Every few years, the botanical garden down on the National Mall proudly boasts its prized “corpse flower.” In years when our federal swamp gets hot and icky enough, the foul-smelling plant turns a throbbing purple and blooms.
Like the swollen tongue of a bloated battlefield corpse — pressing at the cuffs, seams and Sam Brownes — the engorged spadix of the titan arum grows until bursting into a stench that is described as a cross between rotting meat and heat-ripened garbage. The odor is so repellent that it tricks flies into thinking the plant is a decaying corpse, thus its name.
This being Washington and the seat of your federal government, such a carnival of putrefaction inexplicably attracts people from all around by the thousands to take part in the jolly rotten occasion.
Yes, in most of America, good people see a skunk and quickly scurry the other way. Here in Washington, it’s called a homecoming. They see a skunk, and they see mama.
So it is with that other periodic event just up the hill. Every few years, Congress convenes to confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court and, watch out, here come the flies.
This year’s picnic feast will be Neil Gorsuch, a highly respected appeals court judge nominated by President Trump to replace the late legal titan Justice Antonin Scalia.
For decades, these confirmations were fairly basic, straightforward affairs.
Is the nominee qualified? Criminal background check to make sure he could not be bribed on the bench. Does he understand the Constitution? Will she faithfully and honestly adhere to the Constitution and always apply it with justice and equality?
Well, that all changed back in the 1960s when the absurdly named “liberals” and “progressives” finally realized that the electorate would never buy their crazy authoritarian bunkum. So they decided that the electorate needed to be cut out of the deal. That was when they started stacking the courts with people who flat out reject the notion that the Constitution actually means anything. These power-hungry neanderthals certainly have no intentions whatsoever of upholding the Constitution or applying it fairly.
This is how you wind up with four justices on the high court who embrace the notion that the Constitution means whatever they say it means, including Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who announced her own constitutional credentials as a “wise Latina.” Seriously.
And it is how you wind up with a crazy lunatic on the Left Coast’s “9th Circus” who somehow decides that the rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution extend to foreigners in foreign lands. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these sleazeballs cared this much about the rights of actual American citizens?
Already, Democrats in the Senate have declared that they have no interest in taking Judge Gorsuch or his confirmation hearings seriously.
“The high burden of proof that Judge Gorsuch has to meet is largely a result of the president who nominated him,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat who was elected to the Senate from the ridiculous state of Connecticut despite repeatedly lying about fighting in the Vietnam War.
In other words, according to Mr. Blumenthal, it’s all about politics. Nothing to do with the Constitution. He doesn’t like the president, so he will never vote for Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation.
Break out the smelling salts. It’s gonna be a long, putrid week along the Potomac River.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.