Soap Operas, those daytime dramas, that were sponsored by laundry detergent companies, whose stories were aimed at housewives, first hit the radio airwaves, on the NBC Radio Network, in 1937. NBC radio ran The Guiding Light until 1956. The Guiding Light also aired on CBS-TV starting in 1952 and ended its 72-year run, both radio and TV years, on September 18, 2009. Apparently, today’s stay at home women, aren’t as interested in watching soap operas as The Guiding Light was replaced with a talk show.
There maybe another reason, soap operas, on TV, have lost their appeal. Our government has taken over producing soap operas. The only difference is, these are real life and not make-believe stories, thus making them compelling radio and TV.
Consider what has gone on in the process, to nominate and vote on, Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the United States Supreme Court. It used to be that the main issue considered was that the nominee was qualified, as a jurist, who had solid knowledge of the Constitution, and that their past rulings showed they’d been an impartial jurist, during their years as a judge. What was desired is that whomever, was put on the Supreme Court, would vote based on law, not his / her personal feelings, religious or non-religious beliefs.
Things have gone awry since October 1987, when Judge Robert Bork was the nominee for the Supreme Court. He was treated so badly, by the Democrats on the Senate committee, during his Senate hearings, that in future nominee hearings, the term being “borked” has been used to mean that the nominee was treated very poorly by one of the parties, on the Senate committee. Democrats and Republicans, have both “borked” nominees, since the Bork nomination, as sadly the process to determine a nominee’s qualifications to be a Supreme Court justice has become extremely political.
Democrats believe that Merrick Garland was “borked” by the GOP. I believe that Garland probably would have been a decent jurist, on the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the timing of his nomination, was at the end of Obama's second term and during an election for the next President. So, no it didn't seem reasonable that Obama, who was leaving office, should pick a lifetime jurist. It made more sense, to many folks, that the new President, be it Hillary or Trump make that choice. The only reason the DEMS are carping about it, is because Hillary lost the election. Had she won, this wouldn’t be an issue, for them, thus making their argument purely political.
Judge Kavanaugh also would make a decent jurist on the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, we no longer simply look at the person’s qualifications, but their politics. So, no matter who’s nominated, the other side is going to be totally against that person, no matter how stellar their resume and experience. From where I sit that is wrong and we, as a nation lose out on some highly qualified jurists sitting on the Supreme Court.
Sadly, that is no longer how Congress, on both sides of the isle, nor any President, DEM or GOP, nor the public look at it. What should be a fairly simply process has devolved into a highly political three ring circus, or soap opera, that started back with the nomination of Judge Bork and has continued since.
As of this writing, the Kavanaugh soap opera has finally gotten a vote from the Senate committee, but retiring GOP Senator Jeff Flake, said his yes vote, in the Senate, will be contingent on the FBI doing a 7th investigation on Judge Kavanaugh. President Trump, later in the day, did order the FBI to do a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh's file, and to be done in less than a week. So, the plot thickens. This is high drama, worthy of a soap opera.
Fact is, the DEMS should have brought Dr. Ford’s accusation, to the attention of the committee two months ago, when they first heard about it, but they chose instead, to use it at the last minute, as a bomb. If they had actual proof, that would have ended Kavanaugh’s nomination. So, what if the FBI doesn’t find anything, in this 7th investigation? Then the Senate should vote yes to appoint Kavanaugh to sit on the Supreme Court, in my opinion. On the other hand, if the FBI finally uncovers something, that backs Dr. Ford’s accusation, then all bets are off, as then there will be another delay, with hearings to better understand what the FBI found, etc.
Given both the mood of the nation, on both sides of the isle, along with the short timeline, before the November elections, and Trump not wanting to lose getting the strongest conservative on the bench, while still having a GOP controlled Senate, would probably drop Kavanaugh and nominate someone else, possibly a conservative female jurist. As the announcers used to said on radio soap operas, the next voice you will hear, will be that of someone from the FBI, let’s listen…..
Mike Cannatelli’s column appears every other week, in both the print editions of the Avon Grove Sun and Kennett News.