Saturday, November 5, 2016

THE SENATE is The Most Important Reason Why Your Vote Matters and why YOU MUST VOTE

A few thousand voters have almost no chance of altering the outcome of a presidential race. The Electoral College tally for president is usually not especially close, and even when it is, the presidential vote margin in very few states is within a percentage point. I vote for president for a lot of reasons, but not because I think my vote will affect the outcome. In contrast, many U.S. Senate races are tighter, and for various reasons, citizen activists and the Senate candidates themselves can change the outcome more readily in the last two weeks.
And the results of individual Senate races are terribly important. Why?
The U.S. Senate itself may not be deeply respected these days, but a few senators can make a significant difference on some extremely consequential issues, especially if the party control of the Senate is close — which is likely after this coming election. One critical issue is the confirmation of justices to the Supreme Court and judges to other federal courts. Individual senators can and do alter epic confirmation battles.
Within a few hours of President Reagan's nomination of Judge Robert Bork to serve on the Supreme Court, Sen. Ted Kennedy rose on the Senate floor to deliver what turned out to be consequential, if horribly misleading and unfair, attack on Bork. That speech, "Robert Bork's America," created a powerful narrative about him and did much to galvanize the actions of other senators and a phalanx of activists bent on distorting perceptions about Bork.
Judge Bork had other difficulties, including an academic approach to answering senators' questions and a scraggly beard that was not telegenic. But Ted Kennedy's singular effort may well have made the difference in defeating Bork's confirmation. In a political battle, momentum matters, and the GOP never recovered it.
Likewise, a few smart and committed senators made the difference in securing the confirmation for Justice Clarence Thomas in the face of explosive charges of sexual harassment by a former employee. Anita Hill followed her mentor from one government job to another and later invited Thomas to speak at the law school where she taught, but during Thomas' confirmation hearing, she made salacious charges that the press blew up further. At that moment, no one could confidently predict the outcome.

Read the rest of this IBD Commentary HERE.

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