High court fight brings out the worst on all sides The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

High court fight brings out the worst on all sides

High court fight brings out the worst on all sides
Opinion
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By David Leibowitz
Tribune Columnist

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had been dead mere hours when the argument over replacing her on the U.S. Supreme Court exploded among those Americans who live and breathe politics.

After observing their screaming for days on end, I can say we appear divided into three camps.

There are Republicans who agree with President Trump and want a conservative justice announced posthaste. Their main line of argument is that the Constitution – a document most of them have never read – assigns the President the power to nominate a Supreme Court justice, with confirmation handled by the U.S. Senate.

That’s a pretty persuasive argument, except it flies in the face of everything the Republicans said last time we had this same food fight – in the months before the 2016 election after President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Garland dangled in judicial limbo for nearly 300 days. He never got a hearing.

Said then-candidate Donald Trump in a March 2016 CNN interview: “I think the next president should make the pick, and I think they shouldn’t go forward, and I believe I’m pretty much in line with what the Republicans are saying.

“I think that the next president should make the pick. We don’t have a very long distance to wait. Certainly, they could wait it out very easily.”

That gaping hypocrisy has predictably outraged Democrats like Joe Biden. Two days after Ginsburg’s death, Biden’s stump speech focused on letting the American people exercise their voice in the process through the Nov. 3 election.

“To jam this nomination through the Senate is just an exercise in raw political power,” said Biden. “And I don’t believe the people of this nation will stand for it. President Trump has already made it clear. This is about power. Pure and simple. Power.”

I’d be far more sympathetic to Biden’s cause had he not said this in 2016 about the Garland nomination: “It’s a plain abdication of the Senate’s solemn constitutional duty. It’s an abdication, quite frankly, that has never occurred in our history.”

Biden concluded: “Dysfunction and partisanship are bad enough on Capitol Hill. But we can’t let the Senate spread this dysfunction to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

There – on the subjects of dysfunction and partisanship – I agree with Biden.

This explains why I may be alone as the third camp in this screaming match: An American who cannot stomach the sanctimonious garbage being peddled by partisans of both sides.

You folks really should listen to yourselves sometime, to your solemn pronouncements about “what’s at stake for the future of our country,” the endless screeching about how you’re ready to “fight, fight, fight” with your dying breath to stop the encroachment of evil.

Save the country? Please.

Like bawling siblings begging mommy to decide who gets the last piece of candy, all you want is to get your way. And that inability to see past your own egos and your own points of view continues to jackhammer away at the foundation of this nation.

Both sides screech away, as out of tune as Nero’s fiddle. Meanwhile, America burns like ancient Rome. You have to wonder if one day there will be nothing left. ′

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