I can’t help it. It’s not my fault. Society’s to blame.
I invariably pledge I will flee all apparent partisanship each presidential election cycle. I’ll articulate my stance on vital issues but hide my vote in my secret box. I promise. Cross my heart and hope to die. I’d rather write about theology and spirituality anyway.
But the GOP keeps morphing into the POB without shame. The Party Of Brats began in earnest with Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” and its thinly-veiled race baiting, which set the stage for Newt Gingrich’s character assassinations, followed by Willie Horton ads and Swift Boat ads and rich draft-dodgers cross-examining the patriotism of medaled war veterans. Muck and mire and mud prevailed in 2008 along with Sarah Palin’s ignorance-is-bliss politics.
Surprise-surprise and wonder of wonders: The supposedly respectable members of the “establishment” POB feign the shock of frock-coated Victorian gentry: They’ve been dumped on The Donald’s doorstep. Who did this to us and why?
They’re so soaked in shamelessness they don’t even see it: Senate “leaders” are folding their arms like pouting six-year-olds and refusing to unwrap President Obama’s gift. By all accounts, Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland would be the justice’s justice. If he’s a radical, then Norman Rockwell was a Soviet mole. But the six-year-old Victorian gentry won’t even meet with the mild-mannered Garland. They’re gambling on a POB White House takeover (you might want to think about folding early, Mitch McConnell; things aren’t looking up). That’s obnoxious.
My friend, John Elwood, has had it up to here with the POB – and he wanted McConnell to know about it. Unfortunately, McConnell’s web site doesn’t accept comments from non-Kentuckians, so he sent his letter to his own senator, Cory Booker, and asked him to convey the message. Here it is:
Dear Senator Booker:
I would like to convey my beliefs and principles to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. His website, however, excludes commentary from any American who is not from Kentucky. But Mr. McConnell is not solely answerable to Kentuckians. He is Majority Leader of the UNITED STATES Senate, and is therefore accountable to all Americans, over whom he holds so much power. I have a right to be heard, therefore, as a citizen of this great country. So, please be so kind as to convey this message to the Majority Leader:
Dear Senator McConnell,
I am proud to be an active citizen-participant in a democratic system such as ours, governed by constitutional principles that have guided our republic for more than 200 years. I believe in those principles and I want to be able to trust that our elected officials will seek to uphold those principles and the stipulations of the Constitution.
Your recent statements about President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court and your repeated refusals to proceed with the Senate’s constitutionally-mandated task of advice and consent strain that trust beyond the breaking point. You say that you wish to give the people a voice in deciding who will fill this vacancy on the court. That artful construction fails to convince any reasonably well-informed citizen of the republic, who knows quite well that the people’s voice in any Supreme Court nomination is expressed through their choice of the sitting president. It is that individual, elected by the people, who is empowered and required by the Constitution to choose a Supreme Court justice. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a hint of the time limitation you have so imaginatively created. Your citation of a so-called Biden rule as justification for your refusal to do your constitutional duty is a transparent and rhetorically-challenged exercise in partisan obstructionism.
As a US citizen, I appeal to you to return to a plain reading of the Constitution and abandon this foolish, partisan ploy that only demeans you, the office of the majority leader, and the US Senate. In the matter of the filling of this vacancy, I wish to have my voice heard. As a voter, I have spoken. Now I expect you and your colleagues to do what the law, constitutional principle, and longstanding precedent require. Use your influence to see that the Judiciary Committee holds hearings on this nomination. It is not too late, Mr. McConnell, for you to make America, and the Senate, great again.
My thoughts exactly, John — and they ring true with Minnesota Senator Al Franklin, who was incredulous as he quizzed POB members on their blatant evasion of their duty.Here’s a video:
All of this underscores my question: How can I avoid the appearance of partisanship when one of our parties has mutated into a brat beehive?