Submitted by Arthur T. Stillwell
A recent commentary (A Lingering Malaise) in the October 17 edition of the Eagle Journal is indeed evidence that there is not only a lingering malaise but also an endemic malaise, in American politics, and the October 17th Commentator is part of it and perpetuating it.
While excoriating the Democrats for daring to ask questions of Judge Kavanaugh, the Commentator conveniently leaves out the fact that the Republican controlled Senate failed in its duty to the Constitution by refusing to consider Judge Merrick Garland who was properly placed into nomination by the 44th President, Barack Obama. The Republicans were up-front about introducing a malaise by their refusal to consider Garland because, as they put it, they wanted a politically more conservative nominee. The malaise was that introduction of blatant politics into the nomination of a Supreme Court justice to what is supposed to be an apolitical position. And it was that “malaise” that should be considered and is the more important “Lingering Malaise.”
How unfortunate that the October 17th Commentator does not seem to know the difference between a criminal trial and a job interview. His assertion (that the assumption of innocence pertains) serves as an obfuscation of the fact that Judge Kavanaugh was an applicant for a job. He was not on trial. The fact is, Judge Kavanaugh already had a job. He was an Appeals Court Judge. That position was a lifetime appointment. He was in no danger of losing a job that guaranteed him and his family a lifelong position and income. He was applying for a promotion.
As far as most thinking people know, when you apply for a job, the employer can ask the prospective candidate any questions that they think pertain and are permitted by law.
It appears that the Republicans’ great concern was not a man’s livelihood, reputation or security, it was about getting a conservative thinking person on the Supreme Court. So, we have a clearer picture of the malaise. The real malaise is the creation of a politically biased Supreme Court. The real malaise is a political party with a thin (two vote) majority imposing its will on the nation. The malaise is a Senate Majority Leader who refuses to follow the Constitutionally mandated “Advise and Consent” function of the Senate, except when it advantages his political party.
The October 17th Commentator’s assertions that “stooges” were planted in the audience at the hearing for Judge Kavanaugh is a clear indication of his bias and prejudice against Democrats.
His unsubstantiated assertions that Democrats planted the protesters was not factually based. He did not know, nor does he now know, whether the protesters were Republicans, Independents or Democrats., yet he chose to increase the malaise by making unsubstantiated accusations, that people exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech and their right to demand that their elected representatives represent their viewpoint, were “stooges.”
In the October 17th commentary, he tries to allude to the “silent majority” and insinuates that they are supporters of his point of view, which appears to be a Republican one. Once again, he fails to mention that in the last election the majority (by over three million) of voters, voted for the Democratic candidate. What “silent majority” is he referencing?
Women everywhere should be incensed at the October 17th Commentator’s assertion about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s clear testimony. He said, “If she was assaulted at all.” In so doing he not only insulted Dr. Ford, he disparaged all victims of sexual assault and other brave women who step forward to report assaults, he missed the point of the hearing. The question was not whether she was assaulted, it was whether Judge Kavanaugh was willing to lie under oath: about his drinking, about his attitudes, about his temperament and about his political bias.
Referring to the Democrats, the October 17th Commentator said, “I can’t imagine anything lower than what they did to Brett Kavanaugh.” Really? How about eleven Republican men hiding behind a female prosecutor, flown in from Arizona, so that they would not have to be seen as questioning a woman that even they said, “appeared to be telling the truth.” It was their job to ask the questions. To a man they failed to do that job and assert themselves and claim their constitutionally given and required role. Instead, they went into hiding behind a hired gun.
Yes, there is a malaise in our politics and it is perpetuated by people like the writer of the October 17th commentary. It is perpetuated by elected officials who support their party no matter what and by citizens who vote for party rather than character.
Arthur T. Stillwell