Mitt Romney And His Immutable Fairness
Cue the avalanche of “I told you so!”s. Mitt Romney announced today that out of a principled sense of immutable fairness, that he would welcome a vote on a qualified nominee to the Supreme Court should Trump choose to elect one. To be honest, this is unsurprising. Some one pointed out that technically Mitt Romney wasn’t in the Senate in 2016, so he isn’t beholden to any precedents or rules put in place. Nevertheless, I swear there is some nontrivial amount of Stockholm Syndrome that exists within the Democratic party. What’s the saying? Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me dozens of times, then what? Some part of me hoped Mitt Romney was one of the good ones.
Anyway, Senator Romney believes that the president he voted to impeach, who was elected by a minority of the country, should get the chance to nominate someone to the Supreme Court and have that nominee confirmed a week before an election by a group of Senators who also represent a minority of the population? This nominee would then likely be on the Supreme Court for at least forty years or more, influencing policy and the general direction of the country long after Trump and many of the Senators currently elected are dead. Ridicuous, right?
The whole entire thing is utter nonsense, and the kicker is the legions of Republicans behind Mitt wrapping themselves in the flag claiming that they are just doing what the Constitution says. This is what the voters want. Correction: this is what their voters want. Unity it seems is bad for business.
I almost prefer the Collins and Murkowski maneuver who will undoubtedly vote to confirm whatever nominee Trump puts forth. Let’s be real, but at least they had the decency to at least appear to have some sort of spine. It took Murkowski all of a weekend to waffle on her initial statement, but at least there isn’t video evidence of her flaming hypocrisy right?
The reality though is that Republicans have never played fair. They have no respect for norms and that revulsion of any sense of fair play has only accelerated in the time of Trump. The cycle goes like this.
- Republicans claim Democrats aren’t compromising and then repeatedly obstruct when Democrats come to the table with compromises.
- They use their obstruction to highlight government’s failure during Democratic administrations.
- They clutch their pearls in horror when Democrats alter the rules or find some way to overcome their obnoxious obstruction by a small amount.
- They claim the Democrats are acting like dictators, circumventing Congress.
- They stir up voter anger against a gridlocked government (that they are causing.)
- Voters vote them in.
- They then do the exact same thing that they accused Democrats of doing.
This was the playbook during Clinton’s presidency, Obama’s presidency, and you can be sure it will be during Joe Biden’s presidency too. It’s a pernicious strategy that feeds on disenfranchised voters, mistrust in government, and a political system flooded by shadowy donors and lobbyists — which makes it all the more galling that they always invoke their insane sense of principles as they work their way through the cycle.
Don’t be fooled. All of their words are trash, and the antidote to all of this nonsense is to win big in the election in November. It’s the only way to say enough is enough and remake the law and all our systems to be more democratic and effective. Just think about this, the House of Representatives by the end of 2019 had passed over six hundred bills and resolutions, but only ninety four of them were passed by the Senate and ultimately became law.
The rest of them gather dust, sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk, legislation graveyard. At the end of 2019, Josh Israel, writing for National Memo, compiled a list of major bills that have stalled in the Senate.
- HR 1, a bill to fight government corruption and reinvigorate American democracy
- HR 3, a bill to reduce the cost of prescription drugs
- HR 4, a bill to protect voting rights
- HR 5, the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination
- HR 6, a bill to protect DREAMers, those brought to the country as children by their undocumented parents
- HR 7, a bill to guarantee fair pay and fight sex discrimination
- HR 8, a bill to require background checks for all gun purchases
- HR 9, a bill to protect the climate by remaining part of the Paris accords
- HR 582, a bill to gradually raise the federal minimum wage
- HR 5377, a bill to restore state and local tax deductions for taxpayers adversely impacted by Trump’s 2017 tax cut bill
Add to this list the HEROES Act, which would provide significant help to individuals, businesses, and local governments struggling during COVID 19.
If we take back the Senate, all of this will be possible. We can finally right the ship and get the United States back on track, but if Republicans win, the United State will regress even further into itself, cowering on the world stage and ceding its leadership role in the global economy.
Ultimately, United States history is full of contradictions and hypocrisy,. No matter what Democrats must remain clear-eyed on our mission. We must win. The Supreme Court and all the rest is at stake. We can’r be passive. In the words of Fredrick Douglas,
“I would to-day pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.”