Tell the Senate to Do Their Job

There is no need to argue for the US Senate to provide “Advice and Consent” for presidential appointments to the Supreme Court.  It’s right there in the U.S. Constitution:  Article II, Section 2, Clause 2.

The crass partisanship of majority Republicans in the U.S. Senate in refusing such consent is grossly insulting to citizens of the United States, not only in terms of the lame arguments posed by our illustrious Senate majority leader, for example, but also in terms of the continued affront to a constitutional democracy that Republicans violate. Republicans’ professed reverence for the Constitution especially highlights their hypocrisy.

However, the blame game cannot be pulsed in one direction – toward demagogues in the Republican Party. It must include the derelict inaction of voters in all elections, but most especially in midterm elections, not to speak of the real issue inattentiveness of all voters. Such gross neglect of citizenship responsibility enables derelicts like Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz, for example, to sneer at responsible discharge of Constitutional duty, thus eschewing their solemn oath of office to fulfill the dictates of Constitutional law.

Accordingly, Mitch McConnell can spend his time obstructing all due progress in the US Senate and insult voters with his refusal to consider a duly nominated justice for the Supreme Court. Such chicanery was rewarded with his re-election in the midterm election of 2014 with just some 30% of Kentucky voters.

Then, of course, there is Ted Cruz who instigated the shutdown of the government in 2013, knowing that his demand of defunding and thus destroying “Obamacare” had no chance of happening, all done for his own self-aggrandizement. His run for president in 2016 is possible because of the short memory of voters and the billionaire support made possible by a right-wing Supreme Court decision, Citizens United.

Blame can also be directed at Democrats and their inability to resolutely champion the majority interests of the people and instead value their continued re-election instead of informing voters and affirming policies that benefit the people. Caving into austerity movements by the GOP, almost always defensive wimps in responding to GOP control of the media, and failing to defend their own policies that help the people provided little motivation for many to vote for them – these are sins of the opposition Democrats.

So here we are. Republicans are positively emboldened by the docile electorate, an electorate which sits back and accepts massacre after massacre in theaters, schools, community centers, even on the streets, letting politicians reject effort after effort to regulate guns. It’s an electorate that allows politicians like Donald Trump shift the blame for lost jobs, low wages, restrictions of the right to sue corporations, poor schools, lost pensions, lost savings, voting disenfranchisement, and imprisoned friends and relatives, shifting blame on the “other:” immigrants, teachers, all Muslims, nonwhites, government, and gays.

Republicans and their conservative media networks control the argument. A partial lexicon — Wall Street, big corporations, Pharma, crony capitalism, and Koch brothers, for example – pay the bills for misinformation dispensed through the infrastructure they’ve built, and rake in the money while Trump crowds rage. What do they want, lower taxes, kill unions, privatize Social Security, kill the EPA, and so on?

What can we do?

First of all, we can pick the real sources of our oppression. With enough pressure through phone calls, letters, emails, texts, interviews if we have a media voice, and social media, we can force Republicans to listen. With indication of a voting frenzy, we can frighten Republicans into the uncommon action of doing their jobs for people. Corporate lobbyists cannot outshout a determined public. With the same pressure we can force Democrats out of their wimpy ways. Bernie Sanders has already forced Hillary Clinton into more progressive views and made debate on all issues happen.

Of course, we can let the Supreme Court appointment and Senate approval process die, and like everything else the Republicans shutdown and block in Congress, Scalia’s replacement won’t happen. Then the Supreme Court will be another branch of government Republicans tie up just like Congress.

Just how mad will you be then?

James Hoover is a recently retired systems engineer. He has advanced degrees in Economics and English. Prior to his aerospace career, he taught high school, and he has also taught college courses. He recently published a science fiction novel called Extraordinary Visitors and writes political columns on several websites. Read other articles by James.