Profiles in Discourage

D4A8433B-A23A-4291-9E7A-AB26A5519F45I admit it. I, too, was taken in by the illusion that maybe, just maybe, two or three Republicans in the U.S. Senate would have the integrity and courage to vote against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. But I was wrong.

Not one Republican showed any courage whatsoever. Susan Collins talked about her support for Roe v. Wade and wrung her hands at Kavanaugh’s demeanor at the hearing, but in the end, she enthusiastically endorsed him and questioned the veracity of the sexual misconduct claims levied against him. Jeff Flake made a big show of demanding an FBI investigation, even though he and his Republican cronies knew that, with its limited scope, it would be a sham.

I’m even skeptical of Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski being the lone Republican senator to vote against Kavanaugh. I  have no doubt that, having secured Collins’ and Flake’s votes, and that of West Virginia (aka, “coal country”) Democrat Joe Manchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave Murkowski the okay to vote no, since he didn’t need her vote to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Just look how jovial Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is. Look at the joy on McConnell’s face. They are over the moon at what was always the inevitable outcome.

Stacked Deck

But the reality is that the political deck is stacked. The configuration of the U.S. Senate, with each of the 50 states having two senators, is such that about two-thirds of the senators represents only about one-third of country’s population. Wyoming, for example, has a total population of about 580,000 people, so its two senators each represents around 290,000 people. But the state I live in, California, is home to nearly 40 million people, so each of my senators represents the interests of 20 million people.  The second most populous state, Texas, has around 28 million people, so a Texan’s representation in the Senate is 1.42 times greater than for those in California.

The combined populations of North Dakota and South Dakota is around 1.6 million, but there are four senators representing the people of those two states. Twice the number of senators for four percent of the population of California.

And as of today, the United States Supreme Court is also disproportionately skewed to the right. So much for the concepts of a representative government and of “one man, one vote.”

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (illusion), Scott’s Daily Prompt (committee), Word of the Day Challenge (jovial), and Daily Addictions (inevitable).

16 thoughts on “Profiles in Discourage

  1. J-Dub October 6, 2018 / 2:43 pm

    I was under an illusion too. As one friend put it 50-48 The real American horror story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bethlovesblue October 6, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    It is just stunning. I am from Alaska and proud of Murkowski for her stated position, but am still not sure what voting “present” means. Sad to say, Red Alaska will probably vote her out and some old curmudgeonly white guy will take her place. Folks are grumbling HARD about her vote of “present”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 6, 2018 / 4:19 pm

      It was to ensure that there were no “no” votes within the ranks of the Republicans while giving her some “cover” with her Alaska constituents that she didn’t vote “yes.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen October 6, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      Thanks for that news.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Marilyn Armstrong October 6, 2018 / 3:28 pm

    Basically, all there is left to do is vote. And you know what? Everyone says “we have to leave the country so that our kids and grandkids can enjoy it. But they are going to have to stand up and do what they need to do to make the world the way the want it to be. We are old. We not at death’s door, but we are past our prime. Those who are working, raising children, trying to make their way in the world: IT IS THEIR TURN. No ifs, buts, or maybes. If they are going to let this bullshit stand, then it will be their world to live in.

    We can’t fix it for them … and maybe we shouldn’t. I’ll vote as I always vote, liberal and democratic … but it really isn’t up to us. It’s up to THEM. If they care, they will do what they need to do. If they don’t care, there’s nothing we can do to make them care. They too need to develop spines and consciences.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paula Light October 6, 2018 / 3:31 pm

    We do not emphasize voting enough in school. It’s not just a right ~ it’s a duty as a citizen. And I absolutely agree about the skewed (mis)representation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Haunted Wordsmith October 6, 2018 / 4:48 pm

      Yet it is a duty and right denied so many just because of past actions. The whole system of a representational government is rigged to the power holders. Republics are designed to prevent majority rule, yet no one really conceived that the US would adopt capitalism like it has. Now politics and policy are there only to protect the exclusivity of the haves.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Sight11 October 6, 2018 / 4:39 pm

    It’s funny how the young ones are left with this idea that we can improve although the world is made a lot difficult to live in thanks to earlier generation negligence…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sadje October 6, 2018 / 6:08 pm

    I find that these days, political affiliations mean more than moral values or the concept of right and wrong. Why?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango October 6, 2018 / 10:42 pm

      Why? Because politics has become a of zero sum game. In order for one side to win, the other must lose. No compromise, no negotiations. It’s all or nothing, my way or the highway.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sadje October 6, 2018 / 11:24 pm

        Exactly. Previously people had high regard for values now they just need to win and put the other side down. It’s so disquieting.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. James October 6, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    A couple of points. In my opinion, both the Republicans and Democrats played a foul game aimed at destroying lives, so neither one gets to play the moral superiority card. There’s this strange illusion that members of the Senate actually care about human lives (born and unborn), but in fact, it’s all about gaming the system so that people who have been in power for decades and making millions stay in power and continue making millions. Every time I see Dianne Feinstein, I wonder if I would really want to still be working at 85, and of course, the answer is no. She, and everyone else who has been a Senator, has a medical and retirement package I could only dream of, and all taxpayer funded. This hearing has drawn the Senators on both sides of the aisle out in the open and exposed them, and only the naïve imagines that “Democrats good, Republicans bad,” or vice versa. Power and wealth trumps anything else in their economy. The protestors expressing their anguish and abuse were only pawns.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen October 7, 2018 / 1:43 pm

      Doing things on the backs of workers has been based on ideology, though. So just getting younger people won’t correct the situation.

      Liked by 1 person

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