‘Court packing’ is the big issue
Amidst the name calling and interruptions punctuating last week’s presidential debate, what I believe to be the key issue of the evening and indeed the entire 2020 political campaign may well have been overlooked, perhaps because the moderator chose to abort discussion before it could be sufficiently developed. This issue transcends coronavirus, health care, racial strife and, indeed, any other that may arise.
I speak, of course, of current efforts to “pack” the Supreme Court. To his credit, Trump made clear that he would never abide such an affront to the separation of powers as framed in our Constitution.
Perhaps he should have included explicitly any effort, admittedly hypothetical, by his own party to follow so dangerous a road, but I suspect it was at least implied. Biden, on the other hand, equivocated on the issue. This, I submit disqualifies him from the presidency.
Upon exhaustive study of the histories of popular governments the framers of our Constitution saw fit to enshrine in that document a separation of powers, including perhaps most importantly an independent judiciary (see Federalist #78). Packing schemes compromise that independence.
Were the current advocates of court packing to prevail, we can expect the appointment of perhaps four new justices whose loose interpretation of the Constitution may well lead that body to compromise individual liberties (e.g., First and Second Amendment rights) deemed obnoxious by their political sponsors.
Equally troubling is the possibility that during future national crises (viruses, climate change, terrorism, etc.), legitimate or otherwise, the ability of governments to further curb the same or other liberties or reward political allies will be unrestrained as the majority party can always add sympathetic judges in whatever quantity needed.
Should this packing scheme succeed, and its likely consequences transpire, it’s quite possible that union will only serve to violate our liberties, and as such, forfeit its justification as envisioned by Lincoln. Were such to happen I would hope the required 34 states would exercise their prerogative under Article V of the Constitution and summon a convention.
Amendments designed to alleviate the problem and thus restore the legitimacy of the union could be drawn up, and with luck, appended to the Constitution.Meanwhile, we can only hope that during the current political campaign voters will forcefully demand that every candidate for Federal office state clearly and unequivocally his/her position on this issue.
How can Republicans support Trump?
I never understood Jim Jones as a child. How one man could make seemingly rational people completely succumb to their wildest fears. I understand it now. It’s not even that complicated. It just takes a well-crafted and well-targeted alternate reality.
Through a constant barrage of lies and gas-lighting, Donald Trump has managed to create just such a “reality” where a shocking number of Americans still believe he is a good president.
How can Donald Trump, who oversaw the single worst disaster response in American history in Puerto Rico in 2017, then the worst response to a pandemic in the developed world in 2020, be a good president?
How can the single biggest source of COVID-19 misinformation in the English-speaking world be a good president after almost 220,000 Americans are dead, millions are unemployed and 27% are food insecure?
In Trump’s alternate reality, a man who’s alienated America’s closest allies and embraced murderous dictators is a good American president. A president impeached for abusing his power, who hired criminals and foreign agents to hold top positions in our government, is the best the party of “law and order” has to offer.
A thrice-married, porn star-paying, unabashed adulterer accused of sexual misconduct by more than 20 women is still the evangelical choice in this election and there, he should be allowed to cheat another nominee onto the SCOTUS affecting women’s lives for generations to come.
Trump said he’d raise taxes on the rich and not make cuts to Social Security and Medicare. He did the opposite. Hillary isn’t getting locked up and Mexico isn’t paying for any imaginary wall. North Korea and Iran are both expanding their nuclear arsenals after president “Art of the Deal” got involved and of course winning a trade war with China wasn’t easy.
It cost $22 billion in subsidies for American farmers destroyed by the Trump tariffs. Five years after first promising a health care plan, Donald Trump is still trying to take away healthcare and pre-existing conditions coverage from more than 100,000,000 Americans without a replacement.
American cities are on fire and Americans are shooting each other in the streets. This is actual reality and no “alternative facts,” Trump tweets or QAnon conspiracy theories can change that.
However, putting down the Kool-Aid, putting country before party and facts above fiction, can.
Remember those touched by tragedy
Oct. 15 is the National Day of Awareness for Pregnancy and Infant Loss. On this day, those wishing to honor lost babies are asked to light candles at 7 p.m. (all time zones).
Every year, thousands of women and families suffer through losing their children, both born and unborn. It is unfortunate that so many in our society feel uncomfortable addressing this issue or feel that it is insignificant. Grief is something no one should have to justify. Children who are miscarried or stillborn are still our children and deserve our respect, love, and remembrance.
Please, if you or someone you love has suffered this kind of loss, I ask you to take the time to remember them on Oct. 15. Light a candle, write a poem, say a prayer ... anything you wish to do to honor our littlest angels. If you’d like more information, visit www.october15th.com.
I love you, Cassidy. Mommy still thinks of you every single day and misses you more with each day that passes!