21 September 2020

Tyranny of the (Transient) "Majority"

Dear Senator Turtle:

Nothing in the Constitution grants the majority leader of the Senate the power to determine whether, or when, a nomination as a principal officer of the United States comes to the floor of the Senate for the Senate to exercise its power of "advice and consent" (Art. II § 2). Instead, these are internal rules, established by a transient majority of the Senate. And if one looks at the voter base of the Heffalump majority in the Senate, one finds that the fifty-three members comprising that transient majority represent 48% of the US population as estimated by the Census in 2018 (but excluding DC, Puerto Rico, and all other territories… because they're not in the Senate at all). A majority of that majority represents states below the national median in population.

Although you're not a Member for Old Sarum (total voter rolls: seven), you might as well be. Your refusal to listen to anyone except your friends and patrons while displaying a slavish devotion to ideology (you're a propertied white male, so "slavish" is not the best possible term), an insane tyrant, and power that would be held up as an example for the others by O'Brien, however, reminds me a great deal of the conditions that made the First War of American Secession not just possible, but inevitable — and successful.

So be careful what you ask for, in terms of pushing a confirmation before the election/inauguration in the face of your own prior pious statements. You might get it. I'm old enough to remember Justice Souter… and Justice Blackmun. Perhaps your party has been better at driving out the thoughtful and the liberal since then, but I'm not certain that's a good thing. Nor, for that matter, very christian.

Unless, that is, you're not interested in democracy in the first place… which, given your performance since 2007, seems highly likely.