Bernie’s Weekly Q&A (10/27)
Rashida Tlaib, Matt Gaetz, free speech, and more!
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Let’s get started:
Bernie, How is it that Tlaib and her Squad crew can speak the words they speak and not be removed from Congress? Yes, we have freedom of speech guarantees, but is this not a direction and intent not covered in that guarantee? They are elected representatives of this country, and while they can advocate for their beliefs, should acting and demonstrating in such a traitorous way be acceptable without severe consequence? — Larry H.
Hello, my friend from WTVJ in Miami, where we both worked a thousand years ago.
A lot of people are asking the same questions you’re asking. I believe Tlaib, and other hard lefties in Congress and in the real world outside DC, should be able to say just about anything they want. But … that doesn’t mean they should be free of consequences. In Tlaib’s case, I’d rather see the voters of her district decide if they believe her words were heinous enough to send her packing. But we all know, I think, that she comes from a safe district, where many voters agree with what she said about Israel bombing the hospital in Gaza and leaving her post up even after evidence showed that the bomb was launched from inside Gaza by terrorists who were aiming at Israel. So no, I don’t believe she should be removed from Congress. But I wouldn’t lose any sleep if the House passed a (symbolic) resolution condemning what she said.
Another great episode gentlemen! I am very interested in the "shades of grey" here. Bernie said an interviewer shouldn't ask someone who they voted for - and I completely agree. However, suppose someone shows up at work with a MAGA hat on? Could the company tell that person to not wear the MAGA hat? And if so, what are acceptable forms of political expression in the workplace? The definition of what is "provocative" or "controversial" seems to shift depending on where you sit on the political spectrum. — John M.
From John: Thanks John. A company can absolutely tell an employee not to wear a MAGA hat, but in that case, I think it would be in their best interest to forbid all employees from wearing or displaying political messaging at work. A lot of companies already do this. I support leaving it up to each company to determine their policy on such matters. I agree with you that what’s "provocative" or "controversial" is often open to interpretation, so some companies probably struggle with this issue.
From Bernie: As John says, a company can tell an employee not to wear a MAGA hat. Or the CEO can say, “Fine with me,” which I think would be a bad decision. My point is that companies can allow political messages or not allow them. While I think it’s best not to allow them, I don’t want government sticking its nose into this. It’s strictly up to each company to decide how it wants to operate.
Can't wait for your take on [Matt] Gaetz. I know most regular citizens don't know nor care nor can describe the role of the Speaker of the House, but he's the hero among Dems right now. Just like Romney, Cheney and McCain were heroes they'd never vote for unless they switched parties. The same for Manchin and Sinema, the latter running for re-election as an independent. Whatever one thinks of Pelosi as a partisan - she knew how to keep her slim majority in line with few defections. — David K.
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