The Republican cause: legitimizing Democratic ideas
After the latest judicial confirmation process, I’m am convinced that Republicans (as a party, not necessarily individuals who identify with the party) exist to legitimize the progressive, experimental nature of the Democratic party.
It’s a parasitism, symbiotic relationship (Wikied that) I suppose. Look closely, and you’ll see what I mean…
Take for example the blanket rejection of Andrew McDonald for Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Rather than focus on the merits of McDonald’s nomination: his years of public service, his experience as a brilliant attorney, and his personal life experiences that provide him a unique insight into our society; they focused on one thing. McDonald is a Democrat.
Take the argument that McDonald should have recused himself from voting on the death penalty. Had he voted against repeal, Republicans wouldn’t have cared that he didn’t recuse himself. But, since he didn’t vote the way their politics believed he should have, their view was that he shouldn’t be confirmed.
Take the scrutiny of the decisions he authored on other matters. Had McDonald been a Republican and voted in a way that Republicans favored, there would be no issue with how he decided those cases. What about his friendship with the governor? If McDonald were in fact a Republican, would they really have cared about their relationship? Most likely not.
But that’s the Republican way: a legitimizing force for progressive ideas that exists to ultimately test the virtues of the things Democrats do to better our society. That dynamic carried over to the confirmation process, and has damaged the party in a way that frustrated Republicans have become accustomed to.
McDonald was rejected as a judicial activist by political activists who were simply opposed to the political side his legal positions fell on. Opponents could only use conclusory arguments that pointed to the existence of the coincidence and said that was proof positive of judicial activism. That’s insane.
Do Republicans really tout the conservative members of the Supreme Court as being a-political, while never challenging their designations of being “conservative members?” Does it strike you as odd that the arguments proffered by Republicans as legitimate reasons for denying confirmation would have in one way or another applied to other members of the court, too? Is the whole place just totally unqualified? Should all public office holders be barred from serving as judges to prevent political judicial activism? William Howard Taft (R) would not be amused.
November is looking to be an alley-oop for Democrats, and for dumbfounded Republicans, I’ll say this about it: every time you get the ball (e.g. Trump, et al.), you spend your time of possession ensuring that you’ll give it right back, wasting the time on the clock until the next election, and providing so much ammunition for the Democrats during that time that your chances are reduced to none before you know it. What was the last great thing Republicans did? I bet the first thing that comes to mind is defeat Hillary. Probably not the example you want if you’re opposed to my hypothesis here.
It’s a scary thing. That isn’t a democracy. I, for one, want there to be opposition, but not if its just going to serve as a “yes man” every two or four years, because I don’t agree with everything progressive Democrats do. Republicans need to stand for something that doesn’t involve us going back to an LSD infused utopia. A good start would have been to confirm McDonald on the merits. Alas, here comes the turnover…
Alex Silva is a corporate paralegal for a publicly traded company in Connecticut. He is a second year student at Quinnipiac University School of Law and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Central Connecticut State University. He served one term as a member of the Rocky Hill Board of Education, four years in the United States Marine Corps, and over 10 years as a volunteer firefighter.