This morning, while the elliptical machine whirred, John Lewis spoke eloquently to the Democrats who had just decided to stop their 25 hour sit-in on the floor of the House. The Media said they stopped. But that was not the whole story. Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House adjourned the Congress, to start their July 4th vacation. C-span is forbidden to cover House activities when there is an adjournment. So, the Democrats broadcast their sit-in on periscope on the cell phone of one of the Democratic members. Thank you new media. John Lewis also said that they will be back to continue the sit-in on July 5th once they had talked to their constituencies in their home states.
John worked shoulder to shoulder with Martin Luther King, quoted him by saying that it is every citizens right to protest when the government is not doing the right thing. He went on to say that he was tired to spend a moment of silence and then move on to business as usual.
The Democrats recessed long after the Republicans fled the Capital to face the reality of Donald Trumps presumptive candidacy. Trump was in Scotland opening a new golf course. Do you think he even knew about the British voting to decide if they will exit the European Union? Probably not. Doesn't he have to release his tax returns? Even the lowest paid person who works in the White House has to be vetted. And that includes looking at their tax returns. In addition, how dare Paul Ryan the Speaker accuse the Dems as opportunists who were only protesting the gun laws or non gun laws as a fundraising tool. One problem is that Ryan and his other Republican colleagues get so much money from the NRA that they fundraise without having a moral core about who gives them money, and how it connects to the legislation they oversee. Personally, I don't trust an elected official who lives in their office. Granted the Speakers office is a step up for him, but he lives and works in the same governmental space… How dopey is that. Excuse the digression, these people are too bizarre. Back to Hero’s instead of villains. And people who do the right thing.
Everyone who worked in the civil rights movement knew about John Lewis. Although he was not the poet that MLK was, we still watched him bloodied and locked up for doing the right thing. He said this morning, that because he followed his conscience that even when he was imprisoned after a protest, he felt free. What a guy.
John is a friend of my friend Marthena, who you may remember from the book I didn’t write entitled, “Oy vey iz mere Marthena.” And speaking of Marthena, she is going to Annapolis for a Jimmy Carter reunion this weekend. Wish I could be there to celebrate the Former President’s life. He may have become known as the best former President ever, but regardless of the things that made a reelection unlikely, he always had a real commitment to human rights that made all the Carter Administration staff proud to have served with him. Maybe I'll skype with them. Thank you again new technology. Anyway, we worked for John on a number of occassions. You will never find a kinder, lovelier man in Congress or anywhere for that matter.
After the sit-in ended and the Democrats exited the Capital to meet the media and real people, John led them all in a rousing rendition of “We Shall Overcome.” There I was, still on the elliptical, voice raised, unembarrassed and singing right along with them. It just felt like the right thing to do. We're just sayin'.....Iris