The Republican majority in the less-than-esteemed Senate Judiciary Committee wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell yesterday informing him that they intended to follow his lead and not have a hearing on any Supreme Court nominee put forward by President Obama. Not only that, the Republican senators also said that they would not even grant any Obama nominee the courtesy of an introductory visit to their respective offices.
There is no word yet on how many crayons the petulant senators burned through in composing their letter.
I did some basic research to determine just exactly who this group of dunderheads is and learned, not surprisingly, that almost to a man (and they are all older white men) they come from the southern United States - and a solid majority represent states that were part of the old Confederacy.
The only Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee from a northern state is its chairman, Charles Grassley of Iowa. Grassley initially made news by stating flat-out that his committee would not give a hearing to an Obama pick, but then reversed himself and said the committee probably would hold a hearing before voting the appointment down. Now Grassley appears to have bounced back into line with the party's extremists. His committee will do, or not do, whatever the hell the Republican majority wants - and the Constitution of the United States of America be damned!
The seven of eleven Republican committee members who are from the old Confederacy include Jeff Sessions (Alabama), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), David Vitter (Louisiana), David Perdue (Georgia), Thom Tillis (North Carolina), John Cornyn (Texas), and Ted Cruz (Texas). The remaining three (not counting Chairman Grassley of Iowa) are Jeff Flake (of the old Confederate Territory of Arizona), and Orin Hatch and Mike Lee of Utah. (Mike Lee's claim to fame is being Ted Cruz's only friend in the Senate.)
So, while the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee may be completely colorblind when it comes to the President and his appointments, they still have to go home and pander for votes from people who see the world in terms of race.
The ten Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are from the other end of the nation's cultural spectrum, and all, except for the member from California, are from states solidly within the old Union. They are Patrick Leahy, the ranking member, (Vermont), Dianne Feinstein (California), Charles Schumer (New York), Dick Durbin (Illinois), Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island), Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), Al Franken (Minnesota), Christopher Coons (Delaware), and Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut).
I would like to think that the Civil War is over and has been consigned to the history stacks in the library, but that pickup truck that just roared down my country lane flying a Confederate flag says otherwise - and so does that Judiciary Committee letter to Mitch McConnell.
It's time for the country to grow up.