Thank You Very Much, McConnell

“Thank you very much!
Thank you very much!
That’s the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me.”

This song, written by Leslie Bricusse for the movie “Scrooge” (1970), is sung when Dickens’ character sees a vision from the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come of the people who owe Scrooge money celebrating at the sight of his coffin.

A fictional scene, this was played out for real just this past week when the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and within hours U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that a new nominee for the high court would be voted on before the important November presidential election.

As a voter who is not affiliated with any political party, I wish to express my deepest disdain for McConnell and his ilk for not waiting until her body was cold—or at least until the first night of Rosh Hashanah concluded.

It is also hypocritical that back in 2016 when former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February, 9 months ahead of that election, Republicans refused to hold hearings for a new nominee to fill his empty seat even though President Obama chose Merrick Garland, a judge who normally Republicans would have supported. 

With less than 7 weeks ahead of this year’s election, why the flip-flop?  Because their “guy” is in the Oval Office.  That is what the whole thing is about.  Politics.  Playground bullying done by old white men who are supposed to serve the American people no matter which party they belong to.

Unfortunately, Americans should not be surprised at the lack of civility in Washington, D.C.  I’m not sure when bipartisanship disappeared, but for those of you younger than 50, take a look at some YouTube videos of President Ronald Reagan.

Watch his self-deprecating humor at a 1984 debate with Democratic nominee Walter Mondale.  When running for re-election, Reagan’s age (73) was being used against him, and so he was asked to respond to the criticism.   He quipped, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”  

This generated a huge laugh even from Mondale.   When can you remember two politicians from different parties sharing a hearty laugh together like this in the past 40 years?

The acrimony that political leaders exhibit these days is reflected in the general population.  Again, YouTube has plenty of evidence showing regular folks acting very badly in public.

There is a feeling in America that people lack common ground, that differences far outweigh similarities.  Our neighbors have become strangers.

Here’s hoping sooner than later that this country finds its footing again, and that no matter one’s politics, ethnicity or Netflix preferences, we can stand together as a united nation.

Otherwise, Russia, China and other foes will be dancing on the coffin of the United States singing, “Thank you very much” to the Americans who helped its demise.

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