Enough Already – The Nuclear Option, Supreme Court Hearings and Bart Simpson

Here are the numbers; 59% of the 997 people surveyed said Kavanaugh should not be appointed to the supreme court if Ford’s charges are true; 12% are unsure and 29% say yes. This is not partisan politics; this is wrong. This was not a normal week. How did we get here?

The Nuclear Option

The constitution requires a super majority – 60 out 100 votes. The nuclear option is a point of order raised by the majority leader to require a simple majority of votes, 51 out of 100 rather than 60 out of 100. With no time limits for debates in congress, this is said to help and eliminate filibustering. This is the thing, the majority leader gets to bring this up as a point of order and the senate votes. Ironically, the vote to accept the nuclear option is a simple majority – 51 to 49. A framework that encourages collaboration and consensus can be tossed out.But, this framework also has no time limit on debate and the famed filibuster. And herein lies the problem?

In response to the republican filibustering on President Obama’s nominations to the court of appeals In November of 2013, the senate voted 52 – 48 that all judicial nominations except for the supreme court would require a simple majority rather than 60 out of 100 votes. In 2017, senate republicans in reposne to democratic planned retaliation for Merrick Garland invoked the nuclear option exempting Supreme court justices. A framework intended to promote collaboration and consensus now ensures tribal war, a system breeds contempt versus compromise. Without the nuclear option – this nomination would not be going forward.

 

The Bart Simpson Defense – I didn’t do it, nobody saw me, you can’t prove a thing

This past week, two different friends said, if Kavanaugh had said I partied as a youth, I did some things I am not proud of. If I did what’s been said, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. That is not who I am now, we’d be done. There would be no further conversation, other than, we’ve all done things in our youth and learned from it. Who we were as teenagers do not reflect who we are today. That didn’t happen.

The world saw a belligerent, angry, and loud display of privilege. Kavanagh stalled, delayed and answered questions with questions. An analysis by The Vox highlights how Kavanagh did not answer questions. He often responded to questions by asking his own questions. Odd behavior for what is essentially a job interview. His demeanor was less than judicial. He was particularity flippant and dismissive when questioned by women.  He cut Feinstein off mid sentence and admonished her, his behavior towards to Klobuchar questions was so bad, he apologized to her. It was surreal, it was unhinged and based on Kavanagh’s behavior, this nomination should not go forward.

 

Me Too Need Not Apply?

Over 1,000 identifiable victims of sexual abuse, 300 priests and a reign of terror for the last 70 years. Thank you Daniel Dye for launching a 5 year effort leading to a grand jury investigation in the State of Pennsylvania on the abuse of the Catholic Church.  These findings published in August of 2018; and yes, they matter. This week, to hear comments like, “Why wasn’t it reported? Why wasn’t something said sooner” indicates some very important people have not been listening. Or maybe they have and they don’t care?

Kavanaugh has sworn under oath Ford’s allegations are false. If found to be true, this would mean perjury, lying under oath. Yet, 29% of almost 1,000 people surveyed, said  Kavanaugh should be confirmed  if the allegations are found to be true and 12% are unsure. Is the partisan divide so great there is a willingness to place someone on the highest court of the land who lies under oath?  Or, does the treatment of women not matter when selecting someone that will determine the law of the land for a lifetime. This is not who we are, this nomination should not go forward.

 

I can trace how we have got here this week, but, how long has it taken this deep divide to fester? Will we allow it to tear us apart or are we ready to come together? We’re at an inflection point of change.  What the world saw last week was belligerence and privilege in lieu of graciousness. What will we see this week? Will it be the end of the division or the start of destruction?

 

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