Last political contribution I sent in was John Edwards, just before he crashed. I think I'm the kiss of death, so I refrain from making any more contributions!
Hasturd was the problem alright: He was a college coach, so he brought the concept that winning was more important than anything else. He played right into America's fixation on sports. In order to win, your team had to be on the offensive, initiate the play, and accept nothing from the other team. Since his reign, we have had zero cooperation between the benches in congress. There used to be a lot of cooperation, a lot of quid pro quo, which is exactly what a legislative body is supposed to do.
There still is a LOT of legislation needed that both sides could agree on, but they each try to lard up the bills with their pet projects. We need the ability to get bills stripped of their riders if they can't pass both houses. Likewise, I think Obama should have just given the senate 30 days to consider his SC nominee and then declared him to be a member of the court. Nothing in the constitution says the senate leader can veto a supreme court nominee.
I agree that Garland should have had a vote in the senate on confirmation. With 54 GOP senators at the time, it was a stupid political ploy. McConnell had more than enough senators to defeat or not confirm Garland. He should have had a floor vote. Obama or any other president can't appoint or declare someone to the SCOTUS without senate confirmation. The Constitution states as such. Article II, Section 2. In the era of paybacks, I suppose that was McConnell's way of getting back at Schumer for saying the senate wouldn't take up or confirm any of G.W. Bush's SCOTUS nominees in his last 19 months of his presidency. These things have a habit of coming back around on you.
Just like the nuclear option, bad mistake. But when you have both leaders in the senate putting party first, I'd expect no less. I like the idea of having some of the minority party give their consent to any SCOTUS nominee with the 60 vote cloture option. That prevented any extremist from being appointed and confirmed when the senate and president are of the same party. Doing away with minority rights in the senate is the last thing I would have thought the Democrats would do. But then again, we're talking Harry Reid. Him and McConnell are two peas in a pod when it comes to party first.
We're paying a price for Reid's first use of the nuclear option for a short term political gain. I hope he still thinks it was worth it. I realize Reid excluded the SCOTUS, but these thing escalate, McConnell adding the SCOTUS was no surprise. Soon the filibuster will be just a footnote in history as the nuclear option will be applied to all legislation.
It's high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first instead of their political party. For way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.