I apologize for today’s brief foray into politics. I try to avoid posts like this.
Apparently, the quality of discourse in the United States has reached a new low point. Today, Senate Democrats used the “nuclear option” to end filibusters of executive and judicial nominations from the President. Before, sixty (of 100) votes were needed to approve a nomination. That threshold has now been lowered to a simple majority.
The previous rules protected the minority voice, allowed for constructive criticism, and probably required nominees to be somewhat moderate in their views. In my mind, that’s a good thing, and I believe most people would have agreed with me, at least historically. But apparently the Democrats got fed up with what they viewed as pure Republican obstructionism. They decided that the entire nomination process had reached a standstill and rewrote the Senate rules.
In my mind, the unspoken and important point here is that the Democrats judged that the political fallout from the move would be minimal. In other words, the United States as a whole is already so bitterly divided or so apathetic that there wouldn’t be consequences to pay on election day. I’m sad about what that says about us. Have things really deteriorated this far?
To be sure, I’m always uneasy about how to relate to politics and government. (How does a person who pledges allegiance to the Kingdom of God live in this empire we call the United States?) And so, I’m not sure that anything actually changes for me. There is simply this: I re-affirm my hope of being a person who works to tear down the barriers that divide us, rather than building them, as we witnessed today.
Ok – that’s the end of my political rant.