My skin isn’t thick enough to endure criticism trailblazers like Harris, Pelosi, Gandhi, Meir, and Thatcher have had to suffer; but I have been inspired to follow in their footsteps, in my own ways. As Harris told Marie Claire magazine, “I want [young] women to know, you are powerful and your voice matters." Amen, Sisters. Amen.
Republicans stonewalled President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, for SEVEN MONTHS before the 2016 presidential election – infuriating Democrats.
The GOP Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, instead – infuriating Democrats.
Now, Republicans try to force a Ruth Bader Ginsburg replacement FIVE WEEKS before 2020’s election day – infuriating Democrats. Do we see a pattern?
The feckless Democratic Party finds itself helpless (again) to stop the GOP-controlled Senate from doing whatever it wants. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will read scholarly tomes on Republicans’ hypocrisy – as if that will stop them.
It will have no effect. Republicans will flip off Democrats, display unflinching hypocrisy, and confirm another Trump Supreme Court nominee (his third).
Wanted: Two Equal Political Parties
Moderates believe America needs TWO strong, competent parties competing in the political marketplace – something we don’t have now. More on that soon.
Today, TMM addresses ongoing fights over nominating and confirming justices. Republicans are rationalizing their behavior, claiming Democrats have done similar things when in power.
Some Republicans are STILL angry over Robert Bork’s 1987 confirmation hearings. He was the most recent Court nominee rejected by the Senate (with a Democratic majority).
So both parties retaliate for past Court confirmations. But in our hyper-partisan times, nobody knows where these bitter fights will end.
Some Democrats, frustrated by ongoing defeats, propose adding more justices to the Court if/when they retake power, diluting the conservative majority Republicans have manipulated. An extreme retaliation (that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has NOT supported), but one of few retorts Democrats have.
To avoid future drastic reprisals, how can America halt this hypocrisy hayride?
Wanted: A Peaceful Solution
TMM offers a solution, based on history. In 1995, when South Africa’s apartheid finally ended, enlightened leaders Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu confronted many injustices, committed by many people for many years, making reunification difficult.
They established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), “a restorative justice body” mandated “to bear witness to, record, and in some cases grant amnesty”.
Thankfully, we haven’t had the violence and abuses committed under apartheid – though recently, gun-toting vigilantes on both sides make Moderates worry we eventually could.
We HAVE had escalating political hypocrisy, leading to constitutional crises, with no end in sight.
Wanted: Our Own Truth and Reconciliation
TMM recommends – AFTER the upcoming election – that Congress establish our own version of TRC, the Supreme Court Confirmation Commission (SCCC), to halt this hypocrisy hayride and start anew.
SCCC would consist of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, with equal votes, appointed by the highest-ranking elected leaders of both parties – instructed to select appointees with proven ability to compromise across the aisle.
SCCC’s most important role would be leading us beyond past perceived grievances into a fair, balanced future, by determining exactly how particular scenarios would be handled. Example: “When a vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court, during a presidential election year, and the president and senate majority are from the same party, they will nominate and confirm the replacement justice up until ___ months (SCCC fills in the blank) before election day. After that, the nomination and confirmation will not occur until after election day.”
SCCC would define as many potential scenarios as possible (examples: when the president and senate majority are from different parties; when the president is finishing his/her second term and ineligible for reelection), determine the best course of action addressing each, then propose legislation codifying them.
The House and Senate would debate proposals, compromising on many (as with any major legislation) – resulting in the best solutions both parties could agree to.
Then we’d have a roadmap for these situations, determined when we’re NOT facing intensely-partisan crises. Unlike now, when justices’ unexpected deaths or retirements cause both sides to either ram through their candidates’ confirmations – or block them, at all costs.
Wanted: A Scratch for Our Itch
If the hypocrisy hayride is making us itch, what are we itching for? A country where political hypocrisy is history, where justices’ deaths or retirements don’t create crises, where all Americans’ voices are heard, through our legislators – and where lifetime appointments to our highest court are made in a fair, sensible manner.
Worthy of consideration, Moderates? If so, suggest it to your senators, representatives, and local news media. But whether you agree or not, be sure to VOTE – you might decide this election.
Images: Google Images
Biden, Garland, Obama: Chicago Tribune
Kavanaugh: NBC News
Schumer: NBC News
McConnell and Graham: The Nation
Mandela and Tutu: Dawn
TRC Logo: South African Literature After Apartheid – Word Press.com
Armed Protesters: The Betoota Advocate