For the Dems, the pick could be worse



Art Parker,
Managing Editor

By Art Parker

Being Monday night, the eve of the Tuesday runoff election, I can’t comment on the outcome other than to say congratulations to the winners and condolences to the losers. However it takes little imagination to look down the road and see the next political battle that will generate the spewing of hate and meanness. It is the only time, other than a Presidential election, where the two wings of the political spectrum behave like untrained canines and treat their opponents like fire hydrants.     

    It is time for the vicious prelude and eventual nasty hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee that will take center stage when examining a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). The forthcoming process holds all promise of being a Gunfight at The O.K. Corral.

   In my opinion the redundant viciousness began in earnest in July 1987 when President Ronald Reagan nominated former Solicitor General Robert Bork to replace Lewis Powell, who was then considered a moderate. If remember correctly, Bork was a founding father of what many constitutionalists call “original intent,”  an interpretation by judges to apply the Constitution as it was understood at the time it was drafted and ratified. 

   The original intent doctrine and his close ties to former President Richard Nixon made Bork an easier target than a three legged buck in a baited field. The Democrats controlled the Senate at the time and hence had control of the Judiciary Committee. By the time the committee was finished rejecting Bork he had more holes in him than a gangster at a Mafia execution. The full Senate rejected Bork and from then on a SCOTUS nomination has turned into a war zone.

   Probably what made sure there will never be a cease fire was the confirmation of Clarence Thomas in 1991. The Democrats were still in control of the Senate and the common thread between the Bork and Thomas hearings was the Committee Chairman, former VP Joe Biden. 

   George Bush (one) nominated Thomas, an African-American judge who had little experience on the bench. It was really a poor choice by Bush and, in my opinion, Thomas was nominated because he was replacing Thurgood Marshall, the first black to be a justice. It was a rough ride for Thomas and then it became almost impossible when a former employee of his accused him of sexual harassment. The final days of the Thomas hearing was like watching “Days of Our Lives,” or the Dallas’ episode of “Who shot J.R.” While the Democrats hammered and ambushed Thomas relentlessly, the great moral compass of their party Ted “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy stayed out of the sexual harassment discussion by throwing Thomas unrelated softball questions (I wonder why). This publicly televised charade caused a deep division in our country. Thomas, who I felt was very unqualified for the court, was confirmed by the entire Senate and remains on the court today. Thomas got the last laugh and became a puppet of the most conservative justice Antonin Scalia. Thomas pretty much did whatever Scalia did until Scalia’s death in 2016.

   So here we are. It is not going to get any better. The Democrats will go after this next nominee like there is no tomorrow. Brett Kavanaugh will soon face the Judiciary Committee. The difference is that the committee and the Senate is controlled by Republicans. The Democrats would probably be more open to Kavanaugh if he had been nominated by anyone except Donald Trump. While I am not Trump’s biggest fan it is clear to me that the Democrats will quit eating bacon and eggs if they think that Trump eats that for breakfast every morning. One of the Dems anti-Trump leaders is on the Judiciary Committee, Cory Booker from New Jersey. Booker is out of control and behaves like a cry baby who didn’t get to be in the sand box. I can’t imagine what we will see from Booker during the committee hearings. 

   I think the Democrats need to calm down about this nominee. Kavanaugh, while being labeled a conservative, appears to be in the same boat with the soon to be retired Anthony Kennedy. I think Kavanaugh will be an open minded justice like Kennedy and, once confirmed, may instantly become the swing vote on the court. In my book that is a good thing. 

   I believe Kavanaugh deserves a shot. I can promise my Democrat friends that Trump could have really given them something to scream about. He could have easily found another Antonin Scalia.

Time to vote again; just do it



Art Parker,
Managing Editor

By Art Parker

Next week will determine the political future for our state with the runoff election set for July 17. I believe the runoff may be more interesting than the primary day even though the turnout will surely be less. I encourage all registered to do their duty and go to the polls and vote for the candidates’ of you choose.

   The big one as far as I am concerned is the United States House of Representatives, Second Congressional District. Former Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright made a good showing as he prevented incumbent Martha Roby from a primary election victory, with the help of a couple of other lesser candidates. I can’t help but favor Bright and believe we are much better off as a state, and a congressional delegation, with him returning to Washington. I have continued to hear the senseless reasons why would should not vote for Bright. Yes, he is a former Democrat, but always a conservative one of that label is important to you. The biggest pile of manure that means nothing is the ongoing issue of him voting for Nancy Pelosi. If one uses their brain in the least bit this issue should be quickly dismissed. What folks don’t realize is that vote was a pure party vote and a procedural matter. The Democrats were in power then and had he voted against Pelosi for Speaker of the House Bright would have been an outcast and we would have been without representation. It meant nothing. It means nothing. In my view what is important is Bright’s vote against Obamacare. Bright went against his party and voted against the then President’s greatest legacy (if you want to call it that). With that one act Bright voted the way his district wanted, adhered to the wishes of the people he represented. Most importantly he acted like a statesman and went against his party. 

   On the other hand Roby has proven to me to be nothing but a puppet for her party. She will follow the marching orders of whatever the party bosses tell her. Like I have said before, I have tried to like Roby and ascertain what value she brings to the district but I cannot. I hate to be so harsh but I am convinced that Roby is not bright enough to be in the U.S. House. 

   The final reason I am voting against Roby is that she has been well funded by the usual culprits that attempt to control our representation. On the other hand, Bright has been virtually self-funded and refuse to hold out his hand to special interest.  

   In the race for Lt. Governor I feel it is absolutely necessary to vote for Will Ainsworth. To vote for Twinkle Cavanaugh is just another vote for the Mike Hubbard-Bob Riley regime and we need to rid of our state, once and for all, of those guys. I believe there is a strong probability that one of these two will eventually become Governor and I having Cavanaugh in the Governor’s Mansion will be a disaster for this state.  

    In the race for Attorney General we need to put Troy King back in office. While my heart goes out to Steve Marshall with the recent death of his wife, I don’t believe he is cut out for the job. King was a very good AG, and he is anything but a Bob Riley puppet. I’m voting for King.

     The race for Agriculture and Industries Commissioner is similar to the Lt. Governor race. We need to send Gerald Dial out to pasture. He is another one that has been in Montgomery since Custer was a corporal. A fresh new face will be best for us in this important position. I encourage you to vote for Rick Pate.

Will civility cease over SCOTUS nominee?



Art Parker,
Managing Editor

By Art Parker

Before it is over I would not be surprised to see a fight or a brawl in the halls of Congress. It wouldn’t be the first time it has happened. There have been several brawls and fights, including a pistol once being drawn. The biggest, and I think the last, came in 1858 just before the Civil War. A melee of about thirty members started over the slavery issue as it related to Kansas, a state seeking admittance to the Union. It was North versus South. A Wisconsin house member jerked the wig off a fellow member from Mississippi. I imagine the loss of hair by the Southerner soon became a bigger issue than the Kansas debate and punches began to fly.

     A future U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) confirmation in the Senate will be on the agenda before too long as President Trump will name a replacement for Anthony Kennedy, who will retire as associate justice in about a month. The Democrats are already screaming bloody murder and making demands that the Republicans will certainly ignore, such as, holding off on the confirmation until after the election. Do the Dems really think the red state boys will do that? 

     The process has become one of the most intense, hate filled, blood pressure rising events in government. It is a process that captivates the media, rules the headlines and always seems to be the lead story…forever. 

     Of course this go around will be the most intense ever. President Trump is a magnet for controversy and seems to love stirring the pot. Last week in a conversation with a county commissioner from another county I heard the best description of Trump ever. In describing his county’s chairman, he said, “Our chairman is like Trump. You may like what he does you just hate watching him do It.” Trump may come up with a superb nominee that should make everyone happy but, even if he does, he will surely aggravate the hell out of the Democrats and probably lure them into a fight. I promise, while this is going on, the Washington media will absolutely love it.    

     Nominees don’t always turn out the way you think or want, and, in my opinion, that is a good thing. The reason we have these guys appointed for life is because once they are in they are free of political pressure and political reprisal. The only master a Supreme Court justice should have is the law. Period.

     ohn Paul Stevens was appointed by Republican Richard Nixon. Stevens wound up leading the liberal branch of the court. Republican George Bush appointed John Roberts as Chief Justice after William Rehnquist died. One would have expected nothing but conservative votes from Roberts yet, he was the vote that made sure ObamaCare stayed alive.    

     Truthfully, we just can’t predict what a nominee will do once they are confirmed. I think that is good because we can’t expect answers from questions yet to be asked.

And, what about Kennedy? He was appointed about thirty years ago by the father of modern conservatism-Ronald Reagan. Over time, Kennedy became the swing vote instead of a hard liner on the right. 

     It will be hard for some of you to believe but last week the ACLU praised Kennedy. The organization said, “Kennedy became the swing vote on many of the court’s most controversial decisions and, as Kennedy went, so went constitutional law. Sometimes he swung right, other times left. But whichever way he went, more often than not, his was the deciding vote. We’ve called it the Roberts Court, after Chief Justice John Roberts, but it’s been the Kennedy Court in all but name.” 

“He was a moderating force. In Justices Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, there are now four sitting justices who are among the most conservative to have ever served on the court. If President Trump names another right-wing justice, the court will become far more conservative than the country at large. Kennedy’s swing vote allowed the Supreme Court to remain within the mainstream. We should demand that any successor show the same open mind, the same moderating temperament, and the same sensitivity to the equal dignity for all.”

     President Reagan would probably be livid if he knew the ACLU was happy with one of his nominees. I occasionally find myself at odds with the ACLU but I think they hit the nail on the head this time. We do need another Kennedy on the court. We do need someone that is open minded. 

     I encourage the President to find that type of person. But even if he does, we may still have a brawl on The Hill. Things have really become that bad.