Thursday, March 24, 2016

Has Chad Griffin gone insane?

The very insulated Chad Griffin seems to have lost his mind. On March 11 the Human Rights Campaign endorsed Republican Senator Mark Kirk over Democrat Tammy Duckworth. I have been thinking about this for a few days. I get that HRC would like to appear non-partisan and Mark Kirk is a good guy but this is a farce. Kirk holds one of the most endangered Republican Senate seats. The seat should flip to Democratic in November at a time when Democrats have an opportunity to take control of the Senate.

Some years ago then Senator Joe Biden was interviewed about an upcoming election. He said that whether he remained ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with Dick Lugar as chairman or became chairman with Lugar as ranking member it wouldn't really make much difference. Well those days of comity are at and end.

The US Senate is now comprised of Jesus freaks led by a Jesus freak. Some of those Jesus freaks are batshit crazy; Ted Cruz and Mike Lee come to mind. Crazy people are in control of committees that seem to have the singular goal of obstructing the Black man in the White House. It doesn't seem to matter that he was elected twice — in spite of their efforts to prevent that from happening. Exhibit A is the decision not even to have a committee hearing over a nomination to the Supreme Court.

49 presidential nominations to fill federal court vacancies are pending — on hold. There are actually 84 vacancies on the federal bench right now which constitutes a near crisis. They are trying to run the clock out in the hopes that Cruz or Trump or a GOPer-to-be-named-later will end up as POTUS. Then they can fill the federal courts with crazy Jesus freaks if they retain control of the chamber.

Suppose that Hillary Clinton is our next president and the Senate remains controlled by Republicans. How difficult will they make it for her to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court? How long are they prepared to wait before that ninth seat is filled? Four years? Eight years?

We have a real opportunity to change control of the Senate which, in turn, changes the composition of the federal courts which is where many of our battles are fought. Endorsing Kirk might make sense if the Senate was safely in Democratic control but that's not the case. What was Griffin thinking?

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