By the end of this coming week, there should be a new U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch from Colorado. By the end of this week, many of us will have been thoroughly schooled on what is known as the Nuclear or Constitutional option. By the end of this week, there will have been ample opportunity for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to have redeemed himself with Republicans and/or to have shown Democrats he hasn’t lost any of his ‘charm’ as he works the arcane, some would say ‘nasty’, side of politics.
If the Nuclear option is all that remains to Republicans in order to seat Neil Gorsuch on the U.S. Supreme Court, I cannot see the Republicans doing anything but using this option, and that may well set the tone for future appointments to this body for years to come. That knife cuts both ways as the Democrats may come to be reminded this week. This option actually goes way back to 1917 when Senate filibuster rules requiring a vote of three-fifths, a super-majority, of the body to end any debate on legislation and Supreme Court nominations by overturning the ‘filibuster’ potential. That was changed to a simple majority vote of 51 Senators.
Once this kind of debate blocking tactic has been used in current times, it will be easier and easier to use going forward. While it will auger to the benefit of Republicans in this situation, things change in politics as we’re all well aware.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is the face of the Democrats in the Senate, and he is capable of virtually anything without regard to what might be beneficial to our country. Judge Gorsuch would be a great addition to the U.S. Supreme Court but Sen. Schumer seemingly couldn’t care less about what would be good for the country. He is driven, purely and simply, by political gain, his and that, by extension, also of the Democrats. All this, of course, is done under the guise of a longtime member of the Senate who has earned some rights not normally accorded other Senators.
In fact, in 2013 the Democrats used the nuclear option to eliminate filibusters on executive branch nominations and federal judicial appointments OTHER than those to the Supreme Court.
You and I tend to see these issues in terms of what is right and what is wrong. The Sen. Schumers of this world see what is right and what is wrong through the prism of what is beneficial or detrimental to their own political party and its fortunes no matter how it might affect the country. That is, unfortunately, a statement about politics in this age.
So, the spotlight moves to the Republicans, who have a history of not being quite so adamant or hard-nosed about things as their Democrat counterparts. We know the Democrats, by and large, will stand by their party leadership in virtually everything that comes before the body. We watched very recently when the Republicans demonstrated once again that nothing can be taken for granted on our side of the aisle. That is a good thing, but it can also work to the detriment of the country at large. I tend to think that the Freedom Caucus’ pout caused damage to our country, but, were they part of the Democrat party apparatus, you’d not hear anything like that being said.
Friday of this week is likely the day we’ll see if Judge Gorsuch is confirmed to sit as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. He is very well qualified. He leans conservative, but he also has a very broad view of the law and, thus, will not be a robotic conservative vote on the high court. There will, I am almost certain, be cases where we scratch our heads and wonder at his vote, but he will explain his rulings. He is a well-qualified jurist and belongs on our high court. He is also at an age where we would expect him to be seated on this bench for some time to come. There are no guarantees, of course.
We can be fairly certain that Sen. Schumer and those on his side of the aisle will be in a state of high dudgeon. There may be spittle flying and veins bulging before this is finished. These are the moments in a democracy where the founding fathers’ wisdom is on display. These are things that set us apart from so many other countries in this world.
Try to avoid personal anger but, instead, sit back and observe what is said by whom, and how those utterings sound to you. Do they square with your belief system or do they run contrary to that system? Do you appreciate what you see in the various exhibits of behavior or would you prefer a more deliberate debate without disruption and ‘showtime’? This will be a wonderful time for learning the true positions of many of those in Congress. This is really where ‘the rubber hits the road’. These are the situations that ‘gin up’ or ‘turn off’ campaign contributions.
In any event, celebrate our democracy! I believe there is nothing with which it can be compared…even when I might not appreciate the politics being demonstrated.