What about what Republicans did?

The supposedly liberal media joins Republicans in fomenting a panic over the catastrophe facing our country: possible “court-packing” under a Biden administration. You’d think there are more significant issues in play right now. But meanwhile, I think they’ve got the definition of “packing” completely backward.

Where was this outrage when Mitch McConnell refused to confirm nominees for federal judgeships in Obama’s last two years, leaving so many open seats that justice was delayed in countless cases?

Were these unqualified jurists, lacking approval of the American Barr Association, like so many of Trump’s appointees? Not at all. They were denied seats for the same reason Merrick Garland was denied so much as a hearing — because Republicans saw no problem in shirking their constitutional duty when political gain was at stake.

Is it worth mentioning the hypocrisy of denying Garland a hearing months before an election, but rushing Amy Barrett’s confirmation when Americans are already voting?

Donald Trump mockingly thanked Obama for leaving him 128 federal judgeships to fill. That’s how many seats McConnell stole, plus one on the Supreme Court. In 2016 McConnell and other Republicans openly vowed to approve no judges at all for a Clinton administration. They would happily let the federal bench grow more depleted through retirements and deaths until their own party got into the White House.

They have decided that a president duly elected by the American people, but who happens to be a Democrat, can be refused the constitutional right to appoint judges. If that means innocent defendants sit longer in pre-trial detention, or guilty murderers enjoy themselves on bail over long delays — tough stuff! So long as the Republican Party makes their power grab.

Once Trump came into office, McConnell couldn’t approve judges fast enough. Many have little or no judicial experience, but such niceties of bygone days fly out the window when court-packing gets underway. The more ideologically rigid, the better. Opinions outside the mainstream of public opinion? Fine! Just so they’re recommended by right-wing think tanks.

But now Mr. Biden is chided for refusing to commit to never fighting back. Why should he box himself in? There’s more than one way to unpack the courts. Maybe Chief Justice Roberts will keep up his efforts to minimize politics. Or maybe Congress will pass term limits. To borrow Trump’s words, “Let’s see what happens.”

Diann Brown

Lima

Democrats’ position is ‘one of empathy’

These are difficult times, but I’m a hopeful person and one thing I’m hoping for is that our country will get back to respecting differences of opinion. There’s a saying, “Reasonable people can disagree and still be reasonable.” We don’t hear much of that nowadays.

Rudeness is uncalled for. All sides should make an effort to avoid insults. Leaping to conclusions and overgeneralizing about others’ views is unhelpful. This is how partisanship can deepen the divisions between citizens and weaken our country.

I normally vote Democrat. There are many reasons why. The Democrats’ position is typically one of empathy for others. Those who disagree often say we hate America. This is hurtful and untrue. Rather, we recognize America’s flaws and love our country enough to want to make it better.

Some claim that Democrats want the government to give things away for free. That’s false. We value hard work and believe healthcare and education should be affordable for everyone. This includes preserving Social Security and Medicare.

Some accuse Democrats of wanting to close police departments. No — we want to eliminate racism and brutality. Others claim we want open borders. That’s a lie. Democrats want asylum seekers who flee terror and poverty to have a chance at finding safety. We want to ensure children aren’t separated from their parents and nobody is locked in cages. But we do want proper vetting for all immigrants.

Some say Democrats disrespect constitutional rights. That’s untrue. We choose to believe science and wear masks to prevent unnecessary deaths from COVID-19. It’s often claimed we’ll take guns away from law-abiding people. That’s a lie. Democrats want logical gun control to help prevent suicides and mass shootings.

Some say we wage war on Christian values, although most of us are Christians ourselves. What Democrats want is for people of all religions to be able to worship freely, and for people of all sexual orientations to be able to love as their nature guides them.

Just because Democrats want equality for all doesn’t mean we want to take anything away from others. Please give us the benefit of the doubt and if you feel as I do on these issues, I urge you to join me and vote Democratic. Help us return our country to a place of civility and decency. Democrats love America, and we try to love our neighbors the best way we know how.

Cindy Shaffer

Defiance

Care facilities doing what they have to

Ohio’s long-term care facilities and senior living centers are doing everything they can to protect elderly Ohioans during the COVID-19 crisis.

I’m the president/CEO of Genacross Lutheran Services in Toledo. We are a non-profit organization that has served northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan for over 160 years. We provide long-term care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, assisted living, affordable housing, home healthcare and other services for nearly 3,500 seniors each year.

Organizations like mine are dedicated to providing top-notch services to seniors during normal times, and COVID-19 has only accelerated our commitment. Our staff of 650 follows all state and local regulations, and we’ve instituted rigorous infection control protocols at our facilities. We’ve even opened up state-certified COVID-19 isolation centers at two of our care campuses to specifically cater to individuals who have, or have suffered from, COVID-19.

We owe it to Ohio’s elderly to keep them safe. Every single day, employees in health care from across the region go to heroic measures to protect residents, patients, fellow staff members, and ultimately all of our neighbors in northwest Ohio. It’s unfortunate the media often fixates on what goes wrong instead of the many things that are going right.

Rick Marshall

Toledo

‘Equitable representation’ needed

a school teacher for many years, I know that one of our most important roles is to help children learn to get along in the world. Role models are powerful. Children need to see adults show respect when they disagree and to treat each other with kindness.

Unfortunately, our grandchildren had to watch debates in 2016 and 2020 where one candidate showed none of these things. They deserve to live in a world where their leaders model how to be respectful human beings.

Our forefathers realized that in order to govern, our nation needed an informed citizenry able to resolve issues civilly. Furthermore, they understood the danger of too much power in one branch of the government and developed three branches, creating checks and balances. Lately, these checks and balances have disappeared, and the executive branch has all the power! Compromise is no longer in play.

Our economy reflects this disparity, profiting the wealthiest and most powerful. Many American families are working multiple jobs, struggling to pay for childcare and making ends meet. The opportunities offered by education are inaccessible for many.

Inequities in education are rampant and continue for generations, trapping those in poverty. Currently, many working parents have fewer options for safe schooling and childcare. Without educational opportunities doors are shut for far too many Americans.

Our nation needs equitable representation and a government that functions with working checks and balances. Our children need to be able to respect our elected officials as models for positive behavior and creative problem-solving. Our children need to see democracy working.

Peg Knueve

Defiance

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