I couldn’t have said it better.

So I already wrote a blog post addressing the current situation of the Senate Republicans claiming they’ll refuse to have any hearings on the newest SCOTUS nominee by POTUS Obama.  This is absurd, and I won’t rehash my rationale on it.  You can read that below.  A senator from Minnesota, however, made another great point that cannot be ignored about the decision the people of the United States made when they chose to elect the President for a 2nd time, and how having nearly a full year left on the Presidential term doesn’t mean that his job is over.  We elected him for four more years and he has a job to do, per the Constitution, much like the Senate has a job to do… per the Constitution.  So without wasting much more of your time, I leave you Senator Franken’s words:

It is our duty to move forward. We must fulfill our constitutional obligation to ensure that the highest court in the land has a full complement of justices.

Unfortunately, it would seem that some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle do not agree—and they wasted no time in making known their objections. Less than an hour after news of Justice Scalia’s death became public, the Majority Leader announced that the Senate would not take up the business of considering a replacement until after the presidential election. Quote, “[t]he American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice,” he said.

The only problem with the Majority Leader’s reasoning, M. PRESIDENT, is that the American people have spoken. Twice. President Barack Obama was elected and reelected by a solid majority of the American people who correctly understood that elections have consequences, not the least of which is that when a vacancy occurs, the President of United States has the constitutional responsibility to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court. The Constitution does not set a time limit on the President’s ability to fulfill this duty. Nor, by my reading, does the Constitution set a date after which the President is no longer able to fulfill his duties as Commander in Chief, or to exercise his authority to, say, grant pardons or make treaties. It merely states that the President shall hold office for a term of four years. And by my count, there are in the neighborhood of 11 months left.

If we were to truly subscribe to the Majority Leader’s logic and extend it to the legislative branch, it would yield an absurd result. Senators would become ineffective in the last year of their term. The 28 senators who are now in the midst of their reelection campaigns and the 6 senators who are stepping down should be precluded from casting votes in committee or on the Senate floor. Ten committee chairs and 19 subcommittee chairs should pass the gavel to a colleague who is not currently running for reelection or preparing for retirement. Bill introduction, and indeed the cosponsorship of bills, should be limited to those senators who are not yet serving in the sixth year of their terms. If the Majority Leader sincerely believes that the only way to ensure that the voice of the American people is heard is to lop off the last year of an elected official’s term, I trust he will make these changes.

But I suspect he does not. Rather, it seems to me that the Majority Leader believes that the term of just one elected official in particular should be cut short. Which begs the question, M. PRESIDENT, just how short should it be cut? As I said, by my count, approximately 11 months remain in Barack Obama’s presidency. 11. Now, 11 months is a considerable amount of time. Sizable. It has heft, to be sure, but I wouldn’t call it vast. Then again, there’s a certain arbitrariness to settling on 11 months. After all, it’s just shy of a full year. Perhaps, in order to simplify matters, an entire year would be preferable. Or maybe just six months—half a year. It’s a difficult decision, M. PRESIDENT. If only the American people had a voice in selecting precisely how much time we should shave off the President’s term.

-Al Franken

Dear President Obama, they say your term is over.

So with 340 days left in his Presidency, President Obama is [essentially] being informed that his job here is done, by the very say people who have been trying to make sure he isn’t able to do his job for the past 7 years.  Despite that, truly, it is his constitution obligation to appoint a Supreme Court Justice, and it is the constitutional duty of the Congress to approve or disapprove of any nominations based on their ability to be a judge, not a congressman or woman’s feeling about who the appointee is.

We now have a certain Rafael Eduardo Cruz trying to tell us to leave this SCOTUS spot up to the voters, and let them decide in the coming elections.  My question to his is simple, “Why?”  Why is this guy so hell bent on waiting.  We should know by now a Republican is probably not winning the White House.  Why would we wait to go through the long drawn out process of GOP obstructionism and them refusing to do their job?  Haven’t we simply had enough of this?  The voters already have decided to put President Obama into the White House… TWICE.  I’d say that the voters have already decided.  We voted for Obama knowing that for the next four years he would have the opportunity to fill any SCOTUS vacancies that came up during that time.  This is just simply the kid on the playground who didn’t get picked for kickball trying to say that nobody else can play.

I saw something interesting floating around the internet.  It showed a picture of the Dixie Chicks with the caption, “Remember when speaking out against the President was treasonous?”  During the time of G.W. Bush, this country changed.  A lot of things changed.  Our entire world changed.  I’m not going to argue whether or not G.W. Bush did a good job adapting to this change.  I’m not going to blame G.W. Bush for the actions of a group of Saudis and a hurricane.  The question, however, is was he the right man to handle the job?  You can ask a Democrat or a Republican whether or not the years between 2001 and 2007 were good years for the United States and most of them will agree that they were not.  This question is leaving politics and the President out of it.

What do we see now?  We see our elected leaders, many of whom were the same exact leaders who condemned the Dixie Chicks, openly disrespecting a sitting President.  We see somebody who would rather make a mockery of his office by reading Green Eggs and Ham for hours, instead of do his damn job and just vote NO if he feels so inclined.  These same elected leaders bitched and complained when the Democrats filibustered rational things to be against.  The GOP, however, has literally been against every damn piece of legislation that has come there way.  We’ve had members of the GOP opening saying that they’re doing this purely to make Obama look bad.  When he was first elected, you had GOP members saying that they would do everything in their power to make sure he was a one term President.  Why on Earth would somebody try to sabotage this country for 4 years just because they don’t want a certain President?  This is insane!  If they claim to love this country so much, why wouldn’t they do everything in their legal power to push for progress, even if they didn’t have the White House?  You don’t burn the forest down because you’re scared of a single wolf in it.

I will also leave you some brilliant words about the role of the President and the role of the Senate when it comes to nominating Supreme Court Justices from a Mr. Mitch McConnell:

“Any President’s judicial nominees should receive careful consideration.  But after that debate, they deserve a simple up-or-down vote. . . . It’s time to move away from advise and obstruct and get back to advise and consent.  The stakes are high . . . . The Constitution of the United States is at stake.  Article II, Section 2 clearly provides that the President, and the President alone, nominates judges.  The Senate is empowered to give advice and consent.  But my Democratic colleagues want to change the rules.  They want to reinterpret the Constitution to require a supermajority for confirmation.  In effect, they would take away the power to nominate from the President and grant it to a minority of 41 Senators.”  (States News Service, May 19, 2005)

Now, I understand that McConnell said this in 2005 when G.W. Bush held office.  So what has changed?  Now all of a sudden he feels that the Senate should be able to obstruct?  In 2005 the Constitution was at stake, is it not at stake anymore?  I am so confused.  All of a sudden Mr. McConnell wants to change the rules.  McConnell is one of the loudest voices saying the President should wait and not nominate somebody, despite still having almost an entire year left in office.  He still has one-fourth of a term.  I guess that doesn’t mean a whole lot to the guy who hasn’t shown this POTUS much respect, anyways.  The hypocrisy is too much.

This ultimately goes into a beautiful notion that we, as a nation, need to vote.  When the majority of Americans don’t even vote, this is a problem.  We can all vote together and get some real change.  We can vote in a Congress that actually wants to do their job.  Ultimately, the power is still in our hands.  We need to do something about this.  We need to act.

Ted Cruz: Agent of the Constitut… Bible

Ted Cruz has been quoted to saying, “I am a Christian first, American second.”

How does this not scare you? This should for a few reasons.

First off, imagine somebody running for office said, “I am a Muslim/Jew/Atheist/Hindi/Pastafarian first, American second.” Imagine the outrage we would see on various news outlets. Hell, let’s imagine if Bernie Sanders said, “I am a Jew first, American second.” Fox News would be calling for him to drop out of the Presidential race.  I wouldn’t even be surprised if some in the GOP were calling for his resignation from the Senate.  Yet with Cruz, however, this is tolerated.

Let’s also look at this from another angle. The whole separation of church and state. For as much as Mr. Cruz claims to be a protector the Constitution he claims to love so much, where is his true priority? One of the major pieces of the Constitution was the whole separation of church and state, due to the fact that many Americans came here fleeing the notion of a church run state or a state run church that was persecuting them. If Ted Cruz loves the Constitution so much, then why on Earth is he trying to go back 300 years in the past?

This even brings up another point to the toleration level with Cruz.  With Barack Obama, a man born in Hawaii to a Kenyan father and a white mother, there was outrage over whether or not he was a Christian, let alone an American.  This was insane.  No amount of  birth certificates or legal documentation could quell that storm.  Yet Ted Cruz, a man born of an American mother and Cuban refugee father in Canada there is barely a murmur about his eligibility.  You also notice that the Democrat side has largely sat silent, as well.  Why is this?  Which side is more prone to throwing out dramatic theatrics in politics?  Which side is more focused on the issues that the American people care about?

Speaking of toleration, since when is threatening to “make sand glow” (in reference) to the Middle East sound politics?  Let alone popular politics.  Somehow a comment such as this makes Cruz an even more popular candidate, despite the threat of [what I could only assume to be] nuclear war being absolutely preposterous.  On that tangent, however, I’ll digress and let you form your own opinion.

With this I simply leave this post reminding readers that in order for these sort of things to stop, we as a society need to stop allowing this.  We cannot sit idly by and say nothing when people make comments like these.  Whether these comments are from politicians or that crazy uncle.  I remember a day when the Dixie Chicks were boycotted and called treasonous for speaking out against G.W. Bush, yet now we have politicians openly disrespecting a sitting POTUS.  We’ve allowed this, however.  We are to blame.