Political Snubbing as a Tasteless Game

merrick garland

I usually don’t let anger get hold of me when it comes to politics, but there has been an accumulation of outrage going back for some months over the obstructionist tactics of the Republican Senate.

Official portrait of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

The utter equivocation offered today by Mitch McConnel, Majority Leader of the senate, absolutely squeaked of a desperate attempt to make the blocking of Merrick Garland seem non-partisan. McConnel was right about one thing. The refusal to consider Garland for the Supreme Court had nothing to do with the man, at least not THAT man. It had everything to do with President Obama, whom the reactionary Republicans revile beyond all reason. Embarrassed again and again by the President’s cunning and his political triumphs, Mr. McConnel and his cronies saw yet another opportunity to upend whatever Obama wanted to accomplish.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., and the Senate GOP leadership,listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 23, 2013, following a Republican strategy session. At left is Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Predictably, there is no plan except to shut down in terms of letting inaction prevail as it has so often in Congress during this administration. Such work could be accomplished by people who are comatose or have padlocks on their brains, but because they actually still walk and make disapproving grunting sounds, they remind me more of zombies, who could have achieved just as much for America via the Senate during the past eight years.

senate seal

McConnel criticized the President for staging his choice as a political ploy. Honestly? I had to hear the silly speech three times before I was able to believe that anyone would actually take such a ridiculously transparent commentary seriously instead of the duplicitous mask it was.

senate

I’m weary of McConnel and his monumentally and politically constipated followers doing nothing for the nation except impeding whatever the President is trying to do for the good of all citizens, not just a small group of disgruntled senators who are bitter about Obama’s successes. The denial isn’t about Garland. It’s about the chance to put a knife in the back of the President in an easy way while calling it something else.

Mr. Smith

All the Republican Senate has to do is nothing, which is what they’re so accustomed to be doing. It’s another case of “not backing down” being a passive refusal to create some level of harmony and needed action. It’s personal. It’s rude, and it’s bad sportsmanship of the worst kind, especially in light of the two-faced excuses offered to the press today by the majority leader.

frank capra

The pawn in this is Merrick Garland himself, an eminently qualified and politically moderate choice for a seat in the Supreme Court. I believe that accusing the President of political shenanigans is once again the pot calling the kettle black (no pun intended). Sometimes I feel like Jimmy Stewart in the film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a man too idealistic, expecting the Washington political machine to serve the people instead of catering to a small group of jaded, out-of-touch codgers who believe the government was designed to serve them personally and exclusively.

Frank Capra is turning over in his grave.   JB

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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