Criticism of Biden based on bad timing

Editor,

The Herald-Palladium editorialized on Sunday, Jan. 27, in favor of bipartisan political work (“Joe Biden’s sin”). As I told The New York Times reporter when he called to inquire about the reaction of local Democrats to Vice President Biden’s remarks, I too am very much in favor of bipartisan efforts, and comity and civility, in Congress and politics in general.

Politics keeps the gears of our society turning, reducing friction and keeping us from breaking down into Bosnia or Syria. Compromise is essential in a democracy. And I am glad that Mr. Biden has Republican friends, as do I. I recognize that he has done a lot of good things, especially while vice president and working with President Obama. He has done good bipartisan things regarding supporting cancer research with Rep. Upton. I sympathize with him for the personal tragedies he has suffered.

And yet he also failed his fellow Democrats when, three weeks before a major, closely fought election, he gave the Republican, Mr. Upton, ammunition that he used in his campaign ads and ignored the excellent Democrat in the race, Dr. Matt Longjohn (yes – a real doctor!). Joe Biden let his team down. That’s a fact.

It is ironic, however, that The HP editorial criticizes the Democrats for lack of bipartisanship given recent Republican history – from Nixon, through Gingrich and Mitch McConnell, to our current President Trump. Did I miss The HP’s editorials condemning McConnell for making it his top priority to block President Obama’s legislation and Merritt Garland? When did The HP make a full-throated condemnation of the behavior of Mr. Trump, either during the campaign or while in the White House? And the same goes for Rep. Upton – he has remained largely silent about Mr. Trump and so many of the key issues we face.

Democratic criticism of Joe Biden’s remarks about Fred Upton is not based on opposition to bipartisanship. On the contrary, Democrats are very much in favor of bipartisanship. What we are opposed to is a Democratic leader undermining the candidacy of a highly qualified Democrat three weeks before an election.

Eric P. Lester

St. Joseph 

FBI witch hunt undermines due process

Editor,

So we see the FBI pulling another pre-dawn raid. Twenty-seven agents in body armor with weapons drawn, 17 vehicles, two boats and helicopters – all to arrest Roger Stone, a 68-year-old man who would have surrendered himself with a phone call. That’s more resources than were used to arrest El Chapo or take down bin Laden.

This, for the crime of “lying to the FBI.” How many people has Mueller now caught up in this trap? Over the course of year you ask a guy the same question 50 different ways. Then you sit down and compare notes. You find one discrepancy and you’ve got him.

You know, I could feel worse about this supposed crime if there weren’t so many documented cases of the FBI and the government lying to us. Andrew McCabe, James Comey, Pete Strzok, James Clapper and John Brennan to name a few. All sitting there blatantly lying to Congress and the American people, without so much as a hint of shame. Then, as we await the outrage from the mainstream media? Crickets.

The purpose of Mueller’s witch hunt has never been to “get Trump” for Russian collusion because everybody involved has known from day one there never was any. No, the purpose of this witch hunt is twofold. Number one, to negate the results of the 2016 election by making it nigh on impossible for Trump to govern, something they have been gratifyingly unsuccessful at. Number two, and more importantly, this whole charade is to serve as a warning to the next guy who wants to come to Washington and drain the swamp. This is a message to him and anybody dumb enough or unfortunate enough to be associated with him. “We will destroy you!”

In the old days they would take such a person and simply chop off his head and place it on a pike on the tower bridge as a warning to anybody who dared to confront the powers that be. Or better yet, break him on the rack or put his eyes out and leave him a beggar on the streets, to serve as a long-term warning.

Nowadays we are much more sophisticated than that. We simply drag them into federal court on specious charges to face the unlimited power and resources of the federal government. The process is the punishment and, after putting them through hell for a year or two, even if they’re found innocent, their reputation has been destroyed, their family has been shattered and traumatized and they are generally bankrupt. How civilized. Meanwhile, Mueller just smiles.

What you are witnessing is a complete abrogation of the founding concepts of civil rights, probable cause, due process and presumption of innocence. Once those walls have been breached, there will be no coming back. If you’re OK with that, you must hate Trump more than you love your children and grandchildren, because you won’t be leaving them much of a country to live in.

David Goodyear

Coloma 

Border fears not based on facts

Editor,

Do we really need to spend $5.7 billion on a border wall?

Let’s stop the false rhetoric.

There is no Hispanic invasion of the U.S. Per the Pew Research Center, there were approximately 10.7 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. in 2016. Of those, 5.4 million were Mexican, which is a decrease of 1.5 million Mexican immigrants since 2007. More Asian immigrants than Hispanics have arrived in the U.S. yearly since 2010.

Yes, we’ve had an increase in Central America immigrants fleeing gang violence, poverty and political repression in recent years. However, we need to accept responsibility for much of this migration. Over the past century, the U.S. has backed numerous military coups in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and encouraged corporate plundering. Our actions have undermined democracy and created power vacuums in which drug cartels have created instability and violence that now drives people to seek asylum in the U.S.

We don’t have thousands of terrorists crossing our southern border. NBC News reported that per Homeland Security’s own reporting, DHLS personnel prevented 3,775 known or suspected terrorists from entering the U.S. in 2017, mostly stopped at worldwide airports, none at our southern border.

Also, according to U.S. Customs/Border Protection, 80-90 percent of drugs seized along the border in 2018 came through legal points of entry not wide-open border land where Trump is asking for his wall. The biggest fentanyl bust ever, 254 pounds, was recently captured in Nogales at a port of entry in a semi.

Trump’s statements about immigrants being rapists and murders creates public perception that illegal immigration means crime. There is no evidence immigrants commit more crimes than native-born Americans. In fact, first-generation immigrants are predisposed to lower crime rates than native-born Americans.

Here’s how we can strengthen border security: Provide funding for effective tools such as radar and electronic surveillance to detect incursions across the border. Focus on drug interdiction at ports of entry. Support effective asylum laws by assigning more judges to reduce the 800,000-case backlog. Accept more responsibility for Central American migration by helping countries grow jobs through market access, humanitarian assistance and loan forgiveness. Practice humane treatment for migrants crossing our borders legally or illegally; this means the U.S. does not separate children from their parents and has proper facilities for families being detained.

Our country’s decisions should be based on facts not fear.

Ken Peterson

Buchanan