Every so often there’s a moment where someone in the political world does something, or says something, that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Even in today’s crazy world of social media and 24/7 coverage, certain events do not get the attention it deserves. Yesterday at the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing I witnessed one of those events.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) delivered what I can honestly say was one of the most brilliant and effective statements I’ve ever heard. During his opening statement, he not only shed light on the travesty of Mr. Kavanaughs nomination, but gave a complete and utter denunciation of what he termed, the “Roberts Five,” a reference to the five conservatives currently on the court.
So often these days I find myself lamenting the fact that our political system has been taken completely over by wealthy individuals and powerful corporations. Nowhere is this more evident than with the Supreme Court of the United States. And Senator Whitehouse laid it all out yesterday for the nation to hear and see. I literally found myself cheering out loud during the roughly 17 minute presentation.
For Senator Whitehouse, this isn’t the first time he’s impressed with his grasp of the law and his biting rhetoric. A former U.S Attorney from Rhode Island, Whitehouse has nailed these opening statements at other confirmation and Judiciary Committee hearings. He’s always impressed me as someone who gets it. Yesterday however, was better than even some of his best previous moments.
My point here is not to rehash everything Whitehouse said point by point. No, my point here is to highlight the statement itself because quite frankly, it should be required viewing for all Americans who think the Supreme Court has become the official arm of the corporations and well-connected.
Whitehouse lays out his case one by one … point by point. Whether it’s gerrymandering, voting rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, union busting, or unlimited dark money for political campaigns, the Robert’s Court has consistently and overwhelmingly voted with the well-oiled machine of corporations and other wealthy special interests.
And the man who sometimes voted the other way, but not often, Anthony Kennedy, is retiring. The nomination and eventual confirmation of Kavanaugh will throw the court even further towards corporate domination. As Whitehouse so eloquently pointed out, Mr. Kavanaugh is a signed, sealed and delivered candidate of the Federalist Society, an organization of conservatives and libertarians who seek reform of the legal system. This is their guy through and through and Whitehouse explains why this is so deeply troubling.
So if you’re concerned about this nomination … if you’re concerned about the corporate takeover of our democracy … please check out Senator Whitehouse’s statement. And spread the word … loudly
This is dangerous for the USA, as The Supreme Court is by its very nature your last line of defence.
A salutary thought came into my head as I was writing this.
How many African-Americans must be thinking about their white fellow-citizens ‘Well I guess you are starting know how we and our forebears have been feeling on and off these past 150 years….’
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Yes. Dangerous indeed. For sure, the seating of the current nominee will essentially have the chance of reversing much of the gains we’ve seen over the past 150 years. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that since we had two consecutive terms of an African-American man as president, the white majority in this country felt a little…uh…threatened. Hence, Mr. MAGA Donald Trump emerges. It’s an amazing spectacle to say the least. You amazing people across the pond must be scratching your heads in amazement at what’s going on over here. We have about 63 days until a very important election. If we don’t take back at least one house of Congress…..we’re doomed!!
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I don’t think the average Brit ponders too much upon the state of the USA political scene except as a side issue.
It’s not that we don’t care but we are all wrapped up in the farce which is Brexit, lurching towards a leaving date next year without anything like a good central government strategy and a governing party riven by dissent.
Meanwhile whereas Theresa May (I’m not a fan) does an heroic job, in the best classical Greek tragedy style to shore up, a creature as shallow and self absorbed as Trump, ie Boris Johnson is being touted (or pimped) as next leader. Since the opposition Labour Party now has Jeremy Corbyn a person hopelessly out of their depth as leader and lost in party rhetoric, and a substantial minority who are as unpleasant as any Alt Righter, the British electorate have a bad scene facing them.
With shabby populist parties gaining ground on Mainland Europe the storm clouds are gathering.
Let us hope your mid-terms are the start of a turning away from these evils and foolishness.
Yes, the storm clouds seem to be gathering all over the place these days. Much of it seems racially motivated. It seems the dwindling white majority needs scapegoats to cure all that upsets them. Trump and other white nationalists are a symptom of a much larger issue facing the world. Rising immigration…technology…. etc.. makes the status quo nervous. I sure hope sanity prevails in the long run. I’m not optimistic. Thanks for the comments Roger