cummings do?

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Elijah Cummings: We Weren’t Better Than This, But He Believed We Could Be (January 18, 1951 —…


It couldn’t have been easy growing up in South Baltimore with the name Elijah. His was the name of one of the major prophets from the Bible. The biblical Elijah performed major miracles. He defended the worship of the Lord God against those who preferred the craven idol, Baal. He brought fire down from the sky. In hindsight, Elijah Cummings resembled the prophet in many ways. Biblical Elijah confronted the King over his idolatry. Modern-day Elijah confronted the would-be king over the same. And when he spoke, he often brought fire from the sky in pointing out the inhumanity and indecency of various situations. Cummings embraced diversity and wished that others did the same.

“Many Americans yearn for the day when we stop fighting each other & realize that diversity is our promise — not our problem.”

Elijah Cummings had multiple causes. When it came down to it, they were all related to fighting for the equality of all people. He believed in the things he felt America stood for; voting rights, education as a means of liberation, streets safe from gun violence. He was far more an advocate of things positive but he could denounce injustice with the best of them.

“We must also stop the hateful incendiary comments, we got to do it. Those in the highest levels of the government must stop invoking fear, using racist language and encouraging reprehensible behavior. It only creates more division among us and severely limits our ability to work together for the common good. As a country, we finally must say enough is enough. That we are done with the hateful rhetoric. That we are done with the mass shootings. That we are done with white supremacists, domestic terrorists, who terrorizing in our country and fighting against everything America stands for.”

Elijah Cummings was a man worthy of emulation. Although he rose in power, he maintained the values that got him there. When he left the corridors of the Capitol or the White House in Washington DC. He returned home each night to his Baltimore home and his wife Maya Rocleymore Cummings. Though a powerful man; Chairman of the Oversight Committee, he was also a humble man who looked for the common ground even with political foes.

In a recent hearing, he disclosed that one of his closest friends in Congress was Republican Mark Meadows with whom it would seem he had little in common. Cummings was one of the first to reach across the aisle even as he rose in leadership among Democrats in Congress. He never forgot why he was there, however. To represent his District and his people, always the civil rights champion he was in his youth.

“Americans of our own time — minority and majority Americans alike — need the continued guidance that the Voting Rights Act provides. We have come a long way, but more needs to be done.”

Elijah Cummings believed in America. A country still struggling to reach its full potential. Elijah saw what America could be, fighting to rid it of its flaws. He was a man of action, not content with hopes and prayers as the best we can offer. When he had the gavel in his hand when chairing his committee in Congress. He recognized the rights of the minority party, even when at times they had no purpose but to hinder the oversight they were supposed to be about. Cummings had the unique ability to cut through all the political charades and put the focus where it belonged. We as a country didn’t always live up to what Elijah believed we could and should be. There’s no question we can do better than this, much better.

“We are better than this. We really are,” he said. “As a country, we are so much better than this.”

Elijah Eugene Cummings (January 18, 1951 — October 17, 2019)

What Did Mike Pence Know and When Did He Know It?

Mike Pence has had his name come up a few times during the ongoing Russia investigations. Fortunately, his boss could be counted on to provide a distraction a day so that Pence has never come under any concentrated focus. Since the election, people have more or less forgotten that he was almost as big a liar as Trump. The Vice-Presidential Debate was a clinic on how to tell any lie in the moment, even though it can and will be fact checked within hours.

Within hours of the first version released about how James Comey was fired as the Director of the FBI. Pence went to Capitol Hill and gave statement after statement about how Trump reached the decision after receiving a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Now that those statements have been rendered false when Donald Trump revealed in an interview his intention all along to fire Comey and that the memo came at his request. It would be easy to say that Pence himself was misled and he was just repeating what Trump told him. To do that however, you’d have to forget that Pence was in the room along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions while Trump implemented his plan.

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Photo: spokesman.com

That meeting was troubling in and of itself because it included Sessions who had allegedly recused himself from all matters involving the Russian connections to the Trump campaign. Trump has acknowledged it was Russia on his mind when deciding to fire Comey. In a related matter, the Justice Department is currently not responding to questions about whether Sessions is involved in the investigation of Paul Manafort who was the Trump Campaign chair. Back to Pence.

There appears to be a coordinated effort to keep Pence above the fray, despite his constant wallowing in the dirt. Everybody keeps repeating the hard to reconcile version that Mike Flynn lied to Pence which was the reason he got fired. Pence was the Chairman of the Trump Transition Team. He was responsible for the vetting of Cabinet nominees and Presidential appointments like Flynn. It was to Pence that Elijah Cummings wrote on November 18, 2016 questioning him about published reports of Flynn’s troubling involvement with Turkey. It was Pence that apparently didn’t get the required new clearance for Flynn to become National Security Advisor. It is Pence who hopes to still be standing as collusion and corruption takes down all around him.

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Photo: chicagotribune.com

If there was only Russian interference into the Presidential Election without participation of the Trump Campaign. Trump could still be removed based on Obstruction of Justice or simply diminished mental capacity as he seems to be unraveling before our eyes. In that case, rules of succession would lead us to Pence. If the Campaign was complicit; I submit the result cannot stand and the only remedy is a new election.

This Republican Congress has time after time put their Party above the needs of the Country and looked away from all of Trump’s misdeeds. It might even be their preference to end up with a President Pence which would enhance the chances of implementing their agenda. Given the opportunity, this Congress would prefer a transition to Pence no matter what Trump may ultimately be guilty of. They will continue the troubling pattern of holding Pence up as the untainted one when in truth he’s covered with slime. It is important for us to not let Pence slide while those around him are drowning in quicksand. It all starts with the question. What did Pence know and when did he know it.

Featured Photo: publicseminar.com