Sunday, March 27, 2016

Down the Hatch, Orrin!

I think it was in a movie that I first heard the expression 'keep your friends close and your enemies closer'. The wisdom was clear, and I filed it away in the grey matter beneath my hair.

This explains why I even bothered with Senator Orrin Hatch's (R-UT) op-ed piece, which attempts to justify congressional intransigence over presidential Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. 

It's always good to know what the enemy is thinking.

Since it was written in Republican, I had a difficult time making sense of it. (But then, I usually do with such things.) I held it up to a mirror in hopes its backwards, inside-out logic would suddenly appear well-ordered and sensible.

It didn't.

Hatch repeatedly makes the point that the next Supreme Court nominee must be made by a representative of the people, and after exhaustive study of both the 2008 and 2012 election returns, I can confirm that Barack Obama was indeed elected by people. Specifically, Americans.

This must be news to the addled senator from Utah, who evidently believes Obama was elected by a mix of crustaceans, canned fruit and small appliances.

Regrettably, Hatch goes on.

He maintains that by naming a successor to Antonin Scalia, President Obama is attempting to politicize the Supreme Court, thereby engaging in the most wanton, divisive and destructive politicking ever seen on Capitol Hill.

But by delaying a confirmation until the next (and presumably, Republican) president is elected, congressional Republicans are acting in the best interests of a fair and balanced court, with no thought whatsoever given to the well-being of their party.

(I couldn't stop laughing, either. Am I alone in thinking that cable TV is missing a real comedic talent here?)

In the depths of the Great Recession, Congress debated the extension of unemployment benefits for the tens of millions of people upended by that financial cataclysm. Typically, Orrin Hatch opposed it, stating the unemployed would just use the money to buy drugs.

Six years later, the truth is obvious. 

Given the complete lack of coherence in Hatch's piece (and by extension, his thinking), it is clear the reason Hatch opposed funding for the unemployed was that he feared competition for the drugs with which he is so obviously smitten.

With this in mind, I want to reach out to poor, addicted Orrin. 

I propose the formation of a law which makes it illegal to legislate under the influence. Call it LUI. Going one step further, I'll suggest mandatory blood testing before Republican congressmen are allowed to speak, write or legislate.

To honor the legacy of recently departed Republican princess Nancy Reagan, we'll call it Just Say No. (That ought to be easy for Republicans to remember, eh?)

Not only will this heighten the level of our national discourse—it should work wonders for our politics.

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