Like the salmons to Capastrano…
So we’re doing the “Supreme Court confirmation hearing” thing again. See if you can guess how this goes. Lots of self-important grandstanding by people who have long since made up their minds about a nominee, and then he gets confirmed. Sound familiar? Yup, it happens every time. But the Kavanaugh hearing, Dat 1 in particular, has been particularly gross. Let’s recap: Senators made asses of themselves, the nominees daughters had to be escorted out of the hearing for safety reasons, and twitter exploded in a baseless ‘white supremacist gesture’ accusation against the nominee’s part Mexican, part Jewish aide. Did I miss anything?
Look, this can’t be what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Is there anyone who watched that and thought, “yeah, this is Democracy at work, love it.” Of course not. And it needn’t be this way. I can fix this is three easy steps, but there’s a catch. The fix is as follows:
- Get live t.v. cameras out of there
- Get spectators out of there
- Eliminate opening statements
In reverse order, why are Senators allowed to make opening statements? They are there to judge the merits of the candidate in front of them. If they have already done so, then they needn’t speak. If they haven’t made up their minds, then they can question him, for a limited time period. The rest is unnecessary. Why are spectators in there? What value do they add? I get in theory that the people should be able to witness their democracy in action, but people have long since ruined that. In this ‘look at me’ selfie era, people have shown time and again that they aren’t there to observe, they are there to “make news”. That cannot be needed at a Supreme Court hearing, and it should be done away with. Btw, if a Senator (Feinstein) invites a guest who disrupts the hearing (Guttenberg) then that Senator should be removed from the proceedings. Isn’t that what would happen if a Patriots season ticket holder gave his tickets to a friend who caused a disruption? Why not a Senator then? Finally, get the cameras out of there. Do that, and watch how quickly the grandstanding goes away.
Done. I fixed it, right? Oh wait, the catch is that you have to give up the circus t.v. show that this process has become. The question then becomes: are we as a people really willing to give up this occasional legislative porn for the betterment of democracy? And there goes my fix to the problem right down the drain…
More wisdom next week.