“… They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, ‘The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.’”
Like many, this semi-humble current events observer listened to much of the Senate confirmation hearings for current Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
Like many, also, this semi-humble current events observer eventually turned the hearings off.
While there did exist moments which were seemingly productive, insightful and indicative of both sincere praise and authentic concern, too many moments were partisan, disrespectful, and disappointing.
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) seemed to sense something similar. While she is one who has expressed valid concern with Kavanaugh sitting on the high court, after multiple interruptions and disruptions, her opening statement on Wednesday included an actual apology to the nominee, saying, “I’m sorry for the circumstances, but we’ll get through it.” She was then immediately mocked by many on Twitter… for having the audacity to apologize.
The confirmation process has become partisan.
Attack ads begin immediately. Senators make up their minds before meeting the nominee. Parties hold closed-door strategy sessions, hoping to derail the process. They focus on ensuring their tribe sticks together, as opposed to sincerely vetting and evaluating a potential, future judge. Maybe the tribe can disrupt the process; better yet, perhaps they can discredit the candidate going forward. It’s evident with some of the harsher opposition to Kavanaugh now, just as it was evident in 2016, when Pres. Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland was ignored.
That’s just it. Both parties do it.
And what’s sadly unfortunate, is that many of us suggest it’s ok. Wait…
It’s ok for one of them.
Because they threw the stone first.
Question: since when did any stone throwing become acceptable behavior?
As the summer of 2018 came to a close, one of the most bittersweet, beautiful occurrences was the gathering to celebrate the life and faith of Sen. John McCain. It was amazing on so many levels… hearing from his family… hearing from both political rivals and friends… being inspired by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
John McCain was a statesman. In fact, as I learned more from tuning into the multiple memorial services, few seemed as fierce as either friend or foe. But McCain still advocated for respect.
In some of the late Senator’s last words delivered on the Senate floor a year before his death, McCain shared the following: [emphasis mine]
“… Our deliberations today — not just our debates, but the exercise of all our responsibilities — authorizing government policies, appropriating the funds to implement them, exercising our advice and consent role — are often lively and interesting. They can be sincere and principled. But they are more partisan, more tribal more of the time than any other time I remember. Our deliberations can still be important and useful, but I think we’d all agree they haven’t been overburdened by greatness lately. And right now they aren’t producing much for the American people.
Both sides have let this happen. Let’s leave the history of who shot first to the historians. I suspect they’ll find we all conspired in our decline — either by deliberate actions or neglect. We’ve all played some role in it…”
Who shot first?
Who threw the first stone?
It doesn’t matter… we’ve all played some role in it.
We, my friends, can do better.