I watched the Senate Judiciary Committee deliberations on Judge Amy Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. A thought-provoking juxtaposition was the statements of Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Lee, after observing that they are both members of once-persecuted groups (Lee a Mormon, Barrett a Catholic) praised Barrett for her courage defending minorities. The US Constitution, he declared, is designed to “protect unpopular issues and groups from the impulses of a majority which might be bent on harm”.
Next, Whitehouse called these confirmation hearings a puppet show, whose strings were pulled by dark money, the objective being :remake the national judiciary, demean and diminish the civil jury, weaken regulatory agencies which protect the public trust, allow unlimited money in politics, restrict voting rights, and of course knocking down Roe vs. Wade, same-sex marriage and Obamacare. $250 million had been spent, he stated, in dark money, to reshape the courts.
Cruz then pointed out the hypocrisy here: Democratic dark money had outspent Republicans by three to one.
Money, dark or undark, rules. This year, we are deluged by appeals for money from candidates throughout the country.We have to buy elections. And, while poverty proliferates, billionaires get richer and richer.
The Constitution was, as Lee stated, designed to protect a minority. Whitehouse described a focused campaign aimed at controlling the majority. Who, then, is the protected minority Lee referred to?
It is, as Cruz then made clear, the tiny group of billionaires who rule us. This fact was corporealized in the encompassing bearhug between the unmasked Senators Feinstein and Graham, which crowned the hearings.