As if they haven’t shamed themselves enough already, our partisan, fractured and bickering government was at its very best Saturday. The ink on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death certificate wasn’t even dry yet and already Republicans and Democrats were yapping at each other.
The yapping concerned whether or not President Obama should nominate a replacement. This will surprise you, but Republicans tended to think Obama should leave it to the next president, who might well be a Republican, while Democrats, and this is a shocker, too, said Obama should nominate a successor immediately if not sooner.
This was, as the Chinese like to say, unseemly. Show some respect, for Pete’s sake, and at least wait until rigor mortis sets in before you start bickering at each other and tormenting our country with your mindless arguing about whether or not the current president should appoint a successor in an election year.
For the record, if I’m president and in this position I am probably nominating a successor. Political considerations aside, if it is left to a new president to nominate someone the new justice would not be confirmed until late April, 2017 at the earliest, more than a year from now. That is a long time to have a vacancy on the Supreme Court. If it was after the election and there was an opening, then perhaps I would wait. Or maybe I wouldn’t. If it was the interregnum between election and inauguration I might just nominate someone just for funsies and let the Senate worry about it.
Friends, we get the government we elect. Every single time. We have a petty, bickering fractured government because this is what we keep electing. We deserve better than this most recent display of disrespectful, mindless partisan contention.
We’ve complained about our government enough. It’s time for us to do something. The time has come for us to stop throwing rocks at the castle from across the moat. The time has come for us – you and me, we the people – to cross the moat, enter the castle and join the battle.
Friends, the next election will not be decided by incumbents, or the media or lobbyists. It will be decided by us, and the government we want is there, waiting for us on Election Day. All we need is the courage to go get it.