Let’s get one thing straight. When it comes to the United States government and the sworn duty of our representatives to uphold and protect our Constitution, conservatives and progressives are not created equal. One side takes its oath to heart. The other side takes the oath with one hand behind its back, fingers crossed. Guess which is which? There are multitudes of ways in which these two forces differ from a moral perspective, but in the interests of time let’s just focus on the role they play in our government.
Despite the Democrats’ long and stable history of trying to undermine the Constitution, the ongoing battles within the auspices of our government are routinely portrayed by the media as though the two sides are equally righteous in their pursuits. This is a calculated effort on the part of the leftwing media (aka the MSM) to normalize what should never be normalized, i.e. the systematic undoing of the Constitution by unconstitutional means. When Barack Obama attempted to rule by Executive Order, for instance, the leftwing media covered for him by focusing on the number of Executive Orders, rather than the substance. I don’t need to give you the list of the many ways in which Barack Obama attempted to go around the Constitution. You can Google it if you are really that uninformed. What’s important to know is how little news coverage his plan of destruction provoked. The Left is apoplectic over the supposedly illegitimate election of Donald Trump, but never for one moment did they question the legitimacy of a president who undermined the Constitution as a normal matter of policy. Much to my disappointment neither did the Right to any measurable degree. We’ve all simply come to accept the Left’s quest to undo the Constitution as a routine part of the game, nothing more than fair play. The seriousness of that concession cannot be overstated.
Fast forward to 2016 and the tragic passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The ensuing political battle has been completely predictable, with Democrats arguing about “precedence” and “balance of the court” and Republicans, sadly but also predictably, giving these arguments validity by virtue of responding in kind rather than insisting that they will fulfill their duty to confirm a justice who will uphold the Constitution.
Listen to typical leftist Erwin Chemerinsky at the leftwing site, American Prospect, on the Republicans’ refusal to consider Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy:
“Democrats are right to be furious that the Republicans acted in an unprecedented manner in refusing to hold hearings or a vote on the nomination of Chief Appellate Judge Merrick Garland. This was the 25th time in American history that a vacancy occurred during the last year of a president’s term. In 21 of the 24 prior instances, the Senate confirmed the nominees, and in the other three, the Senate refused to approve. This time, the Senate did nothing at all, and there was nothing that President Barack Obama or Senate Democrats could do about it.”
My dear Erwin, maybe Republicans were acting in an “unprecedented manner” as a response to an unprecedented president whose unprecedented actions forewarned that he could not be trusted with this appointment. This was, after all, a president who, when he couldn’t get his way with the people’s representatives in congress, threatened to become dictator via pen and phone. Furthermore, this was the same president who previously saddled this nation with the appointment of two leftist Supreme Court justices who have presumed, as leftists are wont to do, to substitute their own judgment for that of the people’s Constitution. Republicans should have stood firm against them as well for the same reasons by which they were right to reject Obama’s nominee for Scalia’s seat.
The bottom line is that conservatives want an “originalist,” someone who will uphold the Constitution as drafted by the Founders or as legally amended. The Left, in contrast, wants a judge who will sit in judgment of the Constitution, deigning to uphold it when he or she approves or to ignore it when they don’t. Precedence has nothing to do with anything. “Balance of the court” is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. The Right is right. The Left is wrong. Period.