Acting with Impunity

Mitch McConnell, based upon past experience of his behavior, essentially said this week that he would not forward a Supreme Court nominee of President Biden’s if the Republicans take back the Senate in November. By doing so, he has taken control not only of the Senate, which is one of the consequences of elections, but to also then take control over the Supreme Court. The Senate’s role is to advise and consent, not withhold or refuse to hold hearings on a Supreme Court, or really any presidential nominee. Doing so is, in my opinion, unconstitutional. But then again, if you are paying attention, the Republican’s no longer care about the Constitution, or even democracy.

Ron DeSantis and the Republican majority in the Florida legislature passed the so-called “Don’t say gay,” bill. Thereby limiting free speech in that state. It also helps to foment, and in many ways encourage, discrimination and bullying of the LGBTQ communities in Florida. The law implicitly marginalizes a group of human beings and covertly (and maybe overtly) gives permission to the populace to tell LGBTQ humans they mean so little we won’t even acknowledge your existence.

Greg Abbott and the Texas legislature have been particularly busy. They have passed a law to allow citizens to sue fellow citizens should they be any part of a woman exercising her constitutional right to seek and have an abortion. He implemented a policy of going after parents who are supportive of their Trans children, stating it was a form of child-abuse. The Republicans píèce de résistance was enacting a voter suppression bill regarding mail-in ballots. This law has worked so well to suppress votes it resulted in more than 12% of mail-in ballots being rejected, disenfranchising 25,000 voter choices in their recent primary election.

Brad Little and the Idaho Republican dominated legislature is the latest state to, for all practical purposes, ban the constitutional right to an abortion. His comments while signing it is yet another sign of how the Republicans feel about the Constitution. He said, to paraphrase, he was signing the bill even as he thought it was most likely unconstitutional, which it currently an accurate statement, and yet he didn’t have the character strength to veto it.

Clarence Thomas, who remained almost entirely silent on the Supreme Court until Antonio Scalia was no longer on the bench, is, so far, refusing to recuse himself from overseeing any case related to the January 6 insurrection. This is even though it is now public knowledge his wife, Ginni Thomas, participated, and possibly helped fund, the insurrection. It is interesting, but not surprising as Congress does the same thing, that there are rules for judges across the country, but the Supreme Court exempts itself.

Least we think it only the Republican men doing harm to our country, its people, its children, Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature passed two bills dealing a blow to equality and free speech. They passed a bill similar to Florida’s “Don’t say gay” bill, but took it a step further by limiting, and dictating, where transgender youth may use the bathroom. The second steps into the homes and familia relationships of parents with their transgendered children. A medical professional can no longer help families in providing hormone treatment medication for young transgenders; to do so is now a Class-C Felony.

For a party that has espoused the over reach of government in trying to regulate our lives and our homes, the Republicans sure are on a roll in terms of interfering in the lives of citizens, voters, and families. They are intruding on what can or can’t be said, on Constitutionally protected freedoms, families doing what is right for their children, and the voice of the citizenry through the vote.

They do so with impunity because, so far, there haven’t been any real consequences for doing so. It’s almost impossible to hold a Supreme Court Justice accountable, and it is impossible when Senate rules still include the filibuster.

Because of voter suppression laws, and a Department of Justice that seems impotent or nonchalant about upholding our laws and going after those who continually toss laws and the Constitution to the side, it is getting harder to make changes through the ballot box.

Through the ever increasing partisanship of appointed judges, it has become much harder, and it was hard before, to seek justice within the judicial system.

Due to current Senators who crave power, money, and attention more than doing the right thing, Congress also seems impotent in effecting the change needed.

And, because we seem to have a President who is blind to the current workings of the Senate. Whom does not use the bully-pulpit provided to him as President, not truly fighting for required and necessary legislation to pass. Who takes no action against the head of the Justice Department as it languishes on letting law breakers at the highest levels continue to roam free spewing their lies and hatred. Who remains tepid in condemning laws that will harm citizens as they move forward across our great country. Plus a Democratic Party, of whom he is the de facto leader, that seems to choose not to act with any sense of urgency, as if everything is status quo and Republicans are still acting with decorum and high moral character. As he stands by, we continue our slide back to the “good old days,” and a continued straight white male dominated society.

Can we please begin to hold those pushing us back into the dark ages accountable in this next election? It is too much to ask the President and the Senate to quicken their pace and act with a sense of urgency the rest of us have been feeling for quite some time now? It is even possible to get back to a working healthy democracy again?

I wonder even as I hope and fight for a better future.

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