To the editor:
Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy said yesterday that he would vote on Trump's nominee for Supreme Court justice, based on the nominee's qualifications, not ideology. Too late, his party already did. It fashioned a rule to avoid considering Merritt Garland before the 2016 elections, which it now ignores in insisting on considering Kavanaugh before the 2018 elections. This is ideology in its most naked form.
When rules are applied selectively based on who benefits and who is harmed, we have abandoned the rule of law and dispensed with justice. Without fidelity to law, we don't have a functioning democracy.
"Elections have consequences," Republicans say. When Germans elected Adolph Hitler, did they think their vote would destroy German democracy?
Republicans have acted resolutely since before the 2-16 election to gain and maintain power permanently: voter suppression, blatant gerrymandering, abolishing campaign finance laws, eliciting the aid of a foreign power to poison our public debate and subvert the vote counting process itself, making a mockery of a Congressional committee purposed with investigating foreign interference in our elections, remaining silent when the president lies about Russian interference and attacks the press as "the enemy of the people" for reporting on it, packing the judiciary with loyalists sanctioning laws and practices designed to benefit the oligarchs who the party now answers to. The evidence is overwhelming.
One of the manifestations of unchecked power is corruption. It is pervasive in the Trump administration and has taken innumerable forms: conflicts of interest, nepotism, appointments based on loyalty not competence, ignoring custom and procedure, insider trading, gorging at the public trough, violating the oath of office.
Elections have consequences, indeed.