I don’t have much in common politically with Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, but on ABC’s “This Week,” he made some comments that deserve to be taken seriously by his fellow Democrats.
Other Democrats are throwing ridiculous allegations at Judge Amy Coney Barrett (including claiming she’s totally unqualified and suggesting she’s a racist for…adopting two black children?), and threatening to try to disrupt and delay her confirmation hearing with procedural tactics and general tantrum-throwing. But Durbin admitted that Democrats have no power to stop her confirmation, that "we can slow it down perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most. But we can't stop the outcome."
Instead, he said, "I've met with every Supreme Court nominee since I've been in the Senate. I will extend that courtesy, if she requests it, for at least a socially distanced, safe meeting, perhaps over the phone. I want to be respectful. We disagree on some things. And in terms of participating in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, I'll be there to do my job."
Even more stunning, Durbin publicly refuted Hillary Clinton’s plea to Joe Biden not to concede the election under any circumstance (like she’s apparently never conceded that she lost in 2016, and this is what that kind of denial of reality does to your mind.) Durbin said, "I respect her, I like her. But I think she's just flat-out wrong. The election itself is going to be announced, the winner will be announced at some point. If we are going to maintain a democracy, peaceful transition through an election is the only way to do it. Whoever the winner is, if it is clear and legal, that should be announced and the other party should concede." (This is assuming that Hillary was not talking about dragging out the results while enough new ballots could be “found” to win.)
Durbin’s words are a refreshing throwback to a time when political differences took a backseat to the good of the nation, and when all Americans observed the great traditions that have made America such an exceptional nation, like accepting losses, respecting other people’s right to hold different views, working across the aisle and observing a peaceful transfer of power after elections. One of the silliest stories of the past month has been the accusation that if Trump lost, he might not accept the outcome and that would be a “constitutional crisis.” Would it be worse than all the Democrats who still haven’t accepted that they lost four years ago, and are willing to burn the Constitution over it, from blowing up the Electoral College to packing the Supreme Court? They’re like children who scream that no race is “fair” unless they win it.
These days, too many people not only ignore those traditions, they deny that America even has great traditions or is an exceptional nation at all. Yet the things they would replace our traditions with would reduce us to the level of “world’s biggest banana republic.”
May Dick Durbin’s wise words (and courage to speak them aloud) sink into his fellow Democrats’ craniums and inspire some long-overdue soul-searching. At long last, there’s an adult in the room. (Or at least there was until he started endorsing some of the proposed changes Democrats would make if they win back the White House and Senate, but we can all save him from himself by voting to prevent that.)