To describe our current political circumstances as dysfunctional would be to give dysfunctional a bad name.
The nomination of Judge Kavanaugh is a stark illustration of at least one fundamental aspect of our politics that does not serve us or the political process, with the U.S. Senate in the spot light.
Democratic Senators, with the exception of Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), are refusing the traditional meeting with Judge Kavanaugh because they have not received or reviewed the millions of pages of documents they have demanded. What’s the problem? No problem, as Democrats claim that Republicans used the same tactic against Elena Kagan. Democrats at the time were outraged at the tactic, but it’s just fine now because the shoe’s on the other foot. “It was wrong when you did it, but it’s okay now because I’m doing it.” Right is wrong, wrong is right. “When your guy said it, it was an abomination, when my guy says it, it’s brilliant.”
These would be the same Senators that never read the ObamaCare bill or the spending bill; however, they expect us to believe that they will actually read the million pages of writing by Judge Kavanaugh. Yup, no worries it’s on the truck, check is in the mail.
The same dynamic exists on both sides of the aisle creating a weakness in our political system that is a weakness of character and integrity. Which means this weakness, this flaw, this absence of integrity proves that it’s not about you; it’s about power games in Washington, even when the game can’t be won.
Democrats know to a near certainty that they can’t block the nomination. There is a strong likelihood that the three Democrats in Red states who supported the Gorsuch nomination will likely support Kavanaugh. Democrat Senators can’t stop it but they can be a major pain in the butt. That’s where we are; “we can’t accomplish anything but we can attempt to extract the ‘pound of flesh’.” Right is wrong, wrong is right.
It’s not over; you can expect more demands for, something. More documents, more of this, more of that. “Please sir, more”; please give me more stuff that I won’t read.
The Republican retort is; “fine we won’t recess until the nomination is addressed.” Wait, what, no month off in August? No empty agenda for the fall coming up to Election Day? What, you’re going to keep us in D.C; in the summer? Oh no, Mr. Bill.
The Democrats, when they were in charge used similar tactics and Republicans screamed this is “wrong, unfair.” Right is wrong, wrong is right. It’s like a pair of children engaged in a “you’re ugly, no you’re ugly” conversation. That is a conversation that is circular and going nowhere be it children or the U.S. Senate. The difference being, children are not national ‘leaders’ but it appears national ‘leaders’ are children.
When Tribalism and party politics cannot recognize a losing game and any instinct toward compromise or to do the right thing or to facilitate the right thing is shouted down we are in jeopardy of getting to a point where nearly nothing that is said in a political context is going to be believed by that portion of the electorate not engaged in virulent tribalism. You know, the folks who decide elections. When politicians are literally, constantly doing 180 degree turns, in public, on television and to all appearances feel no shame for it, we’re in jeopardy of going off the rails.
When right is wrong and wrong is right, we grease those rails.