The hearings involving various members of the Congressional committee charged with conducting hearings for newly appointed people to what would be considered high-level positions in an Administration, or the government more specifically, are quite showing.
I watched yesterday as the hearing for Supreme Court Justice candidate Neil Gorsuch was being conducted. Many thoughts crossed through my mind as this unfolded. Chief among those thoughts was just how very well qualified Gorsuch appears to be for Justice in the U.S. Supreme Court. His grasp of the varied issues raised in questions by both Republicans and Democrats was astounding. The ability to recall case nuances from years ago and to deflect innuendo-laden questions from the Dems was actually exciting, and more than just a bit humorous, to watch. Conservatives need to get their jollies where they can find them.
Another takeaway was this: thank goodness for Congressional staffers who can help some Senators appear to almost be qualified for their office. Minnesota seems to benefit quite well. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) is reasonably well informed but Sen. Al Franken (D) would be an embarrassment to me were I a citizen of our neighboring state. This man apparently thinks of himself as quite a gifted orator and an even more gifted inquisitor. He would have, in my opinion, been better advised to keep his original job as a comedian/court jester.
Through all the spouting of jibberish by Sen. Franken the U.S. Supreme Court appointee Gorsuch maintained a dignity and demeanor about him that spoke volumes as to his character and capability. He is well-suited to sit on this highest court bench in our land. He refused to be baited into any missteps and even seemed to give the Franken questions more than their fair due with reasoned responses that helped the Senator avoid being laughed out of the building…I suspect even by his Dem counterparts.
The Democrats have, as their declared job in such situations, the framing of questions that will stump and/or embarrass the candidate. They failed to get even close to causing one or the other of those things to occur throughout this hearing. Gorsuch is simply stellar in all respects.
I will be very surprised if the Dems try to force the Republicans to make use of what has been labeled the Nuclear option where a super majority (60 votes) must be had to approve a nominee for office. A simple majority, 51 votes, ought to be quite suitable for Gorsuch given his considerably more-than-stellar performance and grasp of facts from cases ages old. Of course, I tend to forget that Democrats, even at this level…maybe even more at this level, can be like pouty adolescents.
This candidate will assume his position and be very comfortable with his associates as they will be with him. He is a solid conservative. His previous decisions have shown that to be true; this is not purely driven by unsupported supposition. Will this quell the oblique dismissal of him by some Dems? Of course not. If we look at the Al Frankens of that party, there is ample potential for more self-embarrassment before this hearing is concluded.
There is a simple fact involved in this discussion. There is no qualifier for a candidate for the U.S. Senate except whether or not he or she can sell themselves to their voters. If there is a person sufficiently charismatic, no matter his or her qualifications, that candidate can run for office and have a good chance of being elected. Our former President Barack Obama is a great example. This man was a back-bencher from the Illinois State Senate who had never cast a defining vote; never a yes or no vote was ever made. This was, of course, by design so he could be tapped for the highest office in the land, as he was, and be elected, as he was.
This speaks to the need for discerning voters who cherish their right to vote and who want others to do so as well. That, unfortunately, is not a simple order to fill. Too many voters have swallowed the party kool-aid, and blindly follow the dictates of the party. There is no individual discernment. The party told me to do this, therefore I am doing this as I was instructed. If my party gets me ‘stuff’ in return for my voting as they tell me to vote, and if I am not discerning enough to know that I should not have any part in this charade, I am a danger to the republic. Can we legislate the solution? No.
All that can be done about this travesty is to educate, educate, educate. There are people who love the idea that they can influence votes even if they are influencing using unfair/illegal tactics. It is difficult to involve teachers in this educational effort since they, too, have preferences and communicate those preferences even if very subtly and unintentionally. A bumper sticker is an indicator. A yard sign is an indicator. TV commercials are great inducers.
Home education is very nearly all we can do if we want to assure that our values are extended to our children. If we leave that to others, we cannot but blame ourselves if our children vote differently from us without being able to articulate their reasons for doing so.
Such discussions were not part of my upbringing. I guess I have to accept the fact that I might’ve been a lucky person that had a conservative streak in him even before I understood what that meant. I had never been taught about liberalism either. So, I must’ve been untainted enough to simply gravitate to what made the most sense to me at the time. I have to thank Barry Goldwater for having a message that made sense to me.
Maybe now my blogs can influence others. If you are of the same mindset, please share these with others who might enjoy this perspective. I am amazed at learning of the people who are now readers about whom I had little if any idea of political leanings. Welcome aboard if this feels right to you! Even if it doesn’t, maybe it’ll get you stirred up a bit.