Move on with the Senate hearings | AspenTimes.com

Move on with the Senate hearings

There’s no doubt that the treatment of former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee by the Republican leadership was a shabby piece of business. Now many on the Democratic side argue the use of similar tactics to block an otherwise well qualified judicial appointment by the Trump administration.

The rationale for using similar tactics against the Republicans is tempting. These tactics can include asking your senator to sit out of required committee hearings and invoking arcane rules that only Washington insiders can appreciate.

I would argue that it’s best to remember that one of the principle strategies of anarchists is to discredit our institutions, particularly the free press and a properly functioning government. To the extent that our democracy fails to work, it’s in the interest of those who seek more control by demonstrating how poorly our institutions work. When these systems fail to operate, there’s always a strong man standing by in the wings that will argue that only he can fix it, if we only grant more power to him.

So let’s get on with the Senate hearings in a manner that respects the system and remember that shining a light on the qualities of the nominees by asking them questions that the American public expects to be addressed is part of the process. It’s what President Obama asked of the Republicans when he nominated Garland and what Democrats who care for our institutions should ask as well.

Phil Overeynder

Aspen


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