James Madison once wrote, “If men were angels, government would not be necessary.” He penned this in Federalist #51 in an effort to promote his beliefs that the government was a necessary institution in promoting the ideals of a perfect society, and the goodwill of all men.
With the Loretta Lynch controversy, however, Madison’s quote today would sound something more like “Because men are not angels, let’s abolish all forms of government.”
In November, President Barack Obama nominated Lynch to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder as the first female African-American U.S. Attorney General. With a Harvard law degree and prior experience as the Eastern District Attorney of New York, Lynch’s work has been praised by several politicians both Republican and Democratic.
Even more, supporters have lauded Lynch’s grace under pressure. Several civil rights cases have been handled under Lynch’s watch in which she worked hard on the case, but opted not to be in the spotlight to avoid courtroom tactics. In a time where flash persists among politicians and lawmakers, it’s refreshing to see someone who is concerned with one thing — getting the job done in the most effective way possible.
Now, on the brink of what should have been a fairly easy nomination process — considering Lynch had support from Republican and Democratic senators — Republican lawmakers are playing another political game and abusing their power in Congress. The Senate said last week that the confirmation vote for Lynch to be the next attorney general would be held this week.
Sunday, however, U.S. Senator and majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the Senate would not vote to confirm Lynch until the Senate moved forward on a bipartisan anti-trafficking bill. Democrats stalled the bill once they found a provision concerning abortion funding. According to the bill, none of the funding that would go to victims of human trafficking could be used for abortion. Several Democrats criticized the provision, claiming it was neither in the original Senate or House bills.
The fact that a party holds up the passage of a bill in Congress because they don’t agree with the contents of it is neither unprecedented nor uncommon. What is unfortunate, however, is that the Republican Party in Congress is attempting to obstruct the democratic process and impede the judicial business of the nation.
By holding up the confirmation because the party is trying to get a bill passed, it is forcing Holder to remain in a position he wished to retire from in November.
Lynch has expressed plainly that she has ideas that would revamp the justice department and that she is ready to get to work. Lynch’s delayed confirmation by the Republican Party is not only bad for the country, but its image as well.
It is clear that abortion is an issue that Republicans hold dear to their hearts, as it is something they consider immoral. And that is completely understandable. However, being vague and misleading about the contents and true intentions of a bill, calling it “bipartisan,” is immoral as well. Furthermore, using Lynch’s confirmation as a bargaining chip to try and achieve their goals that go against the democratic process is un-American.
President George Washington, in his farewell address, gave Americans a stern warning with regard to political factions and parties – stay away from them. With many of the political tactics used by both Democrats and Republicans, it’s clear that party loyalties have distracted politicians from doing what they were elected to, and that is protecting the interest of the American people.
Something must change.