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On February 13, 2016, we learned that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had passed away in Shafter, Texas. Almost immediately, the predictable battle lines were being drawn and the intransigent armies of obstinate partisan bickerers girded loins for war.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” declared Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, magnanimously. From the Senate floor, the Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid, volleyed back: “Senate Republicans are known — and have been for some time now — as a set of human brake pads, obstructing, filibustering virtually everything President Obama has had on his agenda, But this raises obstruction to a new level never seen before in this country — the Supreme Court: no hearings, no vote.”
Now, it is very easy to find examples of both Reid and McConnell saying virtually the exact opposite thing when the shoe was on the other foot, Reid in 1992, in support of the so-called “Biden rule” which put off Supreme Court nominating in an election year until after the election, and McConnell in 2005 when he and others asserted that any nominee deserves an up or down vote as soon as possible after nomination. I am not writing about this hypocrisy, at least not today.
What I want to say is, this is the chance for the Republicans to do the right thing. Hold the nominating hearings. President Obama has offered up a nominee, Federal Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland, so now it is the Senate’s move. Why? Because we Republicans are better than that. We have integrity. We know, and we represent the idea that there is a higher power above man. I have studied American politics for many years and devoted a great deal of thought to these matters. The fundamental flaw I have found in liberalism, socialism, communism and Democrat Party politics is two-pronged. First, there is a willful repudiation of human nature. That is, expecting a result from an action that goes against common sense, i.e., give a man a fish, and he comes back tomorrow expecting a lobster because he had fish yesterday. The second prong of failure of the Left is the “greater good” theory which invariably leads to “the end justifies the means,” and it’s ugly sister, “what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”
I believe that by holding the hearings and giving Judge Garland a fair shot at this honor, we Republicans will be setting the standard that we are heritors of. I know that the conservative movement may suffer in the short term, if Garland takes the bench and immediately left-turns the court so Bernie Sanders becomes known as a “New Conservative,” but in the great scheme of this wonderful nation and it’s divinely blessed success, we will gain so much more by maintaining our integrity. William Cowper once said, “God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform. He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.” We don’t know what is going to happen to any of the other members of the geriatric Supreme Court in the next four years. I would rather sleep at night knowing that my integrity is intact than try to cheat the President out of one of his duties and privileges that the office provides, and that is naming judges to the Supreme Court.
You always lose when you cheat, because you end up losing yourself.