I do not care whether it is far-left fringe Senators like Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK); moderate fringe Senators in the middle like John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC); or far-right fringe Senators like Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), the fact that the out-of-touch minority has disproportionate leverage to sway critical votes or extort concessions is deeply problematical.
President Trump has submitted Brett Kavanaugh, a highly-qualified nominee for the Supreme Court, and the Senate Republicans need to come together to place Kavanaugh on the bench and avoid besmirching his reputation or somehow delegitimizing his Supreme Court rulings based on bias and ideology. In a sense, Kavanaugh was a “safe” choice, by all measure a decent man of impeccable qualifications and a Washington insider who had been previously confirmed by the Senate (57-36) for the influential position on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the court where much of our law is tested before going to the Supreme Court. And, this was in spite of Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) vicious attack and calling Kavanaugh the “Forrest Gump of Republican Politics.” Of course, “Little Dick” Dirtbag’s credentials cannot even begin to compare with Kavanaugh’s achievements.
Even before President Trump announced the nominee, the Senate Democrats claimed that whoever was chosen was ill-qualified because they were likely to overturn former President Obama’s legacy achievements, destroy Roe v. Wade, shutdown the Affordable Care Act, and strengthen the rules for deportation of illegal aliens. In unison, these progressive socialist democrats vowed to vote “NO” on any Trump nominee regardless of their qualifications.
So here comes Rand Paul …
It is no surprise that Rand Paul would capitalize on a divided party to run before the media to proclaim that he was “undecided” and that he needed to know the nominee’s views on government surveillance programs before deciding to cast his vote. Paul’s bugaboo is Kavanaugh’s 2015 ruling that the federal government’s metadata collection was “entirely consistent” with the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches. Specifically, Kavanaugh ruled that “critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy.”
For those unfamiliar with metadata, it is the data used to describe the data being transmitted without knowing the actual contents of the data itself. Whereas intercepting the contents of a telephone call requires a warrant, the telephone company’s details of the call (the originating and receiving numbers and call times) can be obtained without a warrant using an administrative summons. While the use of metadata can be misused, it will be up to individual judges and courts to determine if that use was consistent with the constitution and lawful under statute and case law. The collection and analysis of metadata are crucially essential to root out spies, saboteurs, and criminals.
If Rand Paul were an honest broker, he would be working in Congress to pass legislation that holds violators of FISA court provisions criminally liable for their falsifications, misrepresentations, and omissions. He would be concerned that his congressional colleagues are lazy and negligent -- outsourcing law-making under constitutional authority to executive branch agencies where unelected bureaucrats spew forth administrative rules and regulations with the force of law, including fines, jail, and other penalties. He would be concerned that executive agencies are colluding with third-party organizations in a “sue and settle” scam that allows agencies to make de facto law. He should be worried that Congress refuses to fix problems with the “bright line” tests put forth by the courts.
But no, Rand Paul goes for the cheap sound byte that is sure of being broadcast by a progressive and GOP-hostile mainstream media. “There are ten amendments listed in Bill of Rights, so the Fourth Amendment’s one of them, so we’re already down one. Let’s see how he does on the other nine.” Utterly disingenuous because the Fourth Amendment still stands and that any single ruling cannot curtail the protections it offers to Americans.
Bottom line …
It is about time that our GOP Congressional Representatives and Senators, especially the professional politicians, get their act together and define what the GOP actually stands for, compare and contrast that difference between the GOP and the progressive socialist democrats, and stop worrying about their self-serving interests and start worrying about a deeply divided nation suffering under the tyranny of the minority.
There is little or no doubt in my mind that this confirmation process will be a cakewalk compared to the next one should another Justice decide to retire. Imagine if the uber-liberal Ruth Bader Ginsberg were to retire and be replaced by a conservative woman? The progressive socialist democrats will go crazy – knowing that advancing their agenda through the courts might be as futile as trying to get them through Congress with a recorded vote.
It is time to call your Senator to remind them they need to act on behalf of “We the People” and not on their personal ideology or party politics.
We are so screwed when marginal Republicans people like Collins, Murkowski, McCain, Graham, and Paul act against the wishes of the American people.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius