Friday, September 7, 2018
The Kavanaugh hearings: this is not democracy, this is rule-by-mob
I'm sure most of my readers have been following the farcical proceedings on Capitol Hill this week, as Senate hearings began into the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Justice of the Supreme Court.
We've seen ridiculous, disgusting scenes that don't deserve any part of politics in a constitutional republic like ours. Protesters have screamed their outrage and vitriol, organized and paid to do so by outside forces inimical to democracy. I've clipped the detail below from one of the photographs of a man paying protesters (you can see more at the link):
Note the brazenness of the proceedings. He simply didn't care that he was doing this out in the open, where anyone could see him. He and his bosses don't care whether or not people object. They know the mainstream news media are on their side, and won't cover the story; and they're confident they can prevent any legal repercussions, through pulling the strings of power that they control. They hold democracy and true popular opinion in contempt.
Politicians have openly admitted to plotting to disrupt the proceedings. They did so on camera. They'd scream blue murder if someone did the same to them; but they don't care that people know they've done it to others. Again, they're confident their media cronies will protect them by not publicizing the truth. (How much coverage of this have you seen in the major mainstream media outlets? How much airtime has it received, and how many column inches in newspapers? Go count them for yourselves. It won't take you very long at all.) The fact that such actions at least dishonor, if not break, their oath of office - since their actions, IMHO, fail the standard of "support[ing] and defend[ing] the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" - doesn't seem to bother them at all. That's the same oath -word for word - that I swore when I entered Federal law enforcement service. If I dishonored or broke it, I would have expected at least termination, if not jail time. Can we expect similar sanctions for them? I won't hold my breath waiting . . .
Perhaps that's the scariest thing about these hearings. They show that a large part of the American body politic is demanding rule-by-mob. They don't mind being caught at it, either. To them, the Constitution is nothing more than dead words by dead men, to be manipulated, twisted, distorted, and if necessary reinterpreted into oblivion. Standards of civilized, decent behavior are meaningless.
There will doubtless be those who argue that political dissent is nothing new in this country. Diatribe, vitriol and mob action have never been far from the mainstream, and have broken into it from time to time - most notably during the pre-Civil War era. My response is simply, have we not learned from the past? George Santayana's warning was prescient, and still rings loudly in our ears: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it". We discussed that risk just a few days ago.
I'm not going to quibble about party politics, or positions, or policies, or anything else. I'm simply going to say that any individual who behaves in ways such as those described above, and/or anyone who supports them, are unworthy of our support. Period. No debate, no discussion, no qualifications - they are not worthy of our vote. It doesn't matter which political party they belong to, or whether we support that party or not. As individuals, their contempt for democracy and our constitutional republic disqualifies them from the support of any rational person. I can only hope that thinking Americans, finding themselves in the constituencies of these individuals during the forthcoming election, will vote against them, irrespective of their party, and for their opponent.
It's no longer a question of party political loyalties. It's a question of whether our republic, as established by our founders, will survive. Those who seek its demise should forfeit our support.