About the only thing I can urge is that women and young people and persons of color pay very close attention to the Kavanaugh hearings at the Senate Judiciary Committee. Here are the players for the U.S. Senate (The links to their bios are all wikipedia.) I have added the ages of the listed individuals. Which group, Republican or Democrat, most reflects the “America” in which you live?
Chuck Grassley (R-IA, Chair) – 85
Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – 84
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – 63
John Cornyn (R-TX) – 66
Mike Lee (R- UT) – 48
Ted Cruz (R-TX) – 47
Benjamin Sasse (R-NE) – 46
Jeff Flake (R-AZ) – 55
Mike Crapo (R-ID) – 67
Thom Tillis (R-NC) – 58
John Kennedy (R-LA) – 67
Diane Feinstein (D-CA Ranking Member) – 85
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) – 78
Dick Durbin (D-IL) – 73
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) – 62
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) – 58
Christopher Coons (D-NE) – 55
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) – 72
Mazie Hirono (D-HI) – 70
Cory Booker (D-NJ) – 49
Kamala Harris D-CA – 53
Mitch McConnell (R-KY Senate Majority Leader) – 73
Anyone who has been following the rush to pack the Courts with “conservatives” will be familiar with the above, the decision makers about Kavanaugh, et al. The simple numbers: 11 Republicans, 10 Democrats on the Committee. All the Republicans are white men; 5 of the ten Democrats are white men. The Republicans will likely not back down. They are up by a single vote in the Senate. In this polarized environment, one vote is an immense margin.
This is the political party which rails against government, but loves that same government, so long as it can control the outcomes. Welcome to Election 2018.
Of course, I have feelings: I’m part of the class which the “conservatives” would love to see as permanently disempowered. That, I would submit, is their greatest weakness, ultimately their fatal flaw. Divided we fail. My favorite symbol is an eagle, which cannot fly without both wings working together. How can a political eagle be any different?
Anyone who has spent much time around the Law – I spent most of my career in very close proximity to assorted kinds of Law and their application – learns quickly that whoever enacts the laws and who then interprets those laws must be on a constant quest to stay on top; to be in control. Of course, as in the natural world, thus who are on top are constantly threatened with losing. A “win-lose” society, as we seem to have become, is not a healthy society.
Many lawmakers are lawyers by training…. Judges in almost all cases must be lawyers, first.
That favorite lawyer word, “clearly”, is rarely very clear once the interpretation battle begins in, or on the way to, court.
Lawyers and Judges interpret laws. More so than ever, preferred Judges are people likely to be in philosophical agreement to interpret laws to the advantage of those who appoint them. The winner always is cognizant of the fact that he can end up losing, so efforts are made to perpetuate influence. How better to make a permanent legacy than appointing lifetime judges? So goes the quest.
Today is the ascendance of Trump and the largely white male Republican and Evangelical Christian political establishment, and not only at the national level. These men are accustomed to being in control, and are terrified of losing any control. Controlling the legislative process at all levels, and selection of judges sharing their values, are their most important battlegrounds.
(Justice is often portrayed as “Justice is blind“; Justice often symbolized by a woman holding a scale. Oh, if only there were at least a little truth to this. Woman didn’t even gain suffrage until 1920. We know the history of treatment of minorities of all sorts. Young people are supposed to wait their turn…. Often, ours has not been a kind and gentle society.)
Who makes the laws, and who controls the courts, are very important.
Think about this as the debate about Kavanaugh continues. This debate is not only about Kavanaugh, it is about the future of our society.
If you’re worried about things as they are, get on the court, now. This is everybody’s concern.
For the great numbers of us who, like myself, greatly prefer resolution of differences through negotiation rather than winners and losers, there is a paradox: to return to more sanity in the political conversation requires, first, winning. And changing course is a difficult process. As the great Nelson Mandela observed about South Africa, which is still struggling, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with them. Then he becomes your partner.”
from Fred: Well said. You did a nice job in pointing out the makeup of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It says a lot about the Trump Party and the Democrats.
from Melvin: Good message and great photo of the eagle.
from Dave:Hogwash written by a liberal Dick,
Both of my eyes are wide open, and have been for a long while. I follow this stuff. If you look at the right hand of the blog, I call myself a moderate, pragmatic Democrat, and that is what I am.
In the same batch of e-mails was one with an opinion essentially opposite of yours.
From Carol: I disagree: Obama will go down in history as the WORST President.he never had a yr with 3% economic growth / he was trying to derail
American democracy / his health care was/is a sham / he lies.
He is trying to take credit for Trump’s victories.
Hillary should be in Prison: she was trying to blame Trump for a Russian kolusion(sp) when she was the one who colluded with the Russians to frame Trump. (it’s been proven)