Merrick Garland’s targeting of conservatives reveals a bullet dodged
“Hindsight is 20-20”, is an adage applied most often to hard lessons learned in retrospect, but rarely to occasions of great fortune. In the case of Merrick Garland, what we witness now of his yet short tenure as U.S. Attorney General speaks volumes in miniature about the damage of which he is capable, if given the life tenure of a Supreme Court Justice.
The career of a politician is long remembered, often either for the glory of a single greatest achievement, or as gored through by a single gravest failure. Forgotten politicians usually have failed to distinguish themselves, either for uncommon courage, or unchecked corruption. Still others are neither remembered nor forgotten but rather come and go unseen, distinguished in no other way than by the irony that even in the most common of controversies, their apparent absence of conviction and of appetite for deliberation, produces in them no more refined legislative action than a grossly belched up vote of, “present.”
U.S. Senate Minority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, may rightly be accused at times of resembling each of these types. He has spent much of his considerable political career and capital, especially most recently under a hostile Senate majority, walking a tightrope situated six inches off the ground and over fluffy pillows, yet feigning for his constituent cameras, as if having championed such dizzying depths and breadths dwarfed only by those of the Grand Canyon. Or at least of Mt. Rushmore, where upon its noble face he undoubtedly mentally has chiseled his own countenance countless times, lost as it were, in the kind of self-exultant extasy common to mirror musings.
Yet McConnell, despite his many disappointing leadership decisions, deserves to be long remembered if for only one major act of political courage and craft – his averting of the ascension of Merrick Garland, Barrack Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, to fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, by preventing that nomination from ever coming to the Senate floor.
Attorney General Bill Barr epitomized a determined apolitical non-partisanship in an unforeseen manner and degree of actually appearing a political partisan for the opposing party. A.G. Garland, by contrast, seems to be determined to epitomize a political partisan to a degree seldom if ever seen, even at the Department of Justice, in a servant of the people sworn to uphold and equally protect the Constitution and rule of law for all people, regardless of distinction.
As A.G., Garland seems to know no restraint nor hesitancy in his willingness to use his position and pen as platform to launch politically motivated attacks against all the president’s men and women in opposition. He spares no manner of wrathful tactic to gut the constitutional rights and domestic tranquility of his targets, and to subdue, intimidate, and ultimately destroy them. A willingness that has stretched its net so wide or high, as to harass a former and potential future president or a fervent pro-life father of seven.
As Supreme Court Justice, how much more willing would Garland have been to adopt a “Living Constitution” judicial philosophy that kills the Constitution by its slow gutting by a thousand knives?
Yes, Merrick Garland’s tenure as Attorney General, has more than made up for any slight he may have suffered by not having been given an opportunity to demonstrate and defend before the Senate his qualifications, and the suitability of his nomination to the Supreme Court.
The left may be apt to argue that it was the slight that made the man. I would rebut in that case, that it is Garland the man, who made the slight into a vendetta not only against Republicans, but against the Constitution and rule of law.
In retrospect, Garland’s time at Justice, thus far, much more than any senate hearings could have ever revealed, demonstrates just how unjust he is willing to be to politicize a supposed apolitical institution, whether it be the Department of Justice, much less the Supreme Court of the United States.
For this dodged bullet to the heart of the Constitution and rule of law, for keeping Merrick Garland off the Supreme Court, conservatives, indeed every American, should long remember Mitch McConnell’s single greatest service to his country. For this alone, his many other failures as Minority Leader may be easily forgiven.
Photo credit: YouTube screengrab (cropped)