The frustrating, baffling Mr. Biden

As long time readers know, I rarely venture into specific politics in Washington D.C., but after the defeats of the Democrats on environmental issues by zero support of Republicans under the leadership of Mitch McConnell, and the lack of any support by Senator Manchin to fix the deadlock on any substantial climate change issue, I’m acted to move by a morning headline.

The New York Times is reporting this morning that President Biden was willing to make a “collegial deal” with Senator McConnell to nominate a judge to the Federal Bench. The Times reported, “The White House quietly agreed with the Senate Republican leader to nominate Chad Meredith for a federal judgeship, but opposition from his fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul scuttled the deal.”

To be clear, Mr. Meredith is a staunch anti-abortion advocate, and a member of the Federalist Society, with other Supreme Court right wing judges. This right wing society is focused on overturning many of the issues that Democrats hold dear including environmental issues. In 2019, The Washington Post Magazine wrote that the Federalist Society had reached an “unprecedented peak of power and influence.” Of the current nine members of the Supreme Court of the United States, six are current or former members of the organization (Brett KavanaughNeil GorsuchClarence ThomasJohn RobertsSamuel Alito, and Amy Coney Barrett). Politico wrote that the Federalist Society “has become one of the most influential legal organizations in history—not only shaping law students’ thinking but changing American society itself by deliberately, diligently shifting the country’s judiciary to the right.” Additionally, these same Supreme Court judges are responsible for rolling back the power of the EPA to protect our air and water exactly at the time we need it to do that more than ever.

After years of having Senator McConnell work to stop anything being done in the Senate by President Obama, and now President Biden, including unprecedented holding up of Supreme Court nominees, to hear that President Biden was somehow working to be collegial to this ruthless political animal simply is mind bending. It appears that Biden just still, doesn’t get it. What kind of “personal favor” as the White House stated, was behind this? Why not ask for something from McConnell for this nomination, or simply state the obvious, “given what you have done to Democratic nominations and bills over the last 15 years, Mitch, you deserve nothing from us until you start working with us to pass legislation that is meaningful.”

I have talked to 30 somethings recently about voting on environmental and abortion issues, and the depressing truth is I’ve heard how disenfranchised they feel about both parties. It is not working to try and tell them how important an issue is, when they feel that both parties are working against their interests, and this kind of “old school” Senate behavior is simply reinforcing it. I predict there is not much chance Biden will be re-elected, if he chooses to run and if he gets out of the primaries.

The earth environmental crisis needs fighters, politicians who can get things done, or make the opposition pay a price for their insistence on not negotiating. We do not need milk toast middle of the road old school pols who take stances like this.

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