Letter 2 America for January 9, 2023

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Dear America,

The real reason that Kevin McCarthy couldn't even get a majority of his own party to vote for him for speaker was that even the Republicans know that he is just an empty suit, which I actually saw as a descriptor for him in an editorial this weekend.  He stands for nothing but loyalty to the party; no dedication to public service, no principle, no philosophy, no goal other than self-aggrandizement.  At one point, I heard mention of bringing the Democrats in on the process because McCarthy was such a pariah among Republicans.  It was only a brief mention, but it could have become a legitimate prospect if all of our representatives--Democrats and Republicans alike--ever recognized, and more importantly acknowledge that their primary function should be representation of the people and pursuit of their collective wishes.  Thus, as the constitution doesn't even require that the Speaker of the House be a member of the body, they should have had what amounted to a nominating convention in which anyone could have been nominated for the speaker-ship, not just the consensus of the majority party.  That would have been democratic process, but democracy is not the modus operandi of our bicameral legislature.  Party hacking is.

What I mean by that is that the rules of both houses are designed to keep the members in office.  The Majority Leader of The Senate can prevent a vote on anything--from judicial nominations to the budget resolution required to keep the government running--if he or she so chooses.  So, when Mitch McConnell was the Majority Leader, he prevented a vote on Barrack Obama's nominee for the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.  That allowed the consequence that three nominations from a miscreant who just happened to be the next president,  were confirmed just because the Republicans were the majority party.  They were confirmed even though anyone watching the confirmation hearings could see that the nominees were lying about their preconceived positions on Roe v. Wade, just as Thomas did decades ago when he said he had never spoken to anyone about Roe during his last year at Yale, the first year that Roe was law.  And they all proved that their positions were preconceived in their holding in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization in which they overruled Roe.  The central issue in Dobbs was whether the Mississippi statute that forbade abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy was barred by extant law, that is Roe v. Wade, and it wasn't.  Roe vs. Wade made abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy--that's something between thirteen and fourteen weeks--a constitutionally guaranteed right.  But it allowed for the states to make their own decisions and set their own criteria for allowing abortion after the first trimester, which presumably was part of the design of the Mississippi legislature when it put that law within the bounds set by the Roe court, which the Roe court further refined in a subsequent amplification of the principles of Roe in the Casey decision.  Don't take my word for it; read Chief Justice Roberts's concurring decision in Dobbs in which he said that he agreed with the majority affirming Mississippi's power to pass the statute, but he didn't see that Roe was an issue and thus saw its overruling to be gratuitous, or as they say in the law, sua sponte...of one's own accord and not required by the issues before the court.  Robert's, a conservative like them, called them and Justices Thomas and Alito out on their deceitful testimony that allowed them to be confirmed without explicitly saying so.  They were condemned to historical infamy by one of their own, which leads me back to the anti-democratic rules of the two houses of our national legislature and what should be, but won't be, done about it.

A shallow mind like McCarthy's should never be allowed to control a body as important as our House of Representatives.  Mitch McConnell is as amoral as McCarthy, but at least he has the mental capacity to form intentions, even if they are bad ones.  McCarthy could easily stumble into a debacle by abuse of the power of legislative leadership.  He is an accident waiting to happen, and thus the conservative wing of the Republican Party that almost scuttled McCarthy's narcissistic ambition also almost saved the nation from vulnerability to catastrophes that McCarthy may wreak on us...some uncalculated misstep resulting from his dubious use of a power that shouldn't exist.

I'm no fan of mindless conservatism, which to me is a euphemism for mean-spiritedness and lack of humanity.  But the most reactionary conservatives in The House had the chance to redeem themselves, at least in my eyes if they had demonstrated their sincerity in opposing McCarthy instead of demonstrating that they will agree to anything, even a vapid dunderhead at the helm, if it gets them what they want.  They traded power to get power, but they put it in dangerous hands, and that doesn't constitute a vindication of conservative principles, if you'll excuse the oxymoron.

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on January 9, 2023 2:57 PM.

Letter 2 America for December 22, 2022 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for January 12, 2023 is the next entry in this blog.

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