*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
Republicans love to talk about, and demand, personal responsibility from all Americans that typically revolves around their assertion that people of color and Democratic voters are inherently lazy, lawbreaking, Satan-spawn and just bad human beings. It is hypocritical then, that those same Republicans refuse to do any work in Congress and then blame their endemic laziness on whichever Democrat happens to be at the top of their (s)hit list; all the while taking their taxpayer funded salaries, fabulous benefit packages, and months-long paid vacations. Now, Republicans are threatening to act in blatant opposition to the Constitution and continue not doing their jobs because they are the epitome of bad human beings.
According to Article 2 of the United States Constitution, that silly little document every Republican senator swears an oath to support and defend, the President is “required” to nominate a candidate to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court and the Senate is “required” to hold hearings and either reject or approve the candidate.
That process has worked like a charm throughout the nation’s history, and for the past 150 years, the High Court has enjoyed the required full complement of nine Justices regardless which political party’s hero occupied the White House. As has been the case since Americans twice elected an African-American man as their President, Republicans are once again thumbing their collective noses at the Constitution and promising to refuse to do their jobs in the future; if a Republican is not in the White House.
Maybe one or two Americans recall that after Antonin Scalia died Republicans refused to acknowledge their required constitutional duty and said according to their “mind-version” of their dream constitution, it was the purview of the next president to appoint a replacement for Scalia. They have stayed true to their pledge to violate their “I swear so help me god” oath to serve and uphold the Constitution for about eight months and now they pledge to continue violating their “swear so help me god” oath if Hillary Clinton is elected president.
Recently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated that if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency he will change the requirements to approve a Supreme Court nominee and give the National Rifle Association (NRA) final approval authority to confirm a nominee. This sounds beyond bizarre and unconstitutional, but it is no different than Republican presidential candidate, fascist, sexual predator, and “big-time” wrestling celebrity Donald Trump stating that if he wins the presidency he will cede constitutional authority to nominate and appoint a SCOTUS candidate to the teabagger-led Heritage Foundation and bestow authority on them to nominate the white Christian male of their choice to serve on the Supreme Court.
More recently it was another Republican Senator, Richard Burr, who weighed in and told Republican supporters that not only was President Obama’s SCOTUS nominee Merrick Gardner not going to be confirmed after the election, he pledged that no nominee would be confirmed if Hillary Clinton is elected in November. Some readers may recall that it was Senator Burr who thought his Republican audience would appreciate a joke about assassinating presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and it was during that speech that he said the Supreme Court will remain short-handed for at least four-and-a-half more years.
“And if Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the supreme Court.”
That is a departure from Burr’s pledge directly after Scalia died in February when he said:
“In this election year, the American people will have an opportunity to have a say in the future direction of our country. For this reason, I believe the vacancy left open by Justice Scalia should not be filled until there is a new president.”
As Slate’s Jim Newell rightly posited, what Burr and all the other constitutional “Oath-Violator” Republican senators and nasty conservative pundits really mean to say is “the vacancy will not be filled until there is new Republican president.” However, that is not what the law of the land, that silly old Constitution, says and Republicans know it. They should be severely punished with immediate expulsion from the Senate for breaking their “swear so help me god” oath to uphold that Constitution.
But it is not just maniacs like McConnell and Burr threatening to violate their oath of office, and constitutional mandate to confirm or reject a nominee. Republican Senators such as John McCain of Arizona and Ted Cruz of Texas also said that they have no issue with “blocking any” potential Hillary Clinton nominees. And, PBS reported that during a debate on Monday, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said that he “can’t imagine” voting for any Clinton nominee.
No-one in their right mind ever accused Republicans of caring about or adhering to the U.S. Constitution in its current form. They actually desperately lust to get together with the Kochs brothers, evangelical fundamentalist leaders, and the Ku Klux Klan to “rebirth a new constitution” for their new “great” America. It will be a new American constitution that authorizes Republicans to install a white Christian male as emperor for life with a 6-member panel of white male priests and preachers to create, adjudicate, and constitutionally enforce bible-based Puritanical laws. But until then, there is a Constitution and for any Republican pledging to continue violating the current law of the land is very telling about their tyrannical fascist intent and abhorrence of the United States Constitution; kind of like their fascist standard-bearer Donald Trump.
What Senate Republicans are doing is beyond their eight-year record of obstruction out of pure spite and racial animus toward Barack Obama; they are violating their “swear so help me god” oath of office and their mandate in the Constitution. The Constitution, by the way, that they swore “so help me god” to uphold and yet they have spent the past eight months deliberately not upholding the law of the land.
If Red state voters were not so inherently stupid to elect members of the Senate to draw bloated salaries and not only refuse to do their jobs, they are paying them to violate their constitutional mandate and “so help me god” oath of office. Since voters in those Red states will not vote “oath-violators” out of office, the people must rise up and press Democrats in the Senate to demand, forthwith, expulsion proceedings against any Republican violating their oath of office and the Constitution.
Sadly, and it is a sad state of affairs, the powers that be in this country have an aversion to holding Republicans accountable for their actions and it plagues all levels of government including the Federal Bureau of Investigation that is being run by a partisan hack apparently working for the Republican Party, and not the people.